The mining industry has grown exponentially from 2009 when all you needed was an average home computer. Today, to mine, you require dedicated computer hardware and software applications.

Just like you would for any other purchase, before buying mining rigs, it is recommended to know what is in the market, what your options are, how much you should spend and the best place to buy.

What should I know before buying mining hardware?

Hardly surprising, there is a whole industry dedicated to supporting cryptocurrency mining- hardware manufacturers, e-commerce stores, peer to peer markets and how-to guides.

Your choice of hardware will be influenced in part by what cryptocurrency you intend to mine. For instance, some miners have been driven into Scrypt-based alt coins due to the rising difficulty levels in Bitcoin mining. In the latter, ASICs, which are more expensive, are fast replacing GPUs and CPUs.

So, where do you buy hardware?

Peer to Peer Markets

Through the internet, you can find sellers getting rid of their old rigs for many reasons. Most of them will put up pictures and videos of their assembled rigs and individual components. You can pick up great discounts from these deals compared to new hardware from a store.

Bitcointalk forums, mailing lists, Reddit comments – practically the whole internet is one huge market full of potential sellers.

Working out payment escrow arrangements, shipping details and further inquiry is wholly dependent on what you want. Make sure to gather as much information as possible, on the condition of hardware you are purchasing and avoid suspicious bias.

E- commerce stores

Online stores such as Amazon and eBay have listed sections for mining hardware that you can easily search through. Mining companies, retail stores and individual sellers, put up ads with detailed descriptions and pictures of their offers.

Some of important information to look out for includes hashing power in Gigahash/sec, a price and whether it is new or old. One great thing about this alternative is seller reputation ratings and customer reviews. You can see what previous buyers have said about a seller, thus further shielding you from bad sellers.

Direct procurement from Hardware Companies

Bitmain, Butterfly Labs, KnC miner are start-ups in the hardware space that work at developing small integrated circuits chips optimized for hashing algorithms.

Pre-ordering hardware has been a popular alternative by purchasers to stay ahead of the development curve. Remember, difficulty levels periodically go up, your miner may earn you less than you thought if variables have changed.

Sellers also put up marketplace listings on e-commerce stores such as eBay and Amazon.