Originally Posted by junglechocolate
What I've actually heard is that miners take good care of their cards, more so than the average user
Maybe your OCN enthusiast miner does for their 1 card but a for profit mining operation with a hundreds cards certainly does not. Some folks lock the gear in a closet at home to quiet it down in a shoddy made rack and make it cook. Doesn't matter how well you care about it either, it's running close to full power nonstop, it was never designed for that, it was designed for a sporadic use for 2-3 years, not nonstop abuse.
If I've learned anything form buying 2nd hand hardware it's that people don't take good care of electronics especially GPUs. Personally I have hardware that still works after 10+ years but I also know other people that have similar hardware they broke it in warranty already.
Especially with GPUs I would check for any component damage, people like to nick things off, capacitors, resistors, etc. Break the fan blades or sell cards when fans give up from constant use.
You're never gonna get a good card from a for profit operation, period.
As far as getting upgrade from RMA... largely depends on region and luck. Even when the card is not manufactured anymore they often have a stockpile of old cards from previous RMAs etc. refurbs and will give you that, which in case of ASUS almost always means that you get back worse than what you send them in RMA and end up cycling it over and over until they have to refund you. Also depends on local service center policies and people there. ASUS for example doesn't mind to make you wait 1+ month before sending anything back to you, which is OK if you bought it a regular customer (not as a company/for business) as after 1 month they have to refund you by law in EU. If you bought it as a company they will rotate it endlessly until you give up, taking 3-4 months with no resolution unless you get a hold of their CS HQ in Taiwan.
Doing RMAs especially on 2nd hand bought items is a nightmare. Buying 2nd hand = 99% forget about any warranty no matter what the seller is trying to tell you, in EU the shops often only wants to deal with the original buyer not with you as a 2nd/3rd/... owner, service center accepting RMAs directly from customers largely depends on the manufacturer and even specific item type, even then they love to screw you over as much as they can, at least ASUS does.
The only company that had a good RMA procedure in my experience was HP since they are used to dealing with business customers who wouldn't stand for the shoddy practices that ASUS, MSI, EVGA, etc. pure consumer brands do.
2nd hand 1080Ti from a reputable source, sure why not. From some random schmuck off of internet... eeeehh probably not. The only people selling 1080Ti are miners and those that upgraded to 2080Ti/RTX. The supply is fairly minuscule.