Selling old gear to fund new purchases is more or less a yearly tradition. Something better and more attractive comes out, and suddenly what’s in your pocket—or, in this case, in your bag—seems old and janky. With new iPads just days away, now’s the perfect time to get rid of your year-old device in exchange for some cash. Luckily, there are many, many places to do this, meaning you should have no issue putting a little extra money toward a fancy new Apple tablet.
Despite losing some ground to the legions of Android slates this year, Apple’s iPad and iPad mini combo is still the team to beat. Judging from the reports we’ve seen, it appears Apple is really challenging itself to step up as the number one tablet maker around. The bigger iPad, according to multiple image leaks, appears as though it’s undergoing an iPad-mini like makeover, with a much thinner, lighter and narrower frame. The iPad mini 2, meanwhile, is still a bit mysterious—will it or won’t it get the Retina treatment? The consensus thus far is mixed.
Whatever happens, next week’s event is shaping up to be Apple’s biggest tablet-related event ever. We won’t be treated to just one iPad, but two—just like the company’s last iPhone announcement—meaning there will be options for everyone. We’re still not sure how Apple will handle internal upgrades, but we’re inclined to believe the devices will come equipped with an A7 chip (or possibly an A7X). Let’s not get ahead of ourselves; we’re here to explore where to sell your old gear.
As we explore our options, we’re going to focus on Apple’s larger iPad—specifically the iPad 4 16GB Wi-Fi—because it looks like it’s undergoing to most drastic change.
The bad news is that there are a lot of listings on eBay right now, as expected. The good news is that many of the devices listed are going for what we’d consider to be fair prices—I’m seeing an iPad 4 16GB Wi-Fi for $400 with 20 bidders. That’s not bad, especially when you consider the new model (same specs) will likely start at $500; you’ll only need to pony up $100 or so and you’re good to go. EBay is a good service because it’s popular and plenty of people know about it. But it can be a bit unreliable, and you’re not guaranteed to get a huge amount even when other similar listings are. It’s a risk, sure, but if a lot of bidders wind up fighting over your device it could get higher than even your expectations. [eBay]
No, not the graceful antelope found in Africa. Gazelle is a terrific service because you’re essentially guaranteed a specific amount with zero haggling. Just tell the service what model you have, the storage size, whether or not it has cellular and what shape it’s in, and you’ll be given an amount. On Friday, Oct. 18, Gazelle is offering $260 for an iPad 4 16GB Wi-Fi. That’s well under the prices some auctions are getting through eBay, but it still covers about half the cost of a new one—glass half full mentality. [Gazelle]
Not the first place that comes to mind, but if you need cash fast, Walmart might be one of the best places to look. The retailer will actually give you money same day even before you send your device in—you can also get paid after. Right now, Walmart is offering $225 for an iPad 4 in working condition, which isn’t horrible, but not ideal when it’s possible to get much more elsewhere. Still, if you need the dough now—it’s a Walmart eGiftCard—the company’s service might at least be worth your consideration. [Walmart]
This is essentially the same idea as Walmart’s program, and you can actually go into a store close to you to perform the transaction. The system itself it easy: simply let Best Buy know what condition your iPad is in and you’ll get money based on that. One considered to be in Good condition is valued at $240 (fair is $168 and poor is $108). A better deal than Walmart, so it’s not difficult to decide which store to choose if you have both nearby. Or, if you prefer not to drive to an actual store, you can do your business online, though you’ll have to go through the effort of actually sending your device in (and hoping it doesn’t get damaged in the process). [BestBuy]
Probably the most lucrative (and sketchy) option, Craigslist is a handy service because it connects local sellers with local buyers. You simply list your product, provide some pictures and text, and wait for the offers to come streaming in. The service can be hit or miss, though I’ve found it largely to be a huge success, and have gotten fair prices for older gear. Just remember that since you’re linking up with complete strangers, it’s important to be very careful about how you conduct your transaction. We’ve all heard horror stories; don’t fall victim to the Craigslist underbelly. In my area, prices for a 16GB model average about $400, so there’s clearly the potential to get much more money than other competing options. [Craigslist]
Apple’s Reuse and Recycling program is extremely straightforward: you answer some questions about your iPad’s condition (water damage, cosmetic, whether it functions, if you have the accessories) and get a price based on that—not unlike the other services mentioned above. Right now, apple is offering $231, which is about what you’ll get from Walmart and Best Buy. Remember, these services are based on convenience—you can just go into your local store and trade-up—designed so you do as little legwork as possible. The best part about going through Apple is that you’ll already be right there surrounded by new gear. [Apple]
The options above range quite a bit in price, it’s just a matter of how much effort you want to put in. If you’re comfortable with Craigslist and have used the service before, that’s probably your best bet. Gazelle and the many other services are much, much lower than what you could potentially get by meeting someone locally, but they take the hassle out of the experience and don’t require you to exert yourself too much.
As we said in our iPhone post last month, Apple gear typically gives a pretty good return. If I were selling an iPad 4 (I’m not), I’d probably use that cash to get an iPad mini (if it has a Retina display). Whichever service you choose, you could potentially get a few hundred dollars, which will make a nice dent in a new device.