With the new iPad launching, a frenzy among e-commerce sites to buy castaway iPads has sent prices spiking across the internet. While iLovers might think they've hit the mother lode of tablets, it's online trade-in sites like NextWorth and Gazelle that are really hitting pay dirt. NextWorth folks tell me they've had an 814% increase in iPad trade-ins over the last month alone. Just this week, Gazelle reps say iPad sellbacks are up 500%, while eBay reports 125,000 tablet trade-ins during the month of February, of which nearly 98% were Apple iPads, a tenfold increase from the same period last year.
What does this mean for you? Saddle up and sell now, if you want the most money for your old model iPad. NextWorth says prices for old models tend to go down 20% to 25% after the launch of the new product. The longer you wait, the less your old iPad will be worth. Here's everything you need to know.
Is that sell-back site legit?
If you google "sell old iPad" right now, all kinds of sites pop up. Some are totally legit, but others are not. The nefarious sites promise big money for used iPads up front, then drop the offer down to next to nothing once the company has possession of your device. Beware of the bait and switch by going to a reputable site. You'll have to answer a series of questions about the condition of your device, such as whether it's scratched, in working order, comes with original power cords, and other information like that. Be sure to answer honestly, and include any information a potential buyer might want.
Here are several sites I've used, along with the current price they're offering for my 64GB white wifi AT&T 3G iPad 2 in "good" condition:
- Glyde $308
- NextWorth $310
- eBay Instant Sale $395
- BuyBackWorld $304
- Gazelle $280
- Best Buy Trade-in $300
- Apple Reuse and Recycling Program $315
There are other perfectly legitimate sites out there as well — as I mentioned, these are just the ones I've used. This is a good time to use your Facebook friends for their advice; ask if they've had good or bad experiences with any of these businesses. Do a quick search on the Better Business Bureau website, too, to see if there have been any complaints.
Also check to see how the sites send you your money. Some send you a check, while others deposit money in a PayPal account or offer gift certificates trade-ins. Remember, if it goes through PayPal, PayPal takes a cut. Make sure you know the details.
Tips for getting your money's worth
Glyde.com shares several insider tips for getting the most money for your old iPad.
- When you buy, don't get your iPad engraved. Engraved iPads sell for approximately 30% less.
- Put a case on it. Excessive scratching or dents can reduce the price by approximately 20%.
- Storage capacity matters, but color doesn't (as much). Expect to get 10% to 20% more on each storage level up (16GB, 32GB, 64GB); color makes little to no difference.
- Cracked screen? It may be worth getting your screen fixed before selling it online. It's a small cost that can often mean a significant dollar difference.
- Repairs on LCDs or glass and LCDs typically cost $150 to $250. While that sounds like a lot, fixing your slate makes it worth double that amount. For example, Gazelle will only give you $75 for a cracked iPad 2, but you could sell that same repaired device on Glyde for a guaranteed $308 as part of its speed sale offering.
- Remember to wipe your data before you sell your iPad. There is a quick way to do this from the device itself and a longer way from your computer that will ensure that all wiped data is backed up to your iTunes account for future use.
- Quick and easy version (all data permanently erased): On your iPad, tap the Settings app, select General. You'll see a Reset option at the bottom. Tap it, and you'll see all sorts of options for resetting your iPad. Select "Erase all content and settings." After tapping Erase and going through a few warning messages, you will be finished and all your data will be wiped from the iPad, returning it to its original factory settings.
- Slow and safe version (all data is safe and backed up to iTunes account): Connect your iPad to your computer with USB cable. Connect to the iTunes Store on your computer, and make sure that all apps, photos, notes, and media are transferred back over. (This should happen automatically.) Manually back up your iPad by right-clicking on the iPad icon in the upper left corner and selecting Back Up. Go into the iPad Summary pane on iTunes and select Restore. You'll need to click through a few warning messages, but eventually your iPad will show the same Connect to iTunes screen it had when you first brought it home, and it will have been completely wiped, returned it to its original factory settings.
Top Dollar: Still a bit of a gamble
It's still a bit of a gamble when it comes to getting top dollar for your old gadget. First, how realistic and honest were you about the condition of your gadget? Your "excellent" might be someone else's "good." Take a picture of it before you send it in.
Gazelle locks in estimates for 30 days, while NextWorth locks in rates for 21 days. So you can do the trade now, but hang on to your old iPad until you have the new one in your hands.
This sell-off brings one more perk for iPad lovers — the prices of the original iPad and iPad 2 will certainly plummet. We're already seeing them being offered at Best Buy and other retailers for $50 less than normal. Don't forget, the old iPads are still gorgeous gadgets, worth every penny even if they are a year or two old.
Are you planning to buy the new iPad? What will you do with your old iPad 2? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
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