With next week's arrival of the iPad Air, you'll soon be looking for some extra space in your bag and a little more cash in your hand -- especially if you already own an earlier version of Apple's tablet. Luckily, with buy-back services provided by a variety of websites, online services and brick-and-mortar offers, you can easily address both of those needs while still avoiding Craigslist creeps.
Where should you go if you're looking for the most cash for your old iPad? We surveyed several different outlets, looking specifically at the buy-back value ranges for Apple's iPad 2 and 4th generation iPad. Here's what we found.
In terms of pure value, Ebay seems to be tops: Of course, a traditional Ebay sale also represents the most work for you. You have to create a listing, wait to find a buyer and then figure out how to ship the thing. There's also a chance element to auction style selling: Our value assessment of about $400 for a perfect condition iPad 2 and $460 for a perfect 4th generation iPad are more or less best case scenarios. But if you're really looking to maximize your cash, it seems like an Ebay auction is your best bet.
Trade-in spots like Best Buy and GameSpot also arrive with an element of chance. Our prices for "Perfect" devices (charts below) is the maximum value listed for an immaculate device. Scratches and blemishes usually add up to decrease the value of the transaction. You'll also need to make sure to package the device's charger in the deal to get full trade-in or buy-back value.
The “Broken” price on our survey represents the highest amount given for a non-working iPad. In some cases, the value of a broken device will dip if the the physical condition is poor or even not perfect. Most trade-in services, like Apple’s, will consider a device broken if the screen is cracked, and because of that, offer no value for it. A non-working device in good cosmetic condition is still worth something with services like Gazelle and NextWorth or even on Ebay, so always check into these options before tossing it.
Two of the perhaps most unlikely buy-back services we came across were Walmart and the Microsoft Store, and though each give a reasonable amount of value for iPad trade-ins, it's dished out in store credit only. Walmart does plan to sell the new iPad Air, but if you trade your old iPad in at a Microsoft Store, you'd better have your eye on a Surface 2 as a replacement.
Several services win points for convenience that aren't, perhaps, properly reflected in the price. Gazelle and NextWorth, for example, will send packaging and postage to your address, so that you don't even have to leave the house to exchange your tablet for money. iCracked will actually send an employee to pick up your iPad, and will hand you a pre-paid debit card with the amount of your iPad's value pre-loaded, so that you don't have to wait for a check to arrive.
Take a look at our full graphics below displaying the rough value given for the iPad 2 and 4th generation iPad, listed by condition and each buy-back program we surveyed.
(*) Designates a service that distributes value in store credit