How to sell your old iPad

How to sell - and get the most money for! - your old iPad before upgrading to an iPad Air or Retina iPad mini

Everything you need to know in order to get the best possible price for your old iPad before upgrading to an iPad Air or Retina iPad mini

If you plan on upgrading to an iPad Air or Retina iPad mini, selling your old iPad is a no brainer. Apple products hold their resale value very well. If you've taken good care of your iPad, you should have no problem finding it a new home and putting some cash in your pocket while doing it. Selling the old really does help you afford the new. If you're not sure how to sell, or if you just want to make sure you get the most money, or save yourself the most time and effort, possible, here's everything you need to know!

Quick guide

There's a ton of information provided below, and a lot of details for first time sellers. If you're a pro and just want to make sure you're not missing anything, here's a quick set of bullet points you'll want to pay attention to:

  • Wipe all data from your old device before you sell it. Seriously, nothing is worse than giving someone your personal information. Here's how.
  • Take great photos. People judge books by their covers. Clean it up so it looks like new and then take photos to prove it.
  • Include all the parts. The more you can include from the original box, the better! Again, perception matters.
  • Decide what's more important, money or time: If you want fast and easy, use a service like Gazelle. If you want maximum money no matter what, sell it yourself on Craigslist.

Again, we have tons of details below, so if you're uncertain about any aspect, keep reading!

How to prepare your iPad for sale

Before you actually sell your iPad, there are some steps you need to take before placing ads or making any commitments to sell it. These steps aren't only to help you get a higher price tag, they're to make sure your data and personal information is protected too.

Wipe your iPad and protect your data

Before you sell your old iPad to get a new one, you need to make sure all your stuff is off of it. You don't want to give the next owner access to all your old pictures, messages, accounts, and other private information, of course.

Clean up your iPad and take great pictures

iPads, just like iPhones, hold their value rather well as long as you take care of them. If you've taken excellent care of your iPad you can probably get more for it than someone else who is trying to sell a beat up iPad that looks like it has been taken through the ringer.

So clean it up and make sure you remove any surface dirt and get as much gunk or lint out of the corners, crevices, and ports as you can. It doesn't matter how great your iPad works. If it looks like crap, you won't get the best price.

The key to making a quick sale is to make sure you're honest and open about the condition of your iPad. To make sure you are representing your product, take high quality pictures of the actual iPad and avoid stock images at all costs. Many buyers will skip over listings that have stock images in them and only buy from sellers that include pictures of the actual iPad they're in possession of. If there are any minor scratches or nicks, photograph those too. Buyers like honest sellers and it helps build trust.

Include accessories and original cables

If you've got the original cables and accessories that came with your iPad, that's a great selling point. If you have the original box it came in, that's even better. For an even quicker sale, you can include some accessories or cases you've purchased for it over time. Odds are the new iPad Air will have a different form factor meaning the cases you currently have won't fit. We aren't sure about the Retina iPad mini yet but if you don't mind offering a little extra incentive for buyers, it never hurts.

How to put your iPad up for sale, and which service(s) to use

Now that you've got all the information collected about your iPad and what accessories you want to include in the sale, it's time to actually list it sell it. There are many places online that you can utilize as well as listing sites that allow you to meet up with buyers locally. We'll cover the ones we recommend and you can decide which one is best for you personally.

We'll go over some options first that'll get you cash or credit quickly and then we'll take a look at services like Craigslist and eBay that may fetch you more money but will require a little more patience and maybe some haggling on your part.

Apple Reuse and Recycling Program

Apple has their own in-store trade-in program for that makes it easy to walk in and trade in your current iPad for credit towards a new one. As of this writing, Apple is currently offering $231 in gift card form for a 16GB iPad 4 in good condition with all cables and no damage. It's really not a bad offer and if you want cash quick without the hassle, it's certainly convenient.

Amazon Trade-In Store

Amazon, like Apple, will buy back your old iPad as well through the Amazon Trade-In Store. The only hitch here is that you'll be given payment in the form of an Amazon gift card. If you're looking for hard cash to put towards a new iPad on launch day and you don't want to wait for Amazon to have it in stock, it may not be the best option.

If you're okay with Amazon credit though, it's a pretty painless process. You'll choose the model, capacity, and color of your current iPad and add it to your trade-in. You'll then be given a shipping label and instructions. Once Amazon receives your old iPad, they'll issue you an Amazon gift card for the trade-in value. Amazon is currently offering a range of around $200 all the way up to over $350 depending on your iPad model and capacity.

Gazelle

Gazelle offers a service that lets you easily turn most electronic devices into cash. Simply send in your iPad and Gazelle will send you money after confirming the item condition. The first thing you'll need to do is tell Gazelle what you're selling and what condition the item is in. You can choose from poor, fair, good or excellent condition, and it's important to be honest when rating the condition so there's no hiccups or snags along the way. It also helps if you have the box and original documentation and cables with your item. Also make sure you check for any water damage, as Gazelle will too once they receive your iPad.

Currently, a 16GB WiFi only iPad 4 in normal flawless condition will fetch you around $275. Again, always be honest about the condition. While Gazelle is a quick way to get money for your old iPad, you can probably get quite a bit more on services like Craigslist and eBay if you can afford to be more patient with the actual selling process.

SellYourMac.com

SellYourMac.com offers a similar service to Gazelle by letting you send in your old iPad for payment with little to no hassle involved.

You'll be required to provide pictures along with a serial number next to your item description and condition. Once SellYourMac.com receives your iPad they'll clean it, inspect it, and verify that it's in working condition before they turn around and sell it on eBay. Users can receive payment via Paypal if they choose as well. SellYourMac's quotes are a little higher than other competing services such as Gazelle. A 16GB WiFi only iPad 4 in perfect condition with the box is currently going for $255 on SellYourMac.

buymyi

mendmyi has just launched a new service in the UK called buymyi that's the first of it's kind when it comes to buying used iPhones and iPads. While most others only let you choose whether the device is in good condition, broken, or liquid damaged, buymyi will actually price out and buy your used iPad regardless of the issues. It functions by letting you pick out a fault (or multiple faults) and adding them. Since at it's core, mendmyi is a repair company, it will use their repair cost in order to adjust the value of your device given current rates.

It's a great option for iPad owners that have issues selling an imperfect device for a fair price elsewhere. As of today, buymyi is offering £250 for a 16GB good condition WiFi only iPad 4. They will send out payment within 24 hours of receiving the device and they let you choose between Paypal, bank transfer, or check. The service is currently only available to UK residents but may expand to other countries in the near future. Currently buymyi is offering some of the best prices we've seen and if you're located in the UK, we'd highly recommend quoting your iPad with them.

eBay

Selling your iPad on eBay is a pretty simple process. If you've ever used eBay for selling things in the past then you know the selling process isn't all that tricky, however there are still some things to keep in mind when using eBay to sell your iPad. For instance, eBay charges fees for each auction based on the item you're selling and how much it sells for, among other things, so here are five quick tips to help you get the most out of your auction:

  1. Only ship to the buyer's confirmed Paypal address if using Paypal.
  2. Price competitively, especially if you're using Buy It Now as an option.
  3. Make sure the pictures you use follow your description and are good quality - post pictures of any physical blemishes on the iPad and be up-front in your description.
  4. Use a fast shipping service and make sure you include that in your item description. People are impatient by nature so sellers that offer fast shipping tend to sell items quicker.
  5. Use keywords in your title and in your item description to attract more potential buyers.
  6. You may also want to consider insuring your item in case anything goes wrong during shipping. Watch out for low-feedback buyers and also keep in mind that Paypal charges processing fees as well.

Craigslist

Craigslist allows you to list items for sale in your area so you can perform the transaction locally and face-to-face. This is a quick way to get some cash for your iPad on the spot and also an easy way to let the buyer check out the device in person before committing to the purchase. As long as you were honest about the condition and specifications, you should have no issue in completing a painless transaction with a buyer. And you walk away with cash in your hand on the spot.

  1. Don't ever put your personal or home address in an ad. Ever!
  2. Price your iPad competitively. A good way to do this is to find existing ads on Craigslist in your area for iPads that are the same model, capacity, and condition as yours and price accordingly. If your iPad shows up next to someone else's and yours is grossly overpriced, it won't sell.
  3. Some buyers prefer being able to text or call you immediately about an item and it may increase the likelihood of a quick sale. Having a phone number that they can reach you at is ideal. Only do this if you're comfortable with putting your phone number on the internet. This is a good time to use a Google Voice number or other forwarding number if you have one.
  4. Meet in a public place, preferably in the daytime. A coffee place like Starbucks is a good idea. It's also never a bad idea to bring a friend or relative with you. While most buyers are perfectly friendly, there are shady people out there. If the person doesn't want to meet in a public place, pass on them and wait for someone who doesn't have an issue with that.
  5. Watch out for email scams, something Craigslist is notorious for. Anyone offering to pay you a great deal more than the list price or who asks you to ship the item to a foreign country is a scammer. Delete their e-mails and correspondence immediately and wait for a legitimate buyer to come along.

Sell your iPad to a friend or family member

Even you aren't willing to part with your old iPad for free it doesn't mean friends or family members aren't interested in buying it from you. Perhaps they don't have an iPad and don't care about having the newest model available. Using this method you ensure that your old iPad finds a good home and you know the buyer isn't a scam artist.

Ask around and offer a reasonable price and you may be surprised how many of your friends or family members could be willing to snag your old iPad. Throwing in accessories such as cases can help sweeten the deal as well.

Get more help selling your old iPad

Whether you just aren't sure which method to use, need advice on what condition you should list your iPad as, or what you should price it at, we're here to help. You can leave any questions you have about selling your old iPad in the comments below or better yet, in our iMore forums where lots of our members have years of experience selling and trading gadgets of all kinds.

One of our members may even be interested in taking your old iPad off your hands so be sure to check out our Marketplace forum as well!

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to sell your old iPad

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Ally...that wallpaper on the iPad is incredible!!! is that a native iPad wallpaper in iOS 7??? (Sorry I don't have an iPad to check)...either way where can I get that wallpaper???

hahah i KNEW i was going to get a wallpaper question! It's one of my favorites ever. I actually found it in a random google image search, here is the direct link...

http://fin6.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/047957f81891a78aab42f102ceb35de31.jpg

I just searched autumn leaves wallpaper and it's one of the first 3 that come up :)

I have an iPad original and an iPad 2. Would I be able to get more $ if I sell now before the iPad 5 comes out? I've been pretty pleased with the iPad 2.

I'd say yes. Most of the time the older a device gets, the less it's worth. this is particularly true with iPhones, the minute a new one comes out, old values plummet. You probably won't see too much of a difference in iPad 1 and 2, the hardest hit will probably be iPad 4 and iPad mini owners.

For some reason, the value of the iPad 2 has gone up recently on the major buyback sites, compared to a few months ago. If you are going to sell your iPad 2, now is the time.

When it was time to sell my iPhone 5, I used Gazelle because of the fast turn around. They quoted me $325 for it, which I thought was more than fair (especially since I was only paying $199 for the 5S upgrade!) A snag happened with them, though.....the return shipment back to Gazelle got stalled at the USPS sort facility in Philadelphia....that sat there for almost a week. But, I emailed Gazelle and they monitored the situation for a few days. Since nothing updated, they still issued the payment to me and told me that they would handle finding the package from the USPS. Great customer service in my book!!

These are really helpful tips to make the most out of your old iPad. When you sell iPad or other Apple products, it is also important if you will consider where you will sell it. Currently, I think one of the best sites that can give you the best price for your old iPad is https://www.dineromob.com. Now that the iPad Air is currently out, this is your best option.

Great article Allyson! I just wanted to add my two cents... I used TechPayout.com to sell my iPad for cash and then came back to sell my iPhone 5. What I really liked and found unique was that they call you right after you checkout to see if you have any questions. When I did my homework at the time they paid the most. Good luck to everyone whoever you use!

Bob