How to sell your old iPad before buying an iPad 4 or iPad mini

So you've got an older generation iPad and you want either the newly announced iPad mini or the more powerful 4th generation iPad. What should you do with your old iPad and more importantly, how much cash can you get to put towards your shiny new one?

Getting top dollar for your old iPad

There are many things you can do to make sure you get the best price possible for your old iPad. With phones, you get more value when they're unlocked but with iPads, you don't really have that hurdle to jump over. Instead, you can increase the value of what you get for your iPad if it's in excellent condition and you're throwing in some extras. Here's a few things you should consider before listing your iPad for sale.

Include accessories and extras

Including things like cases, chargers, docks, or anything else that you have that you're willing to part with or won't be compatible with your new iPad will increase what you can get for it. If you had a growing collection of 30-pin cables that'll serve you no good with your new iPad, part with a few of them and invest that money into a few new Lightning cables.

You'll also find some people that'll pay more if you have the box and the original accessories it came with.

The more you have to go with it, the more you'll get for it.

Take high quality images

There's nothing more annoying than trying to find something for sale online and not being able to see any decent images. Make sure you're taking high quality images of not only the iPad, but of any extras that you're throwing in with it.

Get pictures of the front and the back so potential buyers know what they're getting. I've also become accustomed to getting pictures with the screen on and then close ups of the screen with the backlight off so users can see that the screen is in excellent condition and doesn't have any scuffs or scratches in it.

If you're iPad does have a little bit of cosmetic damage, be open and honest about it in your listing and with any buyer that may contact you. It doesn't mean you won't sell your iPad. Buyers prefer honest sellers. If you list it as mint condition but then come back and tell a potential buyer about little dents and dings, you'll probably lose the buyer. Be up front from the beginning and you'll have better luck and much more potential for a quick sale.

Putting your iPad up for sale

Once you've decided what you are and aren't including in the sale of your iPad and you've taken some high quality images of everything, you're ready to list it for sale. Here are some of the places we recommend starting with. Notice that some will offer you store credit while others will get you cold hard cash. So choose wisely before agreeing to sell to a buyer or a service.

Apple Reuse and Recycling Program

Apple will gladly buy back your old iPad and either reuse it as a refurbished unit or recycle it on your behalf through their Reuse and Recycling Program. You'll be asked a series of questions regarding the condition, capacity, and color of your iPad. It's important that you're honest because Apple will of course check that what you told them matches the actual condition once they receive the iPad.

After Apple certifies that the iPad is in working condition they'll issue you an Apple Store gift card that you can use towards any purchase. If you're using the proceeds of your old iPad to go towards a new iPad mini or 4th generation iPad, this is a great way to get Apple Store credit quickly and relatively painlessly.

Here is what you can expect to get for the base 16GB models for all existing generations of iPad. If your capacity is larger, you'll fetch a higher amount.

  • 16GB Wi-Fi only original iPad in excellent condition - $105
  • 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 in excellent condition - $175
  • 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 3 in excellent condition - $250

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 purchase 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 up to $190 for a first generation 16GB iPad, $300 for a 16GB iPad 2, and $390 for a 16GB 3rd generation iPad. offers a similar service to Gazelle by letting you send in your old iPad for payment with little to no hassle involved. They'll not only buy your old iPad, but any Apple gear you have laying around. This is a good option if you have other Apple products you're willing to sell besides an old iPad.

You'll be required to provide pictures along with a serial number next to your item description and condition. Once receives your iPad they 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. Base 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad models will get you anywhere between $155 and $305.


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 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 iPad 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.

  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 if 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!

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.