You've decided you're going to buy an iPad 3, sight unseen, the moment Apple lets you give them your money.  Do you also  want to get a jumpstart on selling your old iPad before the market gets saturated? No problem! If you're not handing it down to a friend or family member, or keeping it around the office as a backup device, why not get some cash back and put it towards the purchase of Apple's next big tablet device? It's a relatively straight forward process, but there are some things to be careful about, so here's how to get started.

Getting more for your old iPad

You'll never get back all the money you poured into your current iPad, but there are some things you can do to maximize the value before you sell.

  1. Jailbreak: This isn't as important as it is with selling old iPhones, especially since 3G iPads are unlocked by default, but a jailbroken iPad can still do things a stock one can't and some buyers will value that. If you are new to jailbreaking we suggest checking out the jailbreak starters guide for the best resources.
  2. Condition: The better your iPad looks, the more you'll get for it. That almost goes without saying, but the difference can be a good chunk of change. Make sure you give it a good cleaning before you offer it up for sale, and if you're still under AppleCare or warranty, and are having any issues, take it in for repair or replacement immediately. Most fixes are free and will add a lot of value to your iPad. (Even if you're no longer under warranty, Apple will still sometimes help you out, so it's always worth trying.)
  3. Wipe your data: Before you end up selling your old iPad, you absolutely have to run a full data wipe on it to make sure none of your data is available to the new owner. We've done a quick How-To post to help you with the process.

Putting your iPad up for sale

There are several different ways to sell your iPad, ranging from personal deals between friends, colleagues, or acquaintances, to local classified services, to online auctions. Each one has its pros and cons. Here are some things to consider:


Selling your iPad on eBay is a pretty simple process. 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 if using Buy It Now as an option.
  3. Take the best looking photos you can. Humans are drawn to nice looking things.
  4. Make sure the pictures include any physical blemishes on the iPad and be up-front in your description.
  5. Use a fast shipping service and make sure you include that in your item description.
  6. Use keywords in your title and in your item description to attract more potential buyers.

You may also want to consider insuring your iPad 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.


Selling on craigslist is something to consider if you'd rather deal with people locally and meet face-to-face exchange your iPad for cash. I've used Craigslist to sell a number of things around the house, and always follow a few basic rules:

  • Don't ever put your personal or home address in an ad. Ever!
  • Putting a personal phone number in an ad is okay, but that's up to you.
  • Some find it easier to text rather than email.
  • Meet in a public place, preferably in the daytime.
  • Bring a friend or several friends; better safe than ripped off.
  • Watch out for email scams, something for which Craigslist is notorious.

It's always a good idea to use caution when dealing with Craigslist. I've heard some pretty crazy stories so really, bring a friend and meet in an open, public area to avoid any problems.


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 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 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, and the service will check for any water damages before giving you a quote.

The process takes about a week, and although you're not getting as much money in the end it's a great service if you don't want to deal with a lot of hassle. You can have your payment delivered through Paypal among other methods. You can also submit multiple items if you're looking to get rid of a few more things while you're at it. offers a similar service to Gazelle by letting you send in your old iPad for payment with little to no hassle involved. In a nutshell, they'll buy your old Mac or iOS device. You're 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 and even says they give higher quotes than competing services like Gazelle, so you'll definitely want to compare before making any final decisions.

Apple Recycle Program

If selling your old iPad on any of the services mentioned above doesn't sound appealing, and it's not in good enough condition to give away, Apple has set up an iPod and Mobile Phone Recycling Program.

Personal transactions

Just because all these online services are available, it doesn't mean you can't still sell your old iPad the old fashioned way -- person to person, likely to a friend or acquaintance. Just be sure to follow all the tips suggested above, and remember that accessories like Square can even let you take credit cards right on your own device now, if cash isn't as convenient.

Bonus tip

Include all packaging, cables and adapters if possible. If you have any extra cases or accessories you want to throw in the deal it can usually net you a higher selling price as a bundle instead of trying to sell them individually.

Any questions?

Whether it's eBay, Criagslist or any other method for selling your old iPad we hope this article will help you along the way. As always, let us know if you have any questions or additional suggestions in the comments below!

You can also check out our Marketplace Forum for more iPad buying/selling action.