Apple's announcement this week of the new iPad Mini was widely expected, but the iPad 4 came as a surprise, given that the previous version just came out in March. The news has left many consumers with buyer's remorse. With the sleek new devices set to arrive in stores Nov. 2, Laptop Mag reports that people are already turning to the web to unload older models. According to one reseller, the most popular Apple device consumers are trading in is the 32GB iPad 3 with Wi-Fi. That means bargain shoppers can snap up a relatively new iPad at a discount. On the flip side, if you're one of the thousands looking to sell your iPad, you could cover well over half the cost of upgrading to the iPad 4, which starts at $499.
We shopped around to find out which sites will give you the most money when you sell your iPad, using the iPad 3 model mentioned above to compare offers. We indicated that our hypothetical iPad was fully functional but showed some use, included all the accessories, and was not engraved. Each of these factors alters the selling price (the color doesn't seem to matter).
Gazelle offers free shipping and wipes the data on the device being sold. It has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and online reviews commend the quick and easy service.
NextWorth gives you the option of selling your iPad online, at select Target stores, or at the J & R in downtown NYC (for a Target or J & R gift card). The site has been in the reselling business for more than six years and has a good reputation.
With the Apple recycling program, you can send in old Apple products in exchange for Apple gift cards. This could be a good option if you're planning to trade up to one of the new tablets at an Apple Store.
Amazon will also compensate you with a gift card if you sell your iPad, and it's offering top dollar for the iPad 3.
Glyde provides a marketplace for selling electronics, along with shipping materials and insurance. It also helps determine the best listing price, as well as a lower "Speed Sale" price if you want a device to sell quickly.
Suggested market price: $457 ($412.94 after fees/shipping)
Speed Sale price: $392 ($353.14 after fees/shipping)
EBay is best-known for its auction-style marketplace but also has an Instant Sale section where the company buys electronics directly.
Average auction price: $495
Finally, you can opt to sell your device directly on Craigslist. Just be sure to follow the company's guidelines for avoiding scams and ensuring your personal safety.
Average asking price: $500
From our research, it's clear you can get the biggest return by selling directly on sites such as Craigslist and eBay. That means handling the entire sale and delivery process yourself, however, and there's no guarantee you'll find a buyer. Resellers promise a quick, easy, and risk-free way to get cash or a gift card to put toward a new tablet, but the amount is less.
Note that resellers generally honor the prices they offer for several weeks, giving you a chance to think over the decision to sell your iPad. These companies also reserve the right to verify the condition of the device and may lower the offer price accordingly.
Some resellers, such as Gazelle, will wipe the data off a device for free. But to be on the safe side, you should back up and erase everything yourself before you sell your iPad. Glyde posts instructions for wiping many devices.