Change is inevitable, especially when it comes to electronics. This includes, eventually, scratching the itch to trade in your old iPad and score yourself a new iPad Pro. After all, it’s got newer features, and 4K movies look really good on it.
So now comes the next obvious question – how do you trade in your old iPad and get the most value towards a new one? Some of you may consider selling it on the secondhand market to get some cash. But before kicking off that eBay auction, there are a few steps you’ll want to take first.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to trade in your old iPad, including how to get it ready and finding the best value to acquire a new one for your home office (or your car, if you’re entertaining the kids). Heed these tips well, and you’ll get a lot of money (or credit) in return!
The first step when you trade in your old iPad is preparing to get rid of it. That means restoring it to as close to pristine condition as you can, as if you just took it out of the box. The newer the condition, the more money you’ll get back.
Backup Your Device
Don’t factory reset your device until you’ve backed it up properly. This enables you to save anything you downloaded – movies, music, files, whatever – and transfer it to another device later on. Otherwise, it’ll take you a good while to manually download it all again.
Backup Via Computer
If you’re saving your files to a computer from your iPad, simply connect it with a USB cable and open iTunes. Your device should be listed in the side menu. If for some reason it doesn’t appear, head over to Finder and look up your device. You’ll see an option asking if you want to Trust this computer. Select yes on both the computer and iPad, and it’ll pop up.
Once you complete that step, select your older iPad and look for Backup. This will perform a device backup, saving all the information and files that are on it. That way, when you purchase and connect your new device for the first time, you can simply select this file and transfer it to your new device. It’s a quick and easy process!
Backup Via iCloud
Prefer a transfer method that doesn’t involve taking up hard drive space on your computer or external hard drive? iCloud is the way to go!
Simply open the settings on your iPad, tap on your name (or whatever name the device is under) and tap on iCloud. Select the option to Back Up Now and it should perform the process. Once it’s finished, everything will be saved, and you should be able to download it to the next device. (Keep in mind that it could take a bit when it comes to transfer time.)
(Side note: If you’re using a good amount of your iPad storage space, like around 16GB or higher, you may be asked to expand your iCloud storage space. Consult this handy online iCloud+ guide for further information.)
All Backed Up? Let’s Reset Your iPad
Now that you’ve successfully saved your iPad information, it’s time to factory reset it. Before you do anything, make sure you have iCloud settings turned off. You can do this by going under Settings (and through your name), then proceeding to the iCloud option and shutting the switch off. (Side note: do not do this until your last iCloud backup is finished!)
Go back into Settings, this time under the General tab. Look for Transfer or Reset iPad towards the bottom. Go through here and you’ll see an option for Erase All Content and Settings. Make absolutely sure that your device and everything on it has been saved. If you’re good to go, select the option to erase the iPad.
It’ll take a few moments for the procedure to complete. Once it does, you should see the “Hi!” intro screen you initially got upon buying the device. Hold the power button to turn it off, and then get ready to trade in your old iPad!
The next step to trade in your old iPad is figuring out its worth. You don’t automatically want to hop on the first offer you get, because there could be a better one out there. It pays to do a little bit of shopping around and see who can offer the most for your device.
With that in mind, eBay is an excellent tool to gauge iPad prices. By doing a search for your device type (like iPad 2 or iPad Pro 12.9”) and selecting Completed Auctions in the side menu, you can get a good idea of what they’re selling for. This will help you figure out its worth, rather than simply just getting whatever you can for it.
For example, the newest iPad Pro 12.9” (5th gen) fetches an impressive amount of money, going for $1115 and up, depending on condition. Obviously, the newer the better, particularly when it comes to the screen and the frame. Meanwhile, an older iPad 2 goes for less, around $45-$65. Still, at least you’ll get something out of it, which you can apply towards your new device.
It also never hurts to check buyback sites, including us here at GadgetGone, as well as Mac of All Trades. There are also retailers with their own specialized trade-in programs, including Best Buy and GameStop. Each has their own specific values for your device (if it’s still accepted); and some even offer more for trade-in than cash. That can really pay off, especially if you’re applying the credit towards video games or something else.
Even if you don’t commit to anyone, you still get a good estimate in mind. Now let’s dig a little deeper and talk about taking your older iPad to pawn shops or second hand sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
When you trade in your old iPad to a second hand site for a possible cash or trade offer, there are positives and negatives to consider.
Going to a pawn shop with your old device is pretty convenient. Usually, all you have to do is hear what the offer is (after they carefully inspect your device), fill out some paperwork and walk out with cash in hand. That sounds like a hassle-free way to get rid of your older iPad.
The only downside to that is that some pawn shops (not all) have a tendency to “haggle” when it comes to prices. For instance, they may tell you that your older iPad device simply doesn’t sell as well as newer ones they get in. As a result, they could offer you a lower price. And that might be far lower than what it’s worth, based on the work you did beforehand.
Facebook Marketplace and eBay
Here’s another option that looks easy, where you directly sell your device to someone without having to go through a secondhand party. Facebook Marketplace is convenient because you can meet up with someone locally and get the sale done. Likewise, eBay has millions of bidders who check out items regularly – even older iPads, broken or working!
Now, for the bad news. With Facebook Marketplace, it’s easy to get ripped off. If you don’t meet in a public place, for example, you could be the victim of theft – or worse. What’s more, someone might complain that the device isn’t up to the standard you described, and could possibly file a complaint. That could be a problem if you try to sell anything on Facebook in the future.
Likewise, eBay, while very helpful when you’re getting bids for your device, protects its buyers thoroughly. If the smallest thing is wrong with your older iPad, they can return the device for a full refund. That not only means losing any money they initially sent you, but also shipping charges to get the device back.
Both eBay and Facebook Marketplace aren’t too shabby when it comes to selling your older iPad directly to another party. However, that doesn’t always guarantee that the sale will go smoothly. So…what will? Let’s see what retailers offer with their trade-in programs, and how useful they end up being.
As we mentioned above, Best Buy and GameStop have trade-in programs where you can trade your old iPad – or other devices – towards something else. Usually, they issue store credit, which can be turned around towards purchases either in their stores or on their websites. It’s accessible almost immediately, so you don’t have to wait to spend it.
They’re solid programs for the most part, and provide you with more credit than you would’ve gotten with cash in some cases – particularly with older items. That said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
The first is whether the item is accepted. You can easily get a price quote for your item either here for GameStop, or here for Best Buy. Oddly enough, there are some new devices that neither program takes in, like the iPhone 13. Fortunately, you can check online first, and if you’re given a quote, you can print it out and take it to the retailer with you. (It’s usually good through the end of the day.)
From there, the trade-in is subject to approval. The employee will need to check the item first for defects. From there, the manager will need to provide final acceptance. There’s a slight chance you could end up getting less than you were originally quoted, depending on condition. So be prepared for that, just in case.
Otherwise, the only other problem is that you aren’t getting cash back. Trade-in credit is reasonable, and can be spent on things like a PlayStation 5 or even a used iPad Pro. However, if you want money, your options are much more limited.
Best Buy doesn’t offer cash whatsoever, while GameStop takes 20 percent off the trade-in price for cash value. That can add up to a lot, especially for the latest iPad Pro model (should you feel the need to get rid of it).
Another option worth a slight consideration is ecoATM. It’s an automated kiosk chain, usually found in grocery stores and other locations. It provides decent payouts – in cash – but they can be much lower than the competition. In addition, the process can take a while when it comes to looking over equipment and providing details. If it’s a hassle-free sale you prefer, however, you can check its site for more information.
Now, for those that want the highest amount of cash – and don’t mind waiting a little while to get it – let’s provide you with the best option.
We’re not trying to toot our own horn or anything here at GadgetGone, but devoted buyback electronic sites are excellent for getting the most cash when you trade in your old iPad. There are reasons why this one stands out from the rest.
With sites like GadgetGone and Mac of All Trades, a shipping label is automatically provided when you trade in your old iPad. That means all you have to worry about is prepping the device in a sturdy box or envelope so that it doesn’t get damaged. (We strongly recommend packing it in bubble wrap and putting it in a box where it won’t jostle around loosely.)
From there, drop it off at the shipper (the one that assigned the label – usually U.S. Mail or UPS), and then wait for it to be received. The process usually takes two to five business days. We know that can be a bit longer compared to, say, taking it to a retailer or ecoATM and getting paid on the same day. But we assure you, it’s worth it.
If it helps, you can get a hassle-free quote at GadgetGone. You can find your item’s payout value, then lock it in for a 14-day guarantee period. That means even if the device’s price lowers for any reason (like, say, Apple announces the next iPad Pro), you’ll still get the amount you were quoted. On top of that, if you find a better buyback price, GadgetGone will match it – and beat it by $5!
Within that 14 day period, you can shop around to see what other sites have to offer, including Mac of All Trades, ecoATM, Best Buy, GameStop and whoever else. You can even list your old iPad in an eBay auction to see if there’s much interest. Eventually, however, you may find GadgetGone to be your best bet when it comes to getting the most when you trade in your old iPad.
If you want to learn more about our process, check out our website and reach out to our Support team with any questions you may have. You’ll find with our supportive customer reviews and years of outstanding business, we’re here to get you the best value available for your device.
And that’s it! We hope this guide lends a hand when you trade in your old iPad. There’s selling it online, trading it in for store credit, or sending it off to get the most value from a reliable buyback team. However you decide, we wish your iPad a smooth journey wherever it’s headed next, and lots of happiness with the next device you pick up!
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