What’s Your Used iPad Worth as a Trade-In

Have an old iPad laying around and you’re itching to get your hands on the new iPad Air? Or maybe you could just use some extra cash for the holiday season. Either way, there are lots of options right now for getting cash or store credit for an old iPad. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the places that will offer you some kind of financial incentive to trade-in your iPad but it covers a wide range of options.

Conclusions:

  1. You’ll get the most money on eBay but it’s by far the most work and no guarantee on pricing.
  2. The simplest and most immediately gratifying solution for most people is Target. Just walk into a store and they’ll give you a decent store credit (so you have to spend the money at Target).
  3. If you’re a gamer that lives near a GameStop, you’ll get a pretty decent amount of in-store credit from them. The cash value they give isn’t great.
  4. If you want the most money for the least amount of work no matter where you live in the United States, use Gazelle.com. Super easy – they pay for shipping and even mail you a shipping box – and they give some decent rates.

The Details

Money for Your Used iPad
Money for Your Used iPad

Since there are a ton of different iPad versions and conditions out there, we’re going to use the following matrix to compare each of these options:

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only (Good Condition / Cracked Screen Value)
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version (Good Condition / Cracked Screen Value)
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only (Good Condition / Cracked Screen Value)
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version (Good Condition / Cracked Screen Value)

Have a different device? Maybe another trade-in program you’d like to recommend? Use the comments section at the end to give your feedback.

Target Trade-In

This is probably the simplest way to go. They offer an in-store trade-in and an online option. This means you can drop by your local Target store or you can mail it in to them (free UPS shipping).

How is the payment given? Target Gift Card

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $125 in good condition / $75 with a broken screen
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version – $140 / $84
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $250 / $150
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version – $305 / $183

Verizon Store Credit

Verizon will pay for shipping your device into them. It’s hard to tell from the site but I’m assuming you could also bring it into a store – though the site doesn’t say that specifically.

How is the payment given? Verizon in-store credit.

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $110 in good condition / $42 with a broken screen
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version – $117 / $20
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $240 / $43
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version – $260 / $47

AT&T is Lousy

I’m not including their results because their trade-in site is horrible for iPads. It requires you to enter the IMEI number as well as your AT&T phone number to figure out how much they’ll offer you for an iPad. Easily the worst website experience in this entire study.

Sprint Buyback

You can either mail your device in to Sprint (they’ll pay shipping) or you can bring it to a Sprint Corporate store. According to the Sprint website: Store names with “by XXX” in the title are not Corporate stores. Corporate stores are labeled as “Sprint Store”.

How is the payment given? A credit to your Sprint bill (so if you’re not a Sprint customer, there’s no point).

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $107 in good condition / $46 with a broken screen
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version – $109 / $47
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $239 / $103
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version – $254 / $109

Gazelle.com iPad Buying Website

Gazelle has a super slick site for this whole process. It’s an online only service but they pay for shipping and, in most cases, they’ll even send you the box to mail it in.

How is the payment given? Straight up cash in the form of a check, Paypal, or Amazon payment.

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $160 in good condition / $50 with a broken screen
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version – $165 / $50
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $224 / $85
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version – $255 / $85

GameStop Tablet Trade-In

No mail-in option here. You need to bring your iPad into a local GameStop location. If you’re someone that likes shopping at GameStop, this is a good option because they give decent in-store credit values.

How is payment given? Either cash (you’ll get less money) or store credit (you’ll get more money).

I’ve broken this into two different categories: Cash value or in-store credit.

Cash Value

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $147 if it’s in good condition / $59 with a broken screen
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version – $167 / $59
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $242 / $90
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version – $318 / $90

In-Store Credit

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $184 in good condition / $74 with a broken screen
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version – $209 / $74
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only – $305 / $115
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version – $400 / $115

Selling your iPad on Ebay

This is much harder to accurately predict the pricing because it depends whether you do a buy it now or an auction as well as the terms (do you take returns, etc), your eBay seller rating, how good are your pictures, are you including accessories, etc, etc. The dollar number I’m listing below is an approximate number.

That said, eBay is definitely the most valuable place to sell your iPad. Just be careful not to get scammed and you should make the most money – even after the eBay/Paypal cartel snags 15% of your purchase price.

One note: This is by far the most difficult of all the process listed so consider what your time is worth. You may also end up dealing with some shady characters – a risk you won’t encounter with any of the above. You’ll also have to pay for your own shipping (which you can try to pass on to the customer but then you’ll get less money for the iPad).

My suggestion is this: If you regularly sell stuff on eBay, go this route. If you rarely (or never) sell on eBay, go with one of the options above.

  • iPad 2, 16 GB, Wi-Fi Only – ~$300 in good condition / $200 with a broken screen
  • iPad 2, 16 GB, 3G Version – ~$400 / $250
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, Wi-Fi Only – ~$450 / $300
  • iPad 4, 32 GB, 4G Version – ~$500 / $350

Shameless Plug

One thing to note from all of the above is that, with the exception of maybe eBay, you get significantly less money if you have a cracked screen on your iPad. So one option to consider, instead of trading it in and getting a new iPad, is to just get yours fixed. Or, you can buy the latest iPad or iPad Mini, get yours fixed, and then give it as a gift to someone this holiday season.