iPad Resale Guide: Learn Your Selling Options and Get the Most Money for Your Used Tablet 




Flipsy.com presents the definitive guide to selling your iPad: where to sell, how to get the most money and greatest convenience, and how to protect your identity and data.

Time to sell your iPad? To get the best deal you need to consider multiple factors: payout price and method, convenience, and security. Find out how to get the most money and greatest convenience without jeopardizing your personal and financial data in this comprehensive guide to selling your iPad.

iPad selling options

The good news is you have options; the bad news is it can be difficult to choose the best place to sell your iPad. Here's an overview of each, including payout methods and convenience ratings.

Carrier/manufacturer trade-ins

Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer iPad trade-in programs, often managed by third-party companies.

Payout
  • Credit, applied toward the purchase of a new device, your wireless service bill (typically within three billing cycles, if applicable), or a combination of both

Convenience
  • Sell online or in-store; the former offers a prepaid shipping label, the latter requires you to visit the store
  • Sales are instant and payments are released after your iPad is inspected
  • Sales are guaranteed (though you probably won't be able to sell a broken iPad)

Store trade-ins

You can sell your iPad to big box stores like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.

Payout
  • Store credit

Convenience
  • Sell online or in-store
  • Sales are instant and payments are released after device inspection
  • Sales are guaranteed (though most will not buy broken iPads)

Pawn shops

If your iPad works and is in good condition, many pawn shops will buy it.

Payout
  • Cash or store credit

Convenience
  • Sell in-person at physical location
  • Sales and payouts are instant
  • There is not guarantee of sale

Kiosks

ecoATM purchases iPads through kiosks. Place your iPad in the kiosk, answer a few questions, and get paid.

Payout
  • Cash

Convenience
  • You must find and visit an ecoATM kiosk in-person, and the process can take as long as 30 minutes to complete
  • You will need to supply a photo ID, and a photograph of your face will be sent to a remote team to verify your identity
  • Payouts are instant
  • There is no guarantee of sale

The private market

Private market buyers, such as those found via Ebay and Craigslist, will typically pay the most for used iPads.

Payout
  • Cash

Convenience
  • It can take time to list your iPad, including adding photos and detailed descriptions
  • You are responsible for packaging and calculating shipping; or, you'll have to meet the buyer in person
  • Speed of sale is unpredictable. Sales could be immediate, or listings might never sell
  • There is no guarantee of sale

Buyback companies

Buyback companies are specialists; all they do is purchase used devices, refurbish them, and resell them.

Payout
  • Cash or credit

Convenience
  • Sell instantly from home, no listing required
  • Payouts are released once your iPad is received and inspected
  • Most companies offer prepaid shipping labels or even complete shipping kits, which can be scheduled for pickup
  • Sales are guaranteed

Flipsy

Flipsy does not purchase iPads; rather, the free service compares current buyback and trade-in offers from Trust Verified companies. These are companies Flipsy has vetted for reliability, customer service, reviews, and payout speed.

Payout
  • Cash or credit

Convenience
  • Same as buyback vendors, but you can find the highest-paying current offers fast and easy
  • Also displays real-world private market values (it's the "blue book" of iPads)

Overall convenience rankings
  1. Buyback companies
  2. Carriers, manufacturers, and stores (tied)
  3. Pawn shops
  4. Kiosks/ecoATM
  5. Private market

Payout price

Here's how each iPad selling option ranks in terms of price, from highest payout to lowest.

iPad Selling Option Payout Value Rank
Private market 1
Buyback companies and Flipsy 2
Carrier/manufacturer trade-ins 3
Store trade-ins 4
Pawn shops 5
Kiosks/ecoATM 6

iPad payouts are in continual flux, so sometimes one option might pay more for a given model than another. These rankings are overall generalizations. Keep in mind carriers advertise large potential payouts, but once you submit your iPad information their valuations are often much lower than advertised.

The following chart offers a glimpse of payout differences by comparing current offers for an iPad Air 16GB Space Gray on the Verizon Network.

Payouts for iPad Air 16GB Space Gray (Verizon), retrieved 2/4/2016
IPad Selling Option Payout Method Payout Value
Private Market Cash $276; $235 after selling fees if using a third-party site
Buyback companies (greatest Flipsy offers) Cash/Credit $200 Cash; $212 Credit
Store trade-ins
Walmart Credit $121
Best Buy Credit $158
Target Credit $100
Carrier/manufacturer trade-ins
Apple Credit $150
Verizon Credit $128
AT&T Credit $115
Sprint Credit $115
T-Mobile Credit $137
Kiosks/ecoATM Cash $15 to $90
Pawn shops (assuming 50% private market value) Cash $138

In summary, the private market pays the most for used iPads (even when you consider an average third-party selling fee of 15 percent). Buyback companies come in second. Both offer cash payouts, which brings us to an important question: do you want cash to spend however you'd like, store credit, or credit toward your new phone or wireless bill?

Another consideration to make is convenience; even though the private market pays the most, the additional money might not be worth the hassle of listing your iPad, waiting an unpredictable period for it to sell, and dealing directly with buyers in person. The combination of pricing and convenience is what makes buyback companies so popular.

Where to get iPad pricing

Here's where to compare pricing from various iPad buyers.
  • Private market: Flipsy.com gives private market values for any iPad according to data culled from real-world sales
  • Buyback companies: Flipsy.com also compares current offers from the highest-paying buyback companies and displays them on a single page so you can see at-a-glance who has the best deal
  • Carriers and manufacturers: Check trade-in offers from Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile
  • Stores: Walmart, Best Buy, and Target all let you check trade-in offers online
  • Kiosks/ecoATM: Check ecoATM's website for current buyback offers
  • Pawn shops: Estimate 50 percent of the private market value

How to secure your iPad prior to selling

Cashing in an on old iPad is exciting, but don't let the anticipation of cash prevent you from taking the proper measures to secure your identity, financial data, personal photos and other information.

There's no guarantee buyers will perform a factory reset on your iPad when they receive it; and even if they do, there are additional security measures you need to take before selling. Be sure to make a backup to iCloud and/or iTunes (we recommend both for redundancy), then follow these instructions to ensure a safe and secure sale.

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How to completely erase your iPad and wipe its data

STEP 1: Deregister iMessage (optional)

This step is only necessary if you're switching to a non-Apple device.
  • Browse to SETTINGS > MESSAGES and turn iMessage off
  • Browse to SETTINGS > FACETIME and turn FaceTime off

STEP 2: Delete credit cards and Touch ID fingerprint impressions

Delete credit cards from Safari:
  • Browse to SETTINGS > SAFARI > AUTOFILL > CREDIT CARDS
  • Delete any stored credit cards

Delete credit cards from ApplePay Passbook and/or Wallet:
  • Browse to SETTINGS > PASSBOOK & APPLE PAY or WALLET & APPLE PAY
  • Delete any credit cards

Delete Touch ID fingerprint impressions
  • Browse to SETTINGS > TOUCH ID & PASSCODE
  • Delete stored Touch ID fingerprint impressions

STEP 3: Erase your iPad

Most buyers require you to turn off Find My iPad and Activation lock; each can be done independently, but the following process will complete those tasks and simultaneously factory reset your iPad.
  • Browse to SETTINGS > GENERAL > RESET
  • Select ERASE ALL CONTENT AND SETTINGS
  • Enter your passcode
  • Select ERASE IPAD
  • Enter your iCloud passcode
  • Select ERASE
  • Remove your SIM card

STEP 4: Disconnect cloud accounts

Disconnect iCloud:
  • Sign in to iCloud and browse to ACCOUNT DETAILS
  • Find your iPad under DEVICES and remove it

Disconnect iTunes in the Cloud:
  • Launch iTunes and browse to your account section
  • Find ITUNES IN THE CLOUD and click MANAGE DEVICES
  • Find your iPad on the list, then click REMOVE

Disconnect your Apple ID:
  • Log in to your Apple ID account
  • Browse to PASSWORD AND SECURITY > ADD OR REMOVE TRUSTED DEVICES
  • Find your iPad on the list, then click REMOVE

  • Now, your iPad is safe to sell!

    How to sell your iPad

    By now you've secured your data and investigated your iPad selling options. All that's left to do is make the sale.

    Start by deciding where to sell your iPad based on your goals:
    • Do you want cash or credit?
    • Are you willing to chance the private market for the highest payouts?
    • Do you want to trade in your iPad for store credit (at lower payouts)?
    • Do want the blend of high payouts and convenience, plus the guaranteed sales available through buyback companies?

    If you sell on the private market:
    • Create a listing on third-party sites and look for other opportunities to sell: college/community bulletin boards and classifieds ads, for example
    • Check Flipsy.com for private market values prior to selling to ensure you're getting a fair deal

    If you sell to a buyback company:
    • Compare payouts from the highest-paying buyers on Flipsy.com
    • Make sure any buyers you deal with are Trust Verified by Flipsy

    If you sell to a carrier, store, pawn shop, or ecoATM:
    • Visit the buyer's website or physical location and follow whatever instructions they offer
    • Double-check private market values and current buyback offers on Flipsy.com to make sure you're getting a good deal

    Get more money for your iPad and sell more efficiently with these tips:
    • Know which iPad model you have and what it's worth
    • Remove any cases or other peripherals
    • Clean your iPad (make sure it's free of dirt, lint, streaks, etc.)
    • Accurately represent the condition of your iPad. If the buyer receives it in a different condition than you stated, they might not buy it or they'll tender a new offer, which will delay your payment
    • iPad values decline over time, and more rapidly leading up to a new release. Take advantage of price locks, which can allow you to sell your iPad yet keep it for up to 30 days while you wait for the new model to be available (Flipsy.com lists buyback company price locks so you can compare terms)
    • If you're shipping your iPad, make sure it's securely packaged to avoid damage

    It's not difficult to sell your iPad, but it is important to understand what options are available and how to secure your data. If you want to get the most money at the greatest convenience, remember: it literally pays to check Flipsy first!