Seeing as the iPad is the number-one selling tablet in the world, there's a very good chance that you own one. And there's also a good chance that you own the latest and greatest version: the iPad 2. But what if you also happen to be an Apple-phile, and the promise of an upcoming iPad 3 release is tempting you to upgrade? You may then be considering selling off your iPad 2 in order to raise some funds for the new tablet toy.
Common logic dictates that you'll receive a higher resale value for your used device if you part with it now, rather than waiting for the newer generation to be announced. Adding to the argument that you should sell now is the fact that there are also rumors swirling around that Apple won't actually discontinue the iPad 2 at all, but instead announce that it will be sold for less. This is just a rumor, and many are skeptical, but if it proves true, the trade-in value for your used iPad 2 will immediately plummet.
These signs may point to sell, but if such an iPad 2 announcement doesn't come to be, your device might actually become more valuable if you wait until the iPad 3 release, as we'll explain below. Confused by this curve ball, and all the possible scenarios? Don't be, because we've created this detailed plan of action for ensuring that you get the best value for your iPad 2 device, regardless of how the Apple announcement unfolds. And it all starts by taking a long hard look at your iPad 2.
1. Assess the Quality of Your Tablet
Before you can even begin to estimate how much money you'll get for trading up your iPad 2, you'll need to assess its condition. It's easy to forget how far from new your tablet really is, since it's been an extension of your being for some time now. However, even minute scratches will lower its resale value. If your device is fully-functioning, and the glass is crack-free and devoid of dead spots, you're in pretty good shape. Minor scratches though are the defining lines between being in flawless versus good condition (although the sites that buy used electronics often define these parameters differently, as explained below).
2. Do Research on What Price You Can Get Now
Two merchants that make it very easy to trade in your electronics are Gazelle and NextWorth. At the time of publication, a flawless iPad 2 16GB WiFi Tablet will get you $270 on Gazelle, while NextWorth offers $371, based on a more complex number of factors indicating condition. The greater number of factors for the latter, however, means that price can vary drastically. If you have minor scratches on the back, for example, the price could drop to $165 with NextWorth, whereas Gazelle still offers $250 for a device with minor flaws. Weigh both options to see which service offers the better value for the specific condition of your iPad.
3. Lock in a Trade-in Value
In the event that Apple announces it will continue to manufacture the iPad 2, but at a lower price point, the value of your used iPad 2 tablet will be higher at this very moment than it will be come the announcement. Luckily, both Gazelle and NextWorth give you a lengthy window to send in your device, while still guaranteeing the price at which you registered. Gazelle gives you 30 days, regardless of what the tablet is worth on the specific day you ship it, while NextWorth offers a 21-day grace period. You could, in theory, lock in an estimate now to safeguard yourself from the possibility that Apple will in fact relegate the iPad 2 to second tier status. If the announcement takes place within your window, you can laugh your way to the bank as everyone else groans at a missed opportunity. Note that since the exact date of the iPad 3 announcement is still unconfirmed, a 30-day window gives you a slight advantage.
4. Get Ready to Play the Waiting Game
So if there's the chance that your used iPad 2 will drop significantly in value come the iPad 3 announcement, why not just sell now and take what you can get? Well, unfortunately, the matter is more complicated than that, because if there isn't a price adjustment on new iPad 2s, then there's potential for the value of your used device to go up if you wait.
Anthony Scarsella, Gazelle's Chief Gadget Officer, was kind enough to share with dealnews that immediately after the next generation of specific Apple products are announced, Gazelle generally offers the highest trade-in price for previous-generation devices. (Compared to what's offered in the time surrounding the release.) This is because Apple products hold their value very well, and even used ones are in great demand; Gazelle thus wants to offer aggressive pricing in order to buy up as many units as possible while people are looking to sell. According to Scarsella, after the release of the iPad 2 in 2011, Gazelle increased the trade-in value of used original iPads by about 20%. Although he predicts prices will be more stable this time around, customers could still see a slight uptick the day of the announcement.
5. Follow the News for iPad 3 Announcements, then Act Fast
That potential spike in value we just mentioned? It won't last very long. Scarsella says that if there is an increase in trade-in value, it will happen immediately; as the site buys up more stock, the amount that they're willing to offer a customer will go down. So, pay close attention to your favorite tech news blog or media outlet, or just wait for someone to text you about it (these are major events after all). Once the new model is announced, get to an Internet-connected source pronto, to see if your iPad 2's value has changed. If the value has gone up, you might as well lock in a value once again, even if you're still unsure about selling.
Apple always loves to keep its fans guessing, so at the moment, the date for the iPad 3 announcement is still just speculation. That said, many analysts believe it will come in early March, like it did for the iPad 2 last year. And whether you truly believe Apple will lower the cost of the iPad 2, or create a second smaller device to capture the Kindle Fire audience, it's always good to be cautious. Luckily, with the lock-in features of sites that buy used electronics, you can safeguard yourself and get the best price offered between now and then, whether it remains highest pre-announcement, or if you're able to take advantage of a small price spike on the day of.