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Be Smart about iPad Purchase

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2017 08:11PM PST

Some tips on having a good experience purchasing used iPads on eBay:

  • Find an experienced, highly rated seller
  • Look for a reasonable return policy
  • Account for shipping costs
  • Purchase from US-based sellers
  • Avoid any iPad with a replaced screen or digitizer
  • Avoid screen cracks that have propagated into the viewable screen.  Cracks on corners are usually fine and typically not visible with an inexpensive case.
  • Case scratches don't matter.  Case dents should be avoided as the internal components can be damaged.
  • Ask for a screen shot of the serial number of the unit before purchasing. The serial number is located in Settings>>About.  Confirm you've received the correct device.
  • The device should be fully unlocked with respect to iTunes and iCloud.
  • A brand new iPad 5 (iPad Air 2 equivalent) is $329 (Wifi only, 32 gigabytes storage), sometimes on sale for $299 at retail locations.  Keep this in mind when purchasing a used iPad. For example, a used Mini 2 (Wifi only, 16 gigabytes) in great condition should be $160 or thereabouts. A Mini 3 is a Mini 2 with the touch sensor which is a great feature, but don't overpay.
  • Don't purchase an iPad1/iPad2/iPad3/iPad4. The iPad Mini 1 is fine for running Takedown currently, but Apple isn't updating the Mini 1 beyond iOS 9.0.  A Mini 1 should be thought of as a short-term platform.
  • Don't pay a large premium for an iPad with built in cellular.  Though this feature is convenient, you can get the same functionality using your cellphone as a hot-spot when Wifi at the event is unreliable or unavailable. It's easy to turn a modern cellphone into a hot-spot.

Here's a link to a comparison of all the iPads (except the outrageously priced Pro versions). Click here.

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