How to Sell Your iPad and Get the Best Price for It

Tips on getting the best price and making the process easy

Hands holding iPad

Jordan Siemens / Getty Images


One of the best ways to pay for a brand new iPad is to sell your old one, but the process of selling an iPad can be a little intimidating if you don't often sell items like computers or tablets. After all, you don't usually see items like an iPad being sold at a garage sale, and that's how we usually get cash for all of our old stuff. So how do you go about selling your iPad?

The first rule is not to stress about it. There are a number of ways to sell your iPad, and many of them are very easy. In fact, the hardest part may not even be the actual selling of your iPad. The hardest part might be setting a good and fair price for it.

How to Price Your iPad

How much is your iPad worth? The iPad has been around for many years and every year, the number of available models expands. You can even get the iPad in three different sizes now. But while this might sound very confusing when trying to figure out the value of your older iPad, there's a website that will help pinpoint it: eBay.

One very useful feature of eBay is the ability to search "sold" listings. Basically, this allows you to find out exactly how much an item is selling for on the website. And that's a great way to figure out how much your iPad is worth on the market. You'll need your iPad model number on hand.

You can find sold listings for your iPad by searching eBay for your exact iPad model. It is important to include the storage. And if you have a 3G or 4G model, include that information in your search as well. Your search string should end up looking something like "iPad 3 16 GB" or "iPad 4 32 GB 4G."

After the search results appear, click on the Advanced next to the search button at the top of the page. This will take you to a page with some options. Click on the box next to Sold listings and hit the Search button again.

You will want to pay attention to the best offer taken notification. This means the buyer made an offer for the item that is cheaper than what is listed. You will need to disregard these listings. You will also want to scroll through several pages worth of sales to get a general idea of the price range for your iPad.

Don't Forget Your Friends and Family

It's easy to forget that we may know someone who wants an iPad. And selling to friends or family is one of the safest ways to get money for your iPad. If you don't want to simply ask around for interest in the device, you can send out a mass email to your friends and family to find out if anyone is interested in buying your iPad.

You may want to price the iPad slightly less than the basic price range you found on eBay. This gives the friend or family member a nice little discount on it.

Sell on eBay

In addition to being a great way to price your iPad, eBay is perhaps the easiest way to sell your iPad outside of knowing a friend or family member who wants to buy it. One thing to keep in mind when selling on eBay is the price of shipping. eBay has a system that allows you to put in the weight of the item to calculate the shipping price, but you can also put in an exact price for shipping. Some people include shipping for free, which can help the iPad sell faster, but if you want to be reimbursed, we would suggest charging $10. This may not cover the complete shipping cost, but it isn't so high that it will ward people away.

You will also need to decide if you want to sell the iPad for an exact price or allow people to bid on it. Many listings use the Buy Now option, and the advantage of setting an exact price is that you know exactly for how much the iPad will be sold. 

Of course, eBay is an auction site and most people put items up for bid. This is a great way to make sure you sell it quicker, and you may be surprised at just how many people will bid on your iPad. You can also put the iPad up as a Buy Now listing, and if it doesn't sell, list it again with a lower price that allows bids.

Sell on Craigslist

The most popular alternative to eBay is Craigslist, which is essentially the classified ads section of the internet. Craigslist can be a great way to sell items, but you do need to take certain steps to protect yourself, especially when selling electronics.

First, the price. You should price the iPad about $25–$50 higher than the price you figured out from looking at eBay listings. You might get lucky and someone will offer you the exact amount, but oftentimes, people buying on craigslist will ask you to sell it to them for a lower price. If you've already built in a little extra breathing room in your price, it is a lot easier to give these offers a thumbs up. If the iPad doesn't sell, you can always edit the price and relist it later.

Next, the exchange. Check to see if your town or city has an official eBay or item exchange location. These locations are usually in a police station or in the parking lot of a police station. If your city doesn't have an official eBay location, you should contact the police department and ask if you can perform the exchange in the lobby. Many police departments will allow this.

If neither of these works out, you should do the exchange inside a public location. Do not sell your iPad in a parking lot. Tablets and smartphones are small enough that people can grab them and run away, and unfortunately, this does happen sometimes. You should also plan to stay in the location after the exchange, so if it is a coffee house, plan to drink a cup of coffee after you've sold the iPad. The perfect location is a shopping mall where you can go shopping after selling the iPad. 

The Easiest Way to Sell Your iPad

Don't want to deal with the hassle of eBay or Craigslist? We don't blame you. It can take a lot of time and energy to put something up for sale on either of those websites and ultimately, you don't have a guarantee of making the sale.

Luckily, there is a good alternative. Amazon has an electronics trade-in program that is similar to those sell-your-iPad except for two very important facts: (1) It's much easier to trust Amazon than a random fly-by-night website and (2) Amazon will give you a much better price for your used iPad.

The one drawback to Amazon's program is that it offers credit for future Amazon purchases rather than cash. If cash is your goal, you can check out some of the other trade-in programs.

Before You Sell

It is important to erase your iPad completely and set it back to a "default factory settings" state before selling your iPad. You don't need to do this immediately, but you should do it before the actual exchange. If you are selling to a family member or friend, you may want to let them see and play around with the iPad before resetting it. If you are selling the iPad some other way, you should reset it before the exchange. You can reset the iPad by going to settings and navigating to General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.