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

Selling your old iPad is one of the best ways to pay for a brand new one, but the process 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 tablets 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 device, and many of them are very easy. In fact, the hardest part may not even be the actual selling of your iPad—it might be setting a good and fair price for it.

How to Price Your iPad

How much is your iPad worth? It's been around for many years, and every year the number of available models expands. While this might sound very confusing when trying to figure out the value of your older iPad, there's a website that can help: eBay.

eBay lets you search "sold" listings. Basically, this allows you to find out exactly how much an item is selling for on the website. 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 while conducting your search.

You can find sold listings for your iPad by searching eBay for your exact iPad model. It's important to include the amount of storage your device has. 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, select Advanced > Sold Listings > Search. Pay attention to the Best Offer Taken notification. This means the buyer made an offer for the item that's cheaper than what's listed. You should disregard these listings. You 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 device. You can send out a mass email to your friends and family to find out if anyone is interested in buying.

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

Not only is it a great way to price your iPad, eBay is perhaps the easiest way to sell it 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 recommend charging $10. This may not cover the complete shipping cost, but it isn't so high that it will ward people away.

You 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 you know exactly how much money you'll make on the sale. 

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 it 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 add a little extra breathing room to your price, it's 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 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 this doesn't work out, you should do the exchange inside a public location. Don't 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. Also plan to stay in the location after the exchange, so if it's 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 completing the transaction. 

The Easiest Way to Sell Your iPad

Don't want to deal with the hassle of eBay or Craigslist? Amazon has an electronics trade-in program similar to those sell-your-iPad websites 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's important to erase your iPad completely and set it back to a "default factory settings" state before selling. You don't need to do this immediately, but you should do it before the actual exchange. You can reset the iPad by going to settings and navigating to General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.