The Holiday season is the perfect time to find amazing deals on your favorite electronic devices, including iPads. And let’s face it – the only thing better than an iPad is a cheap iPad. So if you are thinking of purchasing one, but have a tight budget, you've come to the right place.
Ever since its first appearance back in 2010, iPad dominated the tablet market and pretty much everyone wanted to have one. Six years later, we have 5 additional iPad generations, a new “Mini” series, and the newest 12.9-inch iPad “Pro."
And as a result of new models appearing frequently, it’s easier than ever to buy an affordable iPad. Today, we’ll show you exactly how to do it.
10 Ways to Buy a Cheap iPad
1. Buy Refurbished iPads
Most people hate the idea of buying already used items, especially when it comes to iPads. Just the thought of somebody else using the tablet and doing who knows what doesn't sound appealing at all.
However, if you are on a tight budget and would like to buy a cheap iPad, you’ll have to be flexible. With that being said, the best and safest option is to buy refurbished iPads.
Refurbished Apple iPads are technically pre-owned iPads that have undergone a rigorous refurbishing process so that they look and function as a brand new model. In fact, pre-owned iPads were maybe used just once, as some customers decided to return the item or requested a different model.
Refurbished iPads are considered second-hand, but the fact that Apple refurbished them gives you a lot more confidence. That’s because once Apple receives a defective item, they fix whatever is wrong with it and replace the entire aluminum shell and battery with a brand new one. On top of that, they even offer a 1-year warranty. So basically you are purchasing a brand new iPad at a cheaper price.
Therefore, before splashing a lot of money on a new iPad, consider buying a refurbished one that is significantly less expensive and could be just as good as the new one. All refurbished iPads can be found at the Apple’s Refurbished Store.
If you can’t find the model you are looking for on Apple’s website, it’s also possible to buy refurbished iPads from retailers like Newegg and Best Buy, but we recommend waiting a few weeks to see whether the particular model will be available on Apple.
2. Choose iPad Mini
The easiest way to buy cheap iPad is to purchase the Mini version that comes with the same features, but just in the smaller size. After all, owning the smaller 7.9-inch tablet can be an advantage as it’s more portable and mobile. So if the size doesn't matter to you, simply go Mini and save a few hundred bucks.
3. Purchase Earlier Generation
Another great way of purchasing an affordable iPad is to avoid purchasing the newest generation iPad, and opt for the previous generations. The newest model costs $100-$200 more than the previous generation, but it’s not that different.
So if you are okay with not having the most up-to-date features that you probably don’t even use, then you’ll be able to save a lot of money by purchasing older and cheaper iPads.
4. iPad Mini & Earlier Generation
If you are really on a tight budget, you might have to combine the previous two advice points and sacrifice both the size and some of the latest features by simply purchasing an earlier generation iPad Mini. In addition, you can opt for a refurbished model and reduce the price even further.
5. Use eBay
While we always recommend purchasing expensive products from reputable sources, you simply can’t beat the amazing deals you can find on eBay. There are two ways to buy an affordable iPad: a regular auction where the highest bid wins and the “Buy it Now” option when the seller puts a fixed price of the item.
However, you’ll have to be more careful and do better research when shopping on eBay, as there are many sellers who just want to take buyers for a ride, so some iPads offered on eBay could be stolen units.
In addition, many people try to figure smart ways to make money out of naïve buyers. For example, there was a case when a guy bought a photo of an Xbox One for more than $600. With that being said, always read the whole description carefully and don’t be tricked by shiny photos or catching headlines. You also need to check the seller’s rating, the seller’s return policy, and the iPad’s status before purchasing a cheap iPad. And lastly, make sure to take into consideration the shipping cost and compare the total price to other options.
6. Shop on Amazon
We all know that Amazon is the biggest online retailer, so it comes as no surprise that we can find cheap iPads there as well. Just go to their website, search for the iPad you want, and you’ll be able to see the product’s detail page and what other buyers have said about the unit.
Always check the seller’s satisfaction rating to make sure you are dealing with an honest seller. And if you somehow get scammed – don’t worry. Purchasing used items from Amazon comes with a satisfaction guarantee, so in case your iPad is not working or arrives broken, you can contact Amazon and they’ll do the rest.
7. Find a Great Deal on Craigslist
Craigslist is definitely one of the sketchiest places to buy electronics, but it can be a great way to buy cheap iPads, assuming you know what you are doing.
To be honest, Craigslist is full of both scammers and good and honest sellers, so you just have to find the latter. To avoid purchasing a stolen iPad, make sure that the seller resets the iPad to factory settings and turns off “Find my iPhone” in front of you. In order to do both of these tasks, the seller has to know the Apple ID credentials connected to the iPad, which only real owners know.
Also, always turn the iPad on and check to see if everything is working perfectly before you buy it. It would be great if you could familiarize yourself with the model beforehand to know exactly what you need to check.
In conclusion, Craigslist offers amazing opportunities to purchase affordable iPads, but brings an element of risk, so be careful.
8. Check Swappa
Although not as famous as eBay or Craigslist, Swappa is an amazing resource for finding cheap iPads. What we love about them is the fact that their staff members check every single seller and they all have to verify the devices they are selling. So there’s no chance of buying a stolen iPad when you do business on Swappa.
Many sellers want to get rid of older iPads and the competition is fierce, so you can score some great deals and find really affordable iPads for the fraction of their original price. In addition, most sellers are willing to negotiate their asking price.
9. Use Gazelle
Gazelle is a great platform for purchasing older smartphones and tablets that also has a wide range of used devices at a low cost, making it a good place to purchase a cheap iPad.
To be honest, you can find cheaper iPads on Craigslist and eBay, but if you are looking for a reliable source that sells iPads for less than what Apple charges for their refurbished iPads, then Gazelle is a great option and you should check it out.
10. Think Outside the Box
The Internet is a powerful resource that gives you amazing opportunities to find any service, product or information you are looking for. And if you start thinking outside of the box, you are pretty much limitless.
For example, you can even find affordable iPads on social media, like Facebook. Simply inform your friends that you are interested in purchasing cheap iPad and chances are your friends will either share it or know someone who is selling iPads.
In addition, there are many Facebook groups where people sell items, so make sure to research and find the specific group within your local area.
There are many ways to buy cheap iPads, but all of them require investing a little bit of time to do a proper research. Therefore, don’t rush into anything and check all of our recommended websites such as Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist.
If the size isn't a factor, then choose the Mini version as it’s much cheaper. In addition, you can opt for refurbished iPads (from Apple if possible) that are pretty much brand new, but cost less.
And lastly, check websites like Dealspotr, Gazelle and of course, social media. Who knows – maybe your friend is selling the iPad you are looking for.
This guide was published on January 11, 2017, and last modified on January 11, 2017.