Having iPad envy or buyer's remorse? Apple's one-year iPad product cycle has many existing iPad owners pining for the newest version. Instead of letting your first or second-generation iPad become a very beautiful, very expensive paperweight, many companies are offering gift cards and even cash for trade-ins. The amount you will get for your iPad depends on many factors including its condition, capacity, color, and whether it has 3G capability or just WiFi. For the purposes of this article, I will use the popular Black iPad 2 32Gb WiFi-only model for comparison of trade-in programs through Amazon, Gazelle, NextWorth, and Apple.
Each outlet has its own criteria regarding the condition the iPad is in, but will usually give you something even if the device is in poor condition. Of the four trade-in programs I looked into, Amazon and Gazelle each had some variation allowing the user to rate the condition of your iPad as Like New, Good, or Fair/Poor. Apple and NextWorth, on the other hand, asked a series of questions regarding the device's condition and generated a number base on the answers. These amounts are estimates, and will be finalized only once the iPad has been received and inspected.
If you want cash for your iPad, both Gazelle and NextWorth offer mailed check and PayPal as payment options. Amazon will automatically deposit the value in your Gift Card Account, but Apple will send you a gift card, which could take weeks.
So who will actually give you the best deal for your old iPad? Amazon takes the cake, offering up to $345 for a "Like New" Black iPad 2 32Gb WiFi-only model. Even if it's a little banged up and in "Acceptable" condition, Amazon offers up to $279, a full $34 more than Apple will give you for the same iPad in near-perfect condition. The next best deal came from Gazelle, offering $290 on the high end and $150 for an iPad with significant physical damage. NextWorth will pay up to $173, but offers little-to-nothing for damaged devices. While Apple comes in last with $245 for an undamaged iPad, they do offer up to $75 for iPads in poor condition.
If you are in the market for a tax deductible charitable donation, you can always donate your old iPad. The launch of the iPad 2 saw Apple partner with Teach for America to facilitate donations of the original iPad to the organization. While it remains to be seen whether Apple will do this or something similar for those abandoning their iPad 2′s, there are other charities like Computers With Causes that will gladly accept your old device.
Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal‘s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5 New York‘s On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television’s monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network‘s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group, LLC an industry-leading advisory and business development firm and the President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). Palmer is the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV 2nd Edition (York House Press, 2008) the seminal book about the technological, economic, and sociological forces that are changing everything and the upcoming, Overcoming The Digital Divide: How to use Social Media and Digital Tools to Reinvent Yourself and Your Career (York House Press, 2011) For more information, visitshellypalmer.com
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