Turn Your Old iPads Into Cash

iPad MiniIn the midst of the tablet-buying mania in which we currently find ourselves, a question arises: Is there a viable market for tablet trade-ins?

Absolutely. Whether you’re prepping for some holiday tablet purchases or are budgeting for a 2013 IT tablet spend, you may as well try to squeeze a few bucks out of the barely obsolete gadgets that suddenly aren’t good enough anymore.

Perhaps the best-known trade-in site for cell phones and related devices is Gazelle, which calls itself a “recommerce” site. It couldn’t be simpler. You just tell the site what model you have and what its specs are, and describe its condition as “broken,” “good” or “flawless.” The site then makes you an offer.

For example, a flawless 16-GB third-generation iPad is currently worth $250. If you accept the offer, you send in the device, and after Gazelle inspects it, you get a check. (The site also provides complete data wiping as a free service, but of course you should attempt to do that yourself before the device leaves your hands.) If you have a drawer full of old cell phones or tablets you want to trash, an investment of 15 minutes at a site like Gazelle will almost certainly pay for itself.

Another big trade-in site, SellCell, is thriving on the built-in obsolescence we’ve all come to accept. The site reports that trade-ins were up 500 percent the week after the launches of Apple’s iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad. SellCell says that used iPad 3 tablets —you know, the ones that are only about six months old — currently sell for about half their original price (about $350 versus $700 for a 64-GB model). Note, however, that as the resale market floods with older iPads, there’s lots of downward pressure on price. Used iPads are getting about 25 percent less than a few months ago, according to the site.

SellCell also takes the BlackBerry PlayBook and the Google Nexus Tab, but truth be told, it’s really all about the iPad.

The bottom line: the screams from your kids or your employees that they need the newest gadget NOW will be easier to endure if you know you can turn the old ones into a bit of cold, hard cash without having to list them on sites like Craigslist or eBay.

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