Are you on the lookout to buy a used iPad Pro but wonder what’s the best way to do it? Here’s our handcrafted buyer’s guide on how to get your hands on the iPad Pro at a great price without getting stiffed.
How to buy a refurbished or a used iPad Pro?
Back in the year 2012 when Steve Jobs took the center stage to unveil the Apple iPad for the first time, it changed the tech world for good. Setting the trend for the tablet market to follow, iPad has become an iconic piece of technology that continues to revolutionize the standards of entertainment and productivity. The Apple iPad has been around for almost a decade now, and each year, the brand rolls out a new and improved model. In recent years, the iPad Pro has become the industry standard in tablets, offering the best of hardware and software with premium build quality materials.
However, iPad is an expensive gadget and can burn a hole through your wallet, but only if you don’t choose to purchase a used iPad Pro. With a new and updated version released each year, millions of loyal Apple customers flock to get their hands on a new one, which has helped create a flourishing market for second-hand tablets being sold all over. A used or refurbished iPad Pro from even a couple of years ago has plenty of firepower, hence money-savvy users tend to wait out and are keen to buy older models at affordable prices.
But the world of second-hand gadgets and gizmos can be a confusing one, with plenty of sellers out there to make your head spin. To save you to trouble of browsing through a haystack of used devices to find the right one for yourself, we’ve done the research and created a How-To Guide to buy a used iPad Pro.
So lets’ go ahead and understand how you can make sure to select the right iPad for yourself and get the best of Apple tech at a fraction of what the new one costs…
Why buy a used iPad Pro?
Reason #1 – Good value for your money
Apple continues to be among the select few manufacturers in the world which continues to offer software support to devices years after their release. Since the oldest iPad Pro is also just 3 years old right now, you can expect to receive the latest iOS updates for at least a few more years to come. Unlike Android OS where newer devices receive the latest updates first, Apple tends to roll out iOS updates for all of its supported iDevices at once.
If you don’t see the ultra-premium price tag of a brand new iPad Pro justifiable, then the next best thing is finding a used one with a steep price cut. The moment a brand new Apple device is broken out of its seal, it loses value in the second-market device market, making it a great bargain for those who know where to look. Rather than spending a small fortune on a brand new tablet, you can choose to get your hands on a used iPad Pro that is available in good condition, and still have plenty of dough left.
Reason #2 – No contract to hold you down
If you choose to purchase an iPad Pro that comes with cellular connectivity, you might need to get one that is locked to a certain network such as Sprint or AT&T. However, most used Apple devices online are available in unlocked state, so that they may be used with any carrier without restrictions. When you buy a used or refurbished iPad Pro, you get to choose among the available unlocked variants, this giving you the freedom to select the network carrier that you prefer.
Additionally, if you do go ahead a purchase a brand new iPad Pro on a contract, you are bound to it for years to come. Not only does it mean that you cannot switch to another network carrier, but it also limits you to using the same device even if you end up breaking the screen or damaging it somehow, since repairs can often cost hundreds of dollars. In most cases, you’re better off purchasing an older iPad than having your broken one repaired at the Apple Store.
Reason #3 – Plenty of choices out there
Just because Apple chooses to term the latest model of an iPhone or iPad to be “better” than the previous generation, doesn’t necessarily make it true. Apple tends to discontinue the selling of a particular model as soon as the newer one is launched, since it helps the company maximize the profits by advertising new features at a higher price. However, when you are purchasing an older iPad Pro, you get to choose the model that you want to buy, giving you a grip on what you really want.
How much does it cost?
Just as the market for used handsets and tablets usually works, you do end up paying significantly lesser when the device is older. However, the price of an older iPad Pro can also be based on the condition of the device, the accessories that are available with it, and whether it is under a carrier-based contract or not.
- Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch – Starts at $325
- Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch – Starts at $214
- Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 1st Gen – Starts at $459
- Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2nd Gen – Starts at $499
- Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 3rd Gen – Starts at $775
Where can I buy a used iPad Pro online?
You can either choose to grab an old or refurbished iPad Pro from a local store, or try to look for better offers online. There are plenty of places online where you can look for second-hand electronics, but not all of them are worth your time. We’ve put the most popular online marketplaces to buy electronics under the microscope, so that you can get more bang for the buck every time.
Rather than taking a sell-it- approach that most online e-commerce platforms do, Swappa has its sole focus on electronics, and the second-hand market at that. Creating a strong and dependable reputation in being a trustworthy online portal for selling used mobile devices, tablets, home gadgets, and more, Swappa is one of the popular destinations online to find used iOS devices. Unlike a bunch of other online marketplaces out there that rely on the trustworthiness of the seller and depends on you taking their word about the quality and the condition of the electronics sold, Swappa comes in as a mediator to see through your purchase right from the beginning to the very end.
In our review of the range of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and smart devices that are sold on Swappa, the range was significantly spread out with dozens of sellers available for each product at a varying price range. A rather impressive feature of this online second-hand electronics marketplace is its ability to offer you a sorted view of the devices, with a carrier-based breakdown of the mobile phone or tablet that is being sold. By doing so, Swappa makes it easier for you to either choose a specific network carrier, or go free with the “Unlocked” options that are available.
In regard to buying a used or refurbished iPad Pro from Swappa, you have the option of opting for the Wi-Fi only variants, select a carrier-specific version that you prefer, or go for an unlocked model that lets you go untethered on the go. Swappa holds a strict policy when it comes to the products that it allows the sellers to put up on the marketplace, with multiple quality checks, including complete transparency when it comes to the physical condition and visual quality of the device. Also giving you a direct line of communication with the seller, Swappa gives you the ability to clear out any doubts that you may have and hence help you make a well-informed purchase every time.
- Dedicated online marketplace that solely concentrates on used and refurbished electronics of all shapes and sizes.
- The inventory of the electronics is well-categorized based on carrier status, specs, model, and more
- The quality and condition of each device is closely inspected and it is mandatory for the seller to highlight all the details regarding it.
- There’s a direct channel of communication with the seller for you to discuss and even negotiate the price if need be.
The largest online shopping website does not need an introduction, and Amazon truly is a giant when it comes to purchasing brand new and even used electronics. Just like the topper on this lost, Amazon also allows private sellers to put up devices such as a used iPad Pro for sale, and since Amazon has potentially millions of buyers each month, this makes it a larger pool for second-hand products for you to browse through and purchase. The sheer size of Amazon allows you to find a used or refurbished iPad Pro at a lower cost in comparison to other online marketplaces.
However, there is one aspect that you must keep in mind when looking up a used device on Amazon and shouldn’t let yourself be compelled simply based on the lowest price point. The buying experience you will have on Amazon is directly tied to the seller who is offering it. The better rating and positive feedback that the seller has received from previous buyers, better is the chance that you will also experience a satisfactory purchase.
While the communication channel may not be as direct as it is on Swappa and Amazon does not intervene as a moderator for used devices the way Swappa does, you can still expect to get your hands on a great second-hand iPad Pro with Amazon as long as you keep an eye on the seller you’re purchasing it from. There is a silver lining however, all thanks to the return policy that Amazon has in place to protect your investment, so make sure that you’re covered by it before you to choose the right seller to buy a used or refurbished iPad Pro. Additionally, you are most likely to receive the product faster and also avail the Amazon Prime delivery service if the seller is covered by, which is always a pleasant addition.
- The largest online store that guarantees you a giant pool of sellers offering devices at varying prices.
- The larger marketplace, in return, means more competition between the sellers to have their products sold, which in turn leads to lower pricing.
- The sure-shot refund policy in place by Amazon to secure your purchase in case you’re not satisfied with the quality or the seller is not honest about the condition or specifications of the iPad Pro.
One of the oldest online marketplaces may not have the popularity and following that it once did, but eBay continues to be a viable choice for those who are looking to get their hands on second-hand items that come in all shape and form, including electronics such as the Apple iPad Pro. There certainly has been a drop in the number of listings that you can find on eBay for used devices over the years, but since it is one of the few open online marketplaces out there, you will find a healthy amount of sellers to choose from. There are filters in place for you to choose your preferred hardware specs, the version and year of make, price range, and condition (used, refurbished, open box, and more) of the device.
Sorting out the products is made easy, based on the lowest price, featured items, ending soonest (for products that are up for auction), giving you an easy way to find your preferred choice. One of the only mainstream shopping websites that allows you to put the system of auctions to good use, you can involve yourself into a bidding war and follow a listing that you have your heart set on and ensure that you buy it for the best price possible. While we’re not trying to throw shade at some of the genuine sellers trying to make a living on eBay, but the website has been related to a fair share of online scams and buying experiences that have been less than stellar in more ways than one.
Although eBay has put forth a safety net to secure the buyer’s money, it isn’t
foolproof and you can’t be certain about the condition, quality, or the
genuineness of the used product that you’re about to purchase. Additionally,
you’re at the mercy of the seller to ship the item and in case of a return, you
need to handle it yourself in most cases, all of which can add up to the
frustration of not getting your hands on the device that you sought out to buy.
- Large selection of private listings available for you to choose from.
- One of the only online marketplaces to offer auction system, ensuring that you don’t pay a cent more than the best price.
- Little to no buyer’s protection offered by eBay in most cases when purchasing used products.
- No moderator in place to ensure the authenticity of the seller or the products being sold by them.
Craigslist / Social Media
If you’re out looking for the cheapest used iPad Pro that you can find, you may encounter a few being offered over at websites like Craigslist and even on social media websites such as Facebook. Posting on Craigslist is completely free and accessible to millions of users which makes it a fine alternative for some. Similarly, social media allows you to directly find local sellers and by eliminating the middle man, the buyer is able to give you the best price possible.
But having a moderator is place is always beneficial to you and spending a few extra bucks for that security of purchase is well worth it. In our opinion, these online platforms should be the last place where you should be looking for a used or refurbished iPad Pro or any other second-hand gadget for that matter. Not only is Craigslist infamous for being a breeding ground for scammers, but making an uninformed purchase from a stranger is never a good idea to begin with.
You may be lured in by some offers that just seem too good to be true, and more often than not, they actually are. Rather than falling for a seller who is simply out there to make a quick buck, it is in your best interest to buy a used iPad Pro from a platform that is not only trustworthy, but legitimate in its way to
How to evaluate your iPad Pro before buying
Before you go ahead and make a purchase, you need to be confident about the product you’re buying, and buyer’s confidence is essential when you want to get your hands on a used electronic. While checking the physical condition of the phone through the pictures and inspecting the screen for any major scratches and hairline cracks is what you should start with, there’s more that you need to inspect when buying a used iPad Pro.
Before you start pulling your hair worrying about the purchase you’re about to make, take a few minutes to read the guidelines we’ve highlighted below. Using the pointers given below, you can understand the questions that you need to ask the seller before making your purchase and ensuring that the second-hand device is the right fit for you and worth the money that you’re putting into it.
Step 1: Ask for the IMEI number
To deter thefts and illegal trading of mobile phones and tablet, each and every manufacturer is required to assign a unique IMEI number to the products it sells. Consider IMEI number as a fingerprint of your device, which makes it easily identifiable by the manufacturer, as well as federal authorities. Before you even consider making a purchase, you should start off by asking for the IMEI number of the used or refurbished iPad Pro that you’re about to buy.
Apart from allowing you identify is the device has been reported stolen or blocked by the manufacturer, the 15-digit IMEI number also allows you to unlock it if it has been tied to a specific network carrier. If you’re planning to get your hands on a Wi-Fi variant of the iPad Pro and wish to use it openly with any network carrier SIM card, you will need to have it unlocked, if it isn’t already.
If the seller is unable to provide you the IMEI number of the iPad Pro or refuses to do so before the purchase, you may want to consider it a red flag. There could be an issue with the authenticity of the device and if this is the case, you’re better off looking for any other used iPad Pro in the market. Finding the IMEI code on the iPad Pro is super simple and can be found in Settings – General – About, so you can ask the seller to send you a screenshot and get a hold of the important information.
Step 2: Get the iPad unlocked
While you can choose to skip ahead of this step if you plan to buy a used Wi-Fi variant of the iPad Pro, but if you intend to get one with cellular support, ensuring that the device is factory unlocked or at least unlockable is essential. If the device has been listed as “unlocked” or “contract-free” by the seller, you should confirm if the device is factory unlocked (works with any network carrier right out of the box), which would be ideal if you plan to use different carrier SIM cards with the device.
However, even if the device is tied down to a network carrier, you can always choose to unlock the iPad Pro later on. You would usually expect a carrier-locked device to be cheaper than an unlocked one, since the network unlocking process does add up the cost to a few more dollars. Either way, it is important that you make a well-informed purchase and know exactly what you’re paying for and ask the seller for some form of proof regarding the network status of the device.
If you’re planning to buy the used iPad Pro locally, checking the device with a couple of different SIM cards can be the best way to find out more. Additionally, you can even ask your online seller to send your screenshots of the iPad working with at least a couple of different network carrier SIM cards before you go ahead and buy it. This is where we prefer using Swappa, since it breaks down the available listings on the basis of network carrier status, saving you the painstaking effort of manually identifying these factors.
Step 3: Understand how unlocking works
When choosing to buy your used or refurbished iPad Pro from Swappa, or purchasing a Wi-Fi only variant, you can confidently choose to skip over this step as well.
There are a few steps involved in the process of unlocking a device, and the iPad Pro is no different. The entire process comes as a premium service which will cost you somewhere between $40 to $150 on an average and should take at least 48 hours to be completed. We do recommend that you choose an unlocked iPad Pro as your first choice, especially if the price different between the locked and unlocked variant is not substantial.
When you do choose to go for a carrier-locked version and find the need to have it unlocked, you will need a couple of things to get started. First of all, you will need to get a hold of the IMEI number that is attached to your iPad Pro, which is an essential factor to have the device unlocked. The first course of action would be reaching out to the network carrier to which the device is locked to, as they can directly help you have the iPad Pro unlocked (for no added cost in some cases).
However, if you no longer have access to the original SIM or the network carrier is unwilling to help you get the device unlocked, your last resort may be looking towards third-party unlocking services. Online phone unlocking services such as DoctorUnlock allow you to provide your IMEI number along with other details, pay a small unlocking service fee, and have the device unlocked within a day or two. This is your best shot at using the iPad Pro untethered and saving yourself the hassle that comes with having the device unlocked officially by the carrier.
Step 4: Beware of iCloud Activation lock
Imagine going through all of the trouble of finding the right iPad Pro, fetching the best price and waiting patiently for it to arrive, only to find out the ominous iCloud Activation lock screen showing up. Apple added the iCloud Activation lock back with the iOS 7 update to deter the selling of lost, stolen, and illegally sourced iOS products, which is linked to the Find My iPhone app and allows used to track their devices geographically.
The app also allows users to remotely lock their iOS devices in case of suspicious usage or theft, which in turn guarantees that the device and the data in it is inaccessible without the activation code. While this is a nifty security feature, it can be a nightmare for those who have purchased a second-hand iOS device and find the screen pop up with no idea on how to get past it. The best way to ensure that you never come across such a grave issue is by selecting a dependable online marketplace such as Swappa.
The platform does not allow selling of devices with activation lock in place, thus guaranteeing that there is no buying or selling of potentially stolen electronics. Even if you do choose any other mode of purchase, it is best to ask if the device comes with the iCloud Activation lock. Choosing a lower-priced iPad Pro from a random seller online, only to have it locked and rendered useless is a complete waste of your time and money.
Just as the value of a car significantly depreciates when you pull it out of the dealership store, the value of any mobile phone or tablet also falls down a couple hundred dollars once it is out of the original packaging. This is true especially for the premium-priced iOS devices such as the iPad Pro, which may seem like an expensive buy right out of the Apple Store, but you can certainly get your hands on a great online for the used and refurbished models.
The guide to buying a used iPad Pro that we’ve designed above, takes each and every aspect in consideration, right from the places to look to the inspection you must do before making the actual purchase. If you are still in two minds about buying yourself a second-hand iPad Pro and need more assistance regarding it, just reach out to us in the comments section right down below and we’ll surely get back to you.
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