Buying a Refurbished iPad: Things to Consider
Buying a Refurbished iPad: Things to Consider

If you're eyeing an iPad but find the price tag of a brand-new one a bit too steep for you, a refurbished iPad is the next best thing you can get. Buying a refurbished iPad can be a smart choice as it lets you enjoy all the benefits of owning an Apple tablet without breaking the bank. However, the trick is to know what to look for and where to find a reliable one. To help you navigate this territory, we'll walk you through what you need to know when shopping for a refurbished iPad.

What is a refurbished iPad?

First, let's clarify what a refurbished iPad means. A refurbished iPad is a pre-owned device that the manufacturer or a retailer has reconditioned to like-new condition and then put back up for sale at a lower price point. These iPads can come from various sources, such as customer returns, display models, or units with minor cosmetic defects. The key distinction is that they have all been thoroughly inspected, repaired if necessary, and tested to make sure they work just like new.

It’s important to note that a refurbished iPad is not the same as a used iPad. While a used iPad is also a device that's been previously owned, it is typically sold as-is. It hasn't undergone any official refurbishment process, meaning the device may or may not have been inspected or tested for issues, so you have no guarantees of its performance.

Buying a Refurbished iPad: Things to Consider

Why buy a refurbished iPad?

These devices are as good as new but come with a reduced price, which is the most obvious advantage of purchasing one. Of course, the price of a refurbished iPad depends on the model, its specifications, and its overall condition. But, on average, you can save anywhere from 15% to 50% when choosing a refurbished iPad over a brand-new one. The exact amount you can save also depends on where you buy it, but more on it later.

Another great thing is that you can find various models, including ones that are no longer available as new but can still do everything you want them to do. This gives you more options to choose from, and you can get a great iPad, even if it's not the newest one out there.

What to look for when buying a refurbished iPad?

When purchasing a refurbished iPad, it's essential to be thorough to ensure you're making the right choice and getting the best value for money. Here are some tips for choosing a refurbished iPad:

Inspect the condition

A refurbished iPad should be in excellent working condition and meet some cosmetic standards. While minor cosmetic imperfections may be acceptable, the device should not have any major flaws that affect its functionality. The screen should have no cracks or significant scratches, the buttons should work correctly, and the battery should be healthy.

However, not all refurbished iPads are the same. The refurbishment process may vary depending on whether it's done by the manufacturer or a specific retailer. In general, you can be sure of the quality and functionality of the device if you can see terms like "certified refurbished," "excellent condition," or "Grade A" in the product description. This implies that the device should have minimal to no cosmetic flaws and should work perfectly.

Consider the age

The age of a refurbished iPad matters, especially if you want a device that can handle the latest software updates and apps. Generally, it's wise to go for a model released within the last three to four years. This ensures better performance and longevity as Apple will keep it up-to-date for a long time. However, that doesn't mean that models older than four years are necessarily bad choices. They can still be great for basic tasks like checking emails, web browsing, or watching videos, but their ability to run the latest apps and receive software updates may be limited.

Check the warranty and return policy

Always check the warranty and return policy offered with the refurbished iPad. Make sure the warranty provides adequate coverage for potential issues like mechanical defects and failures, and the return policy gives you a reasonable window for returns if you're not satisfied with your purchase.

Buying a Refurbished iPad: Things to Consider

See what's in the box

Be sure you know what comes with the iPad. Some refurbished deals may include essential accessories like a charger and cable, while others may not. If some things are not included, consider how much it'll cost to get them separately to ensure you're getting a good deal.

Compare prices and read reviews

Don't rush into the first deal you find. Compare prices across different sellers to get the best possible price for the specific iPad model you want. Also, read customer reviews specifically related to the seller's refurbished devices to get an idea of how good their products are and see if other customers are satisfied with them. Researching the seller's reputation is also important, which brings us to the big question: What are the best places to buy a refurbished iPad?

Where to buy a refurbished iPad?

Choosing a reputable seller and considering your priorities is crucial when you’re in the market for a refurbished iPad. Here are the best options:

Apple Certified Refurbished

If you want peace of mind and top-notch quality, Apple's own Certified Refurbished Store is your safest bet. Apple takes its commitment to quality seriously, and this extends to their refurbished products. Each iPad that lands in their refurbished store goes through the company’s rigorous refurbishment process and comes with a new battery, new outer shell, the same one-year warranty as a new iPad, and all accessories and cables. If you buy a refurbished iPad directly from Apple, you can save 15% (sometimes 20%) of its original price. While this is great, you can save even more on a refurbished iPad at other reliable retailers.

Buying a Refurbished iPad: Things to Consider

Best Buy

Best Buy is another great place for purchasing a good-quality refurbished iPad. According to Best Buy, refurbished devices are repaired and restored to a like-new state (may have minor scratches) by one of Best Buy's in-house repair centers, the manufacturer, or a third-party refurbishment company. While their stock may not be as extensive as some other retailers, these devices are verified to work correctly and include all essential parts and accessories, which can be original or comparable substitutes. Look for models listed as "Certified Refurbished."

Amazon Renewed

You can also check out Amazon's program called Amazon Renewed, where you can find a great selection of refurbished devices, including iPads. Amazon sets strict standards for its renewed program and says that all products available there are professionally inspected and tested to meet quality standards by an Amazon supplier or a third-party seller. All refurbished iPads are fully functional, backed by the 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee, and in one of four conditions: premium, excellent, good, or acceptable.

Online marketplaces

If you want to snag a great deal on a refurbished iPad, consider checking out online marketplaces such as Gazelle, Back Market, Mac of all Trades, or Decluttr. They all specialize in selling refurbished Apple products like iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads. Also, they have certification, testing, and refurbishment processes in place to make sure everything is working correctly. You can find some huge discounts here – but don't forget to read the product description or reviews carefully before buying the device you're interested in to know exactly what you're getting.

No matter what you choose at the end, a refurbished or new iPad, don’t forget to protect your device against drops, cracks, spills, and other potential accidents. Keep in mind that standard warranties usually cover only mechanical defects and failures, not accidental damage and theft. That’s where iPad insurance comes in.

Our comprehensive iPad insurance plans provide coverage for all iPad models – new, used, or refurbished.

Get a free iPad Insurance quote and protect your iPad!