This Personal Finance 101 blog post was written by guest author, Stewart McGrenary, Managing Director of iPad-Recycle.co.uk, specializing in recycling and retail of refurbished iPads, MacBooks, iPhones and other tech devices.
Apple’s iPad refined the tablet formula with every entry for the past ten years to become the most popular tablet. Such a versatile device can easily become your perfect portable multimedia companion, a home for all your digital eBooks library, a powerful gaming device, a trusty notebook, or an art canvas. Trust me, and I can keep going for quite some time here!
However, iPads sit on the pricey side of the market, making a lot of users miss out on such great devices. On a bright note, there are a lot of bargains you can land to get the iPad you’ve been eying at an affordable price. In this article, I’ve got you some tips and tricks on how to get started on your search quest for a cheap iPad.
1. Consider the Budget Models
This sounds like a no-brainer, duh! But believe it or not, many people don’t even know that Apple sells a budget model. This can be partly due to the naming scheme; instead of slapping a catchy word in the name like Pro or Air, Apple keeps it simple and just names its cheapest iPad, you guessed it, iPad. Now you understand why this model can go under the radar.
The new 7th generation iPad comes with a 10.2 inches Retina display and adds Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, which was once reserved for the higher-end models only. With Apple’s perfect track record of supporting its products, you can expect to get the latest version of iPad OS for years to come.
I believe this is the best iPad for most people, especially students who want an accessible study companion without hurting their wallets. Furthermore, the iPad Mini offers a compact design with a 7.9 inches Retina display for people looking for a pocketable tablet. The small-sized iPad doesn’t trade-off functionality, as it also comes with Apple Pencil support.
Before deciding to buy a new gadget, I find it useful to ask myself what the new device’s primary usage will be. For the most part, you’ll realise that the budget models are more than enough, and you don’t have to pay double the price for the flagship iPad when the added features don’t substantially transform your workflow.
2. Check the Trade-In Value of Your Current iPad
When your outdated iPad can’t keep up with your current demands, you know it’s time to upgrade. The cool part is that you can trade-in your old iPad and have its value applied towards your next purchase. Check the trade-in value of your device online and from there, just to the math and decide which is the best deal that you can get. This can save you up to hundreds of pounds, depending on your iPad’s model and storage.
3. Refurbished iPads
If you’re a power user who’s always looking for the latest and greatest tech, I have good news. You don’t have to pay the full price for the newer models! Yes, that’s true, as Apple and many retailers like Amazon offer discounted prices on refurbished iPads.
For example, certified Apple refurbished products get genuine parts to fix the device’s previous issues. Apple takes it a step further and replaces the entire housing of the iPad as well, so you get the looks and feel of a brand-new device out of the box.
Keep an eye on the refurbished page on Apple’s website, as different products come and go all the time, and you might end up with a bargain on your hand.
Your mileage might vary with refurbished products; that’s why I recommend you stick with established retailers who have a reliable renewal process and use genuine parts.
4. Used iPads
Buying a used iPad can be way trickier than opting for a factory-sealed refurbished one. However, you can save even more money on used products and end up with a hidden gem if you keep some simple tips in mind.
For starters, buying a used iPad from a family member or a friend is the safest route to take. If this is not an option, try looking for local listings in your area, where you can meet up with the seller and check the iPad for yourself.
You can spot any physical damage or software hiccups when you have the device in hand and give it a thorough look. I’d also recommend asking the seller to transfer an active AppleCare warranty, as it comes in handy if you end up with any issues down the line.
Finally, the internet should be your last resort to buy a used iPad. I know a couple of friends who were surprised with damaged products or missing accessories. Nevertheless, checking the seller’s track record and previous reviews should reduce the risk of such bad experiences.
5. Keep an Eye on Deals
I’d admit that Apple products rarely go on sale; however, this doesn’t mean you can’t snatch an iPad at a discounted price. If you can wait for the holiday season, you can get a decent discount on the newest iPads of the year.
Furthermore, some third-party retailers make flash sales on iPads from time to time. However, don’t expect a huge price drop, as such sales won’t change your mind if you were on the fence of spending a premium price tag on a new iPad.
By now, you can tell there are plenty of ways to save money on your iPad purchase. If you have an old one lying around, you can take advantage of iPad-Recycle’s excellent trade-in program, offering the most value for your device.
If not, consider going for Apple’s budget iPad, which comes with all the essential features that define the iPad experience with few compromises. You can also opt for a refurbished or used iPad, and you’d be surprised by how much you can save. Finally, keep a keen eye on discounts, though you have to keep your expectations in check, as usually iPad discounts are not that impressive.