Should You Buy a Refurbished iPad? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Posted in Gadgets & Reviews, Technology11 years ago • Written by MAKNo Comments

The iPad has become the must-have tech gadget for anyone from your 7-year-old son to your 77-year-old grandmother, but it doesn’t come cheap. Even if you spring for the iPad Mini, you’re still shelling out more than $300.

Looking to save money, more and more would-be iPad owners are considering buying a refurbished tablet, which can be found on a number of sites. But just like when you buy any slightly used product, you have to do your research beforehand to make sure the buy is worth it. Here are the pros and cons of buying a refurbished iPad.

Refurbished iPad

The Difference in Price

You can buy a refurbished iPad directly from Apple for about $50 less than the newest edition of the tablet goes for. But if you search out other, non-Apple dealers, you’ll likely find that the price drops by $75 to $100.

That could mean a savings of 20 percent for the most basic WiFi version of the iPad. Since the device almost never goes on sale, whether at retail outlets or on Apple’s site, that’s an almost unbeatable deal.

Compare Different Sellers

Just as you’d look around to find the best deal on safety pool covers or garbage disposals, you should check out several different dealers as you search for refurbished iPads. The obvious advantage of buying from Apple is that the tech giant offers a one-year warranty with the device, just as it would with a brand new one. For a refurbished gadget that could have unforeseen problems, that’s a huge plus.

But other dealers such as Amazon, GameStop and eBay also offer refurbished iPads, often for cheaper prices. You may not get a warranty with these products, however, and you must be especially careful on eBay that you are buying from a trusty source so that you don’t get ripped off.

Consider the Disadvantages

Certainly a refurbished iPad has the advantage when it comes to price, but there are a number of drawbacks to purchasing an already-used device.

Though Apple’s customer service is excellent, and it has a great return policy, some buyers of refurbished items note that you may need to return to the Apple store several times to get the iPad working. Sometimes,a hardware issue that dogged the device before a refurbishment will resurface, or it won’t connect to WiFi, or the screen will have a scratch on it.

Too, there’s the matter of stigma. While this may not matter if you plan to keep the device for yourself, if you plan to give the refurbished iPad as a gift, it may be embarrassing to admit that you purchased it for a discounted price. Make sure the gift receiver understands what receiving a refurbished item means.

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