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Should you buy a refurbished iPad?

There is a huge market for outdated iPads and with new iPad Pros this market is only getting bigger.

In general, something that has been reconditioned – also referred to as overhaul – is a used product that has been tested for resale or otherwise overhauled by the manufacturer or a third party. It could be something that was returned as part of the warranty for a defect, or the box was damaged in transit, or it is a retail model for demonstrations.

Choosing the refurb route will not only save you money compared to new models, but will also save you affordable older iPads that may be unavailable and still fit your needs. Plus, it keeps perfect good technology away from landfills.

Nevertheless, the purchase of stamped "refurbished" products can be a delicate offer, as the word may have different meanings for different retailers. What good is it to save money if you only buy someone else's problems?

The key to a well-redesigned iPad is to buy from a reputable retailer that lists not only the condition of the refurb, but its own return and warranty terms. In this case, the best starting point is the manufacturer.


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Why should you skip the new iPad Pro?


First, check Apple.

There is a whole section of the Apple Store dedicated to certified, refurbished products. (It's a bit hidden, just scroll down to the page navigation at the bottom of any page and look for Refurbished and Clearance under Apple Store.)

Getting a refurbished iPad directly from Apple is the safest and best option. Its prices are not only the best, but Apple is using a new battery, giving everyone a new outer shell and testing it completely. They are put into fresh boxes with Apple's own accessories. You get 1 year warranty and free shipping and returns. Essentially, you get a new iPad at a discount, and that's great.

What's not particularly impressive is that you rely on what Apple has in store. Since the accessories are limited and not many older models are offered, the desired iPad may not be immediately available – or never again. Current models are your best bet, but even these can be hard to come by. Are you looking for a refurbished iPad Air that you can give your kids? Forget it.


The iPad Mini 2 from October 2013 is currently the oldest iPad available from Apple.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman / CNET

Then check everyone else

Here things can get confusing. If you're looking for "refurbished iPads," you'll find many shop options – from major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart to smaller sites specializing in selling used products like Gazelle – and then there's eBay -Shopping mall . They all have different standards for refurbished equipment and have a number of returns and warranties for the conversions they sell. Even if you buy it at Walmart or Amazon, this is not necessarily the one that sells you the iPad.

Best Buy is the second best buy

If you can not find the iPad you want from Apple, enable Best Buy. Look for models listed as "Open-Box Certified". Basically it's the Best Buy version that Apple offers, apart from the new battery and case. It includes a one-year limited warranty and is eligible for Apple's extended AppleCare coverage. The discounts are not huge, but it's something.

For lower discounts, Best Buy also offers older, refurbished iPads that are "repaired and put into mint condition". A 90-day warranty is included in the price and the exchange is also covered by the return and exchange commitments of the store. The advantage here is that if something goes wrong, you can actually go to a store instead of trying to get things done online or over the phone.

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Best Buy Certified Best Buy iPads are like new and save you money.

Screenshot by Josh Goldman / CNET

Best Buy also sells used iPads, which are typically the result of the store's trade-in program. Therefore, they were opened and used. They have been reviewed and reviewed to make sure they are working properly. They are cleaned and restored to the original factory specifications. Do not expect any original packaging or accessories. Confused? Here are all the details on the Best Buy website.

Be Careful with Sellers on the Market

Walmart and Newegg sell outdated iPads. They also have third-party vendors, as well as Amazon, and use their websites to do the same. The problem here is that warranties and return policies can differentiate between the two.

Stick with Amazon on iPads sold under the Amazon Renewed label. To obtain this designation, they must be tested and tested by an Amazon-qualified and performance-driven supplier, who is either the seller of a record, if this is not Amazon.com, or a third-party "manufacturer, to work Amazon.com sells products sourced from third parties. "Amazon Renewed products are guaranteed for at least 90 days, and Amazon return policies are supported.

Finding this information for Walmart's Marketplace vendor requires a little more effort: you must click on the seller's name. But frankly, it's better for you to stick to the products sold and shipped by Walmart simply because you can go straight to a store if you want to return it within your bold 15-day window.

Getting Started with Gazelle

Gazelle buys and sells all kinds of used mobile devices, including iPads. Its products are "certified second-hand products" which means that they are easily renewed, including a functional and cosmetic inspection of 30 points and a factory reset. The return period is just under 30 days.

The beauty of shopping in Gazelle is that it has honored its appliances – excellent, good and fair – so if you do not mind a cosmetically incomplete appliance, you can save yourself some money.

This story originally published on March 16, 2017.

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