What to Look for When Buying a Used iPad

If you’re in the market for a used iPad, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s what to look for when buying one.

Buying a brand new iPad isn’t an option for many frugal buyers, and they look for a used model that costs less than the cost of a brand new iPad to save some money. This can be a great way to go, but there are some things to be aware of when shopping at the second-hand market, because it’s definitely not as quick and easy as buying in-store.

That is, used iPad units may show some damage from use. Most used models will experience some wear and tear and this is normal, but you will want to check for significant damage. Also, a used iPad you’re watching on Craigslist could be stolen, at which point you’ll want to stay away from such actions, because a stolen iPad is useless to a user who isn’t its real owner.

In any case, if you’re looking to buy a used iPad, there are some things to consider and watch out for when shopping.

iPad Status

This may be the obvious thing, but it’s always a good idea to note any wear and tear or damage on a used iPad.

Inspect the corners for any blemishes, which is usually an indication that it fell off at some point. This isn’t a big deal by itself if the device is still working, but you’ll also want to look for cracks that may appear on the screen.

While doing this, be sure to look very closely. In low light conditions, scratches are really hard to see, but when you remove them in broad daylight, the scratches can pop out like a sore thumb, so be sure to put it under a lamp or bright light and give it a good run. Take a good look before handing over your money.

iPad Price

When buying a used iPad, prices will not be fixed from seller to seller, as if you were buying a new iPad. Instead, some sellers will want less than other sellers might ask for.


That’s why it’s always a good idea to shop at different used marketplaces and look at a few listings from each. eBay, Craigslistand swap They’re all places to buy a used iPad, and prices will fluctuate quickly from seller to seller, so be sure to do your research and set a fair price that you’re willing to pay for a used iPad.

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Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that if any retailer sells a used iPad for well below the average selling price, the chances of it being stolen or significant damage to the device are high. The seller may or may not be hiding these facts, so be sure to ask questions and take a good look at the device before purchasing.

iCloud Account Activation

Perhaps one of the most important steps to take when buying a used iPad is to find out if it is indeed a stolen unit. Fortunately, this is really easy to learn.

Apple introduced a feature called Activation Lock with iOS 7 that prevents iPhones and iPads from being stolen, or at least prevents thieves from doing other things with an iOS device after it’s been stolen. When Find My iPhone is enabled on a user’s device, it essentially locks the device to that user’s Apple ID account. This means that even if the iPad is erased, the device will still need the original Apple ID and password so that someone else can use it by themselves.

iphone activation

Apple’s new Activation Lock search tool aims to help in this regard, allowing buyers to see if Activation Lock is still active on an iPad they’re purchasing. If so, it’s safe to say it was stolen.

You can access Apple’s new Activation Lock search tool by going to: icloud.com/activationlockand you don’t need to sign in to your iCloud account to access it. You will be prompted to enter the serial number of the iPad, both of which can be found in the app. You will also need to enter the CAPTCHA code below that.

Instantly Apple will tell you if the iPad still has Activation Lock enabled. Now, if Activation Lock is still on, that doesn’t necessarily mean the device was stolen. The user could easily have forgotten to turn it off and if you ask them to do so and they can’t, it’s safe to say that the device was indeed stolen.