Listen up, Apple fans: save your personal files to your iCloud in the sky, and delete your apps – because the time is nigh to sell your iPad 2.
Re-sale prices for the iPad 2 will fall as the official launch date for the iPad 3 — widely expected to be March 7 — edges closer, experts say. Consumers can expect to see a steep decline in value in the two to three weeks prior to the unveiling of the newer device, says Mark LoCastro, spokesman for sale aggregator site DealNews.com. “You’ll receive a higher resale value for your used device if you part with it now, rather than waiting for the newer generation to be announced,” he says.
The re-sale price follows the same trajectory as the iPhone, experts say. As SmartMoney.com reported, the iPhone 4 declined 20% to 25% in value on re-sale sites during the immediate launch period of the iPhone 4S, but this leveled out as the excitement over the launch subsided. The iPad 2 will likely experience a similar percentage decline after the iPad 3 is announced, says Ashley Halberstadt, a spokeswoman for re-sale site Nextworth.com. That said, LoCastro says re-sale sites want to offer aggressive pricing now in order to buy up as many units as possible while people are looking to sell — so he doesn’t rule out an uptick in price on the day the iPad 3 is announced.
However, if Apple decides to continue selling the iPad 2 at a discount alongside the spanking new iPad 3, the re-sale market for old tablets will experience an even bigger hit, LoCastro says. “This is just a rumor and many are skeptical, but if it proves true the trade-in value for your used iPad 2 will immediately plummet,” he says. (Apple did not respond to requests for comment.) That said, the value of Wi-Fi only iPads typically hold up better on the re-sale market because they don’t involve buyers taking out a two-year data plan, Halberstadt says.
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Prices vary on re-sale sites, too. NextWorth.com will pay $272 for a 16-gigabyte iPad 2 in “good” condition– a 45% depreciation on the price of a new $499 iPad 2. Gazelle.com, a competing re-sale site, will buy a similar iPad 2 for $260. Both sites offer “lock-in” prices for an agreed period of time before the tablet sells. Nextworth has a lock-in period of 21 days, while Gazelle pledges a slightly more generous 30-day lock-in period.
More adventurous consumers may prefer holding onto their iPad 2 until the last minute and selling it on eBay themselves, says Yung Trang, president of TechBargains.com. Currently, the iPad 2 is selling on eBay for around $300, a far more attractive price for sellers than both Netxtworth and Gazelle, he says. Plus, Trang says people may be reluctant to part with their iPad 2 now — if only because they will be left empty handed until the spring, when the new iPad is expected to actually go on sale. “That’s my dilemma,” he says. “The question really is this: Is the incremental $50 to 100 you gain now worth not having an iPad for nearly a month?” The alternative, he says, is give the used iPad to your children.