Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a Used iPad

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement over the iPad craze and rush out and buy a used one without putting much thought into the decision. As a smart consumer, you are wise to evaluate the market and what it means to buy used. It pays to understand some of the most common pitfalls that people fall into when they set out to purchase a used iPad.

One of the biggest pitfalls about buying a used iPad is falling victim to the excitement buying a new gadget and not reading the description carefully.  Sellers are generally upfront about defects or scuffs, but it up to you, the buyer, to evaluate the condition of the products.  Case in point, someone didn’t read the description carefully and bid $626 on an iPad2 box.  That’s right, $626 for an empty box.  The seller was very clear about the fact that the item was a box, but a bidding war still ensued.

Along the same lines as not reading the description comes not asking enough questions.  It’s important to see actual images of the iPad you plan on purchasing.  If you don’t, you could end up surprised by the condition.  Everyone has a slightly different definition of “slightly used” and “like new.”  By carefully examining photos, you can inspect the iPad to ensure that it meets your definition.

Another pitfall is not adequately assessing your needs before deciding on a model.  How much storage do you need?  What do you plan to use it for? Do you need the extra processing power found in the iPad2?  Do you need a slimmer model so that it is easier to handle?  Since even used iPads cost a minimum of several hundred dollars, you don’t want to have buyer’s remorse.  To get a gauge of your memory needs, check out our previous blog.
Be careful who you buy your iPad from. One pitfall that has tripped up some iPad shoppers is buying from a seller with a low rating or little feedback on which to judge their trustworthiness.  eBay and Amazon both have protections in place for buyers, but there are rules attached.  So that you don’t have to hassle with contacting eBay or Amazon, try to limit your iPad purchase to a seller with a history of positive feedback—a minimum of 50 is required on eBay to qualify for their buyer protection program.

Finally, be prepared to invest in the right accessories to make your iPad purchase a success. It is easy to resist spending more money on good accessories in light of the big price tag of an iPad. However, some accessories should not be considered optional. Invest in a good carrying case and screen protector. Those two accessories alone can do a lot to keep your iPad in great shape for a long time to come.

An external keyboard so you don’t have to write long emails using that troublesome onscreen keyboard will make your iPad experience better and help you get more out of the device. If you are willing to put a little extra money into taking good care of your iPad, it can be an addition to your technology arsenal that will give you a lot of benefit and fun to boot.

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