The Sinking Price of the iPad 1

I recently sold my iPad 1 on eBay for $400.  I paid $699 plus tax for the device a year ago.  It did have some very slight cosmetic damage and one tiny scratch on the screen.  It had been used a lot–pretty much daily since it was purchased on April 2, 2010.

Here is the pricing that occurred with the device over the past months, and why I feel lucky (as of today) to have received a total of $415 (not subtracting eBay, PayPal, and shipping fees, of course) for my iPad 1:

April 2, 2010-March 2, 2011: New 64 GB wi-fi iPad: $699.  Refurbished (Apple): $599

March 2, 2011-March 24, 2011: New 64GB wi-fi iPad: $599.  Refurbished (Apple): $529

March 24, 2011: Verizon clears out existing wi-fi stock: New 64GB wi-fi iPad: $499.  AT&T selling the 3G 64GB iPad for $529.  (Note: Why wouldn’t you buy that one for $30 more?)

This is a terrible trend for individuals wishing to sell their existing iPad to purchase the new iPad.  Many people on Craigslist and eBay are trying to get over $425 for 64GB wi-fi models and over $500 for 64GB wi-fi models.

Who in their right mind would buy a used model for those prices when they can purchase a new model (with full warranty) for a bit more?  (I had listed the iPad on Craigslist and had a fellow e-mail me back repeated times wanting to buy my 64GB for $300 or less, because a refurbished iPad from Apple would only be $529.  I told him to buy the one from Apple).

If you have an iPad 1 and you want to sell it, there are three potential solutions for you:

1) Hold on to your iPad and hope that when store stock sells out (e.g. Apple only has a few versions of the iPad 1 available in the Apple Store) prices increase again.
2) Try your luck on Craigslist and hope to find someone that doesn’t know about the current pricing trend.
3) Try your luck on eBay.

Again, my iPad had a few things going against it, such as it was used, had slight cosmetic damage, the case was worn, and of course, the current pricing trends.  Nearly all the iPad 64GB models that are selling on eBay are well under $475 (even those that are new) and include accessories such as a case or even multiple cases.

Back to the topic of education: 16GB wi-fi iPads can be bought at Verizon for $299 at the moment.  That’s a steal.  I feel bad for schools with 1-to-1 initiatives that were hoping to sell existing iPads to graduating seniors so that they could continue to drive their programs with new devices year-to-year.  Why would a senior buy a used iPad when they could buy a new one for $299?

I’m hoping Apple doesn’t do this again.  This price plunge doesn’t happen with iPhones, because of the contract involved (Wi-fi iPads are contract free).


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