Where to buy discounted/previous gen iPads?

As it is nearing the holiday season, my kids’ kiddie Kindle Fire tablets are very much showing their age. And now that they’re a little older, they probably should have their own iPads. The problem is, I have twins which means we’re buying two of them. So I’m looking for suggestions on how to save some money.

Personally, I’ve owned some 12.9" iPad Pros, but have purchased those as open box from Best Buy, and had zero issues. Of course, I know Apple has a refurb store, plus there’s Gazelle and Macsales. Are there any other places I should look? One could also assume the 9th gen will see some holiday discounts soon.

I think I’m looking at the somewhat current 9th gen iPad, or the 8th gen iPad, or the 5th gen iPad mini. So probably the $200-300 price range, but something that would last and probably stay on the latest OS for a while. I’m open to suggestions.

College bookstores often look to unload inventory of older models. That’s where I got my 2018 Pro.

I’ve had good luck with Swappa.

Agreed. I think I’ve bought two Watches, an iPhone, three iPads, and two Macs on Swappa, and they were all in perfect condition and at a significant discount. I’ve also sold several devices there. One time I got sent an activation locked device, and Swappa intervened immediately to issue me a full refund. I’ve been very impressed. Example: shortly after it came out, I bought my husband an open-box 8th gen iPad including an Apple Pencil on Swappa for $225 total.

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Have you tried the Apple refurb store


When I buy preowned, I do so from the Apple refurb store. Same warranty as new and AppleCare available. However, the discount is not as large as you might get elsewhere, and they aren’t going to have devices that are typically more than one generation old.

I have sold to SellYourMac.com several times and the service has been good and payment prompt, which makes me think that purchasing from them is likely to be safe, but I have not done so myself.

I believe that OWC (macsales.com) also sells older Macs, but I don’t know if they also sell older iDevices. If they do, they are known to be a reputable company in the Apple world.

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…and a brand new battery. If you buy a 2-year-old iPad refurbished from Apple, it’s going to last you awhile.


@webwalrus Interesting and good to know. I had wondered whether the battery was replaced or not as part of the refurbishment process.


What if you buy a refurbished trackpad?

– ducks –



@gxwilso I don’t know why Swappa has always confused me. I never really looked at it, but now I understand it’s just a marketplace, similar to Reverb. I must have been expecting something else.

@geoffaire Yes I have. They don’t seem to have the inventory in the budget I’m hoping for.

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If an Apple-refurbished trackpad were available, I’d be all over that. :smiley:

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