Smart Shopping Starts Here - SaleSeekerMart, Where Value Meets Variety

4 reasons to buy a refurbished iPad (and where to get one)

Key Takeaways

  • Refurbished iPads can save you up to $320, around 20% off the purchase price of a new iPad. You’ll get a significant discount compared to buying brand new.
  • The quality of refurbished iPads is almost identical to new ones. Apple puts each returned iPad through a rigorous quality control process and replaces worn-out components, ensuring that the refurbished iPad operates at 100%.
  • Purchasing a refurbished iPad is environmentally conscious. It contributes to Apple’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2023 and reduces e-waste by extending the life cycle of their products. Refurbishing devices results in 78% CO2 savings.

Apple products: can’t live without them, hate buying them at full price. The company has done such a spectacular job of establishing themselves as the leading brand for phones, tablets, smartwatches and more that they set the market for all of their competitors and demand a premium. We’re not going to argue whether Apple stuff is worth what they ask for it — that’s a complicated question — but we will say that saving money is always top of mind when we write buyer’s guides for you guys.

One of the absolute best ways to get an Apple iPad for cheap is to pick one up refurbished. The company has a long-running program where they take returned hardware and restore it to nearly factory-new condition, then resell it. If you’ve never bought a refurbished electronic device before, here are some great reasons to try it with an iPad.


Best iPad: Expert reviewed and ranked

With an array of iPad models on the market, we break down which version is best for you, based on our testing.

1 Refurbished iPads are less expensive

Save around 20%

iPad Pro 10 5 review photos image 4

This is absolutely the main reason that most people opt for a refurbished iPad. You can save as much as $320 on some models of the tablet, with the minimum discount being $70. In general, you can expect to save around 20% of the purchase price of a new iPad. That’s a really significant amount. When the tablets go on sale at a discount, refurbished models typically also drop by the same amount to keep pace. Purchasing from Apple also includes free shipping and returns, as well as a one-year warranty.

2 Refurbished iPads are almost identical to new iPads

Rigorous quality control process

ipad air vs ipad mini with retina display the choice is harder than you think image 3

If you didn’t know that the tablet was refurbished, you would never be able to tell by looking at it. Apple puts each returned iPad through a rigorous quality control process where they test its components, thoroughly clean them inside and out, and install their original operating system or the latest OS they can support. They’re shipped in identical boxes and packaged with all the accessories and cables they were originally sold with. The only reliable way to tell if an iPad has been refurbished is to go into the device’s Settings menu and check the model number. Refurbished units have model numbers that begin with the letter F.

3 Refurbished iPads have new components

Maximum value

Apple iPad (10th gen, 2022) review: Absolutely fabulous photo 13

One of the best aspects of Apple’s refurbishment program is that they replace the two parts of the tablet that get the most wear and tear — the outer casing and the battery. Those elements come factory new and are installed around the internal chips and frame of the iPad. In addition, any other parts that may be defective are also replaced, and the unit is rigorously tested to ensure that it’s operating at 100%.

Replacing the battery ensures that your new iPad will have a lifespan roughly equal to a new one. These new components are a great compromise, letting the processor, RAM, SSD and other parts still be used for maximum value.

4 Refurbished iPads are environmentally conscious

Refurbishing devices results in 78% CO2 savings

apple working on 4k ipad pro with 12 9 inch screen image 1

Apple has been consistently working to reduce the environmental impact of their operations, with a goal to be carbon neutral by 2023. Extending the life cycle of their products is a key element in meeting that goal. Refurbishing returned iPads means less materials need to be mined and transported and fewer components need to be made. This saves raw materials, water, energy and more. A study from Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH conducted on behalf of Refurbd found that refurbishing devices results in 78% CO2 savings, with similar benefits seen in energy and water consumption.

Purchasing a refurbished iPad also helps reduce e-waste. Instead of the older unit being sent to a landfill, most of its components are returned to use. This both eliminates the need to dispose of them in a landfill and extracts additional value from their manufacture.


Best iPad wallpapers: 50 background ideas for your Apple tablet

The cool factor of your tablet will easily reach over nine thousand with one of these hand-picked iPad wallpapers.


Q: Are there downsides to buying a refurbished iPad?

Limited stock

Because the return and repair cycle takes time, it’s not common for the latest model iPads to turn up as refurbs until a while after they’re released. If you’re the type of person that needs to have the latest technology as soon as possible, you’re locked into buying one new. We know that a lot of Apple diehards meet that description. Supplies are often limited, and if you’re looking for a specific model and configuration there’s no guarantee that Apple will have it in stock refurbished.

Used vs. refurbished

There’s also a distinction between a “used” iPad and a “refurbished” one. Many stores, as well as online auction sites like eBay, sell “used” tablets that have been returned and given a cursory screening but not undergone a full diagnostic and repair. You often get what you pay for in those scenarios, including lower lifespan and lack of an extended warranty.

It’s also important to note that not all resellers have the same refurbishment process that Apple does. You can buy refurbished iPads at a number of sites, including Amazon and Best Buy. Each of those companies has their own process for restoring devices.

The closest to Apple’s quality standards is Best Buy. iPads labeled “Open-box Excellent Certified” have been cleaned and extensively tested, but have not had the battery or screen replacement that Apple does. They also have a one-year warranty. Amazon’s “Amazon Renewed” label is similar. Be careful purchasing from “marketplace” sellers on sites like Amazon, as they may not have the same requirements.

Q: Where can you buy a refurbished iPad?

Sites like BackMarket and Gazelle deal exclusively in refurbished hardware. BackMarket employs both internal repairpeople as well as contracting with Apple for refurbishment. There’s no stigma to purchasing refurbished hardware. It’s good for the environment and good for your wallet.


What they sell


Offers a variety of refurbished iPads, including iPad Pro and iPad Air, with a one-year warranty​​.

Best Buy

Provides a range of refurbished iPads, including iPad Pro models, certified by Geek Squad​​​​.


Specializes in selling certified refurbished iPads, focusing on sustainable, affordable options​​.

Mac of All Trades

Offers various models of refurbished iPads in different generations, colors, and connectivity options​​.


Lists several refurbished iPads, including bundles with accessories like cases and chargers​​.


Platform for a wide range of used and refurbished iPads, offering competitive prices and various models​​.

Q: Which old iPad model should you buy?

The best choice for an old iPad model would be one that is compatible with the latest iPadOS version (currently iPadOS 17.2) and fits within your budget.

Trending Products

Add to compare
Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Add to compare
CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black

CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart