Why Are People Selling Their iPads?

The iPad has been out in Australia since May 28, and demand appears to still be strong for Apple's tablet. But there's a small segment of the market that has had enough already and is moving on.

Picture by visualities

Given the rush to purchase the iPad on launch day, it's not entirely surprising that some people might have spent their money and then had second thoughts. A friend of mine tweeted over the weekend with what sounded like a case of iPad buyer's regret: "You know, after 3 months with an iPad, the novelty's worn off for me. I like the click clack of a keyboard. Thinking of putting it on eBay."

Another reason for shifting from the iPad might be that, in the wake of the iPhone 4, it's no longer the newest shiniest thing from Apple. Gizmodo's Brian Lam has dumped his iPad for the iPhone 4, arguing that there's still far more useful apps aimed at the latter.

Given that there's still a 7-10 day wait for delivery on iPads ordered straight from Apple, there's clearly plenty of people remaining eager to buy one. But if people don't want their iPad, what's the reason?

To get an idea, I checked out some of the iPads currently for sale on eBay. eBay has some specific rules for iPad sellers, which were largely designed to stop people buying iPads and then onselling them at ludicrous prices, but there's still a healthy market in the device, which even gets its own category.

A large number of iPads are being sold as new by dealers, but there are second-hand choices available. Some sellers obviously are more than happy with the iPad, but regret choosing the Wi-Fi only model. "This item is for sale as I have upgraded to the 3G version," one seller explained. "Have to sell due to upgrade," another explains.

Some clearly have had a bad case of gadget lust. "I love it, it's great, but we couldn't really justify it," writes one seller. Others indeed want to focus on the iPhone 4:

I haven't used it much at all...because now I am getting my iPhone 4...and I simply have no time for it!!!

Some sellers just aren't interested:

I received this as gift. I am not into this and want to sell. I haven't even opened the package, it's brand new.

And for some, the iPad's lack of a integrated keyboard and (for now) multi-tasking is an issue:

Does not suit purpose that it was intended (travel/office). Therefore, hardly used and looking for a quick sale (so I can buy a notebook instead).

None of this suggests that there's a massive anti-iPad move afoot, but it does show that it's not the ideal choice for everyone.If you're tempted by a slightly used iPad, you can save money on Apple's as-new prices in many instances (though you should keep those prices in mind as a ceiling if bidding becomes fervent). And if you do pick up a 3G version, make sure you pick the best micro-SIM plan for your needs.

Contemplated selling your iPad? Couldn't imagine life without it? Share your experience in the comments.

Lifehacker's weekly Loaded column looks at better ways to manage (and stop worrying about) your money.


    I like the click clak of the key board as well. If you were using it to read the paper or to read books and simply browse its fine but anything more involved you will need to do on a PC.

    i am glad i didn't buy 1 straight off, I have been thinking about 1 for sometime. i keep saying i want one then going the shop and playing with 1 and deciding it doesn't suit my needs! i know if i do get 1 i will have instant buyers regret.

    I also think the lack of ios 4 (and it's advance features) aren't helping the issue.

    You are also right, with the release of the iphone 4, the ipad has been relegated to the back burner for a lot of people.

    plus use it anywhere but the home or office and you may as well just stick a flashing blue light in your ear and talk loudly about you share portfolio

    Jailbreak. It's the way to go. You can add multitasking, an external keyboard and tether with MyFi.

    And if you got an iPad as a "present" and aren't into it, look at selling your friends, rather than your device. My friends and family know me, and know that an iPad would be an ideal Christmas present for me. Those who "aren't into it" need new friends who know what they want and those who "have no time for it" probably bought it because it was an Apple product, and didn't evaluate it's potential uses.

    I've just unboxed my wife and I's iPad and plan on using it lots of things, mostly internet on the couch. I carefully thought it over and didn't buy it simply because it was a shiny new toy for me to play with.

    Plus it's a business purchase, so I can claim it on tax. HUR HUR.

      "I’ve just unboxed my wife and I’s iPad and..."

      Wait, what? A mail-order bride?:)

      Surely you mean, "I’ve just unboxed my wife's and my iPad and..."


      Grammar Nazi

        actually no what he said made sense

        "my wife and I's ipad" is read as "my-wife-and-I's"
        if he was talking about a mail order bride it would be "unboxed my wife and my ipad"

        if you're going to be a grammar nazi, at least get it right

          It should have been "mine and my wife's ipad".
          Final word on the matter.

    I use my iPad a lot, but will sell it if a version with a 7 inch screen comes out. The current 10 inch screen is a little too bulky for me.

    Too much misunderstanding about what the iPad's good for, I think. It's great for media consumption, browsing and email, but not productivity. Perhaps people were thinking they would be laptop replacements.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA that is so funny. i love people who rush out and buy things to be the first, then 2 months later realise its a piece of shite

    "None of this suggests that there’s a massive anti-iPad move afoot, but it does show that it’s not the ideal choice for everyone." As your own summary of your story, that's a pretty sad indictment: News flash - iPad not everything to everyone!

    Gizomodo's article was bad enough - I've just got the latest Apple product and now I'm using the last thing I got from them less: as a knee jerk reaction I'm thinking of selling it.

    As pro-Apple forum posters often post - "Apple is doomed!". For those of you who missed it, at their recent earnings announcement Tim Cook was at pains to say that they were selling iPads as fast as they could make them. If a few petulant early adopters want to sell their iPads then that just makes like better for the rest of us. Please don't make the mistake again, however, of confusing this for what its not - a story.

      This comment comes across like a rather one-sided reading of what's here. For starters, the story notes some people sold their iPad in order to buy a better model, which doesn't strike me as petulant. Projecting much?

        "the story notes some people sold their iPad in order to buy a better model" - but just how is that a story?

        Yep, fair enough - not every seller of a 2nd hand iPad is petulant but I'm willing to bet that the vast majority are.

        This constitutes editorial nowadays? Your "sources" consists of one friend, some eBay sellers (of which there are always multiple for every product) and one journalist. This is hardly the headline indicative of the larger trend it infers. Kidman, your general detest of Apple products is consistent, and stupid linkbait sensationalist headlines such as this serve only to exacerbate the biased name you are creating for yourself.

        My favourite example of your hypocrisy will always remain this sterling piece of (clearly non-biased) work: http://img.skitch.com/20100811-rb1ry6rx3an77wm2c5j2e9nicf.jpg

          I almost wasn't going to bother responding to such a stupid trollish comment from someone who evidently chooses to read very selectively. But briefly: the article (and the headline) doesn't suggest that this is a major trend: the very first paragraph makes that clear, and the point comes up repeatedly. I think it's interesting that some people have chosen to sell a new device so quickly, but there's a variety of reasons for that, and only one of those is not finding the iPad suitable. My own views of the iPad don't have anything to do with the reasons cited by other people, which is what this post is about. If you think it indicates "general detest" (whatever that means), I'd say that says rather more about you.

          The linked image is from this article, about which I'll make two points: firstly, as was noted at the time, I paid for the Toshiba myself after assessing what was on the market: it wasn't a freebie. Secondly, as you'll see if you click the link, those ads don't appear anymore (as they related to a campaign at the time), but my arguments for not buying a Mac -- I didn't want to learn a new OS on the road and, more importantly, it was too large far my needs -- would be exactly the same now. Very few commenters actually addressed that issue then -- they just went into reflex all-non-positive-of-Apple-are-treason mode -- and you're doing pretty much exactly the same now.

      re: People selling their ipad on ebay because theyre 'upgrading'. . .
      yeah, I say Im 'upgrading' when Im selling something too.
      I sure as hell dont say "Im selling my 'whatever' because I think its useless and a waste of money."
      Yeah, thats really going to encourage sales.

    to those who argue that the ipad is just for consumption;

    i'm an animator, and my ipad has become indispensible in the week that i've had it.
    i use it:
    -to watch reference video while i'm animating
    -as a second display to hold some of my tool palettes
    -to grab something off the net quickly without having to leave my animation software
    -to sketch thumbnails and motion planning
    -to quickly storyboard or break down an action or sequence
    -to present a storyboard or animatic to the director/supervisors
    -probably a good many more things that i haven't thought of yet, having only had it for a week so far

    many of these things i can do on the train, or if an idea strikes me at home, or while having lunch, or while at a friend's, or anywhere, for that matter

    as a tool for my productivity, it is now almost completely irreplaceable. everything that i've described above is possible to do on an iphone or ipod touch, but would you *want* to do any of that on a 4 inch screen? your fingers block too much of what's going on to be any use at all! i would be arguing that the iphone/ipod touch is the consumption device, while the ipad is the creation device. conversely, i'm not going to lug around a laptop and whip it out every time i have an idea. far too cumbersome. the ipad battery lasts far longer and weighs far less.

    the ipad is instantly on when you pick it up, and is far closer to the pen and paper that i used to carry around for such purposes than any other technology i've seen to date. it weighs about the same and is ready to go just as quickly as a pen and paper, i don't have to scan (or photograph!) images in a pinch, as they're already digitised

    angus: when i bought my ipad, there was a similar lead time on apple's website, but i just walked into one of the retail stores and bought one straightaway. they even let me unbox it in the store and helped me to get it going. went straight from there to work, used it all day, and synced it with itunes when i got home that evening.

    since having it, i've also found myself wanting the text-correcting features of ios in my desktop os. it's weird: i thought i'd go nuts on the touchscreen keyboard, but i'm almost better at using it than a physical keyboard now.

    to the "consumption device" crowd: you people have no imagination. as the ipad evolves, it's only going to improve, but what's there already is a fantastic start

      just get a second or third monitor

        i already have 2. sadly, being physically attached to my computer, my second monitor isn't that useful on the train. or at a friend's place. or as a sketchpad. or to carry off and show the supervisors something. or to show my showreel to interested people.
        i can go on.

      Here.. Here!
      Thumbs Up!!!
      Thank you for getting past the narrow mindness of Angus Kidman and his PeeCee groupies...
      Boo hoo.. dudes get a life and stick to your bulky third rate technology, simple set minds and subjects you know best about, cheap, crappy and virusy peecees!

        i reckon it'd be great if you could attach your ipad to become like a second monitor

        you'd have your regular pc/mac going and then a touch screen monitor propped up on the side

        sounds like a sweet deal to me

        morph, there's an app called AirDisplay which does exactly that. Which is what my ipad spends some of its time being

    I think this image sums up the ipad nicely. . .

      Too bad the info is false!
      And making a pad for the select or for the mass are two different animals that you can't really compare, but look and see what is actually contained in the iPod touch/iPhone/iPad port, you'll be quite surprised... VGA, Audio, Video, USB, Firewire and... stereo works fine with bluetooth headphones.. Battery life comparison...
      Sorry i forgot what was your point?

      except that the ipad does have a headphone jack and video output, you don't need an sd card slot, because you can import photos directly off the camera without even taking the sd card out of the camera, weighs much less than the hp, has far better battery life than the hp, the ipad has a compass, accelerometer, gps, 3g and wifi connection.

      and the ipad doesn't need a stylus either.


        True but the point of interest here is that the HP was released in 2003 - so Warcroft was commenting more on the way it is marketed and perceived is a totally new concept when he posts that picture.

        Obviously one would think that a few things can be improved upon in 7 years.

    I find I must echo butterworm's comments here.
    I am a graphic artist and I have come to depend on and use my iPad so much i'm practically attached to the thing.
    Leaving aside all the fantastic media consumption options in my spare time it's an amazing traveling sketchpad that allows you to create fully realized paintings and drawings without carrying a whole wad of Pantone markers or paints around with you. In the same capacity it's an amazing portable alternative to a Wacom Cintiq for one fifth the price. I can work away to the wee hours of the morn without annoying my wife by disappearing off to the office, it carries all my visual diaries in one slim package and I can actually receive and make edits to large email docs that are just annoying on the tiny iPhone screen anywhere and everywhere - nobody ever has to wait for responses from me anymore or I'll make the changes when I get back to the office. This includes any and all microsoft office docs, PDFs and artwork. Any further limitations for more hardcore adobe apps and so on are removed by Internet based remote screen access back to my main desktop.
    All this plus a library worth of books and comics for time killing moments and I'm even reading more than i ever have.
    As to the lack of camera why in gods name would anyone want to hold up something the size of an A4 piece of paper and say cheese? Bluetooth puts all the pics I need right on to the iPad hard drive anyway...
    Personally - I couldn't imagine life without it now!

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