How to get an iPad for Less that $500!

The iPad is one of the best tablet’s around. Apple may not have invented the tablet, but they sure made it viable. I am sure you’re asking yourself: “Why would a blog claiming to be for the budget-conscious consumer even be talking about the iPad?” I’ll tell you! Being budget-conscious doesn’t mean you can’t like nice things. Second, you don’t have to spend $500 to have an iPad, hence the name of this post.

The Way I Did It (Apple Certified Refurbished)

That’s right! Apple sells refurbished items. I know, I know. The word “refurbished” may leave a dirty taste in your mouth. It does for me, except when it comes to Apple. When you buy a refurbished iPad directly from Apple, they put a new battery in it, new outer casing, and give you the same one year warranty as a new purchase. Furthermore, you have the option of buying the AppleCare extended warranty.

Start by visiting the Apple Certified Refurbished store. As you can see, there are other refurbished products to be had. Click on iPad and you can see what’s currently available. I reluctantly use the word “negatives” to describe some of the limitations, but here goes. What is currently available on the page is what there is. You can’t request anything thats not listed. However, the page is updated often. If you are looking for something specific, check in the morning; if you see it, buy it.¬†You can only buy refurbished direct from Apple on the website. (Shipping is free.) If you must touch it, go to a store to play with a display model, then buy online.

I snagged a refurbished iPad 2 16GB wifi model for $319!!! Thats $80 off the $399 new price tag. I love it by the way! The iPad was ordered on a Monday morning and was in my hands Friday afternoon with free shipping. Last time I checked, there were no refurbished iPad 3’s just yet. It’s a safe bet there won’t be any soon.

GameStop Premium Refurbished

I cannot vouch for GameStop’s refurbishment process because I have never bought refurbished from them. Apparently, they sell “regular” refurbished in addition to the premium, so make sure to check that the item you buy is premium. I can’t find anything on GameStop’s website to explain how the process works, but there are a few sites that list it as a good option for refurbished. Customer reviews on the website are generally positive. The iPad can be shipped for free

A refurbished iPad 2 16GB wifi model is currently listed for $359.99. The price is not as low as Apple’s price, but still pretty good. If you are a GameStop Shopper this may be the way to go.

Other Options

eBay and Craigslist are places that list used and refurbished iPad’s for sale. Personally, I don’t trust them. I recommend you stick with legitimate outlets, especially when buying used or refurbished. Clearly, I think buying directly from Apple is the best choice. Have you had good luck with other outlets? Any other suggestions? Leave your comments below.