Refurbished iPads: Your Gateway to Productivity and Entertainment on a Budget

POSTED: Aug 25, 2023

In today's fast-paced technological world, purchasing a refurbished iPad can be an excellent way to save money while still enjoying the benefits of a premium device. Refurbished iPads are pre-owned devices that have been thoroughly inspected, repaired, and restored to their original working condition. I have prepared this buying checklist to guide you through the process of buying a refurbished iPad and ensure you make a well-informed decision. 

A person using a referbished Apple iPad on a white table

Reputable Seller: 

When choosing a reputable seller, consider well-known retailers, authorized Apple resellers, or sellers with a strong online presence. Look for customer reviews and ratings on their website or other platforms like Trustpilot or Google Reviews. Positive reviews and high ratings indicate that previous customers were satisfied with their purchases and the seller's service. If possible, seek recommendations from friends or family who have had positive experiences with purchasing refurbished devices. 

Warranty and Return Policy: 

A warranty is essential when buying a refurbished iPad. It provides protection against potential defects and malfunctions that may arise after the purchase. A standard warranty period for iPads is around 90 days, but some sellers may offer longer warranties, which can be advantageous. Read the warranty terms carefully to understand what it covers and what it doesn't. 

Similarly, review the seller's return policy. This policy dictates the conditions under which you can return or exchange the device if you encounter any issues or if the iPad does not meet your expectations. Ensure that the return policy is fair and reasonable, allowing you sufficient time to thoroughly test the device before making a final decision. 

Certified Refurbished vs. Non-Certified: 

Opting for a certified refurbished iPad offers several advantages. Certified devices undergo a strict refurbishment process by the manufacturer, ensuring that they meet the same quality standards as new devices. They are thoroughly tested, repaired using genuine parts, and reset to factory settings. Certified refurbished iPads typically come with a manufacturer's warranty, further assuring their reliability. 

On the other hand, non-certified iPads might be sold by third-party sellers or smaller retailers. While many non-certified devices are of good quality, the refurbishment process may not be as stringent, leading to potential variations in quality and reliability. If you choose a non-certified iPad, thoroughly research the seller's reputation and reviews to minimize risks. 

Two refurbished iPads on a white table with plants and ornaments

Condition and Grading: 

Refurbished iPads are often graded to indicate their cosmetic condition. Common grading categories include: 

  1. Like New: These refurbished iPads show little to no signs of wear and are almost indistinguishable from new devices.
  2. Excellent: Refurbished iPads in excellent condition may have minor cosmetic blemishes but are otherwise fully functional and well-maintained.
  3. Good: Refurbished devices in good condition may have more noticeable signs of wear, such as scratches or dents, but they still function perfectly.
  4. Fair: Refurbished iPads in fair condition may have significant signs of wear, and while they function, they may have cosmetic imperfections.

Carefully review the product description to understand the iPad's condition and ensure it aligns with your expectations. Be prepared to pay more for iPads in better condition, but it might be worth it for a more aesthetically pleasing device. 

Compatibility and Specifications: 

Before making a purchase, verify that the refurbished iPad is compatible with the software and apps you intend to use. Some older iPad models may not support the latest operating systems or certain applications, which could limit their functionality. 

Check the specifications of the refurbished iPad, including the model number, storage capacity, screen size, and operating system version. Confirm that these specifications meet your needs and preferences. For example, if you plan to use the iPad for graphic design or video editing, you might need a larger storage capacity. 

Battery Health: 

Battery life is crucial for a satisfying user experience. Inquire about the refurbished iPad's battery health and capacity. Some sellers provide information on the battery's health percentage, indicating how much charge the battery can hold compared to its original capacity. A higher battery health percentage means the refurbished iPad can last longer on a single charge. 

Keep in mind that the battery in a refurbished iPad has likely been used before, so it may not have the same performance as a new one. However, a battery health percentage above 80% is generally considered acceptable for a refurbished device. 


When purchasing a refurbished iPad, find out if it comes with essential accessories like charging cables, adapters, and documentation. Having these accessories included with the purchase can save you from having to buy them separately. However, don't solely base your decision on the presence of accessories, as the quality and condition of the refurbished iPad itself should take precedence. 

Performance Testing: 

Inquire about the testing process that the seller follows to ensure the refurbished iPad's performance is up to standard. Reliable sellers conduct thorough testing on each device before listing it for sale. These tests should check various hardware and software aspects, such as the display, touch sensitivity, buttons, camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and overall system performance. Ask if the refurbished iPad has been checked for potential issues like screen burn-in, battery life, or hardware malfunctions. 

A person sitting at a table holding a refurbished Apple Ipad with a second person in the background.

Price Comparison: 

Compare prices from different sellers to understand the market value for the specific refurbished iPad model you want to purchase. While affordability is important, be cautious about significantly lower prices, as they might indicate compromised quality or the absence of essential services like warranties or support. Consider the overall value you are getting for the price, factoring in the refurbished iPad's condition, warranty, and reputation of the seller. 


Purchasing a refurbished iPad can be a smart decision, offering a balance between cost savings and a premium device. By carefully considering the points mentioned in this buying checklist, you can confidently navigate the refurbished iPad market and find a device that suits your needs and preferences. Remember that thorough research, reputable sellers, and certified refurbished options will increase the likelihood of a successful and satisfying purchase. Enjoy your new refurbished iPad and make the most of its capabilities!