An Apple iPad Purchasing Guide

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iPad 2 Spurs Deals on Original iPad: Where to Buy for Less

If you're in the market for an iPad, now may be a good time to grab the first-generation model. The new iPad 2 goes on sale Friday, March 11, of course, and it'll have a few bells and whistles missing from Apple's original tablet, including two cameras and a faster dual-core processor. But if you're perfectly content with last year's tech--maybe video chat isn't your thing--here are a few places where you can buy new or used iPads.

Click on any of the images below to zoom.

Apple Store

Your first stop should be the Apple Store clearance page, where new, first-gen iPads are selling at fire-sale prices (well, for Apple, anyway). All models are $100 off the original price. The low-end 16GB Wi-Fi iPad is $399, for instance. Shipping is free, and you'll get the standard iPad one-year warranty, including 90 days of free phone support. For even lower prices, check out Apple's refurbished iPads, which come with a new battery and outer shell, and a one-year warranty.

Amazon

Surf over to the Web's largest retailer and search for iPad, refurbished iPad, or used iPad. The deals I found on Monday, March 7 weren't so hot, such as a new 16GB Wi-Fi model for $469.99 from Go4computers. Sure, that's $71 more than the Apple Store's price, but first-gen iPad deals could heat up once the iPad 2 arrives on March 11. On Amazon's used iPad page, I found prices starting at $349. One caveat: You'll have to contact the seller directly if they haven't specified a refund and return policy.

Craigslist

Care to live dangerously? The Wild West swap meet known as Craigslist is a good place to shop for bargain iPads. In my neck of the online woods, local Craiglisters were selling pre-owned iPads (16GB with Wi-Fi and 3G) for as little as $300. A haggling buyer could probably knock a few dollars more off the price. Warranty or refund? Good luck. It's Craigslist, bub. You're on your own.

In the Boston area the original iPads have also been spotted for $300 with sellers explaining: "I am planning to get the new iPad 2, so I am selling my current iPad. It is a 16GB iPad with WiFI and an original Apple iPad case in black."

Online Hardware Buyers

Many Websites, such as Gazelle and BuyMyTronics.com, will buy your old tech gear. But some also sell used and refurbished electronics. Gazelle, for instance, has an Ebay store where you can purchase a variety of first-gen iPads. A recent Buy Now sale of an original iPad with 32GB of storage plus Wi-Fi and 3G is going for $495 at Gazelle's Ebay store. The price includes a 30 day money back guarantee.

Sellers should keep expectations low if they hope to recoup on their original iPad investment. BuyMyTronics.com will give you for your $240 for the same model iPad (32GB of storage plus Wi-Fi and 3G in "average" condition) Gazelle is selling for $495.

Other Ebay Sellers

While you're there, check out Ebay's listing page of iPads for sale. I found dozens of original iPads available, ranging from the entry level (16GB Wi-Fi) to top-of the line (64GB Wi-Fi + 3G). You can narrow your search to a specific product (Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi + 3G, accessories) or storage capacity (16, 32, or 64GB) too.

Since the iPad 2 was announced Ebay has seen 15,931 offers on the original iPads, according to a report by The New York Times . The average Ebay "instant sale" price, according to the article, is $305 for the introductory model equipped with 16GB of storage and only Wi-Fi capabilities.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci ) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com

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