Following this early-February AllThingsD report of an expected iPad 3 announcement, trade-ins of current iPad models soared 400 percent, according to Gazelle.com, a “re-commerce” company that gives consumers cash for their electronic hand-me-downs.
In a report Gazelle put out covering a six-week period from Dec. 15 to Feb. 2, the company paid particular attention to iPad trade-ins, noting that four times as many AT&T iPads have been traded in as Verizon iPads, due to increased demand in secondary markets worldwide, where most carriers run on GSM technology. But it was after that time frame — after Feb. 9 — that iPad trade-ins really jumped.
“With the possibility of an iPad 2 price cut ahead or an iPad 8-inch model, our iPad prices are at their highest point,” the report notes.
The re-commerce site also saw a 50 percent increase overall in Android tablet cash-ins, as well as — interestingly enough — a 25 percent increase in trade-ins of the Amazon Kindle Fire, which just came to market in November.
Gazelle, which launched in 2007, claims around 300,000 customers and has handled more than 600,000 product trade-ins online. The company says it resells the products through retail and wholesale outlets, and recycles items without resale value.
The company appears to measure the success of current product models by weighing overall unit sales against the volume of trade-ins it sees for the previous models. For example, Gazelle notes that a 50 percent increase in total iPhone trades around the holidays — combined with the fact that the most-traded item was the iPhone 3GS — indicates that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were likely popular gift items as people looked to trade up.
Running a quick “test trade-in” on Gazelle tells us that for a 16 gigabyte Wi-Fi iPad 2 in “good” condition — with some visible signs of use — the site is currently offering $240 through check, PayPal, or an Amazon.com gift card. But take note, consumers looking to sell: On eBay, which last year got a boost from resales of iPad 2, the same iPad 2 model is currently fetching around $500.