With a new iPad likely around the corner, iPad trade-ins are on the rise -- and selling prices are falling fast.
Companies like Gazelle and NextWorth, which buy used electronic devices, say they're experiencing a surge of customers trading in their old iPads. The spike began Tuesday, when Apple ( announced it has an upcoming event Oct. 22. Apple is widely expected to be giving its tablet its first big redesign in more than a year and a half. )
At Gazelle, iPad trade-ins have soared to their highest level this year. IPads now make up 20% of items traded in on Gazelle's website, up from 11% a week ago.
"Previous generations all look the same," said Anthony Scarsella, Gazelle's chief gadget officer. The new iPad could have more processing power, a better camera and even use Apple's latest Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Meanwhile, NextWorth saw its weekly iPad trade-ins more than triple this week.
But consumers looking for a good deal had better act fast, lest they be affected by the basic forces of economics. The surge in supply of trade-in iPads means trade-in prices are dropping.
Data provided by NextWorth show that iPad prices drop after Apple unveils a new tablet - and even more when a new iPad hits store shelves. Last year, trade-in values for the iPad dropped 4% when Apple unveiled its latest-generation iPad in October. The trade-in price fell by another 10% when the tablet hit store shelves in November.
If you're trading in: Let's say you've got a mid-range iPad 2 (black, 32 GB with WiFi) in good condition -- but not flawless. Last year, that could have fetched $300. How about now?
CNNMoney looked at the prevailing prices online Wednesday:
- Amazon: If you're willing to wait around for a buyer, you post your iPad for sale on Amazon and easily sell it for $350. Amazon also has a trade-in program, offering $189.
- Apple: Probably the worst deal out there, because of how restrictive it is. The Apple Reuse and Recycling Program offers $136 -- but only in the form of an Apple Store gift card.
- Gazelle: $190. It's also more forgiving on nicks and scratches.
- NextWorth: $180. It's also accommodating on the tablet's condition.
- Best Buy: This one's a bit tricky, because "good" is the best listed condition. But if it's "fair," you only get $130.
- GameStop: After an in-store inspection, you can choose between $161 in cash or a $202 in store credit.
- RadioShack: $150 if you include the power adapter.
- eBay: You're the seller so it's totally up to you. But it can easily go for $265 -- whenever a buyer eventually finds you.