I’d been hesitating in buying an Apple iPad Pro for a while, mostly because this is a very expensive device. The 3rd-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 64GB storage had the premium price tag of $999 and the lowest price I could find was $849 on Amazon and Bestbuy. It went on sale during Black Friday but it was still out of my budget, therefore, I had to find other options like used or refurbished iPads.
Then I found out some great deals on eBay which listed the refurbished iPad Pro for just over $600. That means I could save at least $250 as compared to a brand new device. The deal was too tempting and I decided to hit the Buy It Now button. The seller described the item was in excellent condition and 100% functional but it didn’t include the earphones, OEM charger and original packaging.
I trusted this seller since they have great feedback and almost all previous buyers were satisfied with their iPads. Besides, they also offered 60-day seller warranty, so they could repair or replace the device in case it stops functioning. My only concerns now are where these units come from and if they would last for a long time as my previous Apple products.
The iPad Pro came in a cardboard box and the seller also threw in a new non-OEM MFI certified power cable and UL-approved power adapter. I was so surprised when I took the iPad out because it looked just like a new one. Obviously, this can’t be a used device that was returned to Apple or an authorized seller because there is not even lightest scuff or scratch mark.
Notice that this is not the refurbished iPad from Apple which is much more expensive, therefore, it doesn’t include a 1-year warranty from Apple and I also can’t buy AppleCare+. When I checked its serial number on Apple for service and support coverage, both of the service coverage and telephone support were expired. Considering the fact that the product was released just a year ago and all new iPads come with a 1-year limited warranty, it seems like these iPads have never had warranty in the first place or it was voided by Apple.
I did some research and found out 2 possible scenarios.
In the first case, this could be a unit that failed quality control during production. Since the cost of disassembling, investigating issues, and putting them back together is too expensive, Apple could sell it to some online retailers at a significant discount. The sellers will then fully test the iPad, repair the defect and make sure it is in working condition before listing it online. That’s the reason why it looks like new and doesn’t have any warranty from Apple.
The second scenario is that this iPad is a pre-owned one that was returned to an Apple seller. The seller might have ordered new outer shell and possibly a new battery from Apple, put them on the used iPad to make it look like new, then listed it as a manufacturer refurbished iPad.
In either case, buyers always receive an iPad that is virtually indistinguishable from a brand new one. I set up the iPad and have used it for a few weeks without any problem. I use this iPad mostly for entertainment and jotting down notes sometimes, so I think it will survive for a long time. If you are also considering an iPad, I totally recommend you to buy a refurbished/renewed one on eBay or Amazon to save some money; It should work flawlessly as long as you put a protective case on it and make sure it was released less than 1 year ago.