NEW YORK (MainStreet) — By most accounts, Apple is planning to announce the iPad 3 on March 7 and will presumably start shipping the devices later in the month. So if you’re thinking about trading in your old iPad 2 for the latest model, time is running out to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Nextworth, an online trade-in service for electronics, analyzed pricing trends for iPads in 2011 and found that the resale value of the first generation iPad began to drop significantly starting about two to three weeks before Apple officially announced the iPad 2. Assuming history repeats itself this year, that would mean the value of the iPad 2 will begin to plummet this week and continue to drop until the iPad 3 hits store shelves in mid to late March.
The reason for this drop, according to Nextworth, is that rumors begin to peak about the details of the latest product a few weeks before it launches, which in turn makes the older model less valuable. As the launch date gets closer, the secondhand market gets flooded with old iPads from those looking to trade up, which causes the price to drop even more.
The resale price of the previous generation iPad tends to stabilize shortly after the newest model hits the market, but that doesn’t mean you should hold out to sell. By the time prices level off, the older iPad will have lost as much as one quarter of its trade-in value.
Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.