This is a sponsored post, written in collaboration with eBay.
I’ve been contemplating trading in my first-generation iPad. The tablet works just fine, but it’s lost some of its zip over the years. And I’d say I’ve held out long enough — skipping Apple’s next three iterations — to upgrade to an iPad Air without feeling the guilt of leaving behind still-functioning tech too soon.
Looking around, it seems that eBay has the best potential (not necessarily guarantee) for the highest price. I’ve sold stuff through the auction site a long time ago, but I never personally listed an item. I’ve always bribed a friend or an ex, offering a cut of the profits to go through the “ordeal” for me. It just seemed too complicated and intimidating, so I took the easy way out.
But it’s time to be a big boy and jump in for the first time on my own.
I discovered listing an item for sale is easy as heck — and I promise you that I’m not just saying that just to appease the sponsor here. Seven clicks and I was done (minus a little optional extra work on my part to dress up the page to attract more buyers). And from eBay’s automated estimate for the value of my iPad, I could get almost twice as much as I would’ve gotten for trading it in elsewhere. (As of this writing, my auction is still ongoing, so I can’t confirm that’s the final amount I’d be making.)
Here’s what I did:
eBay has a system called “Simple Flow” (here’s the one for selling tablets) where popular electronics like tablets or game consoles are all laid out for you — you just have to click on big buttons to narrow down to your particular model. On the first step here, I selected an Apple tablet.
Next, I chose how my iPad connects to things out there in Internet land.
Then I picked which generation iPad I own.
Simple Flow pre-selected “black” for me, since that’s the only color option on first-gen iPads. But for those of you keeping track, this would’ve been an extra click here to select a color. My fourth click was to select the memory capacity.
Here, I picked the condition of the tablet. Hovering over each option gives you more detail on how eBay defines “new” or “used: excellent” and so on.
Clicks #6 and 7:
Confirm everything and publish. That was literally all I had to do if I wanted the quick-and-easy version. eBay fills in everything else for me, including the product description, all the detailed technical specs (beyond the ones I selected above during Simple Flow), the heading, and even a stock photo.
Of course, the system offers some advanced settings to further customize listings, which I took advantage of — for research purposes, of course. (OK, who am I kidding? The more buyers I can draw in, the more money I’m likely to get for my iPad.)
I tweaked the heading; I added an extra note from me; I offered up my case (since it’s not going to fit the iPad Air I’m looking to upgrade to); and I uploaded my own pictures to show that I had the original packaging as well.
At the finish line, the site actually stopped me twice before it would let me publish — both for pretty legit reasons. The first was because I added “like new!” to the header, which apparently is cheating. I got a pop-up message explaining that the word “new” will get my product in front of people who are searching for literal brand-new iPads, which isn’t fair since mine is used. OK, fair enough. The second time was because the system was smart enough to catch that I was including extra goods, purely from what I wrote. Another message explained that I should post this in the “bundles” area of eBay or just simply add “bundle” to the description and/or add the case to a specific section of the listing. I didn’t mind making these tweaks, as I suspected they would only help me in getting noticed.
The entire process was certainly streamlined and idiot-proof. I’ll be sure to revisit it again when it’s time to retire the iPad Air.
I do hope my old tablet will find a good home, though, as it has served me well for years. Hey! You seem like a decent enough person for staying with me this long on this article. Maybe you’d like to adopt it? Just head on over here ….
Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics.
Fill out our 5-minute survey
, and we'll share the data with you.