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How to spot red flags when getting a used iPad online in India

Scammers are targeting the online second-hand iPad market. Here’s how to avoid them.

Buying a used iPad in India: Check out these tips to keep fraudsters at bay. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Buying a new iPad doesn’t come cheap, and naturally many consumers take the second-hand route. It’s totally fine to buy a used iPad from places like OLX, Quikr and Facebook Marketplace. However, if you are unfamiliar with it, there’s a chance you might get scammed. In that case, it’s important to protect yourself when shopping for a used iPad online. To avoid being scammed, we have compiled a list of red flags to look for.

Shockingly low prices

The sole intention of a consumer getting a used iPad is to save money. Places like OLX and Facebook Marketplace help you save money but there’s always risk involved. If the iPad seems suspiciously affordable, especially when you consider the launch year, you should probably call the deal off. For example, if Apple is selling the iPad Air (Gen 4) for Rs 45,000 and if the seller is charging Rs 15,000 for the same model without any malfunction or faulty hardware, this is a clear sign that something is fishy. If the seller keeps pursuing you to buy the iPad, there are ways to block a seller or file a complaint.

Knowing the model number and year of manufacture is important, especially if you want to buy a used iPad running the latest version of iOS. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

Examine the condition

This is basic but a lot of the time people (especially when it’s hard to resist a deal) simply avoid examining a device in-person. Always examine the iPad and look for any physical damage. Be sure to check the sides of the iPad and look for any cracks on the screen. If there is a crack on the screen, even if it is a small crack from the outside, better not buy that iPad. Check if its lightning port/Type-C connection is not worn out or blocked by any object. Because if the charging port is not functioning properly, you won’t be able to use the iPad. If possible plug the iPad into a wall socket and confirm if the battery is in good health. If that is not possible, at least tell the seller to fully charge the iPad in advance, so that you know the health condition of the battery.

The iPad is available in different screen sizes in the market. So do your homework before going online and searching for a second-hand iPad. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Avoid buying iCloud locked iPad

On OLX you will find listings where the iPad is iCloud locked but the device is available for a crazy low price. If an iPad displays an Activation Lock screen that asks you to enter a specified Apple ID and a password alongside it, then it indicates that the iPad is iCloud locked. In case you realised this later you should contact the seller and ask him to unlock the device. If the seller refuses to tell you the passcode, it is safe to assume that the iPad is stolen. Just avoid buying a used iPad if it is iCloud locked.

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If you have the option to examine the used iPad in person, turn it on. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

People who avoid taking calls

Genuine sellers or buyers have no issue talking on the phone, while scammers might restrict the interaction to text messages. Scammers will likely ask buyers their bank account details and will subsequently share a fake text message claiming to have transferred the device. When in doubt, ask to chat to a potential seller over the phone.

Be sure to use your common sense before buying a used iPad. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Interstate sellers

Be cautious of sellers based in other states. There have been times when sellers list their products in your city, giving an illusion that they are based locally. Once they know that you are interested in buying the device, they insist you transfer the money via Paytm and ask for your home address. The chances are you will never get the device. The best way is to deal only with a seller who is based nearby so that you can turn to the local police for help if needed.

Meeting at someone’s home

Always insist on meeting the seller with someone accompanying you, be it a friend or a family member. Ask the seller to come to a neutral public place. Avoid meeting the seller at his place. Also, avoid sharing your home address or work address with the seller.

Do not rush and finalise the deal, even if the price is low. Look for more options – and don’t forget to bargain. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Ask for photos of the product

Always ask the seller to share as many photos of the iPad in working condition before you make up your mind and finalise the deal. Many times the seller tries to avoid sharing the serial number of the product or clearly mention the damaged product in the ad. If you are not satisfied with the iPad’s display, software or external appearance, tell the seller you are not interested. But if the seller takes longer to share the picture of the iPad or share pictures taken from a distance, the deal is not worth pursuing.

Stay safe, be aware, and enjoy your iPad!

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