New iPod models come out every single year—and gadget loving geeks clamor to buy the new model as soon as it is announced. This is good news for bargain shoppers, because it means that individuals, resellers and electronics stores will be looking to unload previous generation iPods at a deep discount. But is it worth it to buy a used iPod? That all depends on how you answer the following questions.
Who is Selling the Used iPod?
The best seller to get a used iPod from is Apple itself. You can buy Apple Certified Refurbished iPods from Apple.com or a certified Apple reseller for a good discount. These used iPods are guaranteed to work like new, and if they don’t, you can get them repaired or replaced for free, thanks to the one-year warranty.
If you’ll be buying a used iPod from another seller who isn’t an authorized Apple reseller, you’ll have to be more careful. Be sure to ask about their return policy and verify the condition of the device.
Which Generation Is It?
Every single iPod on the market has multiple generations. So, when someone tells you they are selling an iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Mini, iPod Touch or iPod Shuffle, they aren’t telling you enough information. The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle in particular have gone through many evolutions that ensures that the feature set is drastically different from one generation to the next. Oftentimes, you can tell by the shape and design which generation it is. You can then research which features are included in that generation and ensure that it meets your needs. In most cases, the later the generation, the better. But do your research anyway. For example, the fifth generation iPod Nano has a camera, while the sixth generation iPod Nano does not.
How’s the Battery Life?
iPod batteries are usually lithium ion, meaning they won’t get memories. But they do lose their battery life over time, and after 12 to 18 months of regular use, they’ll stop lasting long as they are supposed to. An iPod that’s three or four years old may not hold charge at all. You can’t replace an iPod battery yourself, but you can pay Apple $49 to $69 to do it for you. Or you can go with a third-party iPod servicer for much less, but the quality of the job won’t be guaranteed.
How’s the Screen?
Some iPod models are prone to cracking or scratching, and at a certain point, the screen becomes unusable due to spreading hairline cracks or excessive scuffs. The first generation iPod Nano, in particular, has issues with its screen getting scratched beyond clarity. Ask specifically about the existence of any cracks or scratches before buying a used iPod.
How Much Will a New iPod Cost Me?'
When getting a used iPod, factor in that you (1) may not be getting a warranty (2) may need to replace the battery or hard drive (if it’s an iPod Classic) and (3) are getting an iPod with lesser capacity and fewer features than the latest model. With some, these features are negligible, such as with the third generation iPod Touch, which can be easily upgraded to iOS 4, but the first generation iPod Touch, on the other hand, can’t be upgraded beyond iPhone OS. At any rate, weigh out the pros and cons of buying a used iPod before ruling out getting a brand new one.