The Next iPad’s Nearly Here: Are You Dumping Your iPad 2?

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Carlos Barria / Reuters

Apple’s next-gen iPad is all but confirmed for a grand unveiling next week, so what are people doing? Selling, selling, selling, according to buyback merchants who say they’ve seen a spike in customers trying to offload their used gear before market prices plummet.

Merchants like eBay, for instance, who say (via CNET) they’ve seen over 125,000 tablet trade-ins so far in February, of which nearly 98% were Apple iPads — eBay adds that the number of trade-ins represents a “tenfold” increase over the same period last year. Or take a company like NextWorth, an electronics buyback outfit that told USA Today customers logging on to sell leapt 300% following Apple’s Tuesday announcement it would hold one of its storied media shindigs in San Francisco on March 7. And a spokesperson for NextWorth competitor Gazelle reports the same — that customer sellbacks surged Tuesday (up 500%), noting used sales were already rising last week, but that it’s “just taken off like crazy today.”

(MORE: Yup, It’s Official: Apple iPad Event on March 7)

We noted Best Buy’s $50 iPad 2 price drop this weekend, which naturally fueled speculation that the next iPad’s arrival was imminent. And earlier this week the rumor mill swung into full gear with another round of “scoops” about the next iPad’s form and function.

I’m apparently going about this all wrong. When a new Apple laptop arrives, I usually wait until I’ve bought whatever I’m after before putting the old system up for grabs in the local classifieds or on an auction site. Am I the only one who’d rather have use of the machine in the interim instead of dumping it early (for a few dollars more) and betting whatever’s next is something I’ll want, can afford and — just to cover my bases here — actually arriving in the timeframe I need it?

According to NPD’s Steve Baker, probably not. He tells USA Today: “Most users (won’t) dump a product that works fine for them. Sales will jump, but that’s because there’s a broadening of the base of consumers who are interested in (tablets).”

What say you, iPad and/or iPad 2 owners?

MORE: Apple iPad Now Under Fire in U.S.