So I bought two broken iPad and tried to fix them – Part 1
I was browsing through Yahoo Auction and accidentally saw someone sold their broken iPad for starting price for 2,000 yen bid. And so, I was like hey that is a pretty great deal!
So what does a “Junk” item means? It basically means the tablet has some defective in it that you can’t actually use it as a daily driver. You have to either fix it beforehand or people buy it as a spare part item. A quick look at the title of the auction, we can know that it is a junk item.
Now it is a big risk to buy this kind of stuff because even though they write everything regarding what they know on the item listed, but sometimes they might not list what is going on behind like maybe they dropped it into the water before? Maybe it went to hell and come back alive. We will never know.
Let’s take a look at the condition of the tablet, shall we?
The spec of the tablet 1
So from the detail of the listing, we can understand that it is a 64GB Softbank carrier contract iPad. One thing to take note of when you purchase used iPad over in Japan is that, when you wanted to buy a contract carrier stuff, sometimes people sell the item off without paying all the leftover instalment plan on the digital devices. Of course, that is an arse move but in return, what the carrier can do to protect themselves is actually deactivate the item so you can’t actually use it to connect to carrier anymore.
Generally, there are three different type of condition of the tablet if you are interested to purchase an LTE model tablet.
- 〇 means there is no restriction on the tablet. You can purchase it and sign a contract under the carrier that the tablet original from and continue to use the LTE function. Generally, this is the tablet you need to look for if you wish to use the LTE function over in Japan.
- △ means there is no restriction on the tablet at the moment. The original owner is still paying for the instalment plan. There is, however, a risk over here is that the original owner might decide to not pay for it one day and you can’t do anything about it because you don’t know the owner at all. Unless if you personally know him you can just call him and start questioning I guess.
- × means you can’t use the tablet over ANY LTE network. The reason is that the original owner didn’t pay for the instalment plan and the carrier has to deactivate it to protect themselves. This is the shadiest tablet since this kind of tablet might be a stolen tablet and you will never know the origin of the tablet. However, the tablet will work well on WiFi network and the tablet itself is not locked via Apple ID or whatsoever. So if you wanted to buy a cheap tablet just to use on a WiFi network you can buy this kind. However, I do not suggest you go for this as this is really shady AF IMHO.
You can check the condition of the tablet on the respective carrier website
The seller will usually list down the IMEI number so you can check the condition of the tablet itself. If they don’t list it down, ask for it. And check yourself. And if the item reaches your home and the IMEI doesn’t match, you better start hunting down the seller.
The physical condition of tablet 1
My first thought was that, man that is some pretty fucked up cracked screen! But with starting price for 2,000 yen that was not bad! Let’s move on to the other parts of the physical side of the tablet.
The back of the tablet looks fine and no major scratches or whatsoever. However, there is some dent and scratched at the edge of the tablet as shown in the next photo.
So I believed that the tablet must have been dropped on the floor on the edge and hence the current condition of the tablet itself. But overall on the physical condition of the tablet itself, there is nothing much to be said. It is hard to judge and so we need to take a look at the description of the listing to check what is going on with the tablet.
The “Real” Condition of the tablet 1
Now the burning question is how bad is the tablet is? From the description above, we can understand that.
- The front panel glass is cracked.
- The retina display is destroyed
- You can’t check if the iPad’s activation lock is being enabled
Let’s break it down one by one. First of all, we need to see if the tablet is actually worth the purchase and if we can actually fix the item.
The front panel and the display can be fixed if we can source another tablet with the same spec. That is not a real major problem. The major concern of this tablet is that it is a risk, if you actually managed to fix the tablet, turned it on only to be greeted with an activation lock screen, OR there are some other physical damages to the inner part of the tablet itself. Now that we understand the risk itself, we need to know how much does it worth.
The price tag of tablet 1
Now from kakaku.net we can see that generall second-hand price tag for a 64GB, WiFi + LTE iPad air 2 cost around 30,000 yen. If we can manage to get this tablet under 5,000 yen and find another replacement screen for another 10,000 yen. I would say we can get a good deal! So I have set my budget for this auction to around 4,500 yen + another 500 yen for shipping.
The final price of the bidding was 3,564 yen including 8% tax. That is a pretty good deal. I mean with additional shipping fees of 950 yen, the total price tag of the item itself is around 4,514 yen! That is a pretty good deal IMHO. Well, excluding the risk that I might have just purchased an activation locked tablet. Finger crossed.
Hunting for tablet 2
Now we need to hunt for a second tablet which is
- Under 10,000 yen budget.
- Working screen.
We are not going to use any of the motherboard components at the moment since we will just be using the screen itself. The ideal tablet that we need to hunt down is basically a tablet with a working screen that is all we need.
I looked through the yahoo auction listing and I found out two different tablets that caught my eye.
The first iPad is actually an iPad with activation lock on. That is shady af but no worries I just wanted it as long as the tablet screen works fine.
From the image shown on the listing, it looks promising. There are no scratches on the screen so I decided to keep watch on it while taking a detailed look on the other listing.
The screen itself doesn’t have a major issue my concern is regarding the cracked on the side panel of the tablet itself. As you can see from the images, the adhesive is not working well and they separated from each other. From the description, he/she didn’t explain much on that. For me, that is kind of risky to buy it since I there might be additional damage on the tablet. Like maybe the WiFi antenna or whatnot. So I decided to go for the first listing.
The price for the second tablet
And so the final price of the tablet I bidded was 11,700 yen. A bit more than what I expected but someone was trying hard to get this too so I was thinking why not add a bit more since my previous purchase was cheaper than what I expected too. With additional shipping of 950 yen to the total price for this was 12,650 yen.
So the first tablet I purchased was 4,514 yen and the second item was 12,650 yen. The total price I paid for two junk iPad is around 17,164 yen. That is definitely cheaper than a fully working second-hand iPad air 2. HOWEVER, that is if there is no hiccup or additional cost of the item. I will continue this series when both of the items reach my home.