To get a deal on an Apple iPad as of 2015, purchase a last-generation model, buy an iPad mini, buy a used one online or order a refurbished unit from the Apple website. Buying a refurbished or used last-generation iPad mini is an excellent way to save the most money.
Some people prefer the iPad mini over the larger iPad Air, as its small size makes it more portable and easier to use. If you do require the full 9.7-inch size, it may be worth it to sacrifice the latest to-the-date features to save some money. Compare the features of current iPad models with last generation's, and decide if an older model meets your requirements.
Apple sells refurbished iPads, which means that they cannot be sold as new. There are many different reasons why an item may be refurbished. It may have had the packaging damaged, it may have been opened or returned, or it could have been damaged and fixed. Refurbished iPads do include the standard 1-year warranty, so you can return it if it doesn't meet your expectations.
Buying a used iPad can be risky, so only buy from legitimate websites that offer recourse guarantees. Avoid penny auction websites and other shady websites that sell or give away iPads for prices that seem too good to be true. If you decide to buy a used iPad from an owner, be very cautious, meet in a crowded public place and make sure that you are confident that it works before you buy it.