If you’re looking to upgrade to a new Apple Watch Series, switch between aluminum, stainless steel, or edition, or simply aren’t using your Watch anymore and want to find it a new home, sell it can help you earn back some cash. While there aren’t as many places to sell your old Apple Watch as there is your old iPhone, there are still a few worth checking out.
First things first: should you sell your Apple Watch?
If you’ve ever sold your iPhone when preparing for the imminent arrival of a new model, you might think this is a no-brainer. But there are some things you should think about when considering selling your Apple Watch.
Values of used Apple Watches have fallen in recent months, so it’s likely you won’t get as much as you might hope for when you go to sell yours. There’s also the fact that watchOS 3 gave many older Apple Watches a new lease on life, offering a speedier, more user-friendly experience for every model of watch. watchOS 4 is shaping up the same way.
If you’re thinking of selling your current watch in order to pick up a Series 3, you should really ask yourself how much you’ll get out of the new watch. If you swim with your Apple Watch, or need that GPS, then by all means, get a new watch. Same goes for if you think you’ll really get something out of the cellular connection. But if you don’t, if your current Apple Watch serves your needs just fine, consider holding on to it for another Apple Watch cycle.
And hey, if you want a fresh look, maybe look at a new watch band. Apple releases new bands throughout the year, so there’s usually something cool and different to check out.
If you do decide to sell your watch, here’s how you’ can do it.
When should you sell?
Normally I advise people to sell just before a new version gets released. That way the market isn’t flooded and prices haven’t gone down.
The original Apple Watch debuted in the spring, while the second and third revisions both debuted in September of 2016 and 2017, respectively. While Apple could change things up somewhere down the line, it seems like late August through early September might be your best window.
Also, since Watches aren’t the necessity phones are, if you misjudge and sell a little early, the worst that can happpend is you have to wait a few weeks for a new one.
How to prepare your Apple Watch for sale
You might be tempted to simply toss your Apple Watch at someone, count your cash, and walk away. But if you take a few minutes to prep, not only will your Apple Watch be safer to part with, you might just end up with even more cash to count.
How should you sell your Apple Watch?
Apple Watch is a new product so the market for selling them isn’t as mature as it is for phones. That means there are fewer options and most of them require more work on your part. Of course, that also means the potential for more money.
Swappa is a way to get more money for your old Apple Watch than traditional services provide, but in a way that’s simpler and easier than selling directly. You do have to have reasonable expectations and some patience.
eBay can net you more money for your old Apple Watch but requires you to do a lot of the work and take some of the risk. If you’re comfortable handling your own sales, and have the time to invest, you can get a better return than trade-in services. Just make sure to:
- Only ship to the buyer’s confirmed Paypal address if using Paypal.
- Price competitively, especially if you’re using Buy It Now as an option.
- Take great photos but show any defects so everyone knows what they’re getting.
- Take at least one photo showing your Apple Watch when ON, so everyone can see it works.
- Use a fast shipping service and make sure you include that in your item description.
- Use keywords in your title and in your item description to attract more potential buyers.
- You may also want to consider insuring your item in case anything goes wrong during shipping.
- Watch out for low-feedback buyers and also keep in mind that Paypal charges processing fees as well.
Craigslist is the old classified ads in new digital form, and all the wonder and dread that entails. The advantage of Craigslist is that you can sell locally, face-to-face. That greatly speeds up transactions and reduces overhead like shipping. Just make sure to:
- Never put your personal or home address in an ad. NEVER.
- Price your Apple Watch competitively. Find existing ads on Craigslist in your area for Apple Watch that are the same model and condition as yours and price accordingly.
- If you’re comfortable, include a number to call or text. It can increase the likelihood of a quick sale. (If you have a virtual number, use it.)
- Meet in a public place, preferably in the daytime. A coffee shop like Starbucks is ideal. Bring a friend with you, just in case.
- Watch out for email scams. If someone offers a lot more money to encourage you to ship them your Apple Watch, they’re just trying to rip you off.
What about selling to a family member or friend?
Selling to family and friends isn’t quite the same as selling to strangers… but it should be. If you don’t just want to give it to them free and clear, you probably want to offer them the best deal possible. Happy relationships are good relationships. Also, make sure the Apple Watch is in the best condition possible, and everyone is being treated fairly. If anything goes wrong, everyone is going to hear about it. For a long time.
Selling your Apple Watch and still have questions?
We’re not going anywhere! If you have additional questions about selling your old Apple, leave them in the comments below. Also check out our Apple Watch forums where you can get lots of great advice from people who’ve been buying and selling Apple Watches for a while now.
And, when you’ve sold, be sure to tell us what you did and how it worked out!
Updated January 2018: Added a section talking about whether or not you should sell your Apple Watch at all. Updated language in “When to sell” section to make it current.