Trading in my old Apple Watch for a new one with Apple: My experience

Just sharing a hardware-adjacent experience for others.

I recently swapped from my Series 4 to a Series 6 Apple Watch, mostly thanks to jealousy and the evil participants of this thread.

In doing so, I opted to trade in my old watch for a possible $170. Usually I’d sell my old tech via classifieds (in Canada, Kijiji is popular). If current ads are any indication, it looks like they’re going for around $300. However, this is always a hassle (dozens of people messaging with scams or off-the-wall offers) and even successful sales are an awkward experience (last time I met a teenager in a Tim Horton’s while his mom—I assume, anyway—watched from her vehicle outside).

Also, the plague’s going around.

Also also, the watch has a few tiny scratches, which probably meant knocking off $50 from the asking price. (And I really didn’t want to haggle.)

So, I figured I’d try out this trade-in thing. $170 seems like a not-bad price considering I’d have to go through the trouble of used sales for ~$80 more.

Here’s how it worked: I bought the Watch full price, but Apple promised a possible $170 refunded back to my payment method. This total was based on the results of three questions: which model was it; does the Watch turn on; and are there any major scratches or dents?

I got the new Watch in-store (pay and pick up). A couple of days later, I received a box in the mail. Putting the old device in and shipping it back is as simple as you’d imagine. (Apple’s instructions are available online here, if you’re curious.) The box comes with a little folding cardboard piece with plastic. Unfolding the cardboard releases the tension in the plastic, allowing you to slip the device in and have it stay in the middle of the box. It seems super secure, and took all of 30 seconds. Then, you give the box to UPS (or FedEx).

That’s the stage I’m at now—shipping off the box. I’ll report back on if the couple of tiny scratches lead to a lower refund than the promised total.

However, there was an unexpected bonus with this option: Apple doesn’t want the watch band ($60 new) or the charger ($40 new)! Usually these would go with whoever buys my second-hand device, but now I get to have two bands (glad I ordered a different colour this time) and two chargers. So, if you squint a lot, the trade in is (potentially) worth $270. A great deal!


Cool bro! Thanks for sharing the experience with us!

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I did the same, though I had to have the watch delivered, since my local Apple Store is still closed. They got my trade in and are still evaluating it. (I suspect they’re a bit backlogged, because they’ve had it a few days.)

The initial quote was for $140 for a watch in great condition. (Not sure if the difference in quoted value is due to a difference in watch sizes or the difference between US and Canadian dollars.)

I traded in a MacBook Pro this way about a year ago. That process was really smooth, too.

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What are your feelings on the new watch compared specifically to your S4.

Functionally, not a huge difference in experience for me. Always on display is nice, and interacting with it is a little snappier. No major reason to upgrade though.

For me, this upgrade was more economically driven. It cost ~$300 to upgrade this year thanks to trade-in/resale values, and I expected that to be more like $450 next year. If this trend is approximately right over the long term, both a two-year and a three-year upgrade cycle cost the same ($1800) over 12 years. But in the two-year cycle I have the latest watch (and better battery life) more often.

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Thanks for the reply on this. I am on the fence with the same devices as you. My problem is that the watch I always get (stainless) is closer to $750, so it ends up being the best part of $600 out of pocket in order to get the changes from the S6 watch.

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Yep I did the same with my series 1 and retaining the band and the charger greatly surpass the 25€ refund they said it may be worth (I’ve shipped mine too, and am waiting for the final valuation).

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Following up on this. The trade-in was processed on October 14, about three weeks after the order was placed. I was paid out the full $170, so it seems that the couple of small nicks was no big deal.

All in all, a pretty good experience!