The Apple Watch is iconic. Not only is the best-known smartwatch, but it also boasts the latest technology. But do you have to buy it fresh out the box, or can you get away with a used, renewed, or refurbished Apple Watch? Now that the Apple Watch 7 is unveiled, we expect the initial price to be quite high for most people. At the same time, older model prices might be reduced so you may be able to find an Apple Watch 6 for a lower price.
In terms of technology and benefits, for example, it is the only smartwatch that can detect an irregular heartbeat. Also, it is one of the few watches that can automatically detect physical activity (whether you’re running a marathon or running for the bus).
Now that the Apple Watch 7 is out, you’ll very likely find that the prices of older models will drop significantly. Keep your eyes peeled in the places we suggest later in this article.
Table of Contents
- So how much is an Apple Watch?
- Why buy a used/refurbished Apple Watch?
- Things to be aware of when buying a used Apple Watch
- Best places to find cheap Apple watches
- The best place to buy a used Apple Watch
Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck. Many individuals desire a brand new Apple Watch but are unable to do so due to financial constraints. The good news is that you don’t have to buy a new Apple Watch since plenty of places sell reconditioned Apple Watches at a discount.
Every year, Apple releases a new watch, and the first thing most people think about is the price. While there are sometimes more reasonable versions, it is still out of reach for everyone. For individuals who want an Apple Watch but don’t want to pay the full retail price, there are a few possibilities.
So how much is an Apple Watch?
All these features come at a cost. A brand new Apple Watch Series 7 costs around $350, so many people feel priced out of the market. A used Apple Watch costs anywhere from $175 for the Series 3 (Amazon Renewed), and up to around $460 for the Series 6, fully-featured, 44mm Cellular model.
Apple introduced the Apple Watch SE last year for this reason and we highly recommend it for those who won’t compromise on brand but have to be careful of their budget. It’s like an upgrade on the Series 3.
Thankfully, pre-owned Apple watches are a lot kinder on the wallet. Furthermore, in many cases, they function just as good as new. However, you must do your research and purchase wisely.
Below, we’ll show you how to buy a cheap/second-hand Apple watch.
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant on this Apple Watch SE Genius Choice Deal Page or see the table below for some alternative options.
Why buy a used/refurbished Apple Watch?
There are many reasons why people opt for used Apple watches instead of brand new ones. For example:
Pre-owned smartwatches are, on average, 40% cheaper than new versions. So, you’ll have extra cash to spend on accessories, App subscriptions, and/or monthly LTE network costs.
|Apple Watch SE 2
|Apple Watch SE
|Apple Watch SE 2
|Apple Watch SE
When Apple launches a new product, a lot of hype ensues. Consumers are usually given the chance to register their interest and pre-order the product. Whilst this is exciting, it can mean waiting weeks for your watch to arrive. However, if you focus your attention on pre-owned Apple watches instead, you won’t need to wait around for your product to arrive. Sometimes, it’s good not to be drawn into the hype!
No big investment, so no regrets
If, after a couple of months, you decide you don’t like your Apple Watch, it won’t be the end of the world. As mentioned, used or refurbished Apple watches cost significantly less than new versions, so buying one is not such a huge commitment.
Things to be aware of when buying a used Apple Watch
Although there are many benefits to buying a pre-owned smartwatch, the process is not always straightforward. Unfortunately, it’s quite common for stolen Apple watches to be sold online. Also, counterfeit Apple goods are rife both online and offline.
- Ensure the Activation Lock has been turned off by the seller. If the Activation Lock is still intact, you will not be able to pair your smartphone with the watch and it will be essentially useless. Ask the seller, and if they are not sure, ask them to turn the watch on. If the watch allows you to pair it with a new device, it is good to go. But, if it insists you enter iCloud credentials, this means the previous user still has the Activation Lock intact.
- If you buy a used Apple Watch, keep in mind that the seller must login into iCloud and delete the watch from his or her list of Apple items.
- Unless the watch has been ‘refurbished’, it will probably not come with a warranty. If you are risk-averse, choose a refurbished watch (with warranty) rather than a pre-owned watch.
- When buying online, try and choose a seller who will allow returns (in case the watch is faulty).
- Some used watches will not come with a charging cable, so you may need to buy this separately.
- If you are buying an old watch that has been well-used (for example, 3-4 years old and/or used as a swimming watch), it may lose battery very quickly. Check out our tips for keeping your Apple Watch battery life healthy.
There will be a variety of used Apple Watches to fit every budget. Remember when purchasing a reconditioned Apple Watch that they will fall into likely a category:
Products offered by authorised sellers in brand new condition are in the same faultless condition as when they left the factory floor and are guaranteed by Apple’s original limited warranty.
So if they’re not authorised, and you purchase a “brand new” Apple Watch, even if it’s never been physically used—it’ll automatically fall into the Mint category since the manufacturer’s original guarantee might no longer be valid.
Ex-stock or ex-display
Ex-stock or ex-display refers to things that have been opened and returned, have a visual flaw or defect or have been used as store demo units. These items have been thoroughly tested to meet the manufacturer’s specifications and are guaranteed to work properly. Many Ex-stock or ex-display goods come with a limited manufacturer’s warranty and are sent directly from a Reverb-selling brand or distributor.
Something must be just short of brand new to be considered mint. In most situations, mint products should come with their original packing. If the item has any flaws, it should be described in Excellent condition at the very least.
Excellent means it’s been used, but shows little to no signs of wear. Excellent products. So the case and strap should be virtually totally devoid of scuffs or other cosmetic flaws. In every regard, all Excellent products should be fully working.
Very Good identifies objects that have more visual flaws than Excellent but are still in good overall condition. A Very Good used Apple Watch, for example, may have some scratches, buckle rash, or other small flaws, but nothing that inhibits the function of the watch.
Items in good condition are those that are in good operating order but have minor cosmetic flaws. A scratched screen may all be classed as Good. All of these things are functional, but they have enough cosmetic flaws to place them in the centre of the scale.
This is when the different nicks and imperfections begin to affect the item’s functionality. The things are mainly functioning, however they may have a few small flaws.
Items in poor condition have obvious functioning issues that will almost always need some type of repair. Maybe it’s a detrimental scratch or crack in the screen which will therefore need to be replaced. The cost of a Poor used Apple Watch plus repairs could still be cheaper than a Brand New one.
This is for used Apple Watches that are not working. It may be a totally damaged screen, a poor battery life, won’t turn on, won’t charge, etc. Something that means the watch, in its current state, does not work. Now, you may wonder why you’d bother with a non-functional used Apple Watch? Well, there are lots of very talented people out there who are able to take these used versions and take parts from them as spares or repairs and build a new one! Though, this won’t come with any kind of manufacturer warranty.
Want to play the waiting game?
It’s common for smartwatches to go down in price when the new instalment is released, but this often leaves you waiting for an anticipated launch if you want a newer smartwatch. For example, many waited for the Apple Watch 7 to be released so they could get the Apple Watch 6 cheaper.
It’s common for many to wait instead of buying an even older model as this means they can get a smartwatch with modern features, rather than buying a very old model like the Apple Watch Series 3. The only issue with waiting for a new release is that companies can be vague about the date of watch launches and buying a semi-recent model can still be expensive.
Realistically, the best time to buy a used Apple Watch is in the lead up to, and just after a new version is released. Die-hard Apple Watch fans will want to upgrade to the latest version, meaning they would likely sell the predecessor to make up the funds for the new one.
We’ve started to see rumors starting about this year’s anticipated Apple Watch 8, so you can bet Apple Watch 7s will start appearing on sites like eBay, Craigslist and similar.
Similarly, we’re betting that an Apple Watch SE 2 is on the cards for 2022, so keep an eye on the price of used original SE models, but also the Apple Watch 3; a comparable variant. It’s likely people will swap out their older versions for the more affordable, but newer, SE 2.
Should you buy the Apple Watch Series 3?
If you would rather save more money and buy one of the oldest smartwatches available, the Apple Watch Series 3 is the one for you. Some smartwatch enthusiasts state that you shouldn’t buy this watch though, as the model is now outdated and can be frustrating to use. Though this is a low-priced Apple watch, some reviews suggest that it’s not worth the higher cost and you should either save up for a newer Apple watch or try a different brand instead.
Regardless, the Apple Watch Series 3 does have a lot of redeeming qualities and it is retailing for a low price. Just make sure you’re buying a legitimate model to ensure it will run as well as possible.
Should I consider incident detection?
Falls are major health and social issue, especially among the elderly. As a result, fall detection devices that can identify when someone falls are now available. To determine whether someone falls, an approach that comprises a simple threshold technique and a hidden Markov model (HMM) that employs 3-axis acceleration has been proposed.
A wearable fall-detection gadget was created to apply the suggested fall-detection algorithm to determine if someone had fallen. Several three-axis acceleration fall-feature parameters are provided and utilised in a simple threshold approach. To identify probable falls, there is a simple threshold that may be employed.
This threshold is used in conjunction with two types of HMM to distinguish between a fall and a daily activity (ADL). The outcomes of the simple threshold, the HMM, and the combination of the simple approach and the HMM were contrasted and examined.
The new algorithm was more accurate than the simple threshold approach, and it combined the basic threshold method with the HMM to make the hardware easier to use.
Which Apple Watches can detect falls?
We’re putting up a list of smartwatches that can detect falls right now. It should assist you in making the best, most informed decision you can.
Apple Watches were among the first smart wristwatches that integrate fall detection. They use a high-level algorithm and a range of sensors to accurately detect the fall.
When it comes to Apple models, this feature isn’t available in all of them, and it’s only available in the most recent models. The devices in concern include the Apple Watch Series 4 – 7 and SE.
How to Set Up Apple Watch Fall Detection
When fall detection is activated on your Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 4 or later, it may connect you to emergency services and send a message to your emergency contacts. If your Apple Watch detects a significant fall and you have been still for about a minute, it will tap your wrist, sound an alert, and attempt to call emergency services.
If the birthdate you enter when setting up your Apple Watch (or adding it to the Health app on your iPhone) reveals that you are 55 or older, fall detection is turned on automatically. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 55, you may turn on fall detection manually by following these steps:
Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
Go to SOS > Fall Detection to enable Fall Detection.
You may also activate Fall Detection by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, selecting My Watch, pressing Emergency SOS, and then switching on Fall Detection.
Even if a significant impact fall is detected, Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 4 and later will not try to notify emergency services if wrist detection is disabled.
Choose “Always on” if you want fall detection to be active all of the time, or “Just on during workouts” if you just want it to be active while you’re exercising.
If you’re between the ages of 18 and 55 and setting up a new Apple Watch with watchOS 8.1, fall detection during workouts is turned on automatically. You’ll need to enable the feature to detect heavy falls only during workouts if you’re updating from an older version of watchOS.
Best places to find cheap Apple watches
There are at least 5 different places you can find Apple watches for a reduced price. Even when pre-owned, Apple watches are still going to cost a fair amount. However, if you look around, you can find a bargain. Secondhand Apple watches range from $100-$450 (£80-£350+ UK) depending on the model and quality of the product.
1. Certified refurbished from the Apple Store
If you have a healthy budget but you can’t quite stretch to a brand-new watch, consider a ‘certified refurbished Apple Watch from the Apple store.
Because these watches are refurbished by an Apple-qualified professional, and they look almost as good as new. You certainly don’t get much of a saving. However, you will save a bit. This is a great choice for the risk-averse person because you’ll also receive:
- 14-day returns
- One year limited warranty
- Option to purchase AppleCare
- Charging cable included
Pros – Apple-certified, reliable and trustworthy.
Cons – Expensive – you won’t save much compared to new.
2. Amazon renewed
In addition, Amazon renewed have their own version of the refurbishment program which is almost as good as Apple’s. Although the person refurbing the watch is not an Apple employee, they are qualified to perform a full diagnostic test on the product, and Amazon regularly reviews their quality of service.
During the refurb process, the seller will replace any defective parts and thoroughly clean the watch. Importantly, they also guarantee that the battery is at least 80% as powerful as the battery you’d find in a brand new Apple Watch. This is certainly a big plus!
If you buy an Apple watch through an Amazon renewed supplier, you will also be eligible for a replacement or refund within the first year if your product is faulty. You can also get troubleshooting support if there are any niggles with your product.
Pros – One-year warranty and follow-up support.
Cons – There aren’t many Apple watches sold through Amazon renewed suppliers, so you may have to wait for one to become available.
3. Refurbished Apple watches from other websites
As well as Apple and Amazon, several other companies offer refurbished Apple watches. For example, in the UK, there are stores like Music Magpie. These tend to be a bit more affordable, but do check what is included in the purchase price. I’d only purchase a refurbished watch if it offered some sort of warranty.
The darker colored Apple watches tend to be the cheapest. If you’d like a brighter colored/limited edition watch, but you don’t want to pay the price, buy one of the darker models and invest in an Apple Watch strap, instead.
Pros – Cheap, refurbished Apple watches.
Cons – Warranty may only last for a couple of months (if at all).
4. Apple watches on eBay
On eBay, you can buy second-hand Apple watches for approx. 40% cheaper than the normal price. In most cases, you’ll be buying the watch directly from the person who has previously used it. The condition will vary so make sure you check out the photos closely. The seller should give an honest depiction of the quality.
There are a few benefits to this. Firstly, the seller can give you a detailed description of the watch and its functions. Secondly, the seller can remove the Activation Lock (and you’ll know who to contact in case this lock hasn’t been removed after purchase).
However, you may also come across some stolen/counterfeit/faulty goods on eBay. If your seller cannot answer your questions about the watch (and gives very generic answers), this is definitely a red flag.
Also, if the seller states ‘no returns’, it will be impossible to get a refund, even if the watch is faulty. When shopping on eBay, I always choose sellers who allow refunds (even if I have to cover the cost of the return shipping). A
Sellers who allow refunds are more likely to be genuine because they’re confident in the product they are selling. Otherwise, it appears as though they want to take your money and disappear into the sunset. For this reason, we trust the quality control from Amazon slightly more than eBay, even though eBay is slowly getting there.
Pros – Lots of availability (series 1-6); Apple watches for all budgets.
Cons – It can be hard to get your money back if something goes wrong.
5. Used Apple Watches on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook has a bit of a reputation for selling stolen goods. Whilst it’s not difficult to find dodgy listings on FB, there are also plenty of genuine sellers on there. This means it can be a great place to find an Apple Watch bargain. As long as you keep your wits about you.
According to Which, the most important thing to do when buying on Facebook is to check the seller’s profile. Do they have some photos on there? Are any of their photos tagged? Do they have some local friends (not just fake friends or global friends)? If so, this suggests they are genuine.
Facebook marketplace does not have a payment feature, so you’ll need to arrange payment outside of Facebook. It can be good to arrange a face-to-face sale because then you’ll get a chance to look, feel, and test the watch before purchase. However, always meet in a public place and/or take someone with you.
Pros – In contrast to eBay, you can see personal information about the seller (I.e. their FB profile). This can help you gauge whether they are genuine or not.
Cons – It’s not advisable to exchange money online so you should complete the sale in person. This could be difficult to arrange if you live in a rural area, or if no one local is selling an Apple watch.
6. Buy one from someone you trust who is getting an upgrade
Do you have a friend or family member who is keen to always get their hands on the latest Apple Watch? If so, it could be a win-win situation if you purchase their older model from them. Doing this means you’re getting a watch from someone you trust, so there will be no nasty surprises. Plus, they get a chunk of money toward their new Apple Watch at the same time as getting rid of their old one.
Pros – No one will dupe you into buying fake or stolen goods.
Cons – You should agree a reasonable price, pay on time and equally the seller should be honest about the condition of the watch, just like on any site you might use.
7. Wait for an Apple Watch Sale
Perhaps when the 7 comes out you might be able to get cheaper Apple watch 6/SE versions. But this is not something you should count on. Some local stores might have a sale going on for the iWatch occasionally, depending on their stock levels. You could try some store coupons, wait for Black Friday deals (next year…) or other occasional sales but from our experience, Apple pricing is very consistent and not really sales oriented.
The best place to buy a used Apple Watch
Personally, our preferred place to buy used smartwatches is Amazon (via the renewed program). We find Amazon quite reliable and customer service is superb.
Finally, if you don’t feel comfortable buying a used watch, why not consider a cheaper brand instead? There are plenty of reasonably priced smartwatches to choose from.
What if I still can’t afford an Apple Watch?
You’re in luck! The smartwatch market is abundant with choices for all budgets. If you like the Apple Watch, but can’t afford a new or used one, we recommend you check out the Amazfit GTS 2. This is a powerful budget fitness tracker with smart features that looks the part as much as it performs.
Looking for a smartwatch that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Here are some great alternatives to the Apple Watch that cost under $200.
The Fitbit Luxe is a popular smartwatch from Fitbit. This sleek fitness tracker retails for approximately $150 and offers the same stylish look as an apple watch, but with a more streamlined band design. If you want an Apple Watch for the advanced health features, a Fitbit Luxe makes a good alternative as it also has premium fitness tracking tools.
UMIDIGI Uwatch 2S Smart Watch
Another great alternative is the Uwatch 2S Smart Watch. This affordable smartwatch option gives users fitness trackers, sleep monitors, and over 100 watch faces for only $29.30. If you want to save money and opt for a low-cost option, this is an ideal watch to choose from. Before you doubt the low price, this watch has lots of happy reviews on Amazon to back it up too! The only drawback of this watch is its circular watch face that differs from the standard rectangular Apple Watch shape.
Donnerton Smart Watch
The Donnerton Smart Watch offers an affordable dupe of the Apple Watch. With a similar band design and rectangle screen, this watch looks like an Apple Watch but comes without the hefty price tag. This watch boasts similar features too, including a color touch screen, message notifications, 8 sports modes, sedentary alerts, and more.
Last Updated on December 11, 2022
Emma brings over a decade of freelance copy and content writing experience and is our Editor, Social Media Manager, and regular contributor. Specializing in long-form content such as blogs, articles, lead magnets, and white papers, Emma also provides businesses with email marketing, website copy, and landing pages.