Am I crazy or is it hard to sell Apple Watch these days?

Ghost31

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Jun 9, 2015
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I had the stainless steel and I knew I would get crap resale value but I figured at the very least I’d be able to find a buyer for something reasonable like maybe $350? It’s a series 4 stainless steel 44mm. Just a year ago I paid almost $800 flipping dollars and I’m practically begging for 3.

I threw it up on offer up and getting all these low balling offers like $200, $230 , etc. am I selling my watch for too high or am I just having really crappy luck in my area?
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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I would guess that, at least in part, the lower priced S3 AW might be responsible for the lower resale values.
 
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akash.nu

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May 26, 2016
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This is why I didn’t buy anything more than the base model. In the resale market people don’t seem to care much about higher tear models. They’re getting used item because they don’t want to pay much. The SS model does not bring in any better resale value just because the original owner had paid a lot more for that.

Also when I realised the resale value of the watch is nowhere close to an iPhone / iPad I figured I’ll just keep mine until it falls apart. It’s not worth going through the hassle of selling something perfectly functional for peanuts just to upgrade to the latest model. Especially when all the features are supported in S4 and the speed is fine as well.
 

bobsamm

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It’s great if you are buying, got my 5 week old S5 cellular for $250AUD below retail with a $95 case included. Last week.
 

the future

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A few points. First of all, you didn't pay "almost 800 $" as the SS 44 Watch with a sport band or loop costs 749 $. Also, the model you have (the Series 4) is now 1 1/2 years old, even if you may have bought it half a year later. From my observations on ebay the rule of thumb for Apple Watches is 50% after one year (i.e. at the time the new model is released in the fall). So I would guess if you auctioned it off on ebay today and it is in good condition, you should be able to get at least 300 $; probably a bit more depending on the condition of the Watch and your ebay status.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I had the stainless steel and I knew I would get crap resale value but I figured at the very least I’d be able to find a buyer for something reasonable like maybe $350? It’s a series 4 stainless steel 44mm. Just a year ago I paid almost $800 flipping dollars and I’m practically begging for 3.

I threw it up on offer up and getting all these low balling offers like $200, $230 , etc. am I selling my watch for too high or am I just having really crappy luck in my area?
You’re likely never going to have someone willing to pay you what you want for the Apple Watch, especially if it’s ‘local purchasing’, say off like Facebook marketplace (Where you will be haggled). Your best scenario would probably be off eBay, but the issue you’re facing, all the Apple Watch models perform the same functionality, you would need somebody that would specifically want the stainless Apple Watch model or even care about the stainless for that matter.

Pro tip:

What I would do, is set the Apple Watch at maybe a price point that seems a little high, but you Have to accept a number mentally that you’re willing to take if somebody haggles you, that way they think they have the advantage over you, to ‘close out the sale’.
 

MisterSavage

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Nov 10, 2018
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This is why I didn’t buy anything more than the base model. In the resale market people don’t seem to care much about higher tear models.
Same. I know with an Apple Watch I'll be too tempted to upgrade by new models.
 

960design

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Apr 17, 2012
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I had the stainless steel and I knew I would get crap resale value but I figured at the very least I’d be able to find a buyer for something reasonable like maybe $350?
A used SS is in very low demand. I would imagine that people who want an SS will purchase new without concern for the price. Why risk the headache of online sales? I get a new aluminum sports AW every other year. Sell the old for $100.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Why spend 350 for a year old watch when you can buy a series 5 for 399 or a series 3 for 199 new (with a new warranty)?

The issue is that there is less demand for higher-end models simply because price conscience buyers can get a better deal with buying new. Yes, its not the same stainless steel model, but its just a piece of electronics with a short life span, i.e., it will only last a few years aways
 

the future

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Why spend 350 for a year old watch when you can buy a series 5 for 399 or a series 3 for 199 new (with a new warranty)?

The issue is that there is less demand for higher-end models simply because price conscience buyers can get a better deal with buying new. Yes, its not the same stainless steel model, but its just a piece of electronics with a short life span, i.e., it will only last a few years aways
You cannot buy a Series 5 44mm for 399, they start at 429; if you want a functionally equivalent Watch (with LTE), you‘re looking at 529.

Also, the „less demand“ argument is just wrong, because there are also fewer used stainless models being offered than aluminum. That‘s why, percentage-wise, the stainless models hold their value just as good (or just as bad, if you want) as the aluminum models – 50% after one year.
 

maflynn

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You cannot buy a Series 5 44mm for 399,
The 40mm is 399

Also, the „less demand“ argument is just wrong
Actually I'm of the opinion that my less demand is just right ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Clearly the price pressure is caused for a reason, people are just not wanting to spend a lot of money on a used apple watch. People looking to buy used equipment are doing so for one reason and one reason alone. To save money, if they can buy a new apple watch for 399 (yes a 40mm) with a new warranty, why should they spend 350 on a used watch that will only last a couple of more years.
 

velocityg4

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Dec 19, 2004
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Looking at sold items. The average price for a Series 4 SS 44mm is in the $250 to $275 range.

Yes, there are exceptions. Those are typically from big eBay sellers. Who may be sitting on it for a few months. They are in near new condition, typically have the original case and accessories, usually have multiple bands or a premium band. Plus sellers with a large sales history can command higher prices. As people see them more as a business than someone just selling some of their old junk. They also have garnered a good reputation.

People typically pay less locally. That also means you aren't paying eBay fees, Paypal fees and shipping. Plus you get cash so they can't return it. The buyers have more risk. If it gets locked afterward they have almost no recourse to get their money back. Same if it dies two weeks later or the battery life is horrible. The offers you've listed are probably about what you can expect.

If you want to make the most money. Be willing to ship world wide. You'll also be taking the biggest risk. As the already weak seller protections on eBay are pretty much non-existent to places like India. Which I think doesn't qualify for any shipping insurance.
 

the future

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The 40mm is 399
The OP was discussing 44mm, though.

Actually I'm of the opinion that my less demand is just right ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But there is also less supply.

Clearly the price pressure is caused for a reason, people are just not wanting to spend a lot of money on a used apple watch. People looking to buy used equipment are doing so for one reason and one reason alone. To save money, if they can buy a new apple watch for 399 (yes a 40mm) with a new warranty, why should they spend 350 on a used watch that will only last a couple of more years.
Look on ebay. S4 44 stainless watches do fetch 300-350. Because a 44 stainless steel with sapphire screen and LTE is a very different proposition from a 40 non-LTE aluminum.
 

sjinsjca

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Oct 30, 2008
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You're not crazy, nor are the folks offering those low-three-figure proposals for your SS Series 4. The Apple Watch is a computer, and a remarkable one, but it's also a fashion accessory. Its value will drop like a stone. It says nothing about the Watch itself, just the market. The market for mid-market watches have the same behavior. An $800 Citizen or Seiko depreciates similarly.

I sympathize. I rocked my SS Series 0 for nearly five years, until its battery started getting weak, for several reasons: (1) It still worked fine, (2) it still looked like-new, (3) it was worth bupkes as a used item, and (4) I felt guilty discarding this high-end model. I still have it, and love it, and wear it when my new S5 is on the charger. But my new S5 is an aluminum model. That'll make it psychologically easier to upgrade in another couple years.

I do wish the sapphire crystal was an option for the aluminum Watches, though. Those things are amazingly tough, but I prefer the light weight of the aluminum model.
 

bp328i

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Oct 27, 2019
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A few points. First of all, you didn't pay "almost 800 $" as the SS 44 Watch with a sport band or loop costs 749 $. Also, the model you have (the Series 4) is now 1 1/2 years old, even if you may have bought it half a year later. From my observations on ebay the rule of thumb for Apple Watches is 50% after one year (i.e. at the time the new model is released in the fall). So I would guess if you auctioned it off on ebay today and it is in good condition, you should be able to get at least 300 $; probably a bit more depending on the condition of the Watch and your ebay status.
Once you add tax it's almost if not more than $800.
 

FenC

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Oct 5, 2016
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The market here in New Zealand is a bit different. We only got LTE last December so we’ve only had Al watches since the S3 launched.

Previous model watches seem to go for decent money IMO - more than I would pay for sure. When I got an S5 Nike GPS I sold my year old S4 Al GPS with a small scuff on the edge of the display for a fair bit more than 50% - more like ⅔. When I bought an SS LTE the day they came available I held off on selling my Nike as there were a few of them on the NZ auction site that has market dominance here, and I figured nobody would pay good money for a used version of something they can buy new as a Christmas gift. A few weeks after Christmas I sold it for NZ$600 versus a new price of NZ$779 (the ones earlier were looking like $500 items).

That said a few weeks ago I bought an S4 Hermes 44mm for NZ$800 - about US$500. I bought it mainly for the bands, and also as a sleep tracker as my S0 battery started to swell and the screen popped off. I’d also noticed while using my Nike as a sleep tracker that the S5 (and down to S3 I think) capture more sleep data than the S0 did; HRV for example). I actually saw it for sale because I was looking for a decent condition S3 to use for sleep tracking and they were alol asking more than I was willing to pay.

That suggests that high end AWs won’t hold a premium here also, but maybe just not enough people knew what it was as we haven’t had Hermes available since the S3 came out (still don’t).

I think the issue is that people who know enough to know the benefits of the SS are the people who buy new, and the used market buyers will happily compare a 44mm LTE SS with new Al 40mm GPS without realising what they are missing out on.

I once saw a guy on a YouTube car video say “I don’t buy a Lamborghini so I can save it for the next owner”, and that’s my view with watches. I’ll continue to buy SS versions now as I like the look better and also the Ion-X glass isn’t tough enough for my day to day life using a wheelchair - all my Al watches bar the Nike that I only used as a daily for 6 weeks picked up marks around the edge. Yeah, I’ll likely lose money, but with the watch I’m not so driven to upgrade every year as I am with the iPhone. I used the S0 until the S3 as that was a big enough difference to upgrade. The S4 with the bigger screen and the AOD of the S5 made me have those also. I haven’t seen an S6 rumour that gets me excited as yet, but September will tell I guess.
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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If somebody owns a stainless steel Apple Watch , you have to be prepared to realize that it won’t ’fetch’ the higher resale value that you were expecting. But then again, it’s a tech item that’s mass produced, that generally declines very quickly, because Apple has been continuously releasing new Apple Watch models annually. Like anything that’s tech related, you have to kind of expect you won’t achieve the dollar amount that you probably would like, And once you can accept that mentality, it’s much easier to take a ‘hit’ on the resale value when you’re ready to put it on the market. But then again, for me personally, I’d rather just keep my Apple products until they fail.

If Apple were to release an Apple Watch every 18 months, I think that would actually help the value a little bit more with consumers not worried about what ‘next year‘s model’ will introduce.

But with the wearables market being so dominant right now, this is the trend that we’re going to continue to see with the Apple Watch ‘Premium’ models not really holding their value for said reasons.
 
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vertical smile

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I threw it up on offer up and getting all these low balling offers like $200, $230 , etc. am I selling my watch for too high or am I just having really crappy luck in my area?
If it was a rare or timeless fashion accessory, it would make sense that an AW could hold or even appreciate in value.

But, AW are far from timeless and definitely not rare, as the AW is more mass-produced tech device than fashion accessory, and they are released yearly.

It would be different if the SS models came with increased performance or better battery, but since there is no functionality difference between the various finishes, the market to get a used fashion accessory (the SS part of the AW) is going to be low.

When someone can get a new S3 for $199 or a S5 for $399, any used AW would probably be hard to sell above these prices, regardless of the finish.

If someone is in the market for a SS model, that means that the appearance of the item is more important than the functionality, so they would probably be more likely not in the market for a used one.

If somebody owns a stainless steel Apple Watch , you have to be prepared to realize that it won’t ’fetch’ the higher resale value that you were expecting. But then again, it’s a tech item that’s mass produced, that generally declines very quickly, because Apple has been continuously releasing new Apple Watch models annually.
This is true, and why the Apple Watch fails as a fashion accessory. Or, at least one that holds its value.

It is a mass-produced tech device first, and will depreciate in value as such. It would be different if the AW was just a one-time release, but with updates yearly, they will not hold their value when compared to some other fashion accessories.
 

maflynn

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It would be different if the SS models came with increased performance or better battery, but since there is no functionality difference between the various finishes, the market to get a used fashion accessory (the SS part of the AW) is going to be low.
Yep, that's one of the reasons for the downward pressure, the higher-priced models are no different in functionality than the lower end ones.

People who are more fashion conscience are generally more willing to spend more, so they'll probably be buying those new. Conversely, people looking to save money and buy used are less willing to shell out lot of money for the SS model, when used sport models are going for less and new sport apple watches are not that much more $$
 

zhenya

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This is how it has always been for all devices Including phones. The resale price floor is set by the base model. same has been true in the car market as well forever.
 
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Rainshadow

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Feb 16, 2017
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You cannot buy a Series 5 44mm for 399, they start at 429; if you want a functionally equivalent Watch (with LTE), you‘re looking at 529.

Also, the „less demand“ argument is just wrong, because there are also fewer used stainless models being offered than aluminum. That‘s why, percentage-wise, the stainless models hold their value just as good (or just as bad, if you want) as the aluminum models – 50% after one year.
the other poster is right. Right now there are discounts for a series 5 watch for 399. Also, I believe there is less demand as well. Sure there are less SS watches for resale, but again, the number of people willing to spend that money on a watch would more often buy new aluminum or jump for a new SS. A watch is a personal device. After you use it for a year, no Thanks. Also, folks forget that stores have sometimes STEEP discounts for one or two year old SS models. My wife bought a SS model 2 years old for $299 new from BestBuy once. All that drops your used resale price.

Personally, I think a truly used S4 SS watch - you would be lucky to get $300 for it on a site like Craigslist. If it were a refurbished replacement after an incident... new unused ... maybe $450 or so.
 
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ilikewhey

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SS resale are crap because buyers on 2nd market have a choice to spend 300-400 on the newer model or choose an older model with better material. and in the world of tech newer tech trumps better material, its even worse in phones, used XS sells cheaper than used 11.
 

the future

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Interesting theoretical explanations from many of you, but they don‘t change the fact that ALL Apple Watches after one year sell for approx. 50% of their original price on ebay etc. So yes, the resale value of the SS watches is kinda crappy, but no, it is not more crappy than the resale value of the Alu watches.

Of course the 50% you lose on the SS watches is more $ than 50% you lose on the Alu watches ... so if you upgrade to the new model every year, it may still make sense to go with the Alu watch.
 
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