WHAT IS THE RESALE VALUE OF SMARTWATCHES?

If you jumped on the bandwagon and purchased a smartwatch but are now looking to resell it, you may be disappointed at how low resale values are. Let’s take a closer look at the secondary market for smartwatches and compare resale values of the best-known brands.

How much can I sell my used smartwatch for?

This question really depends on the brand of smartwatch we’re talking about. A quick scan of eBay can give us some insight on the resale value of smartwatches and wearable tech.

The first generation of the Apple watch made its debut in April 2015 and the most basic model sold for $349. At the time of publishing, the average selling price of a used first generation Apple watch on eBay hovers around $160 mark. This is a 55% value drop in less than two years. And, this not even considering any of the fees and commissions that have to be paid to eBay.

What’s more, if we’re talking about the more expensive Apple Watch Edition in precious metals, the resale value decreases even further. When the 38mm Apple Watch Edition in 18k rose gold and white rubber strap came out in 2015, it cost a whopping $10,000. Today on eBay, used models sold for around $200, while another online company claims they will buy them used for $750.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear first went on sale during the last quarter of 2013 for $199. Today, sellers are lucky to get around $35 on eBay for selling their used Samsung Galaxy Gear first generation. That’s an 82.5% drop in value in three and a half years.

The Pebble watch caused waves with its record-breaking Kickstarter campaign and it was regarded as one of the best smartwatches in the market. However, Fitbit recently purchased the company, signaling the end of the Pebble brand. As expected, this means absolutely no resale value for these watches.

Smartwatch Launch Date Retail Price during Launch Resale Value Today (2017) Value Drop
Pebble Watch July 2013 $99 $0 100%
Samsung Gear October 2014 $199 $35 82%
Apple Watch April 2015 $349 $160 55%
Apple Watch Edition April 2015 $10,000 $200-750 92.5-98%

Why do smartwatches have such poor resale value?

There are a few reasons why smartwatches have such low resale prices. First, these are electronic gadgets that are not meant to last a long time. On the contrary, tech companies are always going to release newer versions with updated features, new software, and other capabilities, thus rendering early generations obsolete.

Second, there’s a risk on the buyer’s part if they purchase a secondhand smartwatch. For example, the Apple watch is paired with a specific iPhone, which is associated with someone’s Apple ID. There have been many instances of buyers being stuck with an unusable secondhand Apple Watch because the previous buyer never disabled the Activation Lock feature.

Finally, the smartwatch industry is a brand new one that is still facing uncertainty and growing pains. Just as we mentioned above, despite that fact that Pebble Watch entered the market in full force, it ceased operations in less than four years. Furthermore, Gizmodo published an article about a market analysis report that found a 71.3% decline in Apple Watch sales from 2015 to 2016.

What about the resale value of luxury watches? 

While the Swiss watch industry may be facing a few of its own uncertainties, luxury timepieces are still the antithesis of smartwatches. The finest watch brands in the world have been around a long time, with histories that span over several centuries. Furthermore, luxury watches are built to last—and not just for one lifetime, but over several generations.

Companies like Rolex, Cartier, and Patek are some of the most powerful luxury brands in the world. Audiences around the world covet the products that they create, translating into strong demand in the secondary market and high resale values.

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