Are Refurbished Apple Watches Good or Bad?

Even though refurbished products don’t have the best reputation, the ones from Apple are vetted, reliable, and work as if they were brand new.

I’m a long-time technology user and a huge Apple fan. My experience working with all types of the company’s products, both new and refurbished, allowed me to accurately break down the topics extensively covered throughout this guide.

The following sections look at the pros and cons of refurbished Apple watches. They do so by doing a deep dive into Apple’s refurbishing process and then analyzing the pros and cons of getting renewed items.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple has one of the most in-depth quality assurance processes on the market, making all of their refurbished items as close to new as possible.
  • A low price point, a strong vetting process, and making an environmentally conscious purchase are all reasons to get a refurbished Apple watch.
  • When getting a refurbished Apple watch, it’s important to do additional research and understand that you won’t likely get the latest model or cutting-edge characteristics. 

Apple’s Refurbishing Process

Technology is expensive, and prices go up all of the time. As such, users are always looking for ways to cut costs. There are several methods people can take, such as waiting for sales or buying second-hand, but one of the best is getting a refurbished product.

Unlike a used item, which is something that’s been owned and operated for a long period of time, refurbished devices are simply ones that were bought and then promptly returned for one reason or another. Sometimes they weren’t even opened at all.

As such, they are a great way for users to get like-new products without shelling out an arm and a leg. That goes double for Apple products.

Buying a Refurbished Apple Watch: The Pros

There are a few reasons users turn towards refurbished Apple products over new ones, but when it comes to renewed items price is king. Apple makes some of the most expensive technological devices on the market, and its watches are no exception.

Going the refurbished route typically comes with a massive price drop, especially when getting a premium item. In the case of Apple watches, that discount can be as much as fifty percent. Most of the time, however, it will be at least a hundred or more dollars off. That’s a big deal.

Another bonus of getting a refurbished product through Apple rather than other big companies is their vetting process. The tech giant doesn’t just take in a refurbished product and resell it, they put it through a critical testing process and fix any potential or possible issues.

If they find any flaws with the device, or if it does not pass through quality assurance, they fix any issues and then test it again. Once approved, the watches go through a cleaning process and then get new batteries before being put up for resale.

In that way, getting a refurbished watch directly from Apple or a big box seller comes with peace of mind you don’t always find with such items. They even have a one-year warranty, which adds another layer of protection in case something does go wrong.

As an added bonus, refurbished items are also good for the environment. They prevent the products from going out into a landfill, which is always a plus. That’s not the sole reason to get a refurbished device, but it’s an added bonus that’s good for the world.

Buying a Refurbished Apple Watch: The Cons

Refurbished products are often great purchases, but they aren’t perfect either. All of the items, including Apple products, come with a certain amount of risk. When buying a refurbished watch, it’s important to do additional research and make sure you’re getting a legitimate product.

Always buy from reputable brands or big box stores when possible. You may find great deals from third-party sellers, but such purchases are also open to scams. Additional research can be a hassle. Even so, it’s a critical step when getting a renewed device.

Another drawback of going refurbished is that it may take a lot of time to get the exact item you want. Unlike new devices, you don’t always have access to all of the cutting-edge features or the exact characteristics. You only have access to what’s been returned.

That limited viability can be a big negative for some people. On top of that, know that many refurbished products are older models. That’s not a huge drawback for Apple watches, but it is something to be aware of if you’re always chasing the latest technology.


These questions are some of the most common ones users ask about refurbished Apple watches.

What’s the Difference Between a Refurbished and New Product?

There are several differences between a refurbished product and one right out of the box. Though the products are fully functional and work like new ones, they are cheaper and go through a strong vetting process.

Is it Better to Buy Refurbished or Used?

While it differs from product to product, it’s almost always better to buy a refurbished device over a used one. That’s because used models don’t have to go through a quality assurance process, whereas refurbished ones do.

Are Refurbished Watches Still Waterproof?

Yes. As refurbished watches are so close to brand-new models, they keep all of their features. That includes their inherent water resistance.  

Final Words

Apple has one of the strongest and most thorough refurbishing processes on Earth. Not only that, but their refurbished items are often cheaper as well. That makes for a great combination and ensures that getting a renewed Apple watch is a quality purchase that will last a long time.

Have you ever used a refurbished Apple watch? How did it work and where did you get it? Let us know in the below comments!

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