The brand-new Apple Watch 4 came out yesterday, so users of older models may be considering using Apple’s Giveback scheme to get some money towards the new one. But, certainly in the UK, this doesn’t work quite as well as you’d hope.

So, I’ve got a Apple Watch Series 3. According to Apple’s trade-in site it’s worth about £145. However, if you trade-in online they give you the money in the form of a gift-card and, in-store, as either a gift-card or credit towards a purchase at the time. This leaves you with 3 ways to handle this…

  1. Send your existing Watch to Apple now, receive the gift-card and then take that into store, or use online, to buy a new Watch. This leaves you without a Watch for some time – if you’re wedded to its use, this may not be an option you want.
  2. Order your new Watch online and then, after you receive it, send your old one to Apple for trade-in. You end up with a gift-card to use at some point but you’re not without your Watch.
  3. Take your Watch into a store and receive the gift-card/credit then and use it to purchase the new one.

For those who’d like to not be without their Watch but also want to put the trade-in towards the new one, the last option seems the best. The problem here is knowing if the store has the watch you want – you can order items on the website for pick-up from the store but you have to pay for it first, preventing you from using the trade-in money towards it.

Speaking to Apple Support there is an additional alternative – head into the store and, if they’ve not got the model you want, they can order it for you, for delivery to home, using the money from your trade-in. You’ll still be without a Watch for a short time but it will now be just for the time it takes for the new one to be sent to you.

Whichever method you use is a compromise. And this is the same issue whichever product you’re wanting.

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