Like many a tech geek, Andrew placed his order for an Apple Watch as soon as it was released.
He purchased the "sport model" in cool "space gray" for $349, plus tax. He spent the weeks before its arrival eagerly anticipating the transformation of his screen-checking experience. But once it came, he wore it for just two weeks before listing it on Craigslist. An Apple Watch fan, he was not.
He found the watch glitchy and slow and — most significantly — completely unnecessary. Sure, it was an ice breaker at tech meetups, but soon enough that would wear off, too.
“If it were a $150 watch I’d keep it, no brainer,” said Andrew, a San Jose iOS developer who declined to share his last name because he occasionally courts job offers from Apple. “But it’s not $150, is it?”
Two months after hitting Apple’s online store, there is still a weeks-long wait for some models of the Watch. But on eBay and Craigslist, disappointed Apple Watch buyers are already starting to offload theirs.
Some, like Andrew, are selling them at a small markup, hoping to make a few bucks off of eager Apple enthusiasts who simply can’t wait the two to three weeks to have their model of choice shipped.
Others, though, just want to get rid of them.
“I’m selling it at cost just to recoup what I paid,” said a disappointed Bay Area Apple Watch buyer over e-mail, who was also hawking a sport model on Craigslist. The watch, he said, still felt “rough around the edges” with slow load times and bad apps. It didn’t fit his lifestyle, he said.
A third Craigslist seller in Los Angeles was offering the watch at a slight discount, explaining that the watch had been “an impulse buy” and that he had determined it was nothing more than a “hype machine for Apple.”
The appeal of being an early adopter is the chance to experience the future before the rest of us. The downside is getting a company's earliest, buggiest version of its product. Or worse, spending a lot of money on a product that never catches on.
Another seller told Fusion he never wound up using it. It “feels like the iPad all over again,” the seller wrote.
A search for a used Apple Watch on eBay netted more than a 100 current listings. Most of those that sold recently went for cost or a small markup. Those with greatly inflated prices tended not to sell.
Last week, New York Times fashion writer Vanessa Friedman penned a “breakup letter” to her Apple Watch. For a regular person (read: not a tech columnist), she said the watch never stopped feeling like a gadget; it signaled either rudeness or geekiness every time she stared at her wrist.
Like Andrew, Friedman found it offered unnecessary improvements to her life, like opening hotel room doors with her wrist rather than a key.
“The watch isn’t actually a fashion accessory for the tech-happy,” she wrote. “It’s a tech accessory pretending to be a fashion accessory. I just couldn’t fall for it.”
After putting his watch on Craigslist the first time, and immediately getting offers for it, Andrew decided to give the watch another go. After all, he’d learned he could easily sell it and make a few extra bucks.
But after a few more weeks of wear, he was still unimpressed. Some apps were "just crap." Notifications didn’t give him the information he actually wanted to know. The watch was even kind of hard to put on.
“If I was an Apple fanboy, I would keep it for sure,” he said over the phone, after putting it back up on Craigslist. For now, he'll rejoin those waiting for a better, next-generation version.