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Apple is selling the cheapest Apple Watch ever, but Target’s deals are still better

Apple Watch Series 1 vs 2

Apple doesn’t really do discounts, but there is one way to get slightly cheaper Apple products: buy refurbished.

Apple has quietly put a couple of refurbished Apple Watches up for sale on its website, which marks the first time the smartwatches have been offered as refurbished units. The timing makes sense, since a) it’s right before Christmas, and b) Apple recently started accepting old Apple Watch units for “recycling.” In Apple-land, recycling clearly means something different.

The new-old Apple Watches are available starting at at $229 for the 38mm aluminium model, and prices go up to $469 and $502 for the 38mm and 42mm Series 2 stainless steel versions. That’s a small but welcome discount of about 15% off the regular pricing, and you still get a one-year warranty.

However, as 9to5Mac points out, it’s still not the cheapest way to get an Apple Watch. Retailers like Target offer the Series 1 for $199, and you can save an additional $20 off that if you choose to pick up in store. Honestly, the only real reason to buy refurbished from Apple is the returns policy: you get free return shipping and a hassle-free 30-day return, so it’s a good and inexpensive way to try out an Apple Watch at home.

The refurbished Watches do serve other purposes, though. Target’s sale is likely only temporary, while Apple’s low pricing should be consistent. Even better, having a low official price from Apple should help drive down prices at other major retailers in the long run. Apple’s refurbished Apple Watch Series 2 units are also the cheapest way to get into the Series 2 line, which offers notable upgrades like better waterproofing and built-in GPS over the Series 1.