I ordered my Apple Watch Series 6 the same day it was announced at the September Apple Event. There was no In-Store Pickup option available at that time, so I elected to have it shipped and was given an estimated ship date of October 16-22. Great. As a total Apple fangirl who loves to get the latest products as early as possible, I was disappointed, especially since the Apple Watch isn't a yearly purchase for me. I'd been rocking my Apple Watch Series 3 for three years and was looking forward to the substantial upgrade.
All over the internet, I saw the photos and unboxing videos as the first round of Apple Watches started to arrive on people's doorsteps on September 18, release day. When I woke up the next day, it occurred to me to check and see if my local Apple Store had any in stock. I had nothing to lose.
So I started the process of placing another order. Lucky for me, this time, In-Store Pickup was an option! I grabbed it and took the first available time slot, which was just over an hour from when I placed the order. I immediately canceled my initial Apple Watch Series 6 order. My order was still listed as "Processing," so I could cancel it with no issues. Keep in mind that if your order is already listed as "Preparing to Ship" or "Shipped," you will not be able to cancel it. I would probably have done this anyway and just returned the second Apple Watch, but you may feel differently.
As soon as I got the email from Apple letting me know my order was ready for pickup, I went to the store. (Ok, I may have actually been parked in the parking lot already when that email came through.) Even though my allotted pickup time was nearly a half-hour out, they allowed me to pick up my Apple Watch as soon as I got there. There was no line, and the store was set up to manage everyone's pickups smoothly. I literally walked out of the store before my allotted pickup time, just over an hour after placing the order.
I can't promise this would work out as smoothly for you, but it's certainly worth a try if you're as anxious as I was to get your hands on the Apple Watch Series 6. You can also try this at other locations and possibly take advantage of Apple Watch Series 6 deals.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.