Sell Your Luxury Watches

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There are plenty of people that think owning a luxury watch makes for a good investment. The fact that you could buy a new watch and either hold it for years or even sell for a quick profit brought attention to the demand for certain watches. They were right, selling watches has always been a profitable endeavor, however only certain watches trade above what the MSRP is (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). If you are not able to get one of these watches, then you can’t expect to make money on a new watch. The reason you are able to make money on these watches is that you cannot get one. It’s the big catch 22. If anybody could buy one, the supply would meet the demand and the watch would not be worth above its retail price. Just as with selling anything, there are challenges to selling luxury watches. Sometimes the buyer is quite good, other times the buyer is not so suitable to your needs. This blog post will teach you when, why, and how to sell your luxury watch.

When should you sell your luxury watch?

Selling your watch is completely a personal decision. There are some ideas to incorporate to determine if it may be a good idea to sell your watch or keep it. Does it hold sentimental value? Is it a watch you wear everyday? Is the market demand for your model of watch dropping? Did you buy the watch for the sole purpose of making money? The biggest reason to sell your watch is usually due to wrist time. If the watch is wasting away in a storage box, it may be a good idea to cash in.

Just like all things luxury, there are various types of buyers for luxury watches. Some for their collection, some for selling later on. The trick is to locate the buyer that aligns with your motivation for selling. This is a strong sample of luxury watch buyers.

  • Collectors
    • These people like to collect watches. Some collect on volume while others collect on quality or style whether that be vintage, specific complication, specific watch brands, or something else entirely.
  • Flippers
    • These people are only interested in a quick buck. They will try to buy low and sell quick. They won’t make a lot of money per watch, but will try to sell volume.
  • Grey Market Watch Dealers
    • These guys have ins with Authorized Dealers or someone major in the business. They have strong market knowledge and huge inventory. Many times they will be able to get new watches that you can’t and sell at a premium. They may also save you money on a new watch sans the factory warranty.
  • Lifestyle Personalities
    • These people may need watches for various reasons, whether it’s photoshoots, public appearances, utility at work, etc.

As with anything, any person will have their own personal reason for selling, most likely because they just aren’t wearing the watch any more.

Quick Step by Step Luxury Watch Selling Guide

It may seem that selling luxury watches is stressful, but knowing where to start helps. Here is a quick start guide to sell your luxury watch.

  • Price it right, understand the market.
  • Take quality pictures when selling online.
  • Write a quality description when selling online.
  • Choose your selling market whether in person or online.
  • Choose the payment method that works best for you.
  1. Pricing a watch has always been a challenge. Start by searching for the watch you are selling. Three common sites are Google.com, watchcharts.com, and watchrecon.com. Comparing apples to apples is important as a similar watch may be worth more due to a special connection to something you may not be familiar with.
  1. After setting the correct price, it’s time to present the watch. This is done in two steps. The first is to make sure the pictures are sharp and pleasing to the eye. This is not as important when dealing in person. The second is to write a good description. You want the buyer to want the watch while simultaneously describing the condition of the watch correctly. You don’t want a surprised buyer giving you problems.
  1. One of the most important steps when selling your watch is to make sure you select the best marketplace for your needs. This can be local or online, however it’s essential you know how the market works for whichever you choose. For in person deals, you will want to know the reputation of the dealer you are going to, or vet the buyer if it’s an individual you aren’t familiar with. For the latter, it’s better to be safe than out of a watch.
  1. Choose the payment method that works best for you. This is another area you have to be careful with. You want the optimal balance of ease and safety. There are too many ways to get scammed, whether it be chargebacks or fake funds.

Once you have taken the above steps, we will go into detail about the final steps for selling.

Hublot watches for sale

Are There Enough Buyers for My Luxury Watch?

One thing that is always certain, there will be buyers for luxury watches. Even when the stock market, housing market, and Covid-19 all caused serious cash issues, luxury watches were as popular as ever. Your ticket is finding out why someone wants to buy a watch since each buyer will be different when you deal with them. Here are the most common types of watch buyers, and we will detail some tips with each type.

  • Retail Individuals
  • Watch Dealers
  • Consignment Dealers

Selling Watches to Retail Individuals

Selling luxury watches to individuals not associated with a watch business is the most profitable way to sell your watch. The people are known as “retail buyers” and will pay the market price for a luxury watch.There are some enthusiasts out there who will try to get the cheapest deal possible, but in general, these buyers are the way to go. The key to dealing with retail buyers is to be transparent. Talk to them on the phone and show them you own the watch. Share with them your social media to help establish trust. These buyers can be quite annoying, but once they get to know you, they can be loyal spenders.

The basic retail buyer can also benefit from your expertise and may need some education because they don’t do this for a living, or even a hobby. As a seller, you need to state the terms clearly before money changes hands.Your goal is to make it safe and easy for the potential buyer.

Retail buyers of luxury watches will pay you the most, however you must be weary of the risks involved with regular people, especially in the age of easy returns and scams facilitated by Amazon and eBay. We will discuss these risks later. The safest way to avoid risk is to deal with cash, not everyone has the ability to pull a certain amount of cash easily.

Breitling watches for sale

Selling Watches to Watch Dealers

Sometimes making the most for selling your watch isn’t at the top of your list. Sometimes it’s more important to have a safe, simple, and efficient way to sell your luxury watch. It’s similar to selling your used car to a dealership. They will pay you fast and they have the money that you need, however you are leaving money on the table to pursue this route. You are saving time and headaches at the expense of the maximum return.

When selling a watch to a dealer, you still have risk so make sure you know who you are dealing with. Once you find that quality dealer you are comfortable with, you can be sure the stress of the sale will be vastly minimized. The good dealers have a reputation to uphold so they will make sure the quality of the watch and the authenticity are good. You don’t have to do a thing outside of putting your luxury watch in their hand.

While selling a luxury watch to a watch dealer is the most painless transaction, it will also net you the least amount of money. It’s a tradeoff that for some will be worth the ease of use. You also have an option of receiving trade credit towards the purchase of another timepiece of your liking. Many dealers will accept trades to get you the watch of your dreams.

Selling Watches Through Consignment

There is a delicate balance to money earned and ease of use. The consignment option is a decent option to hand the headaches off to a dealer while still receiving a competitive price for your luxury watch. Depending on the timepiece, some dealers will offer a consignment option that just requires you to send them the watch. They will handle the sales part and will take a fee, usually 5-15% of the total sales price. There are dealers that also consider a flat fee. Because it is being sold by a dealer, they will generally make more money than you might so after the fee, you will still earn more than selling directly to them. The income won’t be as good as doing the leg work and selling retail, but the headache of dealing with retail buyers falls on the dealer who has much more experience at this than you will.

There are also marketplaces that sell on consignment, however their fees are generally some of the highest in the game and may not be worth dealing with for the long haul. There are some consignment places that charge fees around 30%. We strongly advise against this as there are too many great dealers that will treat you fairly while getting you the best deal for the money.

If you are looking to strike a solid balance between income and ease, this may be the way to go. Just remember, the dealer has to sell the timepiece before you receive anything. That is the tradeoff to approaching the sale of your luxury watch from this angle.

Selling Your Luxury Watch Without Paying Fees

If you decided to leg it out and just sell the watch yourself, one of the things you have to learn are the fees required to sell your watch through any of the platforms you have available. Fortunately in the digital age, there are a few ways to sell your watch without paying anything. We will go over the free marketplaces for you here, and some tips and tricks to know when you go to sell your luxury watch.

  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace/ Facebook Groups
  • Friends and Family
  • Value Your Watch Marketplace

Craigslist has been around since 1995 and there is a lot of traffic on that site. It is completely free and a great way to meet local buyers for your luxury watches. You must pay attention though since there are plenty of scammers among the good buyers on the site. There are zero fees for listing or selling your watch on the site, just make sure you are safe when dealing with anyone through Craigslist

Facebook Marketplace has thousands of users from all over the country and world. It is another great place to sell since you can find local and non local buyers for your timepieces. It can be tricky however, since Facebook likes to block luxury watch listings on the marketplace. They have AI powered reviews that may determine something is misleading with your listing. You may have to play games to get around this system to get your watch in front of potential buyers.

There are so many Facebook groups that are available for selling your watch. Many of these groups have strict rules, and some don’t even let you post a sales post due to this Facebook review AI. If it’s a group that refuses sales posts, check with the rules for posting a watch for sale as most of the time it’s done so you will not have to deal with Facebook reviews. Some of these groups are a free for all so you have to be careful who contacts you. Others are well run groups with strict rules so make sure you take note of them before posting to make the process as smooth as possible

It may come as a surprise, but there just may be someone in your personal circle of friends and family members that appreciates a good luxury watch. The only reason you haven’t connected before is they didn’t realize you were also a watch person like them. This is a fantastic way since you already have that personal trust with them and don’t have to go through as many vetting steps as you would dealing with a random stranger.

Value Your Watch is a marketplace created in 2018 to connect people around the world to luxury watch sellers. The one advantage to this marketplace is the ability to sell your watch without incurring any platform fees you will run into on other marketplaces such as Chrono24 and eBay.

Value Your Watch Fees

Finding Local Places that Will Buy My Luxury Watch

If you would rather deal locally, Google is going to be your best friend. If you live in New York, Los Angeles, or Florida, you are all set. There are hundreds of watch dealers that call these locations home. If you are outside of these hotspots, feel free to google places that buy luxury watches in your hometown. Places that usually buy watches include jewelers, pawn shops, and private owned watch companies.

Just like with any style of sale, you may be compromising something to do this. The advantages are proximity and ease of transaction, however you will most likely be leaving money on the table. This is especially true if you are dealing with a jeweler or pawn shop. Don’t let that discourage you. If you want instant payment and an easy transaction, this may be the best fit for your individual needs.

Finding Places Outside Your Home State

If you are not in one of the hotspots for luxury watch sales, there is a good chance you have no one to sell your watch to locally. For this reason, there are some large watch companies that offer special services to facilitate your luxury watch sale. Value Your Watch is one such place you can contact to make sure you get an easy transaction.

This common form of state to state transaction requires you to give the watch dealer your luxury watch info. We will perform the quick inspection through the information you give us, and hand you a basic pre inspection offer. Should you decide to go through with the transaction, we will send you a shipping label so you can send your watch to us for free. After final inspection, we will hand you a final offer, that should you accept, you will receive immediate payment. This is a common process that has been in place for years, and is not just limited to luxury watches.

How to Avoid Scams When Dealing Locally

Luxury goods attract some nefarious people. They are easy to move, hard to track, and valuable. The luxury watch market has huge demand. According to imarcgroup.com, “The global watch market size reached US$71.1 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$98.6 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 5% during 2023-2028”.

Knowing this, selling watches to strangers can be dangerous, but we have some tips on how to avoid being scammed selling watches in person. Here are the steps we will detail in this section.

  • Know the buyer
  • Payment method
  • Location

When selling watches to a complete stranger, your goal should be to verify as much information as possible before you meet them. Does the person buying a $20,000 watch have a lifestyle that matches the purchase. Having the type of profile that suggests buying an expensive luxury watch is outside of their reach, that can be a huge red flag.

Ways to get to know your buyer includes social media, photo ID validation, and video calling the person. Not having social media is not an instant red flag as many successful people just don’t have the time to invest in Facebook and Instagram. If they have an issue sharing their ID however, there is a solid chance they are hiding something. One of the best ways to get information on a perspective buyer is going to https://truepeoplesearch.com/ This is a way to verify the phone number and maker sure there’s nothing sketchy going on.

Acceptable Payment Methods When Selling Luxury Watches

The best payment method is cash. When you show up with a watch, the buyer should show up with cash. Just be careful as the envelope switch is becoming a common scam with in person meets. Bank wire and Zelle(depending on the amount) can also be a safe way to accept payment when dealing with someone in person. Just make sure the money clears before sending the person off with your luxury watch.

Safe Locations to Perform a Luxury Watch Sale

The safest way to sell a luxury watch is not always available, but if you have a jeweler with a buzzer door and cameras, the chance of you being scammed is very low. Not everyone is afforded this luxury, especially in parts of the country with a very small watch market to start with.

Your next best option would be a bank or police station. Not all police stations have a market trading post but it is possible. Just go to your local police website and you can see if there is one near you. Banks often have private rooms, and if you contact them ahead of time, you can set an appointment to facilitate the trade in one of these rooms. You can have a teller verify the funds and have the money deposited as soon as you are given the green light.

Surprisingly, private clubs are also excellent locations. Most of these clubs will not let a person inside without a member present. They have security and multiple areas on the club grounds to perform the transaction.

Rolex Platinum Day-Date Ice Blue Quadrant Motif Beveled Roman Dial 40mm Ref.228206 

Best Online Sites to Sell Luxury Watches

The ease of use and convenience of using online marketplaces has changed the way people purchase luxury watches. Watch sellers love that they do not need to interact with people directly, but with any path, there are two sides of the coin.

The major issue you are going to deal with is scammers. Since you aren’t meeting someone in person, it’s much easier for them to pull something whether it be fake emails, fake payments, or payment cancellations. You have to worry about stolen credit cards and other suspicious activities. These things are easier to avoid when dealing with local people.

When selling online, it’s also important to choose the best platform. There are costs associated with running a website and the cost is often handed to the sellers in the form of value fees. There is a level of protection that comes with these platforms, so it may make sense to pay the fees over potentially losing the watch. We are going to go over three of the best sites for selling your watch and how to utilize them.

  • eBay
  • Chrono24
  • Value Your Watch

Selling Watches on eBay

eBay was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar and became a huge auction website. It is the second largest marketplace in the world and will get you the most views for your pre owned watch. Watches have become a large part of the business on eBay and they have taken large steps to help that section grow.  The biggest step for eBay is in their authenticity guarantee. Watches that are over $2000 are eligible for free authenticity checks, while watches under $2000 can be authenticated for about $80. eBay does have some significant fees however, with the average range being 6-8% of the final sales price(after adding sales tax).

The issues arise when it comes to customer service. On eBay it is almost nonexistent, but with patience, most issues can be resolved. Getting a hold of a customer service representative is where the issue lies. Once you get in contact with service, you then have to hope it’s a person that can address your concerns. This company is the second largest marketplace in the world after all, so the sheer volume of calls received can be difficult to imagine.

Patek Philippe Ellipse Model Ref.4226 18ct 1970

Selling Watches on Chrono24

Founded in 2003, Chrono24 became the first marketplace dedicated to selling luxury watches. Due to this specific goal, they are able to offer a fast efficient service that helps both buyers and sellers trade luxury watches. Over the years they have raised over $100M in capital to help with operation costs. This is both a benefit and a detriment as they now have to offer returns on the millions of dollars invested in the company.

The fees are straightforward on Chrono24. Private sellers pay 6.5% and dealers average 6-8% depending on brand. Dealers are also paying roughly $80/ month which Chrono24 uses to give them higher visibility on the site. One of the good parts of Chrono24 is their escrow service. The customer pays Chrono24 instead of the seller. This allows Chrono24 to verify legitimacy of the buyer and gives the buyer an opportunity to inspect the watch.

Chrono24 customer service is good. They are generally fast to respond and knowledgeable, however their hours are limited to 5 days a week during banking hours. Any issues you run into outside of business hours must be postponed until they are open.

Selling Watches on Value Your Watch

Value Your Watch is a new platform dedicated to selling luxury watches. Founded in Hawaii in 2018, Value Your Watch is privately owned and operated in order to give the best service in the industry. The website is designed to transparently connect watch sellers and buyers globally allowing them to do business how they feel the most comfortable. One of the ways this is done is to allow sellers to openly share their business or personal information so the buyer can investigate their possible purchase easier.

The major advantage of Value Your Watch is the lack of fees for selling. Value Your Watch doesn’t take a percentage of the sale, choosing instead to offer an optional subscription similar to eBay stores and Chrono24 verified dealers. Value Your Watch also gives you the option to accept credit cards through Stripe integration if that is something you want to do.

Customer service on Value Your Watch is much better than large corporations as they are available quickly 24/7 and are very knowledgeable about the site and what issues that may arise as you use them.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Apollo 8 Perfect! 311.92.44.30.01.001

How to Avoid Scams When Selling Online

Selling luxury watches online has a lot of the same rules as selling in person. Know the buyer, make sure payment clears, and ship watches to a hold location (such asFedEx Hold at Location) if possible. First things first, make sure the person buying the watch is a legitimate person who should be able to afford your watch. If the buyer’s communication is poor, there is a good chance they are not being authentic. People who can afford and truly want a watch you are selling will have no problem sharing social media and proving they are who they are.

The only way you should be accepting payment is through bank wire, however there are individual cases where you may be able to accept alternative payment. Credit cards are some of the most dangerous forms of payment as it is quite easy for one to call the company and tell them the purchase is not approved by them. Card companies will almost always side with the buyer as they are their customers, not you.

Obviously a bank wire is the best method of payment. Be careful giving out the account information for your main account, if possible use a sweep account. For credit cards, we always recommend STRIPE as they have a radar score that will gauge how risky a credit card purchase can be. They also have a better payment authenticity program than others. STRIPE requires a security code before the order goes through. That is why Value Your Watch chose to integrate STRIPE for our sellers.

Correctly Shipping Watches for Online Sales

Never use USPS to ship a luxury watch. They are a government entity and have no impetus to do a proper, not even good job. They will very likely lose your watch and you have limited insurance if that happens. The steps for filing a claim are convoluted as well. UPS, FedEx, or DHL are by far the superior choice.

When shipping using a preferred option, the one issue you will have is insurance. The amount insured through standard means is of a very low value, so if using them for more expensive items, you have to use a shipping company with third party insurance such as ParcelPro or IFS. These companies will insure much more expensive watches than the shipping partners will offer themselves. Once you hit the $1000 threshold, you should only use one of these options.

The final story is this, selling locally is severely restrictive and selling online has some extra risk. Each method has specific steps to keep you safe from scams and loss of funds or watches. Make sure you are comfortable with your buyer and you both are comfortable with a specific payment method. We hope you enjoyed, and found value in the Value Your Watch blog.


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