What are the Signs of a Reputable Watch Dealer?

1695287921 What are the Signs of a Reputable Watch Dealer

In today’s digital age, it’s effortless to pretend to be a big watch dealer or prominent jeweler. The question is, how do you identify a reputable watch dealer? When I think about purchasing a watch from a dealer or jeweler online, I look out for key signs indicating that the dealer is trustworthy and that I will have the least amount of headaches.

What are the Signs of a Reputable Watch Dealer?

  1. Excellent Customer Service / Positive Reviews from Customers
  2. Social Media Presence
  3. Will Answer My Questions Fast
  4. Transparency

1. Excellent Customer Service / Positive Reviews from Customers

If I find that a watch dealer has a great watch in stock at the right price,  I always make sure that the dealer’s reputation is also great. Before I reach out to the dealer to ask about the watch, I search the web for their reputation. Technology has made it so easy to find thorough reviews of experienced and well-known watch dealers—the positives, the negatives, and everything in between, at the click of a mouse. It does not matter where the dealer is based because the watch marketplace is global; people are buying and selling watches all over the world.

To see how reputable a dealer is, I google their name and check out how many positive reviews they have online. If I can’t find any reviews online, I reach out to my friends to see if they have ever done business with the dealer. If the dealer has good reviews or has done business with my friends, I reach out to them and ask more specific questions about the watch.

Unfortunately, if the dealer is brokering a watch from another seller and does not have the watch in their possession, they cannot always answer all of my questions. When I know that the watch dealer has a watch of interest in stock, I more than likely will get the most accurate and detailed responses to my questions.

When I to try to find information about a specific watch dealer, I google: name + reviews

2.  Social Media Presence

A watch dealer without social media presence is a red flag for me. There are so many platforms where dealers can share their watches, their knowledge of the topic, and make personal connections with clients. Through social media, I am able to get to know who I am buying from, and develop a personal and professional connection with them.

Roman Sharf (LuxuryBazaar) and Frederico Iossa (Delray Watches) are doing a fantastic job of connecting with and educating their followers on YouTube. These are the type of watch dealers who care about people making an informed decision when purchasing watches. As a result, these dealers have acquired many followers who want to learn about watches, and who have personal and professional relationships with the dealers.

  • Will Answer My Questions Fast

Here is the list of the questions I like to ask watch dealers:

The reason I ask this question is to find out if the watch will need service soon. Even if the watch is running great right now, it does not mean the watch will function well for many more days, months or years. A situation like this occurred before, where I received a perfectly functional watch but somehow, two weeks later, the watch needed service because the chronograph started to act up.

My rule of thumb is to service any watch that runs 20 seconds faster or slower each day. The watch dealer should be able to tell me how well the watch keeps its time. If they cannot provide me information regarding the watch’s timekeeping, I will not do business with the dealer – this is information they should know.

  • Is the Watch Full Set (Box & Original Papers)?

Anytime I purchase a watch, I prefer the complete set because it’s much better for value retention, and it’s easier to find a buyer if I decide to sell the watch.

  • Size of the Bracelet/Strap?

There is nothing worse than ordering a beautiful watch online, only to realize upon delivery that the bracelet will only fit my 4-year-old son. Therefore, it’s essential to ask about the size of a watch’s bracelet or strap, particularly for watches like Ulysse Nardin or Breitling where you need to cut the straps to fit you. That’s why it is essential to ask about the size of bracelets or straps which can potentially limit who the watch can be sold to.

It’s not a question I ask every single time, but if I need a specific “birth year” watch, it’s essential to know the year in which the watch was made. When I am looking for one of these watches, I always ask the age of the watch.

  • Is Crystal Scratched or Chipped?

Small dings on the bezel of a timepiece do not bother me as much as big scratches or chips on the glass. I find that most people will not buy a watch with chips or scratches on the crystal which cannot be buffed out. I am the same way; if the watch has any irreparable issues on its glass, I stay away.

  • Any Warranty on the Watch?

Some watch dealers offer warranties on their timepieces so it’s a good idea to ask if the watch you’re looking at comes with one. If it does, your watch is guaranteed to function well within the warranty period. This should provide peace of mind when considering older watches as well. Many new timepieces run so well for so long that you don’t necessarily need the warranty.

4.  Transparency

It’s very important to me that the dealer is transparent and answers all of my questions. As mentioned above, it’s imperative to educate a buyer as much as possible about their watch of interest. Transparency is something I look for in dealers, as well as something I give my own clients.

I don’t hide any facts about a watch I’m selling because I know it can bite me in the ass in the end. Building a strong reputation takes time, and I do not want to lose mine because I was trying to make an extra $100 – it’s not worth it.

Transparency can be lost when dealing with larger jewelers, compared to smaller watch dealers. Smaller watch dealers want repeat customers, and they know that if they genuinely educate their customers, the customers will come back for more watches when they are in the market for one.

I don’t want to be negatively surprised by a watch due to issues that the dealer or jeweler failed to disclose – and in an effort to make your buying process as smooth as possible, I have laid out my method and questions as a guide. In the end, I just want to help you enjoy a timepiece to the fullest, knowing that you purchased a watch from a reputable dealer.

What are the Signs of a Reputable Watch Dealer

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