Parting with a watch that has served you well for a long time can be stressful business, especially if you’re selling an expensive piece.
Once you’ve come to terms with needing or wanting to sell your watch, you need to figure out the best places to make the most money with the least amount of hassle or fraud.
The internet is a great marketplace with plenty of eager buyers, but sending and receiving thousands of dollars through PayPal can be taxing.
How can you be sure you’ve picked the right place to sell? Where will you get the most money? Let’s take a closer look at some of these questions and more to figure out how to sell your watch the right way.
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It’s important to understand what you have, its value and any potential issues that its new buyer may face after the sale. If there’s any doubt in your mind about the watch’s authenticity or condition, take it to a local specialist or jeweler for inspection.
If there are issues with the watch and you choose not to fix them before the sale, you’ll need to disclose that or be prepared to face a world of hurt if the buyer has problems after the fact.
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Clean your watch and its box before shipping. Even though you may not be setting up a watch retail shop out of your house, you’ll want the buyer to feel that they’re getting their money’s worth.
You may also want to have them leave good feedback for you on the internet if that’s where your sale takes place, so that you can rely on good will for any future sales.
Best Places to Sell a Watch
There are as many different ways to sell your watch as there are stars in the sky, but you’ll need to choose the venue to sell your watch wisely.
More expensive watches sell better in certain forums online and through trusteed dealers, but more common watches do best on quick-sale internet forums like Reddit Watch Exchange.
There are no hard and fast rules on which direction you decide to go, because it’s more about finding a site or a person/dealer that you trust to handle your transactions.
The internet is full of very active forums to sell watches. Some are labeled by brand names, like “Rolex Forums” or “Omega Forums,” but people generally sell watches of all types on every site. Here are some of the most popular internet forums for selling a watch:
Reddit Watch Exchange
Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the internet, so it’s no surprise that r/watchexchange is one of the most active and visible watch markets.
There are few requirements to list a watch, other than to have a clear, handwritten note with your username and the date (called a Timestamp) and a thorough description.
It’s not unusual to see new-in-box Rolexes and Omegas, but the community polices price gouging pretty heavily.
Rolex Forums/Omega Forums
Though these are different sites, we’ll lump them together for simplicity. Both forums operate by allowing established users to post their watches of all types for sale.
The big downside here is that there are restrictions to posting on both sites.
Omega Forums, for instance, requires sellers to have at least five recent feedback notes from a sale and also requires that there are five photos to be hosted directly on their site.
Rolex Forums requires that sellers pledge money and become a member before posting. Membership costs a $30 PayPal donation to the site to proceed.
That’s not the easiest way to sell a watch online, but it does help ensure that anyone posting a watch is at least somewhat serious about the transaction.
As a result, they see more traffic and watch sales listings. The benefit is more eyes on your watch, but the downside is quite a bit more competition.
Chrono24 is an international site with sales listing from all brands and from every corner of the world. They welcome dealers and private sellers alike, but there is a commission fee.
The upside to using the site is that they offer an escrow service that makes buyers more comfortable sending thousands of dollars to an unknown person.
The site boasts nine million visitors each month and a 90 percent sale rate, so there’s a great chance you’ll be able to sell your watch for a decent price.
If you’ve viewed a watch video at any point in the last few years, there’s a great chance you’ve seen Watchbox’s excellent YouTube reviews.
Not only are they selling all of the watches that are featured in the videos, they buy watches as well.
Watchbox offers a variety of transfer methods to send the funds to you and does a great job at communicating and negotiating pricing.
Crown and Caliber
Crown and Caliber is one of the larger watch buyers on the internet, but their high-volume model may mean getting less for your watch than you would elsewhere.
The upside is that payment is very fast and they provide excellent, clear instructions on how to prepare and ship your watch after the sale.
They provide clear communication with a fast turnaround on price quotes, so you can have your watch sold and paid for before you know it.
Boutiques – Jewelers – Pawn Shops
Selling a watch to a local jeweler or pawns shop is one of the most convenient ways to go, but you’ll have to pay for the convenience by settling for a smaller sale price.
It’s tempting to drive to the local jeweler with a watch and walk out with a check. They can authenticate the watch on the spot and cut a check right then and there. There are no haggling or tire-kicking emailers, and no hassle after the sale with a regretful buyer.
Because the physical store costs a lot of money to operate and the staff has to be paid to help you, jewelers are likely to offer the smallest payout for your watch.
Pawn shops are even worse in the payment department, because they are hoping to turn around and sell the watch for a profit but at a discount price to their buyers.
No matter how big or trustworthy the buyer, it’s worth a little extra legwork to make sure you trust them. How will they pay you? How long will it take? Are they paying for shipping and insurance?
Understanding these things up front and communicating them with your buyer will prevent surprises and make sure you are being aid what you expect to receive.