Buying used watches in person is the best way to save money. The value is there since you don’t have to pay any fees. Not everyone will be able to get the best watch at the best price since not every deal is a good one. Every time I look to buy a watch in person, I go over a checklist I created to make sure I am getting the best deal possible. In this blog post I will share with you the steps I take when I plan to buy a watch from someone I never met.
Steps to make Luxury watch deals in Person
- Know the current market value
- Inspect the watch
- Know the cost of any repairs required
- Utilize previous steps to make fair, educated offer
1. Know the Current Market Value
Knowing the current market value for a particular watch I want to buy is a step I take with utmost importance. Before I even meet the person selling, I always ask for pictures of the watch and the reference number to aid in my research before I meet the individual. If I know what the current market value of a seller’s watch is, it’s far easier to decide if the meeting will be worth it as they may be unreasonable in what they expect to receive from me. Meeting in person does have a significant advantage when the time comes to negotiate a price that makes sense. It does not make sense to negotiate before I have determined the current market value, which is why I do this research in earnest.
If you want a detail blog post how to find a current market value you should read this blog post
When searching for the current market value, I like to use eBay as well as different watch market search engines which scrape the different forums and websites for watches for sale. I am not a fan of using Chrono24 for this step as prices are inflated and have the ability to create unreasonable hopes about what potential sellers may receive for their own timepieces.
Resources to use for current market values of the watches
When I use the website I mentioned above, I am able to see the current watches for sale. After I find the watch I am interested in, I will subtract fees charged by the platform to understand the most realistic sales price. Knowing what the current listing will net to the sellers of a specific watch, my research on the current market value will be more correct.
2. Inspect the Watch
When I meet with the person who has the luxury watch I want to buy, I make sure we meet in a safe location. My favorite meeting spot is at my private club. The club has security and cameras, and is never empty. Once the seller arrives, we start talking about the watch and I start my inspection process. I bring tools with me. This includes a magnifying glass, a bracelet removal tool, a bracelet mini cone, and a timegrapher(to make sure the watch is working properly and won’t need service). Once my inspection is through, I will know if the watch needs any work such as a polish or a full service.
3. Know the cost of any repairs required
In the last section, I mentioned that I do a full inspection. Knowing what needs to be fixed is not enough. Since I do thorough research, I know the exact cost of the common services required for used watches. This information will also come from experience.
In general these are prices to fix a watch from an independent watchmaker.
- Service $200-$500 (depending on the watches complications)
- New Links $50-$200 Stainless steel is less than $100 in most cases
- Polish ($100-$200)
4. Utilize the Previous Steps to Make a Fair, Educated Offer
My favorite part of any in person deal is the fair price offer I make the seller. There may be times I feel sorry for the person since they could be in a financial emergency, I can’t dwell on their life story. I am a business and I need to focus on my numbers. Purchasing a watch for more than I calculated will cause issues when it comes time to sell. I will be fine if I wait for the right offer, or I can buy correct, and the right offer will come quickly. The best price I can receive for a watch will allow me to dump the watch wholesale and still make a small profit.
If I am looking at a watch that has a market value of $5000, I will have to make sure I buy the watch for under $3500. The price will allow me to sell to another dealer at wholesale in case I need to make a quick flip to another dealer. My ideal target would be $3000 to cover a potential polish, service, and the time to take pictures and list the watch. This price will also allow me to accessorize and make the watch more desirable to a buyer. The research will also allow me to be less emotional. Emotions can and will cloud your judgment so if the seller declines, I will give them a simple thank you and tell them to contact me if they change their mind.
Meeting someone who is referred to me and willing to sell me their watch is one of the most lucrative way to buy a watch at the best price for resale. Knowing the current market value and prices to fix any potential issues with the watch allows me to make a strong, fair offer for the watch. I will be able to offer more than the major watch buying businesses, while giving me the chance to sell each watch for the greatest profit.