Wristful Thinking: 9 Tips for Selling Your Luxury Watches

The luxury jewelry market was worth nearly $40 billion in 2020 and grew by about 8% yearly! New trends continue to emerge, and designers quickly adapt to new and improved pieces.


But the more people buy, the more second-hand products there are to sell.

If you own luxury watches, like a Rolex, that you don't use, you might be interested in selling them. But the world of reselling is a minefield to navigate for the first time.

To help you out, we created this guide to selling your luxury watch. It covers all the details you should publish about your watch and what not to share!


Best of all, we'll share what we believe is the best way to resell a luxury watch that avoids all of the online chaos. Read on for our top 9 luxury watch reselling tips!

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1. Choose the Right Sale Method for You


The first factor in whether you'll be able to sell your watch for a reasonable price is how you sell it. Each way has its pros and cons that suit different buyers. The most common methods are:

  • Second-hand sales platforms

  • Auction houses

  • Online watch forums

  • Local jewelers

  • Jewelry buying specialists


Here we'll describe each method's process and what they're best suited for.


Second-Hand Sales Platforms


During the pandemic, online shopping skyrocketed. An unprecedented 43% increase in online shopping blew away the estimates.


Everyone was stuck at home, so it was the easiest shopping method. It was even a way to pass the time. Two years later, it remains popular.


Whether eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or another method, it's one of the easiest ways to sell a watch. Upload a few pictures and a brief description; you can move your unwanted watch fast.


The pitfall is the likelihood of not getting the right price. People browsing second-hand sales platforms aren't expecting to pay good money. They're looking for bargains.


It may be a good option if you don't have much information about your watch and are not keen on getting the best price. But it's not the best method for those looking to receive the watch's top value.

Online sales also come with the risk of scam artists sneaking into your offers. Sites like Craigslist and Facebook are full of people ready to take advantage of sellers. They may ask sellers to ship items before paying or even try to coax banking information out of you.


While plenty of safe sales take place every day, this method requires you to keep your wits about you.


Auction Houses


Auction houses may seem like a much safer option. The businesses are reputable and established.


But the issue here is getting a reasonable price. Similarly to online platforms, buyers at auctions are looking for a bargain, especially with the most expensive brands. They want to buy luxury watches as cheaply as possible.


On top of that, sellers are subject to several fees. Each auction house is different, but this could include:

  • Sales fees

  • Auction house fees

  • Appraisal fees


So you likely won't receive the total luxury watch value and will have fees to pay. It may be a secure and straightforward option, but it isn't the best way of selling luxury watches second-hand.


Online Watch Forums


A Rolex watch and other expensive brands can hold their value for years, even as they get considered "vintage." That's why entire forums are dedicated to finding specific models second-hand.


There's a chance you'll find someone on a forum looking for your watch who wants to pay you a fair price. But people who aren't already in these online communities can be challenging to navigate. And distinguishing between a scam and a genuine offer is just as tricky.


You may get lucky on an online forum. But it's not the most secure selling method.


Local Jewelers


Local jewelers are a safe reselling method. Like an auction house, they are reliable and likely won't try to take advantage of you.


But not every jeweler is a watch specialist. And not every watch specialist is a second-hand buying expert.


You might be able to get a reasonable price., but it most likely won't fetch you the highest price.


For those looking for a hassle-free resale, this is a good option. It is quick and safe. But you need to talk to a specialist if you want your watch's worth.


Jewelry Buying Specialists


Instead of selling to a generic jewelry store, sell to jewelry buying specialists. Their whole job is to identify and appraise jewelry of every kind. They are experts in seeing a watch's actual value, especially with the most high-end brands.


Of course, finding an expert takes more time than uploading a few photos online. But if you want to deal with the experts who appreciate your watch, this is the best way.


2. Research the Market


Regardless of how you're selling your watch, you need to answer one question first. How much is your luxury watch worth?


Why is this important, even if a jewelry store will tell you its value? Because you need to know if you're getting a good deal. Especially with luxury brands like Cartier, Omega, and Rolex, you could lose out big time if you go into a deal uninformed.


Invest some time looking through second-hand luxury watches that are currently available online. Find the average price for your exact model number, if possible. Then regardless of how you sell it, you know how fair their offer is.


3. Check for Repair History


Do you know if your watch has had any repairs? Specifically, whether you ever added any non-original parts?


This is standard practice. A faulty part, of course, needs replacing! But it could dramatically alter the value of your watch.


Find out whether all your watch's parts are original. Then check for similar watches online and see how the price is affected. Then you'll go into all offers informed.


4. Create an Informative Advert


If you sell online, getting a reasonable price is still possible. The key is sharing the correct information.

It all starts with your advert. Upload all relevant information about your watch so buyers know all the details. That also allows knowledgeable watch buyers to see your real value of yours.


But this has one exception – don't share the serial number!


5. Don't Share Serial Numbers Online


A model number identifies the type of watch. But a serial number pinpoints your exact one.

For example, if you write your Cartier serial number in your advert, scammers can use it to sell fake Cartier watches! To be on the safe side, keep this number to yourself.


6. Take Clear Photos


To feel comfortable buying your watch, online buyers must be confident in its authenticity. They also want to feel like they've seen the watch in real life to be confident in their purchase. So take clear photos in good lighting that make your watch look its best.


7. Sell with Original Extras


To get the best value for your watch, you want to sell it as close to its original condition. This goes beyond just original components.

If you have extra pieces with your watch, include these in the sale. For example, you may have the original:

  • Fabric bags

  • Extra chain links

  • Extra straps

  • Cleaning products

  • Maintenance tools

Show these to your online or in-person buyer. Their addition could boost the sale value.


8. Keep Good Records


Do your best to keep or find all your watch's documents. These include:

  • Original receipt

  • Warranty document

  • Service records


While these aren't necessary to sell a watch, they help to prove its worth and authenticity.


9. Don't Service it First


Selling luxury watches in the best condition possible is essential to get the best price. But that doesn't mean you should service them first.


Watch services can be expensive, especially for luxury brands like Cartier, Omega, and Rolex. It's impossible to know pre-sale whether you'll ever earn that money back. And if any original parts are replaced, the value could go down!


Instead, sell your watch in its current condition. Let the new owner decide whether or not they'll have it serviced.


The Best Way to Sell Luxury Watches


There is one way to sell luxury watches that avoids all this hassle. You don't need to create an advert or even set the price.


Paying a visit to a local jewelry buyer, like American Gold & Diamond Buyers, is the best choice. Their expertise in the market means they know exactly what your valuables are worth.


You don't have to navigate the world of online sales. Instead, talk to us. We'll give you a fair price that saves you from all the pitfalls of online negotiations.


Tell us about your watch today to receive a fast and fair offer.


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