The art of selling luxury watches: what to look out for

When the time has come to part with your luxury watch, you’re likely to want to get the best price possible.

Whether you’re selling a Rolex, Breitling, Omega or Tag Heuer, vintage or current, many preparations remain the same.

We’ve listed five important things to look out for to ensure you get a good deal.

How much similar items are selling for?#

Selling anything successfully and for a fair price requires doing a bit of research to get a handle on the marketplace.

Invest some effort into discovering what watches sell for, how the condition of them impacts on sales, the popular brands and niche features that grab attention.

It’s important to understand the telltale signs of a fake and to pay attention to detail in terms of any alterations, engravings, damage or faults.

If you’re seeking to become a trader, building a reputation is key and being honest about the items you have for sale will help you get established. For a one-off sale of your own item, be honest with yourself about the condition of the watch first and save yourself hassle by describing it accurately.

Accurate product descriptions

Accurate, punchy and thorough product descriptions help items to sell. Buyers need to know exactly what is on offer and the more detail you’re able to provide up front, the more likely you’ll make a seamless sale.

Reconditioned watches in tip top condition are going to sell for more. Some expert sellers will take care of repairs for you and sell the watch on your behalf for an agreed price or commission.

If you wish to go it alone, you may wish to consider getting a trusted watch repairer to give the watch the once over. If you don’t want the risk of paying for that, you can consider selling without servicing a watch, but expect the price you get to be lower. Though, bear in mind that some traders will prefer to buy a watch in an unserviced condition.

Especially in the case of vintage watches, buyers may prefer original parts so beware of replacements being used during servicing. You may be wise to declare any replacement parts in your product description for full disclosure.

Ensure you know and list the exact make and model of the watch.

Your watch serial number can help you to ascertain when your watch was produced if you don’t have paperwork that states it.

Serial numbers appear are etched on watches in different places depending on the brand, often on the exterior or interior of the caseback. The original paperwork will also feature the serial number.

Don’t share the serial number with anyone as it may be used by a fraudster.

Details in photos

Excellent photos are a must when selling a watch, and the detail, reflections, background and the set-up of the photos all matter.

Buyers are purchasing a luxury product and want to fall in love with the aesthetics of it. They need to be able to see the subtleties of the face and strap and to be able to be reassured about the condition.

Be careful to ensure serial numbers are not visible.

Original packaging and paperwork

Authenticity is key to buyers and being able to demonstrate that your luxury watch is  genuine will help you achieve a sale and a higher price.

Gather together original papers, receipts, packaging and any additional items you have, such as spare bracelet links, and mention them in the product description.

Some watch manufacturers will be able to provide paperwork for your watch if you have lost or misplaced it, which may be a worthwhile investment.

Safety risks and poor deals

Selling a luxury watch can be a tricky business fraught with potential pitfalls and even danger.

There have been cases of robberies of people who advertised a watch for sale. It’s vital to ensure that you don’t put yourself in harm’s way when advertising valuable items.

If you are going to advertise and sell your watch directly, it’s important to trust your instincts, arrange a safe, public place to meet and beware.

If you’re trading online it’s important to be sure of the value of what you’re selling to avoid being given a poor deal by someone who knows better.

A number of traders are available that provide a full service and act as a third party buffer between you and the buyer. Again, do your research before engaging a particular firm, ensure you have a grasp of the terms and conditions of the sale and that your watch is insured whilst in their care.

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