Is there a market for pre-owned watches?
Avid watch collectors could be sitting on a veritable gold mine. If you are looking to sell your timepieces, today's pre-owned luxury watch market makes it easy for you to find buyers for them – and opens up the possibility of netting you a handsome profit.
Only specific luxury watch brands function well on the resale market (as mentioned on our post How Much is my Luxury Watch Worth). Swiss watch brands perform reliably well in the pre-owned space. Brands such as Rolex and TAG Heuer manufacture top-notch models that consumers know and trust. The pre-owned watches that consumers will gravitate towards are the reputable and trusted brands that have a strong visibility. Lesser-known brands typically won't be successful on the resale arena.
Many luxury timepieces appreciate in value over time. After a luxury watch is purchased, certain models hold their value well and steadily rise in price as long as the owner gives the watch proper maintenance. The pieces that appreciate the most are typically vintage watches, scarce models, one-of-a-kind designs and watches with a special history behind them. Purchasing a watch that fits in one of these categories might give you a better chance to profit from your chronological investment (read this post about the investing potential of watches).
New Watch Sales
The cycle of watch ownership dictates that consumers continue to purchase new watches periodically. As consumers acquire the limited and special-edition timepieces, they keep the purchase cycle going that should eventually place these pieces in the resale market. For optimal resale value, consumers should save the original box, certification and purchase documentation, as well as all maintenance records for the watch. Watch owners should also assure that the watch is properly maintained and serviced over time so that it remains in pristine condition.
Sales on auction websites such as eBay and Craigslist make it possible for consumers to list almost anything for private purchase, including luxury watches. Nevertheless, it is typically a bit of challenge to sell a luxury watch this way. It normally involves doing some marketing to effect the actual transaction. Many would-be buyers also don't fully comprehend what a luxury watch should be worth, which is not ideal for the seller.
Auction houses are standard venues for buying and selling luxury items like watches. Selling a luxury watch at an auction house makes it more likely that you will receive a higher price for it because the buyers present are normally more cognizant of the watch's true value. The upper echelon auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's are typically the best choices for the higher-end models. For lower-end watches, the profit margin will be less once the auction house fees are taken into consideration.
Many luxury watch retailers have extended their service to include both the buying and selling of high-end timepieces. As a retailer develops a close relationship with a consumer, the buying and selling process often occurs naturally. Consumers who enjoy collecting watches tend to add new models to their repertoire over time. A consumer oftentimes may decide to sell a watch he or she is bored with to help finance the purchase of a different piece. Thanks to the World Wide Web, consumer savviness has eroded profit margins for recommerce retailers to some extent. The more that sellers research watch values online, they more they demand higher selling prices for their pre-owned arsenal (this is how we recommend that all our clients try to sell their used watches).
Watch retailers may have a “waiting list” of consumers searching for specific models on the resale market. The company will search for the desired pieces, purchase them from consumers or other dealers and then sell them to the clients on their list. In the world of pre-owned watches, acquiring inventory – especially distinct inventory – can be the most challenging aspect of the process. That is why some retailers might offer consumers a straight purchase option for pre-owned models and others a consignment opportunity, which could net the consumer a higher profit. Retailers like CRM Jewelers who are in the business of buying, selling, trading and servicing watches have a unique niche because consumers can conduct a wide variety of transactions and receive a diverse set of services from the same company.
Verification of authenticity and condition is of paramount importance in any pre-owned sales transaction. Both the buyer and seller naturally have concerns about trusting each other. One wants to ensure that the value of the watch is accurate and the other that the payment will be received. That is why it is important for a retailer to make potential customers feel at ease about the company's reliability and trustworthiness.
Retailers can do this by providing customers with information about their status as an authorized retailer and, more importantly, genuine customer reviews, testimonials, etc. Generally, a retailer will require the consumer to bring in the watch for a thorough examination and appraisal. After examining the watch, the retailer will make the customer an offer based on the condition of the watch. If the seller accepts the offer, the parties will complete the transaction. As the pre-owned market for luxury watches continues to grow and evolve, consumers have more and more options for both buying and selling their existing pre-owned models. CRM Jewelers specializes in like-new, pre-owned watches that customers can invest in and frequently save a substantial amount of money on – a much more attractive option than buying from big-name jewelry dealers.
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