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How to Get the Maximum Price for Your Watch

Picture this: you’re a twenty-something young professional with a burgeoning career, you love your job, and your boss has already discussed your future growth within the company. A promotion is on the horizon (don’t roll your eyes, it’s possible).

With a promotion comes a significant pay increase and a lot more responsibility. No longer can you quietly show up to work, keep your head down, and do your work anonymously.

While there are pros and cons to this, you realize that your future is going to change and with that change, so must your daily habits, wardrobe, and most importantly your watch.

It is time for an upgrade, you’ve earned it.  And while that beautiful and likely well-loved entry-level luxury timepiece gifted to you at graduation has treated you well, it is time to find yourself a timepiece that will look just as good in boardroom meetings as it would at weekend drinks with friends.

But before making your next purchase you need to figure out what to do with your old timepiece. So, today, we will discuss some tips on how to get the most money for your watch.

How to Get the Maximum Price for Your Watch

Tips 1: Understand Your Timepiece

For most of the population, a traditional timepiece seems a bit antiquated, especially with the rise in popularity of smart watches due to their convenience and functionality. 

While it is safe to say that a smart watch is designed to benefit those wearing it in many more ways than a traditional timepiece, a smartwatch isn’t designed to last or be handed down from one generation to another.

With that said, the first and most important rule in selling your watch is understanding your watch inside and out, knowing what makes it special or unique.

This means understanding the brand/model of your watch, country of origin, automatic or quartz driven movement, and specific materials used to build your watch. These will all be a factor in what your watch is worth.

So, if you aren’t a huge watch nerd like so many of us out there, do some research, use resources online and on Youtube to learn more about your watch, you might be surprised with what you learn.

Tip 2: Market Research

The next step when looking to sell your watch, is proper research into the watch market and what the current value for your watch is.  A good place to do this is through online forums such as Watchuseek if you plan on selling your watch to a private party to see what they are selling for in a private party transaction. 

There are pros and cons to private party deals. On the upside you will likely get a little more for your watch than you would through a pre-owned watch dealer, but the downside is it may take longer to sell, and you could run into issues with scammers.

But if you are looking to sell to the previously mentioned pre-owned watch dealers it is important when doing your research to look at reputable dealers who have a great track record and great client relations. 

One benefit of selling to a legitimate dealer is that you will likely be able to sell it a little faster and if that particular dealer has a watch you’ve had your eye on, you can put the funds or trade value on your old watch towards your new one.

For most, the worry-free route of selling to a pre-owned dealer is the way to go.

man checking his watch

Tip 3: To service or not to service?

The next step in the sales process is to figure out if you are going to sell to a private party or to a watch dealer.

This will help you decide on the next big question when selling your timepiece, to service or not to service?

If you are new to watches or aren’t necessarily an “enthusiast” it is important to note that watches, regardless of the movement type i.e., automatic or quartz powered, require the movement to serviced routinely.  Now service intervals vary from watch to watch, but it is always a good practice to be mindful of your watches service history.

With that said, the answer to our previously asked question has two answers. 

For those selling to a private party, it is advised but not required, to service your watch before the sale.  The reason being it could potentially provide added value for the buyer knowing that the timepiece was properly cared for by its previous owner.  It also means that the buyer will not have to service the timepiece for at least a few years.

Now, for those selling to a dealer, servicing before a sale is not advised.  Reason being, most reputable watch dealers have trusted watchmakers working in-house who’s work they know well.  This will also make them more apt and comfortable when offering a warranty on the timepiece.

man holding a watch

Tip 4: Keep Great Records

This was briefly touched on in the previous section, but it deserves its own due to the importance.

Much like a car, motorcycle, or even house, the value that someone puts on your watch is greatly impacted by the records you keep such as service history, receipts, box & papers, etc.

All of these will help authenticate the timepiece regardless of who you decide to sell the watch to.

It is worth noting that many buyers, whether they are making a purchase through a private transaction or through a dealer prefer to have the full box & papers in the event that they decide to trade or sell the watch in the future.

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Tip 5: Realistic Expectations

The final tip when selling your timepiece is one that many people don’t account for and that is having a realistic expectation of what your watch is worth.

Remember earlier when we discussed knowing your watch inside and out and doing market research on your timepiece?  Well, it is important to take all of information you have gathered into account when selling your watch and not let emotions get in the way.

Every watch collector has a timepiece in their collection that means something to them, most of the time that timepiece will never leave the collection due to its emotional significance. And, while the experiences with that watch might add value to it in your mind, that isn’t going to be the case for the buyer.

So, when you are preparing to sell your watch make sure you are positive that it is time to part ways with it and be realistic in what kind of figure you want to get out of it.

How to Get the Maximum Price for Your Watch

Final Thoughts

Those of us who consider themselves to be watch enthusiasts seem to be constantly buying, trading, and selling timepieces.

And while it is an unbelievably wonderful hobby filled with great timepieces and people, we understand that not everyone likes to nerd out over the intricate detail and beauty of a dying artform.

So, if you are new to watches, are a long-time enthusiast, or just looking to sell a watch, use the tips above to get started and remember that once you fall in love with this crazy hobby you might be using these tips more often than you think.