How to Sell Luxury Watches: 4 Options to Get Top Timepiece Dollar

how to sell luxury watchesHave a luxury watch or timepiece that you want to offload but don’t know where to sell?

This is a common dilemma many watch owners face as selling a luxury watch involves many factors ranging from fees, time to sale, convenience, exposure, and of course, the dollar amount you can expect to receive.

Below, we take a look at the four types of options you have for selling your luxury watch and weigh each so you can make an objective decision for your specific scenario. These options include:

  1. Dealers & Retailers
  2. Craigslist, Ebay, Etc.
  3. Online-only Buyers
  4. Auction Houses

Selling Watches with Dealers & Retailers

Dealers are retailers are companies with a physical, brick-and-mortar building. These can range from your local pawn shop to the resident mom and pop jeweler, to a reputable watch buyer like Twery’s, to sophisticated brand name retailers you’d find in the mall.

Going to your local retailer is often the simplest and quickest way to sell your luxury watch, and in many instances, you can simply sell your watch “as is” with no recourse in the event the watch stops ticking moments later.

However, not all retailers are created the same and your local pawn shop or jewelry store may not have the expertise in properly evaluating your timepiece. Thus, selling your classic Rolex, for example, may not fetch the dollar amount you may have thought. Additionally, retailers tend to have considerably more overhead than online options, and this means that their reduced margins mean they’ll offer less for your watch.

The most trusted of these options in terms of finding a retailer that understands the value of your timepiece is the seasoned luxury watch buyer like Twery’s or the luxury watch retailer.

Perform your due diligence and get a few offers but keep in mind that you can always negotiate. When selling your luxury timepiece to a retailer you are seeking the quickest sale but may be taking a gamble on the payout. Especially for watches that are worth $5,000 or more, you’d probably be best served to rule out pawn shops and smaller jewelers and opt for specialized watch buyers.

sell Breitling watchSelling Watches with Craigslist, Ebay, Etc.

Social selling or auction websites like Craigslist, Ebay, or OfferUp need no introduction as most people have bought, or sold, goods on these convenient, wide-reaching sites or apps. These sites are huge and can potentially showcase your watch to thousands, if not millions, of potential buyers.

Ebay, in particular, is great if there is someone who wants your exact watch as they are likely to find it and start a discussion with you if the price is right. However, Ebay does come with its cons as does each of the selling options listed on this post. First off, if you are new to Ebay or don’t have a robust seller profile, you likely won’t evoke enough trust to sell a high ticket item like a luxury watch. You need a few established sales under your belt for Ebay to give you a high seller ranking and for total strangers to trust you enough to buy from you.

Of course, a online auction site like Ebay has a dispute area should products not live up to their descriptions. Still, buying an expensive watch from a person you you’ve never met is probably not the most ideal way that buyers will purchase expensive watches.

Then there are the fees. Ebay charges as much as 5-10% depending on your seller history and ranking, making the biggest tradeoff here between the wide audience you are advertising to and the fees you’ll have to absorb.

Then there are the local social selling sites like Craigslist and OfferUp where websites or apps connect potential buyers with sellers. Posting your item here is a lot like Ebay with the exception that your buying audience will likely be limited to your local geographic region. The challenge with these outlets is actually finding a buyer who appreciates a luxury watch and is willing to pay top dollar for it. These sites, while convenient and free of fees, tend to attract deal-seekers and are not always the best outlets to sell luxury items like watches.

sell your rolexSelling Watches with Online-only Buyers

More recently, online only shops like Crown & Caliber or Bob’s Watches have popped up as attractive options for selling luxury watches for top dollar. While these watch buying houses don’t have the convenience of a local watch buyer, they do have strong reputations and can provide a quick quote.

If you do sell your watch to an online shop, you will have to send it in before you are paid which may make some sellers a bit uncomfortable, especially if they are sending their vintage, $40,000 Rolex through the mail. However, given the trust in the larger online watch buying/selling houses, this seems to be getting easier to digest for many consumers.

Some of these online options also offer consignment services, meaning you get the benefit of the wide audience they attract but also the fees that come along with this convenience.

If you choose this route, look for a online buyer that specializes in the type of watch you are selling as they may be willing to give you a higher price.

sell luxury watches - RolexSelling Watches with Auction Houses

Auction houses such as Sotheby’s or Christie’s are the tried and true method for selling high ticket items like luxury watches. Plus, some people like to attend the auctions and even enjoy the sexiness of saying “I sold my watch at Sotheby’s.”

Auction houses are also attractive because there is a high trust factor that you may not get with Ebay or an online watch buyer. The other benefit is you’ll often reach a more discerning audience who will appreciate your opulent timepiece and a bid war may ensue that results in your financial benefit.

On the other hand, the process in which to sell a watch through an auction house can be trying. The turnaround is often very slow due to the frequency of the auctions, there are lots of fees associated with listing your watch with such prestige, and the likelihood that you’ll reach a large audience that is interested in your watch is low. Furthermore, you’d be hard-pressed to sell a watch under $10,000 as the auction houses usually don’t find these types lower tier items too attractive.

Where to Sell my Luxury Watch Closing Thoughts

As you can see, each of the above four options comes with their own pros and cons. For the quickest turnaround and those looking for nearly instant cash in hand, a retailer like Twery’s is probably your best bet. Other local brick-and-mortars like small jewelers and pawn shops are unlikely to appreciate the uniqueness of your timepiece or offer you top dollar.

Online auction or social selling sites like Ebay offer the greatest audience, but the trust factor as well as fees make this outlet a tricky sell. Online-only watch shops are a great option, but you’ll have to send a high ticket item through the mail and find a shop you can trust and where fraud concern is alleviated.

Finally, auction houses have strong trust and appeal but tend to have high fees and low eyeball counts. They do tend to fetch decent dollar amounts if you can wait the often months-long process.

If you are in the Palm Beach County area and are looking for a reputable watch buyer, contact the pros at Twery’s for a quick quote.