Getting the Most for Your Luxury Watch

sell your watchYou’ll find lots of articles online about buying luxury watches, and that makes sense – lots of people buy luxury watches all the time.  But sometimes, you want to sell a luxury watch.

The reasons can vary – perhaps you just don’t want the watch anymore.  Perhaps you want to use the money to buy something else.  Perhaps you simply need the money.  Whatever the reason, you’re going to have to address various issues when you want to sell a luxury watch.  After all, it’s a lot easier to buy a luxury watch than it is to sell one, especially if you’re trying to get top dollar.

Here are a few ways that you can sell a luxury watch.  Each has their pros and cons:

  • Private sale.  If you know someone personally who wants to buy your watch, obviously, that’s the way to go.  There is no middleman, you can quickly come to a price, and you can accept whatever payment terms you like.
  • Auction house.  This works best for ultra-rare items.  You can consign your watch through auction houses such as Christies, Phillips, or Sotheby’s. This isn’t for a run-of-the-mill Omega Speedmaster, but if you have an unusual Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe or an original Rolex Paul Newman Daytona, you might find that they’re interested.  They’ll add a fee on top of the sales price for the buyer to pay.
  • Auction it yourself.  You can sell it on eBay, for instance, for either a fixed price or an auction price.  Upside – you’ll get as much as the market is willing to bear.  Downsides – you’d best have a lot of provenance.  EBay will take a fee for the listing and a portion of the final value price.  There’s a lot of competition, even at the high end, so your watch may get lost in the shuffle unless it’s something really unusual.
  • Pawn shop.  Great for getting a quick sale.  The downside is that you’re not going to get top dollar.  Pawn shops aren’t the best places to buy high end watches, so pawnbrokers aren’t likely to pay top dollar to get yours, as it might end up sitting on their shelf for a long time before they can sell it.
  • Consignment.  Some jewelers and watch dealers will sell the item on consignment.  They will usually take a percentage of the sales price as a commission.  Downside – It might take a long time to sell, depending on the watch and the clientele of the seller.

selling a watchThere are also a few dealers of watches online who buy high end watches for resale.  You won’t get full retail price, but you might get a fair wholesale price for the watch.  Some of these retailers pay quickly, sometimes overnight and a few even offer to pay the shipping to get the watch to them.  A Web search will turn up a number of companies that regularly buy and sell second hand watches.

With anything collectible, it can be difficult to sell quickly while also getting a good return on your purchase price.  There is usually a tradeoff between getting a quick sale and getting the most money.

Still, if you have a worthwhile watch to sell, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a buyer for it.