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How to Resell Watches: Your Guide to the Resale Market

Have you ever considered selling your used watch, thinking it could get you good money?

So did most people with valuable watches at one point. It’s understandable. In this economy, we need every dollar we can get.

Luckily, watches are hot right now, and if you play your cards right and take the right factors into consideration, you can make a profitable sale.

In this post, we explore the watch market, guiding you through every step of the selling process so you can secure a good deal.

Is It Possible to Resell Watches?

Yes, it is possible to resell watches and turn a profit. The watch resale market is more prosperous than you think.

New watches sell for thousands of dollars, and not everyone is willing to pay that much for a timepiece. Many opt for high-quality used watches to get a better deal.

Besides, some manufacturers stop producing specific models after a while. If people want to buy any of these discontinued models, they buy a used one.

What Kinds of Watches Sell Well?

Not every watch will sell for a high price. Some hold more value than others. These include:

  • Popular brands: Omega is a coveted luxury brand. Any watch of theirs will sell for a high price.
  • Rare watches: If there’s high demand and low supply for your watch, you can find a proper buyer in no time.
  • Visually-appealing pieces: Not everyone buys a watch to tell the time. Some buy them based on their aesthetic value.

What Is the Value of Watches?

There isn’t a definitive answer to that question, as it depends on the watch’s condition, brand, age, and original price.

Watches aren’t cheap. Offering a generous discount will lead to a huge loss, so you want to be careful.

If your watch is a bit generic, we recommend deducting around 20% of its original price. You can offer a bigger discount to get ahead of the competition, but that might seem suspicious to potential buyers.

Do Watches Lose Value Over Time?

In most cases, yes, watches depreciate over time. They’re like cars; once you take them out of the store and use them, their value decreases. It’s not that simple, though, as other variables factor into the equation.

All brands aren’t equal. If your generic watch loses some of its value over time, a luxury Rolex watch won’t. It’s the most popular watch brand in the world, and collectors are always pursuing Rolex watches. It’s only natural they retain their value over the years.

Some watches can even increase in value over time. These models are usually rare, so they sell for more than their original price.

The most prominent example of that is the white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Unicorn watch. It sold for $5.9 million because bidders believed it was one of the rarest types in the world.

Things to Consider When Reselling Watches

With online selling, there’s always a chance you won’t get a buyer. That means you’re doing something wrong. We have a few tips that might help increase your chances of securing a good deal.

1. Box and Papers

It may not seem important, but having the original box the watch came in and its papers can make or break your sale.

Providing the box and papers makes potential clients feel safe. It shows them you’re a serious, respectable seller. Additionally, having the box and papers allows you to charge more for the watch.

2. Description

Yes, photos are essential in online sales, but a proper description that compliments these photos is equally important. It should mention every crucial information about the watch. That includes its condition, reference number, and materials. You should also mention if it has any aftermarket accessories.

3. Shipping

When you sell watches online, don’t be surprised if you end up doing the shipping yourself. If that’s the case, add the shipping costs to the watch’s price.

Do extensive research on shipping companies near you. Make sure they can safely ship such delicate items with care while offering affordable services.

Where to Resell Watches

There are several platforms to sell your watches on. Each one offers a different experience. Choose a platform that suits your circumstances and caters to your needs. 

In this section, we shed light on some of the best platforms to sell your watch on. We explore what they offer and what makes them a suitable option.

1. The RealReal

a screenshot of the realreal homepage

This platform is all about keeping it real (pun intended). Throughout years of transparency and integrity, The RealReal has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the watch industry.

What Makes This Option Great

When you contact The RealReal, the staff provides a guide who takes you through every step of the selling process. They also put you up with experts who do all the hard labor for you.

They authenticate, price, and take pictures of your watch to present it in the most authentic, flattering light. The authentication process is rigorous, as they use various brand authenticators. That only speaks for their work ethics, though.

  • Fees/Commissions: They don’t take fees. They buy the watch from you to sell it on their platform.
  • Payment Method: You can get a direct deposit, check, or site credit. A site credit increases by 5% each month.

2. Chrono24

a screenshot of the 
chrono24 homepage

If you’ve been following the watch market for a while, you probably heard about Chrono24. It’s been in the business for years, hosting thousands of private and professional sellers.

What Makes This Option Great

It’s built specifically to sell luxury watches. That means it already speaks to your target audience. It also gets millions of customers around the world, so you won’t face trouble finding potential clients.

Private sellers get free listings and there’s customer support in 16 languages.

The website makes the selling process as easy as possible. If you can’t settle on a price, you can always use the free appraisal tool as a starting point.

  • Fees/Commissions: 6.5% of the total amount of your sale.
  • Payment Method: PayPal, bank transfer, Apple Pay, etc. You get to decide it yourself.

3. eBay

a screenshot of the ebay resell homepage

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that eBay is one of the largest-selling platforms on the internet.

What Makes This Option Great

You’d be speaking to a wider audience than on the previous two websites. You also get 250 free listings, making it ideal if you’re starting a small business.

The interface is intuitive. You won’t face any trouble navigating the website and putting your watch for sale.

  • Fees/Commissions: 15% on the total amount of your sale up to $1000 calculated per item. 6.5% on the portion of your sale over $1000 up to $7,500. 3% on the portion of your sale over $7,500.
  • Payment Method: Registered checking account.

What You’ll Need to Resell Watches

Selling a watch is an easy task. Just put it up online or hand it to a collector, receive the money, and live in luxury for the rest of your life, right? Wrong.

There’s more to selling watches than meets the eye. If you want to make the process as smooth as possible, you need to make the right preparations. 

  • Storage cases: There’s no point in asking for a high price if your watch has accumulated damage over time. Keeping it in good condition is a must. We recommend a sturdy watch case or a watch winder.
  • Cleaning supplies: Even if you keep your watches in a safe space, they’re bound to collect some dust or dirt. Cleaning supplies are necessary to make them presentable.
  • Shipping supplies: If you’re shipping the watch yourself, you need proper materials. Those include boxes, labels, and bubble wrap.
  • Good photographs: That’s one of the most crucial aspects of the selling process. If you take bad photos of your watches, they won’t appeal to potential buyers, even if they’re in good condition. Learn when to diversify camera angles, what makes a good composition, and how to use natural light.
  • Payment method: Choose a payment method you’re comfortable with, like PayPal, Venmo, or direct bank transfers.

How to Resell Watches: Step-By-Step Instructions

Now it’s time to take the necessary steps toward a successful sale. If you’re a first-time seller, the process can be overwhelming, as you still don’t know what to do.

That’s why we made this simple step-by-step guide. It takes you through every step of the process to ensure you secure a profitable deal.

Step 1. Clean Your Watch

A watch isn’t something you use all the time. In some cases, it can even spend most of its lifespan in a storage case. It’s bound to collect some dust or dirt.

A good first step would be taking it out of the box and giving it a good clean. Not only does it increase its visual appeal, but it also allows you to charge more when you sell it.

While you’re at it, try to fix any damage the watch has accumulated over time. That includes any loose buttons or damaged leather.

Step 2. Research the Market Value of Your Watch

That’s the most crucial step in the selling process. Don’t just base your price on what you think the watch is worth. Research how in demand it is to have an accurate price range.

Remember, an unrealistically high price will push buyers away, while a low price results in a huge loss. You want to maintain a proper balance.

You can start by checking the websites we mentioned above and see how much similar watches sell for.

We also recommend going to a professional appraiser to inspect your watch. They take in all the relevant factors that influence a watch’s price and offer a realistic price range.

Step 3. Choose the Selling Platform

Before putting your watch for sale, you need to make one last decision: Do you want to sell online or offline? Both ways have their pros and cons. 

Selling your watch to a local dealer or a collector is more straightforward. They inspect it, make an offer, and give you your payment. Done.

Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over the price. Sure, you can negotiate, but that can only take you so far.

A crucial aspect to consider when selling to a dealer is the city you sell in. Yes, different cities offer different prices for used watches.

If you want to get the highest price for your watch, New York City is the best place to sell a luxury watch.

Online selling, on the other hand, is more demanding. You have to make your watch more appealing, take good pictures, do all the necessary networking, etc.

On the upside, selling your watch online helps you reach a wider audience. You also have the freedom to set your prices.

Can You Make Money Flipping Watches?

Yes, you can. With the growing interest in watches, some manufacturers produce limited numbers of high-demand models to sell out fast. That opens the door for resellers to put their watches for sale and ask for a high price.

What Is a Watches Resale Business?

A watches resale business is where you buy watches to sell them to your audience. It’s become a popular side hustle these past few years. Some even turn it into a full-time business.

Is Reselling Watches a Good Way to Make Money?

It’s a good way to make money, but whether you actually profit or not depends on your skills. Let’s go over the pros and cons of reselling watches.  

Pros of Reselling Watches

  • The watch resale market is big, so you won’t struggle to find potential clients.
  • You get to customize your workflow to your liking.
  • Since watches sell for thousands of dollars, you can make good money from one sale.

Cons of Reselling Watches

  • You need to do extensive research to identify high-demand watches.
  • The value of watches fluctuates frequently.
  • Some watches take years to increase in value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now you have everything you need to resell your watch. Here are a few common questions to give you a better idea of the watch market.

Do watches have good resale value?

As you know by now, that’s not a yes or no question. Most watches lose some of their original value over time. Depending on the brand, condition, and age of the watch, however, some can retain or even increase in value.

Is it hard to sell watches?

Not really. The watch market is big, and people are becoming more interested in them. A luxury timepiece that offers aesthetic and functional value will sell.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

If you’re interested in learning how to resell various items, we have different guides that can help you.

  • Resell Jewelry: Learn how to make your jewelry stand out on the market so you can secure a good deal.
  • Resell Bags: A step-by-step guide that takes you through every step of the selling process so you can resell bags for profit.
  • Resell Designer Clothes: Make your designer clothes cut through the noise and stand out on the market.

Wrapping Up

The next time you see a friend looking to resell watches, you can tell them that the first step is to prepare the watch for sale. A proper clean-up will help make them more presentable.

In-depth research on the market value of your watch is bound to help set a realistic price. Since the watch market is big, you can find various platforms to sell on. Choose one that suits your circumstances.  

Did you find this guide helpful? If so, be sure to share it with others who might find it interesting. Also, if you have any questions or concerns, let us know in the comments section below.

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