Buying watches can be a tedious task for some, and it can be a thrill for others – but we have all been there, when you’re almost ready to add the watch to the basket and checkout, but your inner angel says otherwise. It’s that thought in the back of your mind, which is telling you “Is this legitimate?”, “Do I need this watch?” etc.
So in light of this common occurrence, we at Lux Horology, have created this guide on how to buy pre-owned watches – and we discuss what you should look out for, what things to do, what things not to do, and give you the opportunity to understand the overview of buying pre-owned watches.
Why should you buy pre-owned watches?
When it comes to pre-owned watches, they are a blessing in disguise. The amount of money you can save on incredible timepieces in which you’ve always wanted to own, is staggering. I understand that some of you might want a brand new watch, instead of one which has already been used. However, if you’re reading this article – you’re most likely going to be wanting to find out more about buying pre-owned watches… so let’s continue.
Why should you buy pre-owned watches? Firstly, let’s discuss the price of the watches. When it comes down to buying a second hand watch, the price is a lot lower than that of retail price, which is expected. But if you’re someone who doesn’t really care about having a brand new watch – this is perfect, because you get to enjoy the watch you wanted for a fraction of the price.
Not only does it allow you to buy them cheaper, but also if we take a look at vintage watches, and models which have been discontinued by their brands, the only way you can buy them is through private dealers, or on marketplaces where they’re pre-owned. So if you’re someone who is taking their watch collection seriously, you’re most likely going to end up buying a pre-owned watch anyway – so make sure to absorb some of the things to look out for (as we’ll discuss throughout this post).
What are the best websites to buy pre-owned watches from?
There are many places where you can buy pre-owned watches, we’ll list each one below and discuss their advantages and disadvantages:
eBay – A great platform, probably the most well known marketplace, being recognised globally. It offers reasonable fees if you’re selling, and it guarantees authenticity when purchasing watches over £2000. You can place bids, make “Best offers”, and buy watches instantly – this diversification through the purchasing process actually allows you to find some bargains on there as well. This is as a lot of people sometimes don’t understand the value of the watches they’re selling and the price it’s worth.
– Incredibly easy to buy.
– Guaranteed authenticity when purchasing a watch over £2000.
– Range of buying options.
– Option to contact sellers directly.
– Sellers have ratings (gives you confidence in purchase).
– When buying watches under £2000, you have to be more careful.
Watch forums – Not only do watch forums allow you to read interesting posts, but sites such as “WatchUSeek” allow you to purchase watches from other dealers selling on there. This way of purchasing is usually through private sellers, and sometimes it can be hard to know if watches are genuine or not.
– Easy to purchase.
– Contacting the seller is easy.
– Members have scores based on their questions and answers.
– Can be hard to tell if seller is trustworthy as there is no seller rating.
Chrono 24 – This website is one of the leading pre-owned watches marketplace available – it allows you to choose from a range of used watches (nearly 500,000 to be precise). The fact that every one of the watches are guaranteed as authentic is also a major positive note to take away too. It allows you to search for a particular watch you’re looking for, and is just like any other watch website, in terms of quick delivery and the confidence when buying.
– Has a wide range of pre-owned watches to choose from.
– Guarantees authenticity in every watch purchased.
– Great product descriptions.
– Fair prices.
– Has a private client advisor.
– Seller reviews and ratings.
The Do’s and Don’ts of buying a pre-owned watch
When it comes to buying pre-owned watches, there are a few things in which you should do, and there are also a few things you should not do, and we’ll highlight them, so you can make sure that your buying experience is as good as it can possibly be.
Things you should do:
Check the sellers rating – This will allow you to understand whether or not the seller is trustworthy, and to know if it will be okay sending them money for the watch. The seller rating also indicates whether or not their watches for sale are genuine or not, as people would most likely leave negative comments if so.
Compare prices on various different websites and marketplaces – This will mean you can find the perfect watch you’ve been looking for, at the best possible price available across all platforms. It also helps you to understand if there are any patterns within the prices on the different websites, and you can start to choose which one you enjoy buying from the most.
Know your watches – Knowing your watch before you buy it, is important. Let’s use the Seiko SKX031J as an example. This model has two reference numbers, “SKX031J” and “SKXO31”, and this could be the difference between you overpaying for a model you didn’t even want in the first place. So making sure you understand what you’re buying, can be vital when looking to purchase a watch.
Look for box and papers – This isn’t a must, as older watches for example are less likely to still be found with their box and papers, but for recent models, in terms of going to sell the watch on later down the line – it can be important to keep them as it allows for buyers to trust what your selling is genuine. However, in saying this, take it with a pinch of salt – as a lot of people selling genuine watches online don’t have box or papers, and this is perfectly fine… just something to be wary of.
Things you should not do:
Do not buy from an untrustworthy seller – This is one of the biggest concerns that a lot of people have when buying a pre-owned watch online – however, some people often rush into buying the watch, and without looking at the reviews or rating of the seller, just purchase. This can result in a poor experience.
Do not buy watches from untrusted or regulated platforms – This can be a mistake people make – unless you actually know the person you’re buying from, it’s better to stay clear of sellers which aren’t selling on trusted sites such as eBay and marketplaces such as Chrono 24.