As a lot of you out there I am sure, I like watches. I am not the collector type, I like watches I can wear. Let’s make one thing clear: Even if I did not have any budget limitation I still would not feel comfortable wearing a wrist watch worth more than a person’s house. Not to say I don’t appreciate their craftsmanship and the work behind it. I just would not wear it, ergo, even if I were a billionaire I doubt I would buy one.
What I do enjoy buying instead is watches with some history, with designs that speak about an era. The idea of objects that survive their owners and their makers has always fascinated me.
The Auction part
It’s about the game and the one that is the most accessible to everybody is without a doubt Ebay.
I personally like to buy on auctions when they are for items that we don’t really need asap but that we would like to have if at the right opportunity occurs (price vs condition).
Auction are a fun game indeed but there are a few tricks that I have learned that I would like to share:
- The actual final price usually shows up in the last day of last few hours of the auction you still might want to get in early but don’t forget to check your auction at when it is about to end.
- If an auction has no reserve price you are sure (unless the item is withdrawn) that the seller will have to sell to the highest bidder
- If you are willing to wait a few days or a week more you might realise the exchange rate is on your side when buying in a currency that is weaker than the one you hold.
How do you trust a seller and know if the watch is genuine
My personal rule is not to buy anything that would trouble me losing. That said I do a little homework before buying anything and in particular before buying a high ticket items such as a watch in the multiple £$€100s already.
Here is what I look at to play safer:
(please don’t take this as an exhaustive list and feel free to add more in the comment)
- Who is the seller and what has he sold recently and what do people feedback say. I usually look at the worst reviews not the best ones
- Where is the item ? Is it shipped from a country that has a low corruption legal system (say Japan) vs China.
- Paypal is key as a form of payment as it protects the buyer more than the seller
- The quality of pictures and maybe more pictures (or even a video) to make sure the seller actually has the item at hand
- Return policy if any
- Selling company details (if any)
- Fairness of pricing. If an item is worth £2000+ and it’s selling at £100 something is wrong maybe the seller states what is wrong and it shows in the picture but if that is not the case? Proof of purchase ?
- If a watch has no case or paperwork is surely more risky but it is also cheaper and if you are not a collector that will save you money.
[Fun Fact: Cartier and Rolex original boxes are actually sold in the £100s on Ebay]
After all I always thought the greatest luxury of our time is TIME itself.