How to start Selling Vintage Watches #2

In the previous step we covered the process of choosing a watch category to focus on and determining a fair market value. Not familiar? Click here to read it.  If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us! Now we will focus on the second step:

Step 2: How to determine a price for your watch plus how to start on a small budget

Determining a price for a watch starts with the information we provided you last week. Small recap: Last week we determined the minimal selling price by looking at auction results. This week we take it one step further and look at how to price your watch in the market.

On the very basic level, the price depends on three factors:

  • State of the watch
  • Service history
  • Originality

State of the watch

What is the overall condition of the watch? Are there many scratches on the watch case or glass? Is it running well? What does your “gut” tells you about this watch and its looks? Look at the general state and compare it to similar watches online. Focus on a recent and most similar one and try to price it just under or at its selling price. You’ll want to be able to sell rather quickly at the start to be able to buy new watches!

Service history

Is the service history known? If yes; great, you got a watch that is more worth than similar ones without service history. It tells when it needs to be serviced again and when the last service was, this shows the buyer that the watch works and will work for a while.
If not; no worries, just price it competitively. Be more cautious when buying as it might be pricey if it appears to need service when you get it. Private sellers won’t take returns!

Originality

Is the crown original? Is the glass original? Is the case back original? Is every part of the movement original? Take a real close look at multiple similar watches online and compare it with your watch. Anything strange or not adding up? Think twice about buying. Repainted dials are a huge thing. Old watches might get a dial repaint to make it look nicer. Sometimes they look great, but other times not quite so… Watches with repainted dials will be less worth than their fully original counterparts.

So, how to price it?

Start with the minimal selling price. Is your watch in a better state? Do you have the service history at hand? Is it original? Determine some numbers for yourself and then compare it with similar watches. Price it as close (but just under) the most similar watch you find online. Again trial and error is key. You can learn as much in 1 month “in the field” as in 1 year just studying the theory.

Extra tip: how to start when you have little budget?

There are quite a few popular and cheap watches that are sold very cheaply on one platform and for a premium on another platform. Take the Seiko 5 for example: Seiko 5’s are generally 20-40 euros on Ebay (at the moment of writing this article). They sell for an average of 50 euros on Marktplaats (again the Dutch marketplace). It takes about a month to arrive from Ebay but it’s one of the easiest profits for a small budget there is. So have some patience and enjoy selling these watches!

To summarize:

We covered 3 basic factors that you need to consider when pricing a vintage watch and we gave an extra tip: look for a watch that is cheap on one platform and more expensive on another and simply buy low and sell high!