The Art Of The Watch Deal
I have been collecting mens wristwatches for several years now and finally learned the ins and outs of buying watches of all sorts. My collection ranges from mens luxury watches to an inexpensive stopwatch. So I have learned how to get a great deal on the best mens watches.
Unfortunately, watches are part of the Jewelry industry which means the price you pay for the exact same timepiece is often way different from one seller to the next. Like buying a new car, haggling is expected and if you are like me and don’t like haggling. this guide will really help you save a lot of money.
Fortunately, watches are the same no matter where they are bought so comparing deals is easier than comparing jewelry. If you have chosen a watch or not, the first thing to determine is your budget. You can choose a watch in advance or not. The real key is to determine if you are interested in expensive mens watches, modern mens watches, or a vintage investment watch for the ladies because budget should determine where to make your watch investment. So we will start with my number one rule…
Never Spend More Than $20
In Any Store Which Doesn’t
Specialize In Watches!
Department stores, mall shops and watch stands are designed to sell modern mens watches at the highest prices possible and they take advantage of everyone’s lack of knowledge about watches. The only way to get a decent deal in a mall or department store is to wait for huge sales and even then, your deal is most likely to be fair at best. Plus, these places are not equipped to take care of repairs or selling extra bands. They don’t carry wrist watch parts and some can’t even help resize the watch to fit properly. This leaves Authorized Dealers, Grey Market Dealers and Ebay.
Most people choose one side or the other but I find all three good for different levels of buying. Authorized dealers are the way to go for anyone spending more than $500 because the factory will always honor their guarantee. Like all jewelry stores, they are set to negotiate, so I’ll give you tips to getting a good deal out of them in a moment. If you are looking at watches which are $500 or less, go with grey market dealers. They can and will easily beat authorized dealer prices for most digital and analog watches(watches with hands). Now here is…
The Industry’s Dirty Little Secret
The grey market dealers usually get their watches through an authorized dealer. Some even use the exact same watchmakers for warranty work as the big authorized dealers and should anything go wrong with your new watch, they always have the option of replacing the watch. They also provide box and papers for each timepiece they sell but because they don’t pay rent for a fancy store, their overhead is very little and the prices are MUCH lower. The trick is to find a grey market dealer who is not fly by night. Warranties for all companies are only good for the life of the company and any of them can go under.
If you are lucky and get to know a good grey market dealer over a long time like I did you can get those better prices on higher end pieces too. Until then, stick with an AD for anything over $500. They have loads of selections so you are sure to find something you like. Ebay is also a good place buy a watch but…
A Secret Negotiating Trick
Leave your max budget in your wallet.
After you hear the equivalent of “for you my friend…” say it is beyond your budget no matter what his price is. When they get a little lower, make an offer lower than what your budget really is. He or she will scoff and make a last offer or keep it the same. Act disappointed as you pull out your wallet to count the cash inside. You would be surprised how often a seller will say okay I’ll do it for what you got.
Another way to get exceptional deals, the kind people brag about, is to join an “alerts club.”
These special clubs share insider knowledge, tracking down those special deals as they happen.
With ‘hunt dog’ dedication, they scour the country, sniffing out hot new deals, introductory specials insider promotions and more.
If you’d like to join one today, I would, of course, like to have you join ours, which you can do by clicking here.
Cut Shopping Time A Lot!
If you know which watch you want, print out deals available on the Internet. Even Ebay auctions. Make sure to write numbers and prices on them so it looks like you have been doing a lot of homework. You just place it on the counter with your keys when you ask to see the exact watch model you are looking for. If you do all of this right, here is what the discount you can expect based on MSRP.
*Better know the dealer has been around for a long tme.
Of course discounts vary from seller to seller and some watches are actually hard to get so they do cost a bit more but the closed Ebay auction prices will tell you if that is the case. On the flip side, some watches are discounted heavily because nobody wanted them. The only way to get better deals is to spend lots of time studying watches and the market and buying used or in volume. Just like cars. Even then, you won’t find a much better deal unless you went to school as a watchmaker. Want to save even more…
Ebay Is The Worst Place To Buy
If You Don’t Know What You Are Doing There are a lot of fakes and scammers so here are rules for fishing the bay. NEVER buy from anyone without feedback in the thousands. The scammers can easily fudge the numbers to the tune of a hundred but not thousands.
Make sure the seller’s feedback is in watches.
Make sure the seller makes deals with different people and for prices around what you would be spending.
Buy only new watches.
Buying used is much more complicated so don’t buy used watches until you read our guide to buying used investment watches.
That pocket watch which looks like a good investment may not rise in value as fewer and fewer people are interested in them these days and you definitely won’t get much money back on that clock worn on body like Flava Flav but, if chosen correctly,many watches can be resold for close to what you paid. Check shipping costs.
Remember, this is money you will never get back. Often this is where the seller makes his money. They offer refunds but sending the watch back costs more than what you paid minus shipping. Asking prices mean nothing. Check complete listings for real prices and make sure you see quite a few to get a good idea how much they really can be had for. Beware of customs. Some of the most tempting deals are from abroad but even if the seller isn’t a scammer you could get hit with customs bills and duties on anything of value. They can also cause huge delays as customs officials try to determine if your band is made out anything from an endangered species.
Don’t Pay Tax
As part of the jewelry industry, it is assumed if you pay in cash the price will be tax included. Check state laws on internet tax. But most dealers who ship out of state don’t charge sales tax. Discuss everything as tax included from the start. Some authorized dealers need to ship it out of state to make it tax exempt or discount the watch even further to cover the tax.
Grey market dealers just deal with their own tax and they too can use UPS. I’m willing to share my sources but they are not allowed to advertise these prices. Like car dealers, nobody advertises their real bottom price.
Once you are set to buy a watch, email me with the watch you are looking for. I should be able to recommend someone who specializes in that brand and won’t make you haggle to get the rock bottom price. You can find authorized watch dealers all over but if you really want to get a great deal and avoid the uncertainty/hassle of negotiating, I bet my sources can beat their offer.
Good grey market dealers are located in big cities and I’m only familiar with one here in Los Angeles but they will ship. This is a good option if you are looking for a seriously good watch which doesn’t cost as much as a new car. However you should know which watch you want. The internet has a massive numbers of sources but be sure to check the sellers reputation at watch forums. This takes the most time but good deals can be had. If you are a regular Joe looking to replace your daily beater because it broke check out www.bluedial.com
Tell them Everett sent you for an extra 5% off! The way I see it, the more business I send them, the better deals we all get and if they get a lot of business, maybe I’ll get a free promotional watch or something. Peace, Everett
Some Other Things To Consider
If you ever sell your watch, certain brands hold their value better. You may get lucky and see your watch rise in price but it is super rare and since kids don’t wear watches, because they are used to checking the time on cell phones, don’t ever expect to gain money collecting watches. When I use the term investment watches, I’m only speaking of those watches which can sometimes be resold for a profit but nobody ever knows which ones will rise in value regardless if they are at the top of all men’s watch reviews.
There is only one brand of watch everyone knows is expensive and if your goal is to show you have a watch worth money, buy a Rolex. Most people have never heard of the other brands and they can’t tell what makes a watch expensive. After Rolex, Omega is the second most recognizable mens watch brand. Other than Rolex and Omega, buying a very fancy brand will only impress watch aficionados who can also be impressed by some inexpensive watches because they are just cool or rare. Conversely don’t be afraid to buy a nice wristwatch because only people who will know it is expensive are those you tell and those who do know, will understand. Many of the Swiss watch companies use the same company ETA to make their movements. They simply design their own hands, dials etc and cases and then buy an undecorated movement by ETA to throw in there. Collectors pay more for brands who actually make their own movements.
Also, technology has evolved to where making movements based on the same designs can be done cheaper and still be accurate. In the world of mechanical watches accuracy is king. The Swiss COSC or certified chronometer rating means they tested the movement and it is accurate to within 5 seconds a day. However unlike days past, it isn’t so hard to get a watch which is accurate to within 5 seconds a day as it once was. More expensive Swiss models either say certified on the dial and some even come with the test papers. This gets collectors excited but does nothing for the average Joe.
Japanese watches are dominated by Citizen and Seiko. Both are awesome and a good value. They range in price from a few bucks for some of the most popular mens watches to several grand even for digital watches like some G-Shocks but in general they are way cheaper than Swiss and work just fine. High end dealers will also negotiate a little so finding one with a good deal is a factor but customer service means a lot more with really expensive watches because in general, complicated and more unique timepieces need repair more often than workhorse watches. If you are in the market for high end watches for investments, I may also be able to point you in the right direction if you email me and let me know what brand or model you are looking to purchase.
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