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Hi forum!

I recently moved to Zürich and over the last month I have visited over 15 watch stores (some independent, others part of larger chains) to help buy a watch for my brother's wedding.

Overall, the experience has been dismal
 

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Maybe your problem is the old "I don't know what I want but when I see it I will know." There may be too many options out there for that approach, if that is your approach. You may need a better idea of what it is you are after.

A friend of mine came over for help buying a watch. We spent 1.5 hrs looking at watch pictures on my computer and the internet. We were not even half way through the material I had gathered to show my friend. He was overdosed and had to get up and leave. I saw his wife the other day and asked if he bought anything yet. She said he was overwhelmed.

Its probably a good start.
 

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Hi Gary, glad to know that I'm not the only one overwhelmed with finding the right watch.

Do you use any tools (aside from this forum ;) to sort through the endless choice?

Thanks!
 

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Hi watchma, a combination of multiple factors. Sometimes, the store did not have the model I was looking for. Alternatively, the assistant would give me a fast pitch on the watch but was incapable of answering basic technical questions. Overall, the buying experience was definitely far from great - and this is what I would expect when buying such a highly priced item.

What's your experience?
 

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Hi forum!

I recently moved to Zürich and over the last month I have visited over 15 watch stores (some independent, others part of larger chains) to help buy a watch for my brother's wedding.

Overall, the experience has been dismal
Sounds like your visiting the wrong shops.

We have all done it no need to worry about it just dont buy from those shops.
 

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Sometimes, the store did not have the model I was looking for.
Yeah, well they can't always stock everything from the manufacturers they stock. better to seek out the retailer first by phone to check stock and whether they can get one in for you to look at before travelling.
(The bonus is you get to see how the store CS is via the phone, no good there, it's not gonna be much better in person so you can then choose to avoid travelling, or think it's worth a visit.
Same with most products unfortunately. :-(



Alternatively, the assistant would give me a fast pitch on the watch but was incapable of answering basic technical questions.
Pay peanuts - get monkeys :)

I find it very frustrating that sales staff can't bone up on the very basics of product knowledge of the products they sell!!
again happens with most sales staff in my experience unfortunately :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice. I'll give it a try.

Completely agree with your comment on staff preparation. I would expect that retailers to account for a hefty percentage of the cost of the watch, so I guess employing unqualified staff is both greedy and stupid (as they probably cannot close as many sales).
 

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Maurice de Mauriac is one of the rare boutique watch manufacturers that is based in Zurich so you can talk directly with someone who knows a lot about watches. Look up for the contact details on web or local directories.
 

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I would pick up the WatchTime Buyer's Guide, and flip to the section in your approximate price range, and just skim the pages. Try to get a sense of the kind of watches that appeal to you, do you like simple vs. complicated dials, dressy vs. sporty, etc. Focus first on the major characteristics that are important to you, before trying to hone in one a single option. At this point in time, you don't have enough of a sense of your taste in watches to do that.
 

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So many people know much more about watches on this forum than I currently do - and yet when I step into any store I seem to know more about watches than the people who sell them. But where I differ from many people on here is that I don't mind that one little bit. If I'm going to buy a watch then I tend to know a lot about the brand and (more often than not) the particulars of the watch I am buying. I like the fact that I often know more than the person selling it to me as I can use this as leverage in getting the price down. Buying and selling says a lot about human nature. If you know more than the individual on the other side of the table then you can use this to your advantage. Why wouldn't anyone want it to be this way and use it to the benefit of their pocket?

In addition I would suspect very strongly that getting great staff = paying staff more money. Paying staff more money = buyers getting a smaller discount. That's called profit and loss. That's called a balance sheet. That's capitalism. I'll keep researching my watches, knowing more about them than the vendor, getting better discounts, and not worry about the quality of store staff too much.

Regards,
 

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Interesting POV Tony - one contrary to mine which is unusual: we tend to agree on most things sales and customer service related.
 

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Interesting POV Tony - one contrary to mine which is unusual: we tend to agree on most things sales and customer service related.
You raise a good point. Let me clarify so that I do not seem inconsistent?

I hate poor customer service. Hate it with a passion. I'm in the service industry and we sweat blood and tears to make our customers happy. However when poor service (let's accept "poor brand knowledge" in the field of watches constitutes this, which I don't think it does necessarily) leads to bigger discounts for those that can be bothered to do a little research when buying -then I'll take it as the lesser of two evils by far, as it benefits the half-intelligent consumer.

Regards,
 

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It seems like the issues of the sales staff's knowledge comes up quite regularly on WUS and I'm not quite sure what I think. In the perfect world the sales staff would know everything, but clearly that's not reality. I don't know what training and education is involved but it would be wise for the owners to make sure they have the basics covered. Beyond that I'm not sure what a reasonable expectation is.

As enthusiast we like knowing everything about what we're going to buy. I recently bought a car with a turbo engine and when I asked the sales guy how much boost the turbo puts out he wasn't sure. He wasn't a bad salesman and to honest I didn't expect him to know that. As another example I was at a chain store that carries Omega and I asked the gal if the watch has the new movement and she replied "yes it has the co-axial." It was the 2500 co-axial that debut in 2005 not the new 8500 in-house movement. That was the wrong answer and it let me know that she didn't have any idea what she was talking about.

All that to say, I really don't know what a fair expectation is so I rely on myself to learn and understand what I'm buying. Maybe that's another reason why some brands are moving to boutiques, although I'm guessing it's about getting more money.
 

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it's so true ... there's so much out there, it can get overwhelming ... it just takes time, you get to know the watches, you get to know your style, taste, etc, it'll come

and best of luck to you and your friend
 
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