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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, this is more or less me letting off frustrations with our little hobby lately and I was sort of curious if others felt similarly. I have been a member here going on 9 years now and been in this hobby well over double that. The hobby has become “weird" in recent months, especially in f29. A lot of basically new sellers that are asking retail for a used watch and a lot of new buyers who send ridiculously low offers if you are selling. You cant have it both ways! I don’t have a lot of faith in either a new buyer or seller. I would much rather deal with somebody who has some history on the forums vs. coming here for a quick buck or a steal. Prices have really gone up lately. All the “name” brands have gone way up. Watches we used used to buy in the $500-$1000 range are now up well over $1000 to $2K. It is all little microbrands now and they seem to mix and match off the shelf parts to make what they call a new watch. They’re nice but now it is all whatever the flavor of the month is. One month "X" brand is the hot ticket and the market gets flooded with them. Prices go up briefly and then the leftovers cant be given away. That plays out month after month.

Other issue is gray market seems to be doing well and flooding the market. Brands like Hamilton have taken a beating from places like Ashford or Jomashop. That is a very old, well respected company and you can buy their watches during super sales for 60% off or more. Then a month after that sale ends resellers pop up asking 25% off looking to turn a profit. They end up having no resale value. Good if you want to buy as a permanent keeper but bad if you get bored and want to sell a few months later.

I freely admit I am a flipper. I tend to get bored quickly and move on to the next watch. I normally dont get caught up in the new "flavor of the month" watches but some are pretty nice looking. The watches I used to love so much just a few years ago are quickly accelerating out of comfortable buying range. I have a good friend on here who is in agreement. We love recalling the days that $600 could buy a really nice Omega Dynamic Chrono from somebody like Loebl. $600 doesnt get you into some of the nicer micros now let alone a Swiss classic brand. Granted there are some micros that have truly impressed me but most seem to rise and fall in popularity on an almost weekly basis and they'll crank out new models as fast as possible to ride those waves.

** OK, off my rant and flamesuit is buttoned up **

What say fellow WIS? Bash me or agree with me - curious what others think, I dont care if you started this hobby yesterday or 50 years ago - I really would like to hear from others!
 

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I think grey market is the bigger killer than any individual selling. What has happened to Zenith, specifically with Ashford.com, really saddens me. Now, Zenith may be supplying Ashford directly - and it's the only way Zenith is able to stay above water. If that's the case, then I'm all for it.

But Hamilton, I think they're over priced from the start, and that's why their values are taking a beating thanks to secondary markets. I think Hamilton falls into that category that you mentioned where the 'name brands' have really increased their pricing.

If I'm looking at, say, a Hamilton 3 hander with a drop in ETA movement compared to an Oris or even a Tag (I know they're hated), I'm not picking the Hammy. So the price has to be lower.
 

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Agreed that prices are inflated - same as S&P500. Maybe last few years of QE have something to do with it.
 

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i wouldn't be surprised if the mods close the sales thread.... there's too much "abuse" in there

1. msrp listings or above msrp listings for used watches... i don't care if you bought it and only looked at it, it's used.
2. no pictures or shady pictures
3. no description or something like "email me for info"
4. no history by the OP
5. no reviews to or from the OP
6. bumps faster than 12 hours
7. Dealers inside private sellers forum
8. here's a new one.... hong kong sellers asking for pre-orders on a watch that can't be promised
9. professional pictues (not of real watch to show current state)
10. sellers artificially leaving higher prices listed on their post... this seems like a tactic to get others to jump in quicker at higher prices (see #1)
11. sellers removing prices
12. sellers getting pissed at each bump... WTF???
 

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Its gotten so bad that this is my recent addition to my sales posts:

Disclaimer: Please don't send me a message asking me what my best price is... Another member said it best... My best price is whats best for me.. The asking price. Whats even better for me is 10% above the asking price! If you would like to make an offer, Feel free. Low ball offers will be mocked or ignored completely depending on my mood. I buy and sell to pay for the hobby and enjoy watches and I love the friends I've made here. I don't have to sell to pay the mortgage or put food on the table. If I offer a watch with accessories related to the watch its because they go with it. I don't want to keep them to sell the watch at a lesser price... What the heck do I need them for if I sell you the watch!? My prices are fair, my service is great. I'll never bore you guys with 13 pages of bumps without reducing the price... If it hasn't sold after a few bumps, then CLEARLY its undesirable at the asking price or just plain undesirable! Thanks for reading guys!
 

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Very astute observations. I've been somewhat confused over the sales forum as well, particularly with the pricing. I've seen many used watches offered at MSRP. While I dismiss these as just absurd, another trend is problematic. I've noticed many watches being offered at above grey market prices. I understand that someone paid for this and all, but only in the rarest and special of circumstances will someone pay more for a used watch than they would for that identical watch new. Its time to come back down to reality.

Some sellers are also a bit aggressive. I once asked a relatively simple question about service history and the seller respond with "look at the post," or something to that effect. I went over that post a half dozen times and the information I request was not there. I just walked away.

I also really like the "make me an offer" posts with no stated asking price. When you do make an offer, one you may consider immensely reasonable, the seller responds offended. Its nothing personal sir, it is a business transaction. Perhaps next time you should initiate the negotiation process with an asking price to productively propel discussion?
 

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I am new here, so i dont have any basis for comparison, but some of the prices I am seeing on the FS forum are indeed crazy. Eg: I was looking at a particular watch which is $800 new from Germany, $915 shipped from Amazon - and the seller wouldnt budget below $875 despite my sending him links. I just bought it off Amazon 10 min ago.

Now this doesnt bother me per se: it is the seller's right to charge whatever he wants, and i am cool with that. But i am seeing very unrealistic prices for the most part - people offering 20-30% off MRP for a used watch which can be had for about the same price brand new. But it is a bit absurd - and then these watches dont sell for some inexplicable reason.

My guess is that the few cases of watches appreciating in value, and the oft-repeated yarns about how people buy/sell without losing too much money, makes everyone think that they can beat depreciation.
 
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I'm actually OK with a nearly new condition watch being posted at a higher price than grey market. I personally wouldn't buy it, but I know a number of people place a great value in having an AD stamped warranty card.

Also, grey market prices fluctuate wildly, so a seller may list a watch not knowing that Ashford is blowing out a particular watch at $400 less than it was the day before.
 

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And can recall the day I checked out my first Patek and they started at 550 USD then. As to prices, it's a direct reflection
of the declining standard of living of the 99.999% of us out there. The 'shrinkflation' that is happening at your local super
market is a good example of that, the opposite of watch prices.
 

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One other thing that the OP didn't mention that drives me nuts...

I'm sure I'm not the only one here to experience this. I spend 1/2 hour packing my ad with all necessary details. Maybe they're long winded in some cases, but too much info is almost enough. I repeatedly get asked the same questions of the same details mentioned in the ads from a similar group of those who frequent the sales corner. Its to a point, I've blocked a couple guys just because they have NEVER actually made a purchase. They continually send an endless string of messages and ultimately waste time!

I recently joked about my next watch post being just a pic of the watch (a low quality one, no less) and one word... "Watch".... Just because nobody bothers to read the body of the ad anyway!
 

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Hey everyone, this is more or less me letting off frustrations with our little hobby lately and I was sort of curious if others felt similarly. I have been a member here going on 9 years now and been in this hobby well over double that. The hobby has become “weird" in recent months, especially in f29. A lot of basically new sellers that are asking retail for a used watch and a lot of new buyers who send ridiculously low offers if you are selling. You cant have it both ways! I don’t have a lot of faith in either a new buyer or seller. I would much rather deal with somebody who has some history on the forums vs. coming here for a quick buck or a steal. Prices have really gone up lately. All the “name” brands have gone way up. Watches we used used to buy in the $500-$1000 range are now up well over $1000 to $2K. It is all little microbrands now and they seem to mix and match off the shelf parts to make what they call a new watch. They’re nice but now it is all whatever the flavor of the month is. One month "X" brand is the hot ticket and the market gets flooded with them. Prices go up briefly and then the leftovers cant be given away. That plays out month after month.

Other issue is gray market seems to be doing well and flooding the market. Brands like Hamilton have taken a beating from places like Ashford or Jomashop. That is a very old, well respected company and you can buy their watches during super sales for 60% off or more. Then a month after that sale ends resellers pop up asking 25% off looking to turn a profit. They end up having no resale value. Good if you want to buy as a permanent keeper but bad if you get bored and want to sell a few months later.

I freely admit I am a flipper. I tend to get bored quickly and move on to the next watch. I normally dont get caught up in the new "flavor of the month" watches but some are pretty nice looking. The watches I used to love so much just a few years ago are quickly accelerating out of comfortable buying range. I have a good friend on here who is in agreement. We love recalling the days that $600 could buy a really nice Omega Dynamic Chrono from somebody like Loebl. $600 doesnt get you into some of the nicer micros now let alone a Swiss classic brand. Granted there are some micros that have truly impressed me but most seem to rise and fall in popularity on an almost weekly basis and they'll crank out new models as fast as possible to ride those waves.

** OK, off my rant and flamesuit is buttoned up **

What say fellow WIS? Bash me or agree with me - curious what others think, I dont care if you started this hobby yesterday or 50 years ago - I really would like to hear from others!
Hmmm...not sure where to start...

I think that if someone is offering or bidding at unrealistic prices that the market will take care of that. Out of boredom unrealistic sellers will put watches back in the collection and unrealistic buyers will tire of sending emails that are ignored because of unrealistic prices. My advice is to continue to do business with those people you are comfortable working with and just ignore the rest.

The grey market has been with us for decades and will continue to provide watches to buyers who are willing to forgo some benefits. However if you are looking to buy watches at current retail and resell them a few months later at a profit...well...it hasn't yet and isn't going to happen.

There are few if any companies in existence today are like they were 100 plus years ago and Hamilton is certainly not one of them. No matter really because Hamilton is a brand that has watches for sale....just like all it's stablemates at Swatch and all the other Swiss brands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, seems I may have hit a nerve here! This is great, really. I am not the only member who feels this way. I tend to do a lot more reading and researching vs. posting (see my small post count after all these years) but I do try and stay active and involved in the forums and this hobby. I see this in other forums as well (not just watches), many new members join just to turn a buck and then vanish. Or they join hoping to score the deal of the year with crazy offers.

I actually got out of this hobby for a few years when it seemed like this was happening to a smaller degree. Things seem to be repeating themselves to a larger degree now but that is the nature of the hobby as well. I do agree the retail prices on used watches is completely absurd period. I dont know if the posters think that we dont know how to use a search engine or we arent aware of sales histories but dont get all offended when we send you a link showing your watch brand new for less than your asking price!

At first I was excited to see some of the smaller brands pop up and try and offer a nice product at a good price. Now it seems like a new watch maker pops up every other month with the latest and greatest offering trying to jump on the bandwagon. Some are being original, many are just regurgitating copycat designs of classics or even each other!
 

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The selling price for a used watch being equal to the price I can pay for a new one on Amazon(incl free shipping) makes no sense to me.

I generally ask 25-50% less than the best currently available price new--depending on demand, condition, accessories, etc. I think this is reasonable on either side of a sale, but I'm not expecting to profit on anything either.

I just bought a piece with a list price of $500, currently available for $417. The seller paid $275 on a smoking Jomashop holiday deal. I paid $275(like new condition), and think it's completely fair to both of us. Of course, I started at a lower number;)
 

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Agreed that prices are inflated - same as S&P500. Maybe last few years of QE have something to do with it.
Shhhh...Bernanke is listening. Yellen is just a puppet.

I'm actually OK with a nearly new condition watch being posted at a higher price than grey market. I personally wouldn't buy it, but I know a number of people place a great value in having an AD stamped warranty card.
I see that as well. It is actually very reasonable. It is unreasonable when the watch is several years old and completely out of warranty, which is most often the case.
 

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I haven't sold through the forums here, but I do love browsing to see what's on sale. I've also noticed the prices going up almost arbitrarily fairly recently. It seems to me that it's related to an influx of newer members across all the forums. I would agree with JMS that the market will eventually correct itself, and that the long time frequenters to the sales forum will be rewarded with patience.

As for Hamilton pricing, it seems to fall in line with Swatch's larger decision to move all of their brands upmarket. That may have been met with less than desired results, so they are now to be found on the grey market. They still make great watches, but it seems this is one of the brands that may need to redefine its position as time goes on. Just my opinion.
 

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I agree with you but the real problem is the idiot consumer who pays more for an item than an item is worth. This happens with many things like homes, cars, watches, healthcare, etc.

When the particular market reaches a tipping point, there is a correction and things reset.

Why is the grey market a problem because they charge too little? Wouldn't the AD or manufacturer be a bigger problem because they charge too much? The grey market actually gets what the item is worth perhaps.

Another problem you mention that I agree with are the microbrands that charge outrageous prices. There are many on this site all the time who come out with a big splash and everybody gives them much, much, much more credit than they deserve and they end up selling $900 quartz watches.
First problem with this scenario is that idiots buy the item for $900 because of sales and marketing and smoke and mirrors.... and that starts the cycle. And then the true high end brands need to increase their prices to retain their exclusivity, etc, etc, etc. Just a ridiculous cycle we have with all consumer goods.
 

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One of the points on pricing... All these micro brands who allow direct purchases from markets where their currency fluctuates heavily against the dollar, euro or pound... Sellers tend to be focused on what they paid... which is important in some respects, however they never look to see what the watch can be bought new for at the current exchange. Gerlach is a perfect example. Nice entry level stuff. I own one. I bought it new below the asking price of 2 that were for sale preowned at the same time. How does a chinese powered, Polish designed watch not depreciate faster than a Swiss made Eta powered watch? There's no logic! Its still a USED watch thats readily available new with 6 business day shipping to the States!

Very rarely, if ever will you see a posting for a watch that says, I got a great deal on this, bought it below market value so I'm not going to sell it at a higher price and make money...But the inverse plagues the sales forum.
 

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My general thought is that no one is going to buy my used watch unless it is ~25% less expensive than the cheapest available price for a new one. I price my watches where I think they'll sell, typically with a little cushion to accommodate bartering, regardless of what I paid for the watch. Usually my strategy "works" in the sense that I am able to sell the watch near my asking price without waiting too long.

I've not paid enough attention to the sales forum recently to observe the trends that have been described here, but it sounds to me as though people are pricing their watches to try to recover their "investment" rather than looking realistically at what price the market will likely bear. I.e. people who bought something full-priced at the AD and are now selling it only slightly below MSRP, when the same watch can be had new for significantly less from the grey market.
 

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I think grey market is the bigger killer than any individual selling. What has happened to Zenith, specifically with Ashford.com, really saddens me. Now, Zenith may be supplying Ashford directly - and it's the only way Zenith is able to stay above water. If that's the case, then I'm all for it.

But Hamilton, I think they're over priced from the start, and that's why their values are taking a beating thanks to secondary markets. I think Hamilton falls into that category that you mentioned where the 'name brands' have really increased their pricing.

If I'm looking at, say, a Hamilton 3 hander with a drop in ETA movement compared to an Oris or even a Tag (I know they're hated), I'm not picking the Hammy. So the price has to be lower.
Well Hamilton's look nicer than the Tag and the Oris and they are already cheaper at MSRP. I don't get your point. I buy Hamilton because I like them. I am glad they are cheaper. I don't know why anyone is complaining that you could get them cheaper than MSRP. Tag and Oris watches even have higher perentage off MSRP at the gray market sites. So there goes you theory as well.

I buy watches to keep. The cheaper they are the better. I would suggest to the original poster if you don't want to keep a watch don't buy it. Maybe someone should start a watch rental agency for people on this forum.
 
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