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I had an interesting experience at a local jewelry shop today. I was returning my G-shock Mudman simply because i couldn't get used to its buttons and it felt uncomfortable when lifting weights. One gentleman said(over the phone) no questions asked we'll fully refund it within 7 days. I go there and another guy starts giving me a hard time about the box that contains the case and saying how he couldn't sell it with its condition(like anyone cares about the box). Not to mention he didn't give it to me in perfect condition anyway. Then he started saying how the watch was worn(it looked 100% brand new, it's a g-shock for christ sake)... and I politely responded by telling him the gentleman on the phone said 7 days no questions asked, it's only been 3. I had my girlfriend with me and she started raising her voice and telling him it doesn't matter because you WILL give us the refund haha. After some more mindless arguing he let it go then gave us the refund.

It just made me think about how shady some jewelry shops can be. I've bought my other 3 watches online and i've been pretty happy with them. Online purchasing imo is way better than going to jewelry shops. Prices are less if you know where to look(paid $75 for the mudman and i just saw it on Amazon for $55 free shipping), less hassles, and no annoying salesmen! Just kidding, not all are annoying but most i've interacted with are obviously not looking for your satisfaction. Admittedly, there was a bit of impulsive purchasing involved on my part but hey, live and learn. Had to let that all out lol, so what's your opinion? Any similar experiences?
 

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I've never bought online, but I have a feeling my next purchase will be. The last few days I've spoken to an Italian seller that I came across on Chrono24 and he was extremely polite and easy to deal with. Unfortunately the sale couldn't go ahead but it was a perfectly pleasant experience.

From buying in AD jewellers and 2nd hand shops run by watchmakers, both have been pretty easy to deal with too. The only AD I've bought from so far now knows me - so any subsequent dealings are painless and I'm happy to chat with the staff I know, as well as being confident about consistent discounts. I bought my latest from a watchmaker/dealer and while it was a less of a 'customer service' experience and I was in a bit of a hurry, no issues.

I make sure I'm always polite and tend to be pretty decisive about what I want, so from a sales perspective I think I'm fairly easy to deal with. I may be completely wrong.
 
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The bulk of my purchases have been made online after lots and lots of research and agonizing. I have bought a few pieces from brick and mortar shops and had varying degrees of customer service. I like the convenience of online and with the quality of digital photography it's relatively easy to get a good sense of what a watch will look like in hand.
 

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For me, nothing beats being able to physically exam as well as try on the very watch I plan on buying. You can check it for the smallest of imperfections before paying for it, unlike buying online. You can check to make sure that the watch is an absolutely perfect fit on your wrist since specs. alone rarely tell the full story. Once again, can't do that online.

One thing for sure, always pay for a watch with a credit card. Bring a witness with you if you need to return the watch. If an SA gives you grief, don't argue. No need.

Just tell them you want a refund, you were promised one with no questions asked, and if they don't want to give you one now ... You'll just contact your credit card company and do a credit card charge-back. So they will refund your money to you whether they want to or not. Problem solved.
 

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I've bought both in person, online, and from an out of state AD. It's a difficult thing, because it IS much more pleasant to make a purchase in person with flesh on steel. HOWEVER, it also COSTS alot more... sometimes thousands of dollars more. At minimum you have to pay sales tax. Also one of the nice things about buying in person is a chance to build a little relationship with the jeweler... but lets be honest here... you're a paycheck most of the time, and even if you like the guy, do you like him enough to give him an extra 500, 1000, or even more?

I think my preference in the end has to be an out of state AD who you can see every once in a while... who has good service... and can at least get in the same ball park as a Grey dealer.
 

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Agreed, that's life though there's always pros and cons to everything but I feel online purchasing just barely beats in person. You have to make sure you understand the risks especially when buying a more expensive watch though because of fakes, scams etc. Still, there's tons of reputable dealers online.
 

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For me, nothing beats being able to physically exam as well as try on the very watch I plan on buying. You can check it for the smallest of imperfections before paying for it, unlike buying online. You can check to make sure that the watch is an absolutely perfect fit on your wrist since specs. alone rarely tell the full story. Once again, can't do that online.
Spot on, how the watch feels on the wrist is very important.
 

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The only times I have bought from an authorized dealer it has been online. Otherwise I have bought on the grey market. I really see no compelling reason to ever buy from an AD in person, although I would not rule out doing so if the price was highly competitive.
 

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It depends on what you value. If you value saving money over everything, then shopping online will probably win out.

I value the watch first. Then I shop around. If I can get it in person at a good deal (not necessarily better than online but good) I prefer in person. I will pay the extra money to develop a relationship, have increased accountability, have what I consider to be "the full experience" of acquiring my watch, and support a local business.
 
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The only times I have bought from an authorized dealer it has been online. Otherwise I have bought on the grey market. I really see no compelling reason to ever buy from an AD in person, although I would not rule out doing so if the price was highly competitive.
Yeah, this is my buying habits in a nutshell. I understand why people prefer in-person AD purchases, but I'm fine without it.
 

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Use both. Over the past few years, have developed good relationships with a particular brick/mortar local AD as well as a few grey market vendors online. In both cases, any returns of purchases for any reason is allowed with full refund or replacement/exchange and payment method other than paypal/credit card such as personal check allowed at my discretion. Just depends on the piece coveted. Cost savings is a big motivator but if I can't find something acceptable online that's available locally, it's a pretty easy decision . . .
 

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I dont know I also struggle with this idea myself.

I have bought most of my watches online, a few in AD. The thing that I have noticed is that very few people are in the brick and mortar stores like they used to be. So I am presuming that most people (here included) are transitioning over to online purchasing. Which has so many advantages (and also its few disadvantages).

My approach to this is to go to a brick and mortar store whenever possible to have a "feel" or handle of a watch prior to buying it online. Only then can you gauge how it is on your wrist and you wouldnt have to deal with online refunds (I havent had to deal with that myself - only because of my research and waiting a while to see if I really like the watch) but I have heard through some threads that online refunds ARE a pain in the A**.

Anyways, thats my take on it.
 

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I've done both - prefer Brick and Motor. Never had a bad experience and I returned a Rolex after 1 week that my wife didn't care for.

As an aside to the OP - if the GF started "raising her voice" in a store, to a stranger that YOU happened to to be talking to, then started telling him what he would do...........word to the wise, my friend, word to the wise.
 

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Good question to ask. I have purchased most of my watches from dealers with an internet presence and a couple of Ebay dealer purchases. Many of the dealers were located in european and asian countries. With two exceptions the transactions were flawless. One of the problem deals could have been avoided if I had not bypassed the usual due diligence. The other was a flaky ebay seller who misrepresented a watch.

The internet has given me access to such a huge variety of watches not found locally that I don't see myself buying much more than the occasional vintage watch locally.
 

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In my experience...It's all good,but I mainly purchase via the WWW, due to the great distance I must travel
to see an AD. I've been lucky, in the fact all my deals have been flawless....So far.
Forgot...Had to send one back....But still no prob.
 

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All of my purchases have been made at a brick and mortar AD. O.K. so you can get it cheaper online but the relationship I have built up with the AD is worth a lot to me. Plus they will always help me out and if ever I have a problem I can talk it through with the owner of the dealership.
 

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I've always bought online because there aren't many places near me to buy the watches I want, and I usually buy secondhand to let someone else take the depreciation.

That being said, I don't think any watch I've ever bought online has looked exactly the way I expected it to when I opened the box. There's always some small difference or something that I didn't expect, either in the way it looks or how it sits on the wrist. Sometimes I've been disappointed, sometimes I've been pleasantly surprised.
 

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Both have good and bad points, but I too think the internet has opened up resources that give everyone an opportunity to get a good deal, either new or used.
 

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For me, nothing beats being able to physically exam as well as try on the very watch I plan on buying. You can check it for the smallest of imperfections before paying for it, unlike buying online. You can check to make sure that the watch is an absolutely perfect fit on your wrist since specs. alone rarely tell the full story. Once again, can't do that online.

One thing for sure, always pay for a watch with a credit card. Bring a witness with you if you need to return the watch. If an SA gives you grief, don't argue. No need.

Just tell them you want a refund, you were promised one with no questions asked, and if they don't want to give you one now ... You'll just contact your credit card company and do a credit card charge-back. So they will refund your money to you whether they want to or not. Problem solved.
I know this is purely anectodal but all of my on-line purchases have arrived in absolutely perfect condition - never a problem encountered.
 
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