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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I've been stalking this forum for the past 3/4 of a year while researching various brands for my first watch (eventually settled on a Frederique Constant Worldtimer a month ago! Wrist shots to come when my leather strap arrives from Europelli).

Now that I've obtained my first real mechanical watch, and while I still and will always love my watch, my interest have shifted to researching for my next watch. I guess I've really fallen for the horological world (it helps that I work as a casual at a jewellery store selling brands such as Breitling and Baume and Mercier).

I have been interested in the idea of purchasing pre-owned watch. I'm not really too fussed about new watches since any properly serviced watches, however old, is likely to be just as good and more kind to my wallet. Are there any tips or any sites dedicated to the art of pre-owned watch hunting?

It's a shame that I live in Melbourne, Australia where watches aren't as big of a thing over here. If there're any Aussie WISs that could chip in on this topic, I'd be really grateful too.

Pleased to meet you all!
 

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1) Buy the seller, THEN the watch. Make sure you trust them, see they have enough online reputation that they've been legit for a while, see if they clearly communicate terms and conditions, have great descriptions, sharp high-res pictures, are responsive online, etcetera. I've bought two watches from the same used vendor before, mostly because he had SO many sales online and was so free with information and providing answers.

2) Research. Look at sites like Watchrecon or Chrono24 and look at enough sales of watches you want to get an idea of a prevailing price. It really helps to make sure you're not jumping on the first one you see and overpaying. Watchrecon has a lot more private parties selling on forums, and Chrono24 has a lot more jewelry stores and estate resellers, so prices are higher on Chrono24. That said, on Chrono24 I've been able to throw the company address into Google Maps and used street view to see the literal front of their shop, so that may be worth the extra cost for you.

3) For you, only buy watches with the full boxes, warranty cards, and papers. The resale with those items can be quite a bit higher, and it adds security that you're not buying a stolen or fake watch.

I'm sure others will add a lot more, but those are the foundational ones IMO.
 

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Buying pre-owned can be smart. You're right that a properly serviced one can be just as good as new, but for the 7+ yr old one's I've looked at, none of them had been, so you may want to plan on the one(s) you buy being in need and budget accordingly (plus use as price negotiation point). Once you find a piece you like, research it for forum posts and watch blog reviews to learn of potential drawbacks. Read other sellers' descriptions of the same piece to know what to ask your seller if he doesn't address what others do. Get plenty of pictures and comments about condition (physical and operational) in writing. Well-established traders (virtual and brick&mortar) can be identified via web search and as mentioned above can be found on chrono24 and ebay. When you've narrowed down your choices, you can always ask for members' experiences here. Ebay closed auctions search, as well as results of past auctions at Antiquorum, Christie's, Sotheby's and Bonham's can yield market value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your kind replies.

Of course, inspecting the watch in real life is obviously more advantageous, but what is the reputation of buying watches online these days? Quite safe once you've done the research and asked the right questions to the seller, or still fairly 50/50 in the grand scheme of things? (I'm thinking of sellers who pretend to be nice and offer all the right information, and eventually send you an empty box.)
 

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Reach out to Suj, owner of Melbourne Watch Co., he can be found on here regularly
 

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I have been interested in the idea of purchasing pre-owned watch. I'm not really too fussed about new watches since any properly serviced watches, however old, is likely to be just as good and more kind to my wallet. Are there any tips or any sites dedicated to the art of pre-owned watch hunting?

If there're any Aussie WISs that could chip in on this topic, I'd be really grateful too.

Pleased to meet you all!
Hi Zien - Welcome!

There aren't really any sites dedicated to pre-owned buying (that I know of), but all your questions can be answered right here on WUS and/or other watch forums.

The main thing is to ask as many questions as you can. Ask other forum members, and feel free to ask the seller too. Don't worry about "annoying" a seller. If they give you attitiude or are too busy to answer you, move on! There will always be another watch that comes along, and there are plenty of customer service oriented sellers.

I remember how nervous I was purchasing my first major piece pre-owned over the internet (Brietling Navitimer Olympus which I still own today), and I was able to complete the sale because the seller was very patient with me and happy to answer all my questions. After you go through the process, it gets easier and easier and you'll quickly develop a network of sellers you will "go-to" when looking for a watch (depending on how quickly you accumulate).

You can use PayPal for a bit of protection, but that will cost you an extra 3-4%. A lot of sellers also do not accept PayPal but this is OK too, if you are purchasing from someone reputable. Set-up an OzForex account (free to set-up), so that you can easily wire funds to sellers around the world and check what the exchange rate is. OzForex will offer the best conversion rates too.

It's always best to try to source a piece within Auz to avoid high shipping costs and duty, however because most people in Auz are paying more for their watches to begin with, their re-sale prices are higher that other countries. I find the best prices come out of the US, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.

Feel free to shoot me a PM with anymore questions and let me know what you're after. I can probably help hunt it down for you.

Cheers!
 

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Buying pre-owned...The seller says, "Perfect condition, worn seldom,slight scratch at 9."
You say,"Bloody Hell,watch worn thru WWII,what scratch at 9...that whole side is missing!"
It's all up to individual interpretation....;-)
 
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