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Discussion Starter #1
Because I don't want anyone swiping my watch, I've decided to withhold exact details. Ask me if there's something I left out!

I'm planning on purchasing a high-end watch, which retails for around 4900 Euros. A watch dealer used to be affiliated with the watchmaker, but is no longer, and so they are quickly selling their stock at a great price (around $3000 USD). The problem is that I'm currently in the UK, but I'll be moving to the US in late August. I asked them if they could hold it for me for a deposit. They e-mailed me the following (I snipped parts of the message).

1. You put down an immediate non-refundable deposit of $1,000

2. The remaining balance is due by August 31st or sooner (if we ship the
watch sooner).

3. You make payments by wire transfer. We will extend a 3% cash discount to you which should help offset any wire fees.

4. The sale would be considered a final sale with no return privilege.
Condition 2 is reasonable. Condition 3 seems to be the standard credit card-to-cash discount. Condition 4 is a little worriesome, but I assume that things like quality control problems will be covered. There is a 2 year warranty on the watch.

Do you think a $1000 deposit is excessive on a watch is excessive (given that the watch costs $3000)?

Please let me know if these terms are reasonable.
 

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Do you think a $1000 deposit is excessive on a watch is excessive (given that the watch costs $3000)?
While I may think it's a bit excessive, they could have also asked you to pay the full amount instead of just a deposit. It's their store and they can ask whatever they want.

Unless this was a watch that you absolutely couldn't live without and can't find anywhere else, I'd probably pass. What happens if you don't make your move before the end of August or can't receive the watch there for some reason? It also wouldn't surprise me if the watch gets sold to someone else - if someone offered more in the store they might consider selling it. You would expect to get your deposit back, but even that may take some time.

It's on thing to put down a deposit to get in line for some new, unreleased watch. It's another to pay a non-refundable 1/3 deposit for some standard watch that's been sitting in a dealer's window for who knows how long...
 

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Appreciating that this is the high end forum, I shall not name the brand as it might be 'top end enough' lol.

I recently enquired with an AD about getting a £1100 watch in for me to review. They told that they would require a 50% non refundable deposit - slightly excessive methinks!

Needless to say I didn't take them up on theire 'generous offer' - plenty more fish in the sea!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I don't mean to sound like I had disregarded this thread's advice--but I did eventually put down the $1000 deposit on the watch. The watch, in fact, is Christiaan van der Klaauw's Ariadne (in steel). Christiaan's prices have steadily increased in the last few years (the price in 2005 was around 3450 Euros), and the current price is at 4950 Euros. I'm obtaining it for slightly less than $4000 USD.

Given that these watches almost never appear on the second-hand market, and the fact that I can't see their prices decreasing, I realised this was probably the one shot I had to get this watch at this price. Also factoring my decision was the fact that the Canadian (where my funds will originate) to USD exchange rate is quite high at the moment.

It may not have the brand recognition as some of the established high-ends, but I think it's a good deal. The hand-engraved rotor at the back is marvellous.




 
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