How To Sell a Luxury Watch

By Nic King •  Updated: 06/28/22 •  15 min read

Whether it is time for an upgrade or you would like to put the money into something else, you have decided it is time to sell your luxury watch. Whether it is a Rolex, Omega, or any other luxury brand, these watches will retain some resell value, and some will even increase in price on the used market. With that being said, what is the best way to sell a luxury watch, how much should you sell your watch for, and what do you need to look out for when selling an expensive watch?

What We’ll Cover

Tudor Prince Day + Date - How To Find the Resell Value of a Luxury Watch

How To Find the Resell Value of a Luxury Watch

Price is the largest factor as to whether or not your watch will sell. If you underprice it, you will sell your watch quickly, but money will be left on the table. If you overprice your timepiece, it will sit on the market endlessly never finding a buyer.

Step 1: Gathering Information About Your Watch

To accurately price your watch, you will need to find the watch’s brand, model, and reference number. The brand is pretty obvious. This will be whoever makes your watch such as Rolex, Omega, or Tag Heuer.

The model is where the watch falls within these brands. For example, you could have a Rolex GMT Master II, Omega Speedmaster, or a Tag Heuer Formula 1.

Lastly, try to find your watch’s reference number. Think of this as the number that separates your specific color scheme/style of watch from the rest of the watches in the lineup. This can also help you date your watch which can drastically affect its value.

An example of some reference numbers are 116500LN for a Rolex Panda Daytona, 212.30.41.20.01.003 for an all-black OMEGA Seamaster with a stainless steel case and band, and WAZ2011.BA0842 for a stainless Tag Heuer Formula 1 with the Calibre 5 movement.

How to Find Your Reference Number

I wanted to mention reference numbers more in-depth as it’s not exactly obvious how you will find a reference number for your watch.

Commonly, the reference number is included on the papers that came with your watch. However, if you are selling your piece without papers, you can also jump to Google. Search the brand of watch you’re selling and the the model of your watch. Look through listings until you find a watch that looks similar to yours. Usually, these listings will have a reference number.

A number found on a third-party site may not be correct though, so in the next step, compare reference watches closely to confirm your watch matches other watches with that reference number.

Omega Reference Number Location - How To Sell a Luxury Watch

Step 2: Using Chrono24 & eBay Recent Sells to Find Your Watch’s Value

With all of this information, it is off to eBay and Chrono24. These are common places to resell watches, and we will cover selling your watch on them later. However, for now, we are going to be focused on using them to find the price of your watch.

Chrono24 Listings

Search the brand, model, and reference number of your watch on Chrono24. You will most likely see a ton of different watches come up. Look for five or six watches that have the same style, condition, band, colors, etc. as your watch, and note down their prices.

How To Sell A Rolex on Chrono24

With those prices in mind, click on one of the watches and scroll to the very bottom of the listing. Depending on the watch you are selling, there may be a ‘Performance of a Similar Model’ pricing index. This is extremely helpful when trying to price a watch. You can use it to get the average current price of all similar watches to your own on Chrono24, and you can see pricing history as well.

Not all watches will have this price history, but it is worth looking at as it is extremely helpful data.

Rolex Daytona Pricing History for Selling a Luxury Watch

Finally, take all of the numbers you have and average them together. This will give you a good listing price for your watch on Chrono24. You may want to lower or increase the price slightly (no more than 10%) depending on your watch’s condition in comparison to those you are looking at. Additionally, pricing a watch lower than the market can make it sell quicker.

eBay Recent Sales

While Chrono24 is a great place to sell your watch, it isn’t the only place. Because of this, I think it is important to find another price reference for your watch. This will help you when deciding how to sell your watch as you’ll know where to list for the most value or how to negotiate with a reseller.

This is where eBay comes in. By changing around some search filters, you can see recent sales of watches exactly like yours and what their sell price was. Use a similar method to Chrono24 of finding watches with the same look and condition as your watch, get their prices, and average them together to get an estimated list price for your timepiece.

How do you find recent sales on eBay? First, go to eBay.com and search for your watch. Then, scroll down to and find the ‘Show only’ filter. Then, select ‘Sold Items’ and ‘Completed Items’. The page will refresh showing you all of the watches that have recently sold on eBay matching your search criteria.

Step 3: Deciding on Your Watch’s Price

At this point, you have gathered tons of data about your watch. You can now take this information, put all the numbers together, and come up with a retail price.

Why did we mention the retail price? You don’t have to sell your watch direct-to-consumer. There can actually be a lot of risks doing this. However, it is important to know what your watch would sell for on the open market.

By having this information, you will get a higher price no matter what direction you decide to take when selling your luxury watch.

Where to Sell Your Luxury Watch

With price in hand, it is time to decide where to sell your luxury watch. Surprisingly, there are tons of different places to sell a watch. From online marketplaces to online resellers to jewelry stores and pawn shops, the options are endless.

Our goal here is to help you learn where to sell your watch to get the best price possible with as little risk as possible. Since risk is going to be different for everyone, we are going to be giving you a few different options.

Chrono24's Homepage

Chrono24

Website: https://Chrono24.com
Chrono24’s Fee: 6.5% of Sales Price

Chrono24 is the best biggest dedicated watch marketplace on the internet. It advertises having 9 million potential customers, and it does have a free escrow service included with every listing. The goal of this escrow service is to protect you and the buyer during the purchase process. The escrow service also allows Chrono24 to take their fee before delivering funds to the seller.

Pros of Using Chrono24

Cons of Using Chrono24

eBay's Homepage

eBay

Website: https://eBay.com
eBay’s Fees:
– 15% on the total amount of the sale up to $1,000 calculated per item
– 6.5% on the portion of the sale over $1,000 up to $7,500 calculated per item
– 3% on the portion of the sale over $7,500

eBay is one of the oldest online marketplaces. You can truly sell anything on eBay, and obviously, that includes luxury watches. Now, why would you choose eBay over other options? One reason is if you expect your watch to sell for over $7,500. If that’s the case, you can save a significant amount on fees when compared to other marketplaces. Additionally, eBay does offer an authentication service for some watches. I have used this before, and it works great!

Pros of Using eBay

Cons of Using eBay

Crown & Caliber Watch Quote Page

Watch Resellers

There are hundreds of places to sell your watch online, and you can find a list of websites that will buy your luxury watch below.

Now, when you sell your watch to a reseller, you are most likely going to get a lower price than if you were to sell your watch direct-to-consumer. With that being said, there is less risk. The companies we list here are all large entities that will be able to buy your watch without any issue. They also deliver funds relatively quickly meaning you won’t be waiting forever for the money to hit your account.

List of Watch Resellers

Pros of Selling to Reseller

Cons of Selling to Reseller

Instagram

You may be wondering what we mean when we say ‘Instagram’ as a way to resell watches. However, it has actually become a rather popular place to find watches for sale. Thus, if you do decide to sell your watch, posting about it on Instagram may be worth a shot. Sure, it may also come up with nothing, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

It is also worth noting that Instagram is more of a marketing tool than a direct selling tool. You will, if you find a buyer on Instagram, be managing payment, shipping, and all other logistics yourself.

Pros of Using Instagram

Cons of Using Instagram

Watch Exchange Sub-Reddit

Reddit

Where Instagram has a large potential market of hard-to-reach buyers, Reddit has a very direct market of easy-to-reach buyers. There are a few different watch-related sub-Reddits that will allow you to resell watches.

WatchExchange is larger, but Watch_Swap is also worth looking at. On these sub-Reddits, you can post your watch for sale, and from what I’ve seen, there is a decent chance of finding a buyer. Just like Instagram though, you are managing the entire sale and assuming a bit more risk.

Pros of Selling on Reddit

Cons of Selling on Reddit

Facebook Marketplace

This is the first option on this list that allows you easily hand-deliver your timepiece. With Facebook Marketplace, you are limiting your market to the local area around you. However, with that, you can do a cash transaction for your watch.

Be careful doing an in-person transaction and make sure you are in a public place. Also, make sure that the funds you receive are not counterfeit, and only take cashier checks or money orders.

Pros of Selling on Facebook Marketplace

Cons of Selling on Facebook Marketplace

Rolex Display at Tom Cook Jeweler in Daytona Beach, FL

Jewelers

This is a bit old school, but it is still a great way to sell a watch. However, keep in mind that jewelers are just resellers, so you won’t be offered top market value at a jeweler. Some jewelers actually don’t take used watches in at all, so it is best to call ahead before making the trek out.

The biggest upside of a jeweler is that you can get cash that same day. It won’t be as much as selling the watch yourself online or even to an online reseller. However, money is in your pocket right away.

Pros of Selling to A Jeweler

Cons of Selling to A Jeweler

Pawn Shops

A step down from jeweler stores, but they are still worth a mention. In many areas, there are no jewelry stores that buy used watches. This is where pawn shops come in. All pawn shops will take used watches usually at rock bottom prices.

While this may not sound like a good idea, and if you want to the most money it isn’t, for some there is no other option. Pawn shops get you cash the same day, and they will give you the option to pawn the watch and get back later. While I cannot recommend you use a pawn shop, it is good to know the option exists.

Pros of Pawn Shops

Cons of Pawn Shops

Rolex GMT Master II & Rolex Submariner on Display at Tom Cook Jeweler in Daytona Beach, FL

Is It Safe to Sell a Luxury Watch Online?

Most of the options above that allow you to actually get a good price for your watch require you to sell your watch online. This is where most marketplace sales have gone over the years, and the luxury watch market is no different.

With that being said, is this safe? You are selling an item worth thousands of dollars, and in many cases, shipping it across the country or even the world.

In short, yes, it is safe to sell a watch online. Thousands of timepieces are sold on the internet every day. However, I do understand the concern.

Best Practices for Selling a Watch Online

For this reason, we are going to give you some best practices for selling a watch online. Our goal is to keep you safe and make sure that you don’t lose your watch and the money at the same time.

Use an escrow service whenever possible: There are a ton of different escrow options out there, but Escrow.com offers a great affordable service for luxury watches. This keeps both you and the buyer safe as you don’t get the money until they get the watch.

Always purchase insurance and tracking when shipping watches: Package insurance is a must when shipping watches. Make sure that you clarify to the shipping company the actual value of the item, and that you want insurance for that full amount. For some watches, this can end up being a sizable cost, but the one time you skimp on insurance is the one time you need it.

Never take a check: Checks are easy to bounce, and while doing so repeatedly is illegal, it doesn’t stop some people. For this reason, you should never take a check for a watch. Cash, money order, or cashier’s checks are a must.

How to check for counterfeit cash: If you do a watch deal in person, we suggest doing it at a bank. This allows you to have the bank teller verify the bills before the transaction officially closes. However, if this isn’t possible, check for watermarks, and use a counterfeit money detector just to be sure.

Go with your gut: If something feels off, it might be. There is nothing wrong with killing a deal for this reason. There will be other buyers.

Nic King

My watch journey started when my dad gave me a quartz watch customized with the company he worked for on the face. From there, it evolved into other quartz watches and eventually to the world of mechanical watches. My first luxury watch was a 1960s vintage Omega, and the collection has only expanded from there.

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