My 10 Best Lessons For New Watch Traders

How could I lose out on making $2,000 in 3 Days!?

There I was, 25 years old meeting some random guy from Craigslist in the mall paying him $1,800 of my hard-earned cash hoping not to get stabbed.  I ended up making $400 profit on that Rolex Datejust selling it to a jeweler after wearing it for 5 months.  Looking back, this was really stupid!

Had I understood what I now know 10 years later, I could have made 5X that profit, and take home $2,000 profit in 3 days!  I’ll make sure I never make those same mistakes again!  Risking my life for $400 are days of the past thanks to a decade of experience and teaching in Watch Trading Academy.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to go through any of the issues I did if you just take the 10 lessons below to heart as you start your watch trading journey.  In fact, you can probably make six figures in profits in ½ the time it took me if you read these can’t miss lessons:

  • Buy the Seller – this tip is one of the most important ones I can give you.  I often get asked by students “how can I ensure I don’t buy a fake?”  They also worry about getting scammed.  This can lead to dreaded analysis paralysis which can keep you out of the game and on the sidelines.  And that’s probably one of the worst things you can do, because if you aren’t playing or learning you’re not making money.  In the business of high-end luxury timepieces, whether you’re dealing with a private collector or a dealer, people who value their reputation more than a quick thousand dollars are going to make the effort to make you comfortable when buying their timepiece.  Also, they usually will try to work with you to resolve any issues as long as you document everything and approach them first.  There are a few steps you can take here that will help you avoid fakes and getting scammed.

  • Payment by Wire and Cash ONLY – This one saves at least 1 out of 10 new traders from losing their ass.  When starting out and you are the seller, only accept payment from your buyer via Bank wire or cash in person.  These methods are still the most widely accepted and safe ways for you to protect yourself.  If you sell a watch through a platform like eBay where they use a payment processing counterparty, then you can allow that payment type as long as you’ve checked with the platform that the payment has been received in escrow.  Too often I see new traders losing their money or getting foiled on a deal because they have someone wanting to pay them by some other method outside of wire or cash.  This buyer can then do a chargeback if they used a credit card, or can hack someone else’s payment info the funds get pulled from your account up to months later.  In short, these are the best ways to receive payment.  When you’re paying for a watch, you can use PayPal, Credit Cards, etc. to protect yourself.  So buying is different than when you’re starting out selling.

  • Process Over Profits – When you just get going, you can sometimes get blindsided.  Many new traders are hungry for big wins right out of the gate.  Or, they want to buy Rolex only, because they think that’s the only brand that’s a “fast mover”.  So they sacrifice the value of learning how the trading process works, for quick or potentially big money in a short-sighted way.  The dopamine hit you get from doing a quick deal may be exciting at first, but when you look at the upside vs. the cash you’re locking up to do these types of deals, and/or the risk you’re putting yourself under to make those margins, it’s not worth it.  This goes back to my story at the beginning, when I was meeting a stranger in the mall and spent 4 months just to make $400.  The downside risks of that transaction were not beneficial to me in the least.  After learning the process of how to stay safe, maximize my time, and qualify people who I do business with, I can do 5X this type of return without ever leaving my home office.  That’s from mastering the trading process vs. hustling for short-term wins.

  • Start Small, Plan Big – Playing off of the previous lesson, starting small is always the best way at the beginning.  Do some trades under $10K to get the steps down, and then you can work your way up to $20K, $50K, and $100K+ trades.  By managing the risk and learning to get good at the process in this way, you can build a steady base to springboard off of later.  This also will help you assess how you want to scale this new venture.   Some want to do trading as a part-time hobby and make $10K+ profit a month income.  Others want to do this full time and make 6-7 figures a year.  Whatever that may be for you, it’s good to plan for a 10-year growth plan.  You don’t need to know all of the specifics of the “how” to get there just yet.  In fact, there are mentors in the Watch Trading Academy program that can help with that.  All you need to know is that you’re building for sustainable increases in profits and easier sales.  If you do this, your income will be amazingly simple in 1+ years vs. those who burn out and quit in the first 3 months because they were only in it for quick money.

  • Don’t Fall Victim to Dealer Tactics – Dealers in the luxury watch world are notorious for lying and using aggressive sales tactics to either get you to pay way more for a watch, or sell them yours for a big loss.  It’s so bad, that some no longer even care to pretend to lie to your face.  For example, I’ll ask them what % off of MSRP they get for a Rolex for example, and they’ll say nothing.  But I know this is a lie, because they get up to 30% off as authorized dealers.  You’ll also hear some dealers tell you “I’m not making any money on this one”, or “this is my at-cost”.  Both of those are straight-up lies.  They are making money on every deal.  They have to stay afloat, which is perfectly fine.  It’s just insane that they feel they have to lie about it to everyone’s face.  They’ll also feed you false narratives about what the market is doing, or how your watch is not desirable.  They’ll say it’s going for way less than you listed it for just to have you drop your price and sell it to them.  They’ll then turn around and sell it for more than you had it listed for so don’t fall into these traps.

  • List Multiple Places – When you’re getting started in trading, you need to make a name for yourself, and make yourself known to your network (including new people) that you are involved with luxury timepieces.  In order to best do that, you can leverage passive and proactive sales techniques to get audience views on your pieces for sale.  I recommend 15+ platforms and 5 proactive strategies to my students when they’re selling their watches at first.  This maximizes the chance of someone either referring another buyer to them, or getting solid offers.  Over time, you can refine your sales process, but when you’re new, it’s all about the more eyes on them the better.

  • Know Your Numbers – Nothing blows up a great opportunity to profit like paying more for a watch than you should.  If you have no idea what a good target price is for a watch, or what BCV numbers are, you can feel like you’re shooting in the dark.  The online listing prices aren’t as indicative of where you should be buying these watches at so you can profit in the short-term, or invest for long-term returns.  This takes insider information like shared at Watch Trading Academy, or years of practice to get down.  If I had known the target price and BCV numbers of my first Rolex and the other trades I did in year 1, I would have made $35K instead of $1,300.  When you stay disciplined and stick to the numbers in trading, you can’t lose.  And in fact, if you need to liquidate your pieces, you should at worst break even.

  • Don’t Get Emotional –  This can be tricky especially if you love timepieces like I do.  There have been times where I really wanted a certain watch and overpaid for it.  This leaves me stuck in the watch too high, and I either end up breaking even, or having to do some creative trading to escape the position.  There have also been times when I’ve sold too soon because I was afraid I would not find the right seller.  So, I sold to a wholesaler or another trader, and days later a guy would want the piece at full asking price. This is where I shoot myself in the foot and many new traders do too.  They sell too low, and then they realize they missed out on a great profit.  Keeping your emotions in check and staying disciplined as a trader is how you can make the big bucks.  So stick to your numbers and play the margins, not just the watches like an asset manager would.

  • Protect Your Investments – These luxury timepieces are your capital being put to work to make you more money, not just fun toys.  So make sure you protect your investment!  Too often I see new traders make mistakes that leave them shit out of luck.  They’ll send watches without fully insured shipping through third-party companies like IFS Inforsure, or they’ll thrash the watch around on their desk or outside so it gets all scratched up.  Of course, these watches are meant to be enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean you should lose your money in them because of being careless.  Protecting your investment is a small step worthwhile in this trade where some pieces can be 7 figures alone.

  • Network! –  The saying may be old, but it’s true.  Your network is your net worth.  And there is no better game than watch investing to build a network of amazing people you can tap into for business, personal growth, and profit.  Your network is your trusted circle and referrals are great ways to get repeat business without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money on marketing dollars.  You can become the go-to plugin your group of trusted peers, family, and friends so that watches move as quickly as in 1 day, and make you 20% profits all while taking care of your people.  Having this new passion to share with each other opens many new doors that can make for a successful life as a whole too.  After all, there’s been so many doors opened for the 10,000+ people who’ve learned the art of watch trading.  They’ve connected with celebrities, done multi-million dollar real estate deals, made new friends, and more.

So take this for what you will.  I hope these 10 lessons will help you make a lot of money watch trading!  And if you want to learn how to break six figures in less than a year doing this, even with $1,500 to start, check out this webinar on how to get going as soon as today!


Cal Knight

About The Author

I’ve had a passion for luxury timepieces my entire life, and it wasn’t until 2011 that I started collecting and flipping those assets with the techniques learned here at Watch Trading Academy. Mastering the intricacies of the watch market, the boutique brands, and how to approach the process have all been essential to making intelligent investment decisions which has resulted in $100k in profits in less than 5 months, be sure to check out how I did it here.

I’ve had a passion for luxury timepieces my entire life, and it wasn’t until 2011 that I started collecting and flipping those assets with the techniques learned here at Watch Trading Academy. Mastering the intricacies of the watch market, the boutique brands, and how to approach the process have all been essential to making intelligent investment decisions which has resulted in $100k in profits in less than 5 months, be sure to check out how I did it here.


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