Having an excellent reputation is one of the most important things to keep in mind when you decide to become a watch trader. When I first started, I knew that reputation was crucial. I was not aware however, of the ways I could tarnish my reputation.
Here are some key things, I know I need to pay close attention to now to be a respected watch trader and not someone who is looked at like a risky entity to do business with.
Not Keeping My Word:
This one is on the top of the list. By keeping my word, I know that people who are dealing with me will feel comfortable doing business with me. Especially when dealing with high-end luxury timepieces, it’s important as ever to do what you say. Typically this means you only commit to and say what you can control.
Here are examples of keeping my word:
Telling someone, I will:
>Buy or sell the watch by a certain date
>Will ship a watch out by tomorrow morning
>Will wire money by end of business today
When I say that I will buy or sell a watch, I keep that promise even if I made a mistake on my end in pricing the watch. I only agree to buy or sell the watch when I have all the necessary data that makes me confident, and do not have emotions dictating the outcome.
When telling someone I will ship or wire the money at a specific time, I always make sure I do it.
In general, I tell people when the activity will be done; however, I am planning to have it done before the time I said I would do it. This not only honors my word, but boosts my reputation in the eyes of the counter-party I’m doing business with.
Describing the Watch Condition Inaccurately:
If you have been watch trading for awhile, you might receive a watch which was not as described. I hate it when that happens. I browse so many different marketplaces online, and I don’t want to buy a watch that is not as described in the listing.
Every time I describe the watch I’m selling, I want to make sure I’m as transparent as possible. If the watch has a scatch, non-OEM parts, is missing box and papers, etc, it doesn’t matter because I always aim to describe the watch accurately.
Sometimes, I get a watch for example where the listing described it as “running well”. However, that isn’t always the case. I throw the watch on a timegrapher and it’s running 10min slow per day. This is so obvious that the seller could have seen it without doing this, which is what makes it worse.
When I sell my watches, I always put them on a timegrapher to make sure they are running accurately. If the watch does not keep accurate time +\- 20 seconds per day (this can vary slightly), I always make sure to service the watch before selling or disclose the timepiece will need a service.
Not Sourcing a Watch After Committing to Do So:
Being able to get specific watches for clients is a fantastic feeling when you get orders. But, it sucks when someone promises to get a particular watch to you, but they don’t deliver. It happened to me once and it was disappointing as I could have asked many other people to get it for me in my expected timeframe.
When I tell someone I will get this watch and I get the watch within the specific timeframe, it’s because I know my sources well enough to not have to guess that it’s possible. And I don’t have to worry about the description of the watch because my sources are always extremely transparent and accurate with their descriptions.
Selling a Watch With Something Wrong:
When I receive a watch and there is something wrong with it, I am like, “F***k,!!!!”
I go from being super happy about getting the timepiece to worrying about how to solve the issues. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of watch buying. Especially when you are pre-selling the watch before you get it in-hand and want to flip it fast.
If something like this happens to me, I know I will solve the issue fast, due to the seller resources I use. It is essential to buy the seller first before you buy the watch. By buying the seller, I always have a guarantee to fix the issues when they occur.
Selling Aftermarket / Counterfeits
I have noticed that some people lisy watches for sale and are not aware that some parts are not OEM (original equipment manufacturer). This is not as bad as selling counterfeits, but is still highly frowned upon and a way to lose your reputation.
I make sure I ONLY sell 100% authentic watches and accessories. It does not matter that the seller told me its authentic. I still do my research to double confirm this is true when I go to resell it.
Selling counterfeit watches, boxes, straps, and other accessories are illegal. I know I can get in big trouble by listing them for sale and don’t even want to deal with the headache of saving myself a few dollars because my reputation is worth more than trying to cut a few corners.
Besides, the last thing I need is to have someone knocking down my door coming for me because I broke the law.
There are other ways to tarnish your reputation of course, but these are some of the most common. Its critical to make sure you don’t break these guidelines to keep an excellent reputation in the market. The watch industry is very small in the sense that everyone knows everyone. So one slip up can cost you, and your reputation can literally make or break you in this game.