Selling your watches for more profit requires a solid strategy that is multi-faceted. It’s not just one strategy or selling in one location to one buyer type. A strong strategy that will yield results includes you doing everything you can to present the watch enticingly to a qualified buying audience.
Most people will fumble around via trial & error attempting to figure out what’s working for them. Typically they don’t measure or take note of what’s working vs. what is not working. So what ends up happening? They spend a large amount of time trying to create a strategy, but never stick to an anchor point or set of rules that have been tried and true.
It’s understandable that we are all different, and we naturally create our own style of selling that works better for us as our experience develops. That said, there are ways to build your own optimal selling style around some core fundamentals that won’t steer you wrong.
These strategies are used by a majority of the top watch sellers worldwide. If you are not incorporating all of them into your process, I can assure you that you’re leaving money on the table. Here’s 5 of those tips to help you start selling your watches better:
- Maximum Exposure
It seems obvious that in order to better your chances of getting your watch purchased, you would want to maximize the amount of exposure it has to the largest audience of qualified buyers possible. The key phrase right there was “it seems obvious”. The sad truth is, this strategy is very critical to selling success, yet very few people actually execute on this. Think about how many places you can show off your watch for sale without even thinking about it for more than 2 minutes.
You can take lifestyle pictures of your watch and post it on your Facebook personal page, your Facebook business page, your Instagram, your Snapchat. You can list your watch for sale on eBay or Craigslist (or a similar regional marketplace if you’re in another country). You can post your watch for sale on the plethora of Facebook watch enthusiast groups that allow you to sell timepieces as much as you want. You can list your watch for sale on StockX, or watch forums (e.g. WatchUSeek, The Rolex Forum). You can wear your watch out and about to dinner or at the bar where high-net worth clients hangout. You can wear your watch at networking events for business. You can wear your watch out to Cars & Coffee. The amount of airtime you give to your watch is up to you.
As you can see there is no shortage of options, and this is just a short list of many other creative ways you can get your watch noticed and let potential buyers know it’s for sale.
For whatever reason, whether it’s because we’re lazy, or because we are shy, or because we just didn’t think to do it, people slack on giving their watch exposure which limits the amount of buyer activity on the watch. We expect people to know at all times what we have in our inventory because WE are always seeing our inventory. But humans have short attention spans. Shit, I can’t even remember what i had for lunch yesterday, so how can you expect a potential buyer to think about your watch if you aren’t putting it in front of their face frequently?
The more efficient and creative you can get about exposing your watch to potential buyers, the easier it will be for you to sell it.
- HOW You List Your Watches
Exposure to your watch listing is very important. What’s equally important is how you list your watch. Too often, the approach here is haphazard, and watch traders end up sabotaging themselves. A classic example I see is folks will just have their watch newly-in, and post it immediately to a trader/wholesale group for sale. The mistake here is you end up listing for a price that’s too high for those audiences and months later when your watch still hasn’t sold, you lower your price to these groups and everyone thinks you’re desperately trying to sell it because you couldn’t.
So the order and process in which you list your watch is very important. Starting High & Wide and moving to Low & Niche is the best approach. This is the strategy PJ teaches in detail in Watch Trading Academy Part Deux.
If you start by listing your watch on the mass market platforms where retail buyers are (e.g. eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace) you’ll get exposure to your listing at retail price. This is your biggest margin opportunity and where people will pay you more because they know less about watches. After 10-20 days, if the watch hasn’t sold, you can move your watch listings to the watch enthusiast groups and watch forums at a margin discount. You keep your mass market listings up at the same retail price though, because you never know when you’ll have a buyer come along who is retail and may want it. By staggering the listing price and where you post the watch, you buy yourself time and help capture maximum profit. Finally, if in another 10-20 days after posting to the enthusiast groups and forums and the watch still hasn’t sold, THEN you can move the listing to the wholesale/watch conspiracy groups to liquidate your watch at-cost or a small profit. You can also always trade out of the watch at this point to your benefit.
- Build Trust ASAP
The #1 reason buyers make fast decisions to purchase a watch is because they trust the seller they are buying from. This is why repeat customers are fantastic for you to keep track of and sell to in the future. If you have taken my course, you’ll understand why this CRM approach is critical to moving watches fast for serious profit.
Trust is the reason buyers will move forward with at $20,000 watch purchase from you even if you’ve taken a few crappy photos of the watch itself. If the buyer has the layer of trust that “this person would never do me wrong, and if something went wrong they would make it right”, then they remove all of their own insecurity and buying hesitations.
A few ways to establish trust with new potential buyers is by offering them references, connecting with them via the phone, and on social media.
- Enticing Photos
If the trust factor alone isn’t going to sell a watch, the WOW factor will bring it over the goal line. When people see crisp, clean, high-resolution photos of watches, they feel comfortable buying. They feel like the seller isn’t hiding anything from them in the pictures. My favorite method of taking photos doesn’t require you purchasing expensive camera equipment. It just involves taking photos with a smartphone in outside natural lighting, preferably not in direct sunlight. Optimal conditions are on an overcast day or just in a light shade area when the sun is out. For product photos, shots from all different angles and what’s included with the watch are key.
For lifestyle photos, get creative! You can elicit such strong emotions from potential buyers when you take amazing photos. For example, a Blue dial Rolex Datejust in the foreground with a matching blue Lamborghini in the background gets people excited about the watch, shows off how amazing the watch is, and elicits desire in them to buy.
Remember, people purchase emotionally first and justify those purchases rationally after, so use emotion to your advantage with your photos!
Making yourself accessible to those who are asking you questions about your watch and want to buy from you is vital. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen sellers sabotage themselves by making these mistakes. For example, when a buyer reaches out with a question, and the seller responds hours or even days later. That’s a lost sale right there, and reflective of the type of customer service the buyer may expect if they move forward with that seller. Another mistake is people who don’t make themselves accessible on social media, or via phone. If you’re about to wire someone $5,000 + wouldn’t you want to know who the hell you’re doing business with? I know I would. Don’t be the idiot who has a picture of their cats or a blank JPG as their profile picture on social media. You’re an adult, and you are a brand in this day of social information. Start representing yourself accordingly.
If you want to close deals for more profit, be accessible. Encourage buyers to connect with you online, and/or call you if they have questions about your watch. This gives them that layer of comfort knowing you’re not a scammer or not going to go anywhere if shit hits the fan.
Keep these core fundamentals in mind when building out your own selling strategy.
If you do, I am confident you’ll find that you will start selling watches faster and for greater profit.