Top 10 things NOT to do to Embarrass Yourself as a Watch Trader

Here’s a few good pointers to make sure you carry yourself to the highest quality caliber when buying/selling/trading high-end luxury timepieces among other watch enthusiasts and retail buyers.

Some of these you may already know and some not.  Also, it’s worth addressing because some of you (whether you’re newbies or veterans) break these kosher behaviors and are losing many opportunities to score business because you are not taken seriously.

This world of timepieces is vast in opportunity but small when it comes to reputation spreading fast.  So don’t blow it by acting like a clown..  

You always want to present yourselves in the best light for your own benefit!!!

Here’s some faux pas behaviors you should NOT do to maintain a stellar reputation when trading:

❌ Don’t backout of a deal – this doesn’t mean you pay and you’re good.  It means a verbal commitment and you’re good.  Word is Bond so don’t say “done, good to go, yes, yeah, okay, solid, sure thing, or I’ll take it” and then back out of the deal.  Time is money and people will hold you to this.  Even if you find another comparable in the meantime that gets you feeling regret, suck it up and make lemonade out of lemons.  Plus you shouldn’t be relying solely on random comps when it comes to selling and leveraging your network, if you do you won’t be able to sell much

❌ Don’t talk someone’s ear off with small talk asking them a million questions that aren’t relevant to a purchase or that they don’t want to engage in and then not have the intent to buy.  It’s great to talk about common interests and why they’re selling if it’s relevant to forming a relationship but not for you to waste someone’s time and then lowball the hell out of them.  This is where you don’t get deals you just get disgust and ignored.  If you want to make an offer that seems really low and there’s a reason and the numbers make sense aligned with target price that’s fine but better to just shoot that to them no bullshit then get them expending lots of time on you first when you weren’t ever going to commit anyway even if close to your asking number.

❌ Don’t assume people know what jargon means like “naked” or “slider”.  Many of watch enthusiasts get trapped trading with other traders and wholesalers and constantly shortcut details because everyone is cool with it.  But then, if/when you deal with a retail client, this can lead to miscommunication which leads to issues.  Speak as if you’re talking professionally to someone and don’t assume.  And then if they introduce a shortcut or knowledge of jargon, you can join in.  If you do this before them, you’re actually not looking like the smartest person in the room, you’re intimidating the client or losing them in translation.  

❌ Don’t ship watches not packed like an adult who wants to care for a multi-thousand dollar watch would.  Use free or non-expensive supplies like bubble wrap, brown paper, and soft cloth to secure your watches in tight.  When someone opens your watch the first impression will be based on what they see.  If you did a sloppy job with newspaper and some old packaging from your kids’ toys, and it’s all over the place it looks gross and like a hack job.  This will not leave people happy and in turn, could result in a return or no more business in the future. 

❌ Don’t constantly ask dealers or advanced traders for help or information you’re too lazy to find and research on your own.  People have things to do and money to make.  So treat this like a business even if you’re doing it as a hobby.  How would you feel as an expert in your space or someone who charges for service, and someone who has never bought from you keeps nagging you for advice or tire-kicking and never buying watches just asking questions?

It’s an energy suck and not how you form a relationship.  You form a relationship by shitting up and buying 

❌ Do NOT assume your buyer knows the watch markets and shoot yourself in the foot by talking about comps and why this is such a strong deal without first asking them some questions to see where their head is at.  Too many times you all miss out on sales or making more margin by assuming the person wants the value play or the rock bottom price.  Often times this isn’t the case, and you actually hurt yourself by resorting immediately to this.  If you want to better understand buyer types and mentalities go back and review Knight Watch course and Part 3

❌ Don’t get lazy describing your watch condition and what it comes with.  Too many times I see guys either not clearly describing an issue or something with their watch, or they forget.  The problem here is you’re most certainly going to cause yourself a headache and get an unhappy client.  They’ll either want credit (best case scenario), a return and refund (middle case), or refund and blow your reputation up.  Take an extra minute in your listings to show what’s going on and not hide anything from people.  On the flip side don’t be afraid to highlight the amazing and good things about your pieces too as we assume people know but they may not!

❌ Don’t solely sell yourself and your watches based on being the lowest price.  If this is all you’re offering or all you think your value is in the marketplace you will always be treated as a commodity.  Your customers will never be loyal and you won’t command a premium when you sell.  You’ll only sell when you’re the lowest option (maybe) with a certain watch.  This isn’t a long-term sustainable way to make money so thinking about and clarifying your value is how you differentiate yourself and win!  I can help you with this if you want

❌ Don’t say one thing and then do another.  Again your word is Bond so if you say you’re going to deposit $1000 to hold the watch by the end of the day today do it.  Don’t wait 2 days and then pay by check without at minimum keeping in excellent communication with the counterparty you’re dealing with

 

… which leads me to # 10

 

❌DON’T ghost on communication!!!  99% of you miss deals and ruin your reputation by not being responsive.  Check your messages and email or whatever format if you’re asking about watches and working deals with people.  Answer your phone and text when shipping delays or money is being wired to ensure the other person is aware and doesn’t freak out. 

The amount of times I’ve seen this is insane.  Some people will even ask about a watch then ghost for a week and then want to buy it.  It’s laughable.  Shit moves lightning fast, so don’t ghost and just take action when you commit. Stop acting like indecisive sheep and be on top of communicating and you’ll go far my friends!


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.


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