How to Sell/Flip a Watch for Maximum Profit

Written by – Updated on February 26, 2024
hundred dollar bills after sale

Short Summary

  • Know the features, condition and market of a watch to accurately evaluate its value and set a profitable price.
  • Research the watch and select an appropriate platform to list it on for maximum profit.
  • Negotiate with buyers confidently to ensure a successful sale.

Rolex Flipping

  1. Rolex Watch Prices: Historical and Current from Actual Sales Numbers:
  • This article provides a historical look at Rolex watch prices from 2016 until today, sourced from actual sales numbers. It discusses how Rolex watches have become highly sought after and collectible, with many models selling for prices beyond the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). The article specifically mentions the Rolex Submariner 116610LV, also known as "The Hulk," and provides a price chart showing its value increase over the years. For instance, in 2016, the average market price was approximately $7,200, and by 2023, it had fluctuated to around $23,250 after peaking at $26,250 in 2022.
  • Read more here
  1. Rolex Market Index | WatchCharts:
  • The WatchCharts Rolex Market Index is an indicator of the secondary market performance of Rolex watches, composed of the top 30 models within the brand, sorted and weighted by transaction value. This index shows the average market price of these 30 watches over time.
  • Explore the index here
  1. Rolex Sales Rocket to Over CHF 8 Billion in 2021 - WATCHPRO:
  • According to a report by Morgan Stanley and LuxeConsult, Rolex sales rocketed to an estimated CHF 8.05 billion in 2021. The report suggests that this increase was due to a combination of factors, including a 5% increase in the number of watches made, an average price rise of 7%, and a change in the mix of models favoring more expensive pieces. This indicates a significant increase in both demand and the average selling price of Rolex watches.
  • Read more here

Know Your Watch

Familiarizing oneself with the watch they are selling is essential in order to accurately assess its value and set an appropriate price. The state of the watch, any accompanying components, and the present secondary market all play a role in determining the value of a watch.

It is important to consider factors such as the designer brand, the quality of the craftsmanship, and whether it is targeted at the luxury market. In addition, it is important to evaluate the overall condition of the watch, including any scratches, dents, and the condition of the band or strap.

Investing in a rare, luxury watch is the recommended approach for acquiring a timepiece with the potential to appreciate in value. For optimal profitability, watches should be purchased within the range of $5,000-$10,000.

Research Your Watch

Conducting research on a watch prior to selling it is essential in order to accurately assess its value and understand the current market demand. Without this research, subtle differences may go unnoticed and could significantly reduce the value of the watch.

When researching a watch, it is important to consider factors such as the designer brand, the quality of the craftsmanship, and whether it is targeted at the luxury market. Additionally, it is important to evaluate the overall condition of the watch, including any scratches, dents, and the condition of the band or strap.

Engaging the expertise of a watch specialist can provide you with a more accurate assessment of the value of your watch. To obtain a professional valuation of your watch, it is recommended to contact a reputable watch dealer or appraiser.

Check for Authenticity

Failing to verify the authenticity of a watch can lead to legal repercussions and financial losses, as one may be purchasing or selling a counterfeit item. Potential indicators of a counterfeit watch include imperfect edges, inadequate polishing, scratches, incorrect markings/engravings, and inferior materials.

To ensure the authenticity of a watch, it is important to look for indications of a counterfeit watch, inspect the text on the dial, listen for a ticking sound, and evaluate the serial number on the caseback.

Prepare Your Watch for Sale

Prior to selling your watch, it is important to take the necessary steps to prepare it for sale. This includes cleaning the watch, checking for any necessary repairs, and determining the value of the watch. Additionally, you should choose the right platform to sell the watch on.

For optimal results, it is recommended to use a soft cloth and a mild cleaning solution to clean the watch. Water and harsh chemicals should be avoided. If you are uncertain of the best cleaning method, it is advisable to take your watch to a professional. Additionally, inspect the watch for any signs of scratches, dents, or other damage and ensure that the watch is functioning correctly and all its features are operational. If any issues are identified, it is advisable to take the watch to a professional for repairs.

To ascertain the value of your watch, it is advisable to research similar watches that have been sold recently. Factors such as the brand, model, condition, and any unique features should be taken into account. Additionally, you may wish to seek the opinion of a professional appraiser for a more accurate valuation.

The optimal platform for selling your watch will depend on the value and condition of the watch, as well as your individual preferences. You may wish to consider selling through a local jeweler, consignment shop, or an online marketplace such as eBay or Chrono24. For high-end watches, an auction house may be the ideal option.

Choose Your Selling Platform

Selecting an appropriate selling platform is an essential part of the watch selling process. It is important to consider the demand for the model and the expected time it will take to complete the sale.

Potential avenues for selling a watch include Craigslist, eBay, word-of-mouth referrals, and The level of market demand can significantly influence the decision of which platform to use for selling a product. Careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of each platform is essential in order to maximize the return on investment.

Local Jewelry Stores

Local jewelry stores can offer a number of benefits when selling a watch, such as having access to a local customer base and the potential to receive a fair price. You can opt to sell your watch directly to a local jewelry store, consign it with them, or have them broker it on your behalf.

When selling your watch to a local jewelry store, it is important to do your research beforehand and be aware of its value. You can then approach the store by walking in and inquiring if they are interested in purchasing it. When negotiating, be prepared to compromise and have the confidence to walk away if the deal is not satisfactory.

Additionally, you should always be aware of the latest watch trends and luxury watch brands, as these may impact the store’s interest in purchasing your watch.

Consignment Shops

Consignment shops are retail outlets that offer items for sale on behalf of their owners. The owner retains ownership of the item until it is sold, with the shop taking a commission from the sale price.

However, consignment fees can be substantial, and the sale process can be lengthy. It is essential to thoroughly investigate the shop's reputation and dependability before entrusting them with your watch.

To maximize the chances of a successful consignment, it is recommended that you have your watch professionally cleaned and serviced, and include any original packaging, paperwork, or accessories that came with the watch.


Pawnshops provide loans to individuals who are willing to offer collateral, such as jewelry, electronics, or musical instruments, as security. A pawnshop provides a convenient and efficient means of obtaining immediate cash without the need for a credit check or waiting for a potential buyer.

However, when selling a watch through a pawnshop, it is important to note that the prices offered are typically lower than those offered on other selling platforms. Additionally, if the loan is not repaid, the pawnshop will keep the watch and sell it, resulting in the seller losing the watch and any potential profits.

Prior to selling a watch to a pawnshop, it is advisable to conduct research to ascertain the value of the watch and compare prices from various sources. Additionally, it is beneficial to be aware of the exact year and model of the watch to provide a basis for negotiations.


eBay provides a platform for individuals to buy and sell items to a wide range of possible buyers. It is a great option for those looking to make a quick sale, as well as those who are seeking to receive the best return on their investment.

However, there are some disadvantages associated with selling a watch on eBay. When attempting to sell a watch on eBay, it is important to take high-resolution photographs, provide a comprehensive and accurate description, set a reasonable price, and remain responsive to inquiries from prospective buyers. Additionally, having an established seller profile can be beneficial in achieving success when selling a watch on eBay or any other online auction platform.

Auction Houses

Auction houses specialize in facilitating the sale of items through auctions, wherein buyers submit bids until the highest offer is accepted. Selling through auction houses can be a lucrative option, as competitive bidding can lead to higher selling prices and more potential buyers.

When selecting an auction house for your watch, it is important to research their specialties, reputation, fees, and past results for similar items. Additionally, the auction house will set a minimum price for the watch, and potential buyers will bid on it in increments until a satisfactory amount is reached by the seller. The auction house will take a commission on the final sale price.

It is important to consider the types of brands that the auction house specializes in, as well as the types of buyers that attend their auctions. Additionally, researching the average selling prices of similar watches can help ensure a better deal.

Set the Right Price

Establishing an appropriate price for your watch is essential to ensure that you receive the maximum return for your item. If you set your price too high, potential buyers may not even consider purchasing your watch; if you set it too low, you will not receive as much money as you could have.

The first step in determining the right price for your watch is to identify the lowest priced watch of the same model in your region with a comparable condition and features, then subtract 10%. Additionally, you can consult eBay to view the prices of similar watches that have been sold. This will give you a good indication of what a dealer may offer for your watch.

Private sellers typically anticipate a price that is 15-20% lower than that of dealers. Once you have a benchmark price, you can use the data collected from researching comparable models to set a price that is competitive with other watches of similar quality. This will ensure that you receive as much money as possible for your watch while still making it an attractive deal for buyers.

Take Quality Photos

Presenting quality images of the watch when selling it can be advantageous, as it can draw in prospective buyers and potentially increase the sale price. To achieve the highest quality images of a watch, ensure the timepiece is clean and use a macro lens or macro mode to capture intricate details. Natural light is ideal, but a reflector may be necessary to achieve the desired effect. Utilizing a single light source can help reduce reflections.

When taking photos of the watch, you should be sure to inspect the timepiece and take note of any scratches, dents, or other imperfections. Doing so will prevent any potential disputes with buyers over the condition of the watch. Taking multiple photos from different angles can also give buyers an accurate representation of the watch, as well as its condition. While there are some editing programs available, it is always best to take original photos of the watch. Editing or enhancing the images can lead to disputes and potentially lower the price of the watch.

By taking quality photos of the watch, buyers can make an informed decision about the purchase. Quality images can also help to show off the design and craftsmanship of the watch, which may lead to buyers being willing to pay a higher price. Taking quality photos of the watch is a much better route than simply providing a description, as buyers can expect to see what they are purchasing.

Taking quality photos of the watch is an important part of the selling process and should not be overlooked, as it can make or break the sale.

Market Your Watch

Our watch boasts a range of features and advantages that set it apart from other watches on the market, so it is important to highlight these qualities to potential buyers. To ensure a strong brand identity for your watch, it is important to utilize a unique logo, color palette, typography, and imagery that accurately reflects the brand's personality.

Additionally, leveraging influencer and celebrity endorsements, content marketing, and purchase incentives can help to drive sales and create a buzz around your watch. It is essential to provide an accurate and honest description of your watch to ensure a satisfactory transaction for both parties, as misrepresenting the watch may lead to the buyer being unhappy with their purchase.

Negotiate with Buyers

In order to receive the maximum profit from selling a watch, it is essential to negotiate with buyers in an effective and efficient manner. Negotiating with buyers is a crucial part of the selling process and requires knowledge of the value of your watch, the willingness to remain open to offers, and the confidence to counter with a reasonable price.

Before entering into negotiations, it is important to be well-informed about the value of your watch. Research similar watches that have been sold recently and consider factors such as brand, model, condition, and rarity. Doing this will enable you to set a realistic price that accurately reflects the value of your watch and allows you to receive fair compensation for it. Additionally, it is beneficial to be aware of your minimum acceptable terms, as this will help ensure that you do not accept an offer that is lower than what you are willing to accept.

Once you have determined the value of your watch and set the price, it is time to begin negotiations. Remain open to listening to the buyer’s offers and be willing to counter with a reasonable price. Having a confident and knowledgeable demeanor can be beneficial in achieving a successful outcome. If the buyer’s offer is not satisfactory, consider countering with a higher price or politely declining the offer and waiting for a more suitable one. It is essential to be aware of your minimum acceptable terms and know when to walk away if the buyer is unreasonable or if their offer is substantially lower than your desired price.

Ship Your Watch

Your Client Advisor at WatchBox can provide you with a pre-paid, fully-insured shipping label, so contact them to obtain one. To ensure your watch is adequately protected during shipping, it is recommended that you package it securely.

The closest shipping location is the ideal place to send your package. Once your watch arrives, it will be evaluated and you will be compensated for your watch either through a check or wire transfer. Your payment or a new watch will be provided to you immediately.


Selling a watch can be a daunting process, with so many factors to consider and options to select. However, by taking the right steps, such as researching or authenticating your watch, preparing it for sale, and selecting an appropriate selling platform, you can maximize your profit and increase chances of success.

It is also essential to accurately assess its value by researching similar models, taking quality pictures, creating an effective marketing strategy, negotiating confidently with buyers, and ensuring safe and secure shipping.

By following this helpful guide on how to sell a watch for maximum profit, you have harnessed the tools and strategies necessary to obtain the optimal return on your item.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to sell an expensive watch?

The best way to sell an expensive watch is through an auction, as this will help ensure you get the maximum return for your item. Additionally, consider using classified ads, eBay and social media platforms for more affordable options.

Regardless of the route taken, research pricing trends and come up with a competitive asking price to get the most out of your sale.

Will a jeweler buy a used watch?

Based on the advice given, it is likely that a jeweler would be willing to buy a used watch. While some may take it as a flat rate purchase, others may have consignment options available where the original seller could receive a percentage of the sales price upon the watch's sale.

This could be a great way to make some extra money while also getting rid of an item that is no longer needed. It is important to research the options available and to understand the terms of the agreement.

What is the best website to sell a used watch?

If you're looking to sell a used watch, your best bet is to use eBay as it is the most established platform for this purpose. Furthermore, you can reach a wide variety of potential buyers and use built-in features to optimize your sale.

For the best result, ensure that you take good photographs and write a clear product description and display accurate pricing information.

Do you need papers to sell a watch?

Yes, you can still sell a watch even if it doesn't have the original paperwork. If a potential buyer is interested in authenticity, you can go through other third-party organizations that are approved by the manufacturer to gain certification.

Yes, you can sell a watch without papers as long as you can provide proof of authenticity. You can provide an alternative route for the buyer to verify its origin, such as through certifications from third party providers approved by the manufacturer.

What is the best way to sell a watch?

The best way to sell a watch is to research your options, create an appealing listing, and then price it at a fair and reasonable value. Doing this can help ensure you get the most for your watch without spending too much time or energy on the process.