The global market for secondhand luxury items—primarily watches and jewelry—was estimated to be worth $24.2 billion in 2018 and it has been projected to grow by an average of 8% annually since.
This growth in sales of pre-owned watches is primarily fueled by a global surge in sales of all kinds of secondhand goods, driven largely by an increase in online sales, changing consumer preferences, and growing concern about sustainability. These trends have already been ongoing for a few years and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated them.
The secondhand luxury market opens opportunities for both newcomers and serious watch collectors to discover luxury watches at the fraction of a price or get their hands on vintage pieces that are no longer available in retail. It provides a place to sell your watches, too. If you’re more interested in the latter, you probably have some questions which we will try to answer in this guide.
Which Luxury Watch Brands Sell Best In The Secondhand Market?
The most-traded watch in the pre-owned market is clearly Rolex and it’s not hard to find out why. The Swiss luxury brand has an unrivaled reputation for producing watches that increase in value over time. If you buy the right Rolex watch, it can prove to be a great investment—one that you can wear, enjoy and sell for the same price that you bought it for, if not higher.
Looking at its history, steel Rolex sports watches significantly hold or appreciate in value. This is particularly true with the GMT-Master II with its signature two-colored bezel, the Cosmograph Daytona, and Submariner.
For whatever reason, there may come a time that you decide to sell your Rolex watch. When you do, you’ll surely want to extract as much value as possible. While there’s no guarantee that you will profit from your watch—after all, the secondhand market can be a wildly unpredictable place—there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting a fair price for your investment.
- Know Your Watch
There is some key information you have to know when you’re selling your Rolex watch: its reference number, serial number, approximate market value, and condition. You should be able to find the reference and serial numbers on the watch’s official paperwork—the warranty card, service records, and receipts. In some cases, these numbers are also engraved on the watch case. You should have all these details ready before you even sell your watch.
- Get Your Rolex Appraised
There was a time when it cost you a few hundred dollars to have your watch appraised by a local dealer. But, with sites that trade watches, you can get a free quote simply by filling out the necessary form and providing as much information as possible. Uploading photos can greatly help in giving a better idea of the watch’s present condition. Make sure to photograph the watch from various angles to help the dealer provide you with an accurate quote.
- Send Your Rolex
If you’re quite certain that you’re getting the maximum value for your Rolex, the next step is to send the watch to the dealer. Some dealers cover the shipping expenses with full insurance while others schedule a visit to see the luxury watch in person. Selling your Rolex to a trusted dealer with an established history of successful online sales is by far the safest and most convenient way to make the most out of your Rolex watch. But, keep in mind that there are also other ways and other outlets to sell your luxury timepiece.
Other Ways to Get The Best Price Your Rolex Watch
- Trade It In
For some serious watch collectors, trading one Rolex for another makes more sense—and it’s true because some dealers will give you more in trade credit than they will in cash. This puts more value to your Rolex and allows you to browse through more models at the same time, without breaking the bank.
- Auction It
Auction houses are a significant force in the industry. But, technology has enabled us to create a platform that replicates the safety and security these houses offer. Today, you can list your luxury watch at online auction sites. Keep in mind, however, that you may not benefit from the guidance of a watch expert by going down this route.
- Sell It at a Pawnshop
Besides letting you pawn watches, pawn shops also buy your watches. But, because they make their profits by reselling these items, they tend to bargain prices, which is not favorable to you. It also doesn’t help that they rarely have the expertise in terms of luxury watches.
Whether you are selling a Rolex Submariner, Daytona, or any limited-edition Rolex watches, you would want to sell your timepiece at a fair market price. Make sure to do your research and study your options to determine which is the best way to go.
The Best Rolex Watches to Invest In
Perhaps another thing to remember when you’re looking to make a profit out of your Rolex watch is to determine which one to buy in the first place. In general, Rolex watches make a great investment, owing to the prestige, reliability, and quality attached to the brand. But, as said above, there’s no way to tell which Rolex watches will skyrocket in the future. Their prices are decided based on supply and demand. This explains why limited-edition and vintage models that are already discontinued, along with important models to celebrate significant events tend to sell at a higher value.
So, with all these factors in mind, which Rolex should you buy for investment? The answer varies over time as the watch market is generally quite hard to predict. Your best bet in a Rolex watch is to buy a piece that you’ll love for years, regardless of the trend. This way, you’ll have an accessory that you can wear, which alone is enough to make for a great investment even if it doesn’t climb in value in the future.
What are your thoughts about selling a Rolex watch? Would you sell yours in the future? Let us know by leaving a comment below.