Budget Watch Collecting/Selling a Watch on the Internet

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In all forums, it is vitally important to have good clear pictures. See Budget Watch Collecting/Watch Photography for help with this. Ebay charges extra for extra pictures, and many watch forums have limited picture space. In those cases, it is often easier to use a free hosting service like [Photobucket] and post links. Mechanical watches should usually show the movement if possible. If the watch is running, show pictures with the second hand in different positions. If a watch is not running, check the balance--If there is no play, report that.

With inexpensive watches, you need to balance your time with the extra bids better pictures will generate. I place my watches on a stand, take them to the wall of my porch outside, and take a fairly standard series of photos--Full face, then I rotate the watch to 5 or 6 positions showing all sides and back. I'll then take a picture of the back, and a movement picture for mechanicals. I'll try to get two pictures of any flaws--One with lighting adjusted to make the flaw stand out, another "actual view" with the flaw how it really looks in normal lighting. If the watch glows strongly in the dark, I try to get a picture of that.

Don't's: Make sure a calendar watch isn't photographed in the middle of a date change--Fairly common, that is where the watch is most likely to stop on its own, but it makes it look like the calendar is misaligned. Chronographs should be photographed both reset and with the chrono running. LED's should be photographed without flash, with the digits lit.


So far, my selling has been done on Ebay. I almost always start with a starting bid a small fraction of the expected price, no reserve and take my chances. Sometimes I'll set a "buy it now" of about 20% more than I expect the watch to sell for. Occasionally I'll get a buy-it-now, often I'll get a low starting bid but a final price higher than the buy-now price.

Many watch forums have associated trade forums. Rules vary, and in general expectations are higher, with no "don't know what I'm doing" excuses.