How a luxury watch obsession helped me become a reseller

I’m Diaz, a member of the Luxgazette team. This article is about how I started my journey reselling luxury watches and how I’ve grown over the years.

Collecting and reselling luxury watches has been my passion for a very long time, ever since I was in college. It all started when I immediately fell in love with one of my rich college friend’s Rolex Pepsi, which he claimed to be a birthday gift from his parents. The watch looked gorgeous when I tried it on my wrist and I was itching to get something similar. I would give my modest Swatch to him, and he would allow me to wear his Rolex during college. But I wondered why he wasn’t too worried to lend me the watch. Little did I know, it was an A-grade replica with a fictional story. My friend had bought it during a trip to Asia and he plotted the story to make me believe the watch was authentic.

Foundation of reselling luxury watches

As time went on, I still believed my friend’s Rolex to be authentic and I started collecting money to buy my first good-looking watch. I set aside a portion of my weekly earnings which included my pocket money, side hustles, and any other income I received. After collecting a decent amount, I was finally ready to treat myself with a stunning watch, which had been a dream for a long time. Although I couldn’t afford a Rolex, the second-best option would be to look for something that looked similar. I searched the internet, made countless visits to stores, and joined watch forums to find the perfect Rolex look alike. I finally came across something that drew my attention. It was an Invicta. I was super happy to wear it as it looked stunning on my hands, and I was feeling as if I wore a Rolex daily.

Although I had already owned a nice watch, my obsession for watches wasn’t just over yet. It was just the beginning. I constantly visited the forums and enjoyed going through the conversations about my passion. It helped me gain a lot of knowledge about luxury watches and the history behind them. I set bigger goals and wanted to buy something better and expensive than my basic Invicta. During this course, I not only learned about watches but noticed guys were selling high-end watches as well. They sold Rolex, Omega, AP, and all sorts of luxury watches and were probably making good money. I thought to myself if these guys can do it, so can I.

Learning the business

Although I loved high-end watches, I couldn’t afford them. Therefore, I decided to get into the watch business, so that I could make money while playing with luxury watches, and be able to own some of these for myself someday. All of this was backed by the obsession that was developed from my friend’s Rolex Pepsi, which I still believed to be authentic. I began following the sellers and learning more about the business. I wanted to know where they sourced the watches from, how they got them at the right price, and the strategies they used to successfully market the timepieces on the competitive internet. After a couple of month’s research, I realized that I was ready to start the business, I understood everything a beginner needed to know. Things like figuring out the demand and negotiating with buyers and suppliers to make a decent cut. However, the biggest problem for me was capital. These luxury watches were insanely expensive, we’re talking about 5000, 6000, 7000 dollars, as a 22-year-old.

The perseverance to get into the luxury watch business kept pushing me to find a way to finance my first luxury watch. Although I knew I was going to sell it, after all, the excitement of being able to buy a high-end timepiece took me over the moon. During this time, I managed to save around 3000 dollars and I borrowed 2000 dollars more from my supportive parents who wanted to see me succeed in what I love doing. The business model was simple, find the right watch for a lower price than the full retail value and flip it to make a profit. With 5000 dollars I was ready to get down to business.

I made visits to high-end jewelry retailers, would scroll through marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Chrono24, and even look for watches within the 5000 dollar range at pawn shops, so that I could resell for a higher price and make my first couple of dollars. It was a lot of work as I had to pick the right watch among the unlimited supply, do my research on whether a particular watch has demand, and then figure out the price I was ready to pay.

Buying my first luxury watch

After weeks of research, I was finally able to find the watch that matched my budget. It was a navy blue color Breitling Superocean Heritage. Breitling is yet another exceptional Swiss watchmaker, who has partnerships with Bentley as well. Although I tried finding my luck with pawn shops and local dealers, it didn’t work with my first purchase, since the prices were too high. I found my debut piece on an online marketplace for a fairly great deal but was initially nervous to checkout, as I was afraid that all of my hardly raised capital was at stake. But you need to take risks if you want to succeed, and my watch collection today has proved it. I got my watch delivered within a couple of days and was ready to figure out the successful re-marketing strategy. Before I was going to sell, I was craving to wear the new watch a couple of times. But I had to be extremely careful, not to get scratch marks on the watch, as I was reselling luxury watches, and not keeping them forever. I wore it for a couple of outings with my friends and the Breitling grabbed many eyes.

Moving on to reselling luxury watches, I studied the entire watch in detail, from its history to minor scratches, and wrote an in-depth report of the watch before re-listing it on several online platforms, including forums and Facebook groups, along with eye-catching pictures. After a few days of negotiations back-and-forth, I made my first sale and a decent profit. Although it was hard to say goodbye to my first luxury watch, it’s business, and the rule is not to get attached to the inventory.

Reselling luxury watches – What you should know

I learned a lot from my first deal alone, and it was a great and memorable experience, raising capital, doing market research, and closing the deal. I then moved on to the next timepiece, and eventually, I’m here with a portfolio of Rolex, Omegas, and many more. The profits from reselling luxury watches contribute to a major portion of my income. I continue to learn and apply new tactics to grow my business day by day.

Where do I find the resources?

Learning this business isn’t rocket science. Everything you need to know about luxury watches is already online, and all you got to do is to look for it online and put it to practice. You’ll learn the rest through trial and error. For instance, during my early days, I have even lost and broke even on several deals, as I was still learning about pricing. Now that I’ve been in business for a couple of years, I know where to source the watch, pay the right price, use strategic marketing methods and resell at bigger profits.

What is the key to success in this business?

The most important skill in reselling luxury watches is to become bold enough to make a confident offer, knowing you could make this amount of profit. There are no shortcuts in this business too. You got to wake up in the morning and keep educating yourself about the latest prices and distribution channels. I advise you to identify the exact model of a profitable watch. Knowing what you need is vital when it comes to reselling luxury watches, as it makes your research process clearer. Make around 10-15 offers to sellers, so that you might end up winning one, and that’s all you need, just one. Another skill I have developed over the years is the ability to keep my margins higher. For example, I’m able to earn more profits by reselling 3-5 watches a month than what I used to earn from reselling 10-15 watches in the past. Therefore, reselling luxury watches is not a business for someone looking to make big money overnight, but is definitely for someone patient and dedicated to learn the relevant skills and make good money over time.

Summary of my journey

Now I’m able to get my hands on the watches I’ve been dreaming of for a very long time. Thanks to my friend who helped me develop a new passion and turn it into a profitable business. I would easily spot the fake watch if he did the same thing now. But as a beginner, I didn’t know much about watches and believed whatever he bragged about it.

Disclaimer: This article is about my personal experience and should be used for informational purposes only. It’s not financial advice.

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