The Swiss have been making watches for centuries and are the uncontested masters of watch making, but with such expertise and precision comes a hefty price tag in most cases. It is not unusual to find that the watch you are excited about has a price tag of thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This is where the used Swiss watch market comes into play.
An ever increasing number of watch retailers are venturing into the used and pre owned watch market. The watches are usually acquired from a variety of sources but typically from the following few,
A trade in is where someone trades in their old watch for a new one to get a discount and the dealer then sells the traded watch as a used watch.
Occasionally watches are to be found at estate sales when someone has passed away or is liquidating their assets. Typically vintage watches are sourced from here.
There are watch brokers who specialize in providing watches to stores that may be dealing in used swiss watches. The broker may have several avenues to acquire the watches but breitling chronomat close out sales at store auctions are a typical source.
Now you as a consumer also have several ways to find great deals on swiss watches.
Check out your local retailer to see if they have used swiss watches you may be interested in. The dealer will usually have www.alasto.com popular models in stock and on display, but you can also ask them to try to get you a certain watch and most will be able to source the one you are looking for.
To get a great deal you should either trade in one of your old watches against the watch you want or simply try to get a discount. Most pre owned watch dealers are prepared to work with you on price to one degree or another, usually far more than on new pieces as far as discount percentage. But this is dependent of course on the scarcity of the piece and profit margins.
Most online retailers that sell used swiss watches will generally aim to be priced lower than the traditional bricks and mortar stores so they are competitive.
Do not be afraid to e.mail the customer service of the website to ask for a better price or to make an offer, the worst they can do is say no.
Everyone knows the most popular auction websites, and although caution should be used when dealing with private sellers it also opens up the avenue of direct offers and also working one and one with the dealer to source watches at a great deal for you.
For more in depth tips read my guide.