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Favorite Auction Sites? Other than ebay...

  1. jrhave2

    jrhave2 Mar 7, 2017

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    I've been cruising ebay for awhile now, and while there is the occasional jewel amongst the shite, I'm curious if there are other solid auction sites out there where people have found bargains. Right now I'm particularly interested in a 3 button Chronograph with a ton of character...similar to this one -

    Chrono Example.jpg

    I've gone through a ton of forum posts and it seems like everyone has a different opinion. I'm planning to start frequenting the pawn shops, goodwill stores, and flea markets in the area...but I love late night treasure hunting online. Thoughts?
     
  2. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Mar 7, 2017

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    Your not really going to have luck at pawn shops or goodwill. Goodwill has their own watch auction site. Pawn shops know what they have now.

    eBay is still the only real game in town.
     
  3. abrod520

    abrod520 Mar 7, 2017

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    The deals on eBay are getting rarer and rarer. Most sellers seem to have figured out how to Google their old watches the way Goodwill and pawn shops have.
     
  4. pippy

    pippy Mar 7, 2017

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    Got to go to yard sales and estate sales. Sorry.::censored::
     
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  5. abrod520

    abrod520 Mar 7, 2017

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    Yard sales maybe. Estate sales put on by the family too. But estate sales run by a professional estate sales company will see the most valuable Google-able items put on eBay.
     
    semper_shells likes this.
  6. DLT222

    DLT222 Double D @ ΩF Staff Member Mar 7, 2017

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    Debatable....

    Thats all im saying
     
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  7. MikiJ

    MikiJ Likes songs about Purple spices Mar 7, 2017

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    I'm somewhat involved with a Pawn Shop in my home town. Every time they get an Omega to buy, they call me first. I'm always happy to go home and take a look at it. All that means is that D is probably correct ;)
     
  8. Noles_88

    Noles_88 Dog costume designer extraordinaire! Mar 7, 2017

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    +1
     
  9. jimmyd13

    jimmyd13 Mar 7, 2017

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    While I entirely agree that you don't get much luck at the charity stores or pawn shops, I don't think it's down to their knowledge.

    Charity shops - particularly the large well known ones - are full on machines when it comes to making the most out of their donated goods. Everything gets sorted, and in ways you'd never think. You won't see any decent watch sitting in the window of the store it was donated to. Hell, they don't even sell them through their own websites. These things end up at bricks and mortar auction houses.I also know that there is a significant amount of "shrinkage" suffered by charity shops before any goods reach the sorting facilities or shop displays.

    Pawn shops are hit and miss - again, not necessarily down to knowledge. Every jeweller and pawn shop employee can spot a Rolex, Omega or military marking but beyond that they only know what they know. I doubt many, or any, could differentiate an expensive watch from an uber rare example. I'm not saying that there aren't genuine watch geeks out there who work in, run or own pawn shops; what I am saying is that those people aren't the rule. That said, they do refer to genuine experts a lot of the time. No, the reason that you'll not find hidden gems in a pawn shop is because the watches don't find their way into them in the first place. Everyone can google their late uncle's watch these days before trying to pass it on for a quick 20 in a backstreet pawnbroker's.

    The only place I see genuine bargains are in the places they always used to turn up: auction houses. Not the watch auctions, but your local bricks and mortar places that run house clearances and bankruptcy sales. The problem with these, now, is that many link through to sites like the-saleroom giving them a much wider audience than they ever had before. Now you have the same problem as elsewhere. If it says "Rolex", "Omega", ""Tudor", "TAG" or any of the other well known names on the dial, it will go for silly money. For some reason that others may know, lots are going to Italian buyers right now. But if it's your local auction house then you can get there and get your hands on the peices you're interested in. The internet buyers will be paying 3% more than you plus postage ... and you get to check the true condition of a watch. For example, nice little Tudor Oysterdate this weekend I had marked down as a £500 watch. Case was lovely but the stem was damage, hands would set but would not wind. It sold to an internet purchaser for over £900. The retail on these isn't £1500 and when you add on 23-28%, delivery, a new stem and service and time ... where's your money on this? That said, the cute little 70's Accutron cost me £45 (£54 with buyer's premium) and just needs a battery.

    So, where do you find deals? With the dealers. What you have to do, though, is find the dealers. They're not people with shops. They're guys with vans. They're the ones who look like they walked off a farm but will drop £20,000 at an auction in three hours without blinking. The next problem is that you can't buy from them. You have to let them offer stock to you. You have to make sure they know what you're interested in picking up, or the field you're interested in. You have to know the right tea van to be at; the people who will waste your time and the people who will make your month worthwhile in five minutes. Getting a deal becomes a job in itself.
     
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  10. timjohn

    timjohn Mar 7, 2017

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    Antiquorum, Bonhams, Watches of Knightsbridge, Dr Crott, Kaplans, Drouot, Phillips, Christies, Sotheby's, Fellows...

    There are still some bargains to be had even after the 25% buyers premium.
     
    semper_shells likes this.
  11. WatchmakerTheory

    WatchmakerTheory Mar 7, 2017

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    I agree. I've seen very few good deals in person; Ebay is usually the best place to look. I've gotten some very good deals by checking the "newly listed" every so often :)