Trading Places

A Watch Gang Guide On How To Trade Like A Pro

At one point in your time as a watch collector, you eventually consider the option of trading your watch. For many, the prospect of trading a watch can be a daunting, but if you take your time and do your homework, it can be an easy process. By keeping in mind the guidelines outlined below, you will be trading like a pro in no time!

The most important rule to follow when trading a watch is: Know what you are selling! This may seem obvious, but many collectors often make the mistake of not effectively including the three key aspects for conducting an efficient and successful trade – What It Is, What It Comes With and Its Value.

What Is It ...

This seems straight forward, but describing exactly what you are trading is very important. This step includes providing watch’s model number, its technical specifications and describing it’s general condition, including disclosing known flaws and blemishes. The issue of condition is, perhaps, the most important aspect of helping potential trading partners to determine whether they would like to pursue a trade. Therefore, by providing a complete description of what you are attempting to trade is key to your success. 

Other than providing an accurate description of your watch, an equally important tool for creating an efficient trade post is to provide clear photos – Lots of them! The post should have several photos of the watch, including its strap or bracelet. The photos should be taken from several different angles, and should accentuate the good as well as bad aspects of the watch. It is important that all known flaws are included and/or highlighted in the photos, so your potential trading partner is provided with a realistic expectation for what the watch will look like when it is received.

What It Comes With ...

This is probably the most overlooked disclosure in trade posts. Are you selling the “Full Kit” with the watch or are you only selling the watch itself? One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in a trade is assuming that your trading partner knows exactly what is included with your watch. This mistake, however, is very easy to fix by including phrases like, “it comes with the full kit” or “all boxes and paperwork included”. In addition, you also should disclose if any links or straps that originally come with the watch are missing. This is very important, because the last that you want in a trade is a message from your trading partner asking about why a part or something else related to the watch is missing after it arrives.

Its Value ...

Generally, in a trade, value is probably the part of the trade that most people pay the most attention to. At the end of the day, both parties want to ensure that they are receiving watches of equal value. This is something that is often subject to debate and is the most subjective aspect of trading a watch. In terms of determining the trade value of a watch, the following are points to consider when determining its value:

  • One of the key points in determining a watch’s value is reviewing recent comparable sales. By reviewing a sample of watches of the same model, with the same condition and components included, it will provide you with a good idea of the value the watch has in the current marketplace. This includes checking sites such as, as well as recent sales in the group that you will be posting your watch for sale.                                                                                     
  • Another key aspect that needs be considered when posting an item for trade is the availability of similar models in the marketplace. If the watch rarely comes up for sale or trade in the market, this tends to  support a more aggressive value. Conversely, if the market is flooded with similar models, you need to have a more conservative approach to pricing. Understanding the market is very important to ensuring that your trade post is successful and including an inflated trade value is a key mistake that will surely limit your opportunities for success.                                               
  • If you are having difficulty establishing a precise value, providing a range is acceptable in some cases. A list of watch models that you would consider trading for or a dollar range can be useful in helping your potential trading partners with an idea of what your trade value is. This will not be as effective as providing an actual trade value, but can be an effective alternative.

So, You Agreed To A Trade, What’s Next ...

Another important aspect to completing a successful trade is what happens after the parties agree to the trade. Once a trade agreement is made, the three most important steps to complete relate to: Communication, Communication and Communication.

This may sound silly, but communication is one of the most important aspects of a trade. Both parties need to provide feedback and updates in the areas of shipping and delivery, until the trade is complete and each party is satisfied. This includes clarifying how the watches will be sipped (service provider and method used), how to monitor or track the order and how the packages will be protected, in the case that it is lost or stolen, and whether a middleman service will be used. If all of these are agreed to and clearly communicated, the chances that both parties will be satisfied with the completion of the trade increase exponentially.

Now that we’ve provided you with the basics for commencing and completing a successful trade, you are now ready to hit the trade market. One of the best places to do so is the Watch Gang Exchange Facebook group. The group is full of fellow watch enthusiasts who are eager to trade and where hundreds of trades happen every week. Happy trading!

Interested in collecting watches? Join Watch Gang today and you’ll get a brand new watch every month! Every watch is guaranteed to be worth up to 5x what you paid for your membership dues so you always get a great deal. PLUS, every member is entered for the chance to win a Rolex and TAG every week!