Watch Freeks - View Single Post - Are grey market purchases that bad
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Florence, South Carolina, USA
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Posts: 133

Jcher, you are fortunate to have a local retailer that carries a wide variety of watch brands both new and pre-owned. As a general rule, those of us who do not live in or near a big city or a resort destination must travel many miles to find such a retailer.

Manufacturers put many stringent conditions on their AD's. The minmum initial buy in for a new AD is ususally between $100,000 and $250,000. The AD does not get to select which watches he will put in his inventory; the manufacturrer tells them which models, and how many, they will receive and when and what they must re-order. The AD is required to sell each watch at the price set by the manufacturer- no sales or discounts. (Unless something has changed in the last couple of years I know that is how Rolex and Tag Heur operate and I assume that other watch manufacturers follow suit). The result for us Watchfreeks is that we have to significantly "overpay" (in relation to grey market prices) if we wish to suport a local retailer so he will be around when we need or want him.

My favorite watch brands are Breitling and Omega. I own two of each. The two separate AD's for each of those brands are each 80 miles from where I live - in opposite directions. Neither ever seems to have the watch I am looking for and neither sells pre-wned watches. As a result, my Breitlings and Omegas were internet purchases. Two were grey market purchases and two were purchases from individuals via an internet forum. I did as much "due diligence" as I could before pulling the trigger. All four transactions went smoothly (although I must admit I worried a little about the purchases from individuals). Using Paypal gave me some additional protection. If an internet seller will not accept payment via PalPal I will not make the purchase.

My suggestion: buy your new watches from a reputable grey market seller and buy pre-owned watches from your local retailer (after accomplishing sufficient research). If your local retailer is a) properly servicing and cleaning their pre-owned watches before offering them for sale, and b) willing to give you a reasonable warranty and/or return policy then it may be worth it to you to pay a little more than the internet price to help keep the retailer in business and available to you.

My $0.02. Good luck.
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Last edited by BigCasino; 01-09-2017 at 02:04 AM. Reason: spelling
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