Are grey market purchases that bad - Watch Freeks


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Old 01-07-2017, 04:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are grey market purchases that bad

Last week I went to my watch retailer that I have serviced several watches in the past. This particular retailer carries an array of different watch brands: Constantin, AP, U Nardin, GP, Rolex, Omega, Jaeger LeCoultre, Cartier, Breitling, Tag to Hamilton, Longines, Movado, Seiko and Citizens to name a few. Both new and used. I honestly go into the store and find exactly what I want to buy because they have such a large inventory to choose from. On this particular day I had my eye on an automatic (I will not disclose the brand nor the store because I still frequent the store) which was previously loved, aka pre-owned and marked at $1400.00. Okay, then I asked what would be the price out-the-door if I were to take it away that moment. He negotiated the price down to $1100 without taxes, which I thought was a great deal. Unfortunately, I did not purchase the watch at the time because I had an engagement with my wife that I had to get to.
Interestingly, I follow the store on "the bay" and just so happen to do a search to see what that watch would go for on the grey market. To my surprise, the exactly watch was on there page for a jaw dropping $650.00 with free shipping.
Am I wrong to feel subjected to price hikes. I don't think that is right.


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Old 01-07-2017, 04:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Was the auction price $650 or was that the buy now price? Prices in-store are often higher as you are now paying for the overhead for the brick and mortar store front. You are lso taking less risk buying in-person as opposed to on-line, sight unseen. Is it fair, that is up to you. People buy watches in many different ways. As lone as you are comfortable and the outcome is favorable then I guess it is fair. The internet is full of stories of good deals and deals gone bad. Good luck. I hope you get the watch you wnat at the price you are happy with.
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceview View Post
Was the auction price $650 or was that the buy now price? Prices in-store are often higher as you are now paying for the overhead for the brick and mortar store front. You are lso taking less risk buying in-person as opposed to on-line, sight unseen. Is it fair, that is up to you. People buy watches in many different ways. As lone as you are comfortable and the outcome is favorable then I guess it is fair. The internet is full of stories of good deals and deals gone bad. Good luck. I hope you get the watch you wnat at the price you are happy with.


The price is buy now. It's the same watch for two different prices.


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Old 01-07-2017, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Knowledge is power. You should do your research before you go to the store.


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Old 01-07-2017, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Buy if from eBay for $650


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Old 01-07-2017, 11:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Buy it new from Jomashop, they can't be beat and they are a solid company.

I have recently purchased a Oris 65 and a Breitling Chronograph from them and probably saved almost $2,000 in the transactions.

A manufacturers warranty is fine, but paying another $500 to $1,000 to get it, isn't worth it in my estimation.

Jareds wouldn't budge less then $1,800 on the Oris, got from Joma for $1,100. Tourneau's wanted $4,300 for the Breitling, taxes included, and I picked it up from Joma for $2,700
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Buy wherever you get the best price CS, provided it's a reputable organisation
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I always buy online the problems have been pretty much zero you just have to know where to shop. For extra assurance I use PayPal or my credit card. I recall on 1 occasion having under guarantee work done on a grey market Citizen (Amazon)
Citizen even refunded my return postage. Maybe it's just Citizen as a brand but I have used them a few times now and the service is outstanding.
That's why I love Citizen as a brand because they stand behind there products 100% regardless of where you have purchased them.
I am not affiliated with Citizen in any shape way or form just a happy customer.

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Old 01-08-2017, 01:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"That bad" in what sense?

Just to be clear. Was this the same used watch from the same vendor with one price in store and a different price online?

If it is I just suspect they were trying to remain price competitive in the vast online market. If this is the situation I can't blame them, if they were listing their watches online for bricks and mortar pricing they would never sell a single watch.

Under normal circumstances I try to support local businesses as much as I can even though it may cost a bit more. I think having a vibrant, diverse independent business community is extremely important. That said, watches are a bit different. The mark up is often so enormous in bricks and mortar stores there's just no way to reasonably support them with my business. $10 here and there to buy local is very different than a $800 spread on a single watch purchased online.

It's too bad, because what happens is the little guys close down. The local shops contract the product lines they carry and the consumers lose out.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Grey market is fine with me and always has been - as long as buying from a good seller, like a jomashop or others.

the AD concept is an old and outdated model that clearly is not working like it used to since the explosion of the internet.

JMHO but I will buy from many many of the respoected online grey market sellers without any concerns
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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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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Old 01-09-2017, 06:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I go to the AD's to try the watch on to see if I like it and for the fit but unless it is a tremendous deal I usually buy it online at Joma or another reputable site.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Another vote for Jomashop.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Jcher:
If my memory is correct, you asked are "Gray market purchases that bad"?
I for one, say no.
I've bought several pieces from a Gray Market merchandiser, Costco.
All have failed me NOT. According to Costco manager of watch dept, if one of
their watches goes belly up or demises, they will eat the cost of repair or repl.

Works for this ole duffer

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Old 01-09-2017, 11:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVDinner View Post
Grey market is fine with me and always has been - as long as buying from a good seller, like a jomashop or others.

the AD concept is an old and outdated model that clearly is not working like it used to since the explosion of the internet.

JMHO but I will buy from many many of the respoected online grey market sellers without any concerns
Pretty much this for me. I haven't, nor will I probably ever purchase from a B&M AD. The saving online is just to great (to me) to justify the price difference.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Totally watch unrelated but in the Eighties the then phenomenal cassette deck brand Nakamichi had only one importer for the Benelux and they were located in Rotterdam. As the deck I wanted to buy was expensive at my local dealer I searched for another one and found them in Amsterdam. He imported the decks from Germany and they were over 300 Guilders less expensive. After 3 years or so I wanted to have the heads checked and adjusted so I called the Dutch importer. They asked me for the serial number and after some tapping of keys told me the deck was a non-registered (grey) import and they would not service it. End of story. Now the law has been changed and if the equipment is bought in the EU and the factory guarantee is still valid every dealer has to honour it but often they try to brush you off with fairy tales. So I wonder how this will go with grey imported watches. I have no experience with this.

Edit: it was a Nakamichi 581 and I even bought a (wired) remote control. I remember that TDK had special cassettes with a metal frame and yes, I also bought those.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Had only one poor experience with a grey market watch. Company refused to repair under their own warranty. Was out of luck. Fortunatly, it wasn't an expensive watch & was the only watch I've ever had that has failed. Over 98% of my purchases are from ADs.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I would buy from a reputable dealer to be honest that will back their warranty. The worst is to get a watch that needs to be repaired under warranty and they won't repair it.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm just curious. Could you tell what condition the watch was online, because that could be a big factor in price. Otherwise, I don't know what to tell you. They might boost the price for people that do not know much about watches then lower to make the deal while the price is still way over the normal. Anyways I hope you are able to either get the watch from the store or you decide to buy the grey market watch. Either way, good luck.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WristWatch Fanatic View Post
I'm just curious. Could you tell what condition the watch was online, because that could be a big factor in price. Otherwise, I don't know what to tell you. They might boost the price for people that do not know much about watches then lower to make the deal while the price is still way over the normal. Anyways I hope you are able to either get the watch from the store or you decide to buy the grey market watch. Either way, good luck.


I understand your point, however it is the same watch. Meaning the watch is currently on the sales floor for purchase while simultaneously posted online at buy now price that is less than half. I took pictures of the watch while in the store and checked. It was the exact same watch.


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