ask before buying used watch

If you think buying used jewelry is “taboo”, you might be swayed by knowing that jewelry for sale in pawn shops can be up to 50% off of retail prices. That’s why if you are in the market for a quality watch, buying from a pawn shop should be your first stop. In order to be sure you get exactly what you’re looking for, and that the watch is worth the asking price, do some research first and be ready to ask these simple questions below.

Questions to ask before buying a used watch

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Used Watch

How does the watch work?

  • You might feel a little silly asking this question but trust us – you will look sillier if you don’t ask this very basic question. The pawn shop should be able to give you all the information about how the watch works and its functions (e.g. chronograph, calendars, date, time, etc.)

What movement does this watch use?

  • This is almost a trick question for the salesperson as most anyone cannot memorize the “engine” of each and every watch model and brand. However, if the salesperson shows a complete inability to answer this question, you can be pretty sure that they have limited knowledge about watches altogether.  The movement of a watch is essentially how the watch runs (i.e. the internal functioning that makes it tick).

What are the alternatives?

  • If you were looking into buying a particular SUV, you wouldn’t hesitate to look into comparable makes and models before making your decision. Buying a quality watch shouldn’t be any different. Ask the salesperson what alternatives watches are in the category of watch that you are looking at. For example, if you are looking for a showpiece or high-end sport watch, ask the salesperson what other brands offer pieces in the same price range.

What was the release date?

  • This is an especially important question for the top of the line brands such as Rolex. While newer models may be generally pricier because of limited release, there are also highly sought-after vintage models from different eras.

How often and how much?

  • We’re talking about service. Since watches are machines, they need routine servicing in order to have a long run-life. Servicing a watch typically includes cleaning and oiling the watch. As simple as it sounds, these trips can be pricey. Ask the retailer how often you will need to have the watch serviced and about how much it will cost. If you are serious about the watch, it would be smart to call several certified watch service/repair shops in the area for the most accurate information.

We always recommend doing your own research before heading out to a retailer in order to know the quality of your piece and also to know the going rate of the item. Trust your gut when dealing with the salesperson; if you are not convinced that they are knowledgeable about the watch, take your time to do more research on the item and on comparable watches at other shops.