A quick guide to understanding the watch gray market: the watch retailers who sell brand name watches at massive discounts

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Wapmaxi Time To Change 2015
A quick guide to understanding the watch gray market: the watch retailers who sell brand name watches at massive discounts
Here on /r/malefashionadvice, one of the most commonly discussed fashion accessories is the wristwatch. Many are many very good guides on how to pair a watch with your outfit, and threads that recommend good watches. However, I don’t think I’ve seen many good guides on the many nuances to actual watch buying. So today, I’d like to talk to you about the gray market, one of the most influential parts of the watch market, and why you should care.So what is the gray market? The gray market refers to non-authorized retailers of various watch brands. They’re usually located online, whether it is their on their own website, or on a platform like Amazon, Chrono24, or Ebay. Some might be located in physical locations, often in the “sketchy malls” of Japan, Hong Kong, or most notably for North American buyers, Costco is also a gray market dealer. This is in contrast with the authorized dealers, like the boutiques in your local mall, or the watch counter at your local department store. The gray market is actually much bigger than many realize, Chrono24, a marketplace heavily populated with gray market sellers, had over €1bn in transactions in 2017, and Jomashop.com, a well known gray market dealer, had sales of $269m in 2016.The gray market does not refer to fake watches, stolen watches, or used watches (well, many gray market sellers also do sell used watches). Gray market watches are authentic, new watches sold legally, but not through an authorized dealer. Usually gray market dealers sell watches that authorized dealers cannot sell, those unsold watches get returned to the distributor, who sells them in bulk at vastly reduced prices to the gray market. Gray market watches are usually slightly older, last season’s watches, but nowadays there are some larger gray market dealers who can get the latest models.First, let’s talk about gray market pricing. A few months ago, I did some research on how big the average discount for each brand is on the gray market. The least is Rolex, where the average gray market Rolex sells for only 5.125% lower than MRSP, while the most is Invicta, where the average gray market Invicta is retailing for 87.25% below MRSP.For most brands, the average discount ranges somewhere between 30% – 60%. You’re not likely to find big deals on the limited edition or the very small scale production stuff, but usually gray market sellers do sell the classic volume models at a significant discount. Women’s watches usually sell at a larger discount on the gray market, probably due to the fact that men on average buy more watches.So yes, on the surface, the gray market offers massive discounts over the authorized dealer. Frugal watch buyers should probably look at the gray market first for the watches that they like before they start checking out the local authorized dealer. However, you must consider that the brands that have the biggest gray market discount often have very big deals at the authorized dealer too. For instance, my local Seiko shop always seems to have some sort of sale, and the jewelry counter at my local department store also almost always have their Movados at below MRSP.A lot of people also seem to believe that watches don’t depreciate as much as their other hobbies, that they can enjoy their watch for a while, and then resell it to the next enthusiast without losing too much to depreciation. Depending on model, this may be true, but the first thing to remember is this, your watch “starts” depreciating at the gray market price, so for instance, if an Omega Seamaster Professional 300 is worth ~70% as much after 3 years of ownership, you’re looking at around ~70% of ~$2900 (its gray market price), and not ~70% of ~$4000 (its MRSP).Often when you go to your local jeweler to ask about a limited edition watch, their sales pitch usually involves talking up the model’s rarity, while claiming that due to its limited number, the watch holds its value very well. My quick way of determining whether a watch is really special and collectable, or whether it’s just one of the hundreds of “special editions” some watch makers shovel out (Looking at you Omega) is to look at its gray market price, if you can find a limited edition model on the gray market at a significant discount, then it means that the market doesn’t think of it as really special.Finally, many authorized dealers are actually willing to negotiate. Whether there is any negotiation room could very well be determined by the gray market conditions. For instance, you’ll never get a Rolex dealer to come down on price for a Submariner (Since they’re actually no cheaper on the gray market), but a Tag Heuer dealer may very well be willing to negotiate with you on an Aquaracer, maybe not to the 30, 40% discounts you’ll see for them on the gray market, but maybe they’ll come down 20% or so, and at that point, it just comes down to whether you are willing to pay the extra ~10% or so for the warranty.So should you buy a watch from the gray market instead of an authorized dealer? Well it comes down to a few factors, the first of which is price. You can get many watches for more than 50% off on the gray market, and in that case, I say, you should always go for the gray market option. After all, if the watch breaks and you don’t have a warranty, its cheap enough you can always just buy another one and still pay the same or less than if you did at the authorized dealer.If the gray market price is around 20-30% off the authorized dealer price, then it becomes a bit iffy. Maybe the authorized dealer is willing to give you a discount, in which case, it just comes down to whether you’re willing to pay a little bit more for the warranty. Also, if one day you want to resell the watch, usually you can get a slightly better price if you had all the original papers and warranty card from an authorized dealer.Usually I’m a lot more comfortable buying well known, high volume models on the gray market, while I’d recommend sticking to the authorized dealer when buying watches with inhouse movements, weird shapes or odd complications. Why? Because the gray market tradeoff has always been an initial discount for the lack of warranty support. When you get the watch, you can always inspect it for cosmetic defects and obvious issues, and return it if it came defective out of the box. Outside of initial issues that you can catch, usually, when your watch fails in the first year or two of ownership, its either the movement or the gasket. Any competent watch repair shop can service a common ETA or Ronda movement at reasonable prices, but the weird in house stuff? or the odd complications? you’re going to have to pay massive amounts to get the manufacturer to do it.Finally, there are watches that aren’t any cheaper from the major gray market dealers. Most notably, this includes the Rolex Submariner, which often sells for even more on the gray market than it does at your local authorized retailer. Why would some people buy these from gray market dealers? Well, its usually because supply is so limited, you can’t just walk into an authorized dealer and expect to buy one. Whether you should go gray market than comes down to whether you’re willing to put yourself on the waiting list and wait for a few months at your local authorized dealer.PS: How do you negotiate for the best deal at your local authorized dealer? Do your research, figure out the exact model, and try to see if you can get it for cheaper on the gray market. If you can, find a local independent authorized dealer (brand boutiques and department stores will never negotiate), and bring cash. Rolex dealers will never negotiate, but outside of them, I find that most jewelry stores and independent watch shops are willing to negotiate, especially for slow moving models.
Mens Hair Styles 2015
Submitted by Uptons_BJs


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