Should I Buy a Luxury Watch Online? Why I would …


The internet has changed drastically over the last few decades. What was once thought to be impossible has now become the norm, and things that used to be hands-on experiences, such as buying a car, can now be done quicker and easier online.

Although buying online could save you quite a bit of money, the decision of whether to buy a luxury watch online ultimately comes down to the pros and cons of each decision and the experience you are hoping to have.

Although it may not offer the same experience, buying online does have its appeal and each day millions of people flock to online stores and marketplaces to buy everything from groceries to cars. With this push into the digital world of shopping, many people have found themselves wondering, “should I buy a luxury watch online?”

Expensive wrist watches in shop window

What Are the Advantages of Buying a Watch Online?

Although the experience will be a bit different, there are many advantages to buying a luxury watch online.

  • You can often find a much better deal online.
  • You have access to a larger selection and can browse several brands in one location.
  • You do not have to deal with pushy salespeople.
  • You are not restricted to a local market.
  • You have more time to make your decision without feeling anxious about losing a great deal.
  • You can walk away and sleep on your decision, reducing the likelihood of buyer’s remorse.
  • You can access inventory that is only available online.
  • You are not limited to only the newest stock and can buy watches from older generations.
  • You can find used watches that still look brand new.
  • You have a slew of research at your fingertips which makes it easy to compare assorted brands and models.

Cost

People commonly find that shopping online saves them quite a bit of money and there are several reasons why this is true. First, many official retailers must charge their customers the recommended retail price (plus a mark-up so they can make money too), but since most online stores are not “official retailers” they have the freedom to choose their own prices.

Additionally, when a business runs online, they do not have as many bills dragging them into the red and they can pass these savings onto you. For example, they do not have to pay rent and keep the lights on in a physical store, hire as many employees, or spend a ton of money to secure their expensive inventory.

Large Selection

An online retailer’s inventory is not as restricted as an official retailer either. For example, many official retailers are allowed only a select few of a certain model, and they typically allot these to their best or oldest customers. Shopping online allows you to access a much larger marketplace filled with both new and used watches from several price ranges and generations. Also, many physical stores only carry one brand but when you shop online you can compare several brands all at once.

Quiet Consideration

While some people do enjoy the show of a salesperson fawning over them, most people would rather look through and compare their options in peace, instead of being overwhelmed with a barrage of upselling and rhetoric.

Larger Market

It would not make sense for a shop to fill its shelves with merchandise that is not popular in that area, which is why most local shops carry items that appeal to local trends. Shopping online allows you to tap into a worldwide marketplace, which gives you access to a wider selection of inventory.

Time

Salespeople, especially those who work on a commission-based income, have a bag of tricks that are designed to get people to buy and buy quickly. By leaning on a buyer’s anxiety, salespeople will often promise a great deal and then threaten to pull it away if the buyer thinks about it for too long. However, when you buy online, you have the freedom to walk away from the computer and sleep on your decision.

Comfort

The most obvious advantage (and maybe even the greatest) is that you can do everything right from the comfort of your home. You do not have to worry about impressing a salesperson or driving around to several locations because you can complete every step of the process right from your couch. Furthermore, depending on where you live, you may be able to have the watch delivered to you that same day.

What Are the Downsides to Buying a Watch Online?

While shopping online does offer some great advantages, it has its disadvantages as well.

  • Returning a purchase can sometimes be a big hassle and cost you more money.
  • Salespeople may not be as professional or knowledgeable as those who work in official retail stores.
  • You might not form the same sort of relationship with an online seller as you would with a seller in a physical location.
  • It may be difficult to find new watches and they often sell out quickly when they are available.
  • You cannot inspect or try the watch on before you buy it.
  • Sellers may lie about the condition of the watch.
  • There are a lot of scammers who take advantage of people and sell counterfeits online.
  • It may not come with a warranty.
  • You do not get to experience the benefits of visiting a local shop.

Returns

Typically, when you buy something from a physical store, returning that item back to the store is a smooth process. You simply bring in your receipt and, so long as it falls within their return policy, you are good to go. However, when you shop online, this process becomes much more complicated.

Still, you can avoid this potential nightmare by researching a company before you buy from them. A reputable company will have its return policies clearly listed on the websites and will make it as forthright as possible for its customers. Avoid companies that have overly complicated return procedures or who do not accept returns at all.

Relationships

The relationship you form with your authorized dealer is often a big part of the overall experience of buying a luxury watch. Your dealer will take the time to get to know you, what you like, and who you are as a person. If you have a strong relationship with a dealer, and a watch comes in that they know you have wanted or would be interested in, they will often hold it for you. However, shopping online often excludes this piece of the experience.

Inspection

Another major disadvantage to buying online is that you cannot physically inspect the object before you buy it. This might be okay when buying things like socks, but when you are spending thousands of dollars on an item that is designed to be shown off, you want to know it is in good condition and that it suits you.

Many reputable companies will go out of their way to take good pictures and write great descriptions to make up for this disadvantage. For example, if a used watch is scuffed or scratched, a reputable company will inform the buyer of this before selling it rather than trying to hide the problem.

Fakes

One of the biggest worries people have about buying luxury watches online is spending thousands of dollars on a fake item. The best way to avoid this is to buy from online shops that offer an authentic guarantee. As soon as you receive the item, have it appraised by a professional.

Additionally, if you are buying a luxury watch from an individual seller, it may be worth asking to have the watch appraised by someone before you buy it. It may cost you a bit extra to do this, but it could save you from spending thousands of dollars on a worthless counterfeit watch.

Should I Buy a Watch Online?

It depends on what you want the experience of buying a luxury watch to look like. If saving money and access to a larger inventory are important to you, shopping online might be the better possibility.

However, if you already know what you want and do not mind spending a bit more on physical experience and a relationship with a local dealer, shopping online might not be the right choice. Ultimately, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of each choice and decide what sort of experience you would rather have.

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John Cunningham

John is a writer, classic car and whiskey lover, men's shopping enthusiast and self appointed DIY expert. His greatest passion is repairing in the workshop, making old classics look and run like new again!

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