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ITProDad

Where to find bargains?

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IM curious to know where others find their project watches, other than eBay? Any suggestions? Advise? Caveats?

 

As always, thank you for you suggestions!

 

 

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I've been having great luck with ebay lately.  It takes a while to find  searches that work and give good results but once you do you can get ebay to send you alerts when new items matching those searches are found. 

You might also have access to catawiki, not sure.  It's not available in Canada :(.

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                                                           INFORMATION                                                   

 

                                                            

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I'm afraid that the watch market has evolved beyond bargains. In my experience, there's always something wrong with the watches that are left. Sellers are usually quite experienced and know exactly what they're selling. eBay gets too many eyeballs and the watch virus is too widespread for true bargains to be available for long. Professional watch dealers have people looking for them all day long so there's not much left for enthusiasts like us.

In the past year, I've seen a friend buy a JLC Memovox, only to spend $800 on reparations and parts. A similar story with a "bargain" Omega chronograph. After parts and repairs, he paid more for it than if he bought a decent one in the first place.

To answer your question, I sometimes buy at watch fairs, local online marketplaces but I mostly buy watches that need some TLC from friends who are also collectors and hobby watch flippers. They can quickly and easily sell them to me and I have some nice projects for a decent price.

Edited by Nutiborskoku

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Auction houses can be fruitful but be careful you need a close inspection which is  usually offered a day or two before the actual day of the auction. Omegas ,Rolexes etc that are not working especially vintage are to avoided.

If there is one problem when looking for antiques, watches etc is the sellers use the internet as we all do, so rarely anything is sold at a true bargain price.

 

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You can get bargains you just have to look for them, people do wrongly list things and in order to find a price for something it often helps if you known what you are searching for, sellers don't always and often come to the wrong conclusion on price, I have had recently a 14 kt gold automatic longines for £120 listed as gold filled a lack of understanding on American gold markings on the sellers part I should imagine, a 9 ct pocket watch listed as gold plated at £50.00 again an ill-informed seller, a quarter repeater pocket watch listed as a chiming watch £99.00 buy it now and various IWC pocket watches, I don't attend auctions anywhere near as much as I used to commission charges are an average of 25% now with many at 30%  I find them a bit of a non starter now.

 

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Thank you all. You’ve confirmed what I thought I knew. Alas, now I know. Maybe I’ll visit a pawn shop or two for giggles!

As always, I value your responses!!


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I usually use E-bay, as house bound at present. Traders are a joke price on e-bay, and as said before a lot of scrap watches, which is fine if cheap, when learning the hobby. I personally have a pile of not fixing as not worth the cost of a repair, saying that i also have acquired some nice pocket watches before which work, just need hands/crystal. Wish i could get to boot sales, but expect the same, people hunting for them, before its opened.

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1 minute ago, stevew said:

I usually use E-bay, as house bound at present. Traders are a joke price on e-bay, and as said before a lot of scrap watches, which is fine if cheap, when learning the hobby. I personally have a pile of not fixing as not worth the cost of a repair, saying that i also have acquired some nice pocket watches before which work, just need hands/crystal. Wish i could get to boot sales, but expect the same, people hunting for them, before its opened.

Exactly. The best watches are already gone when it's open for the public. I know for a fact that dealers at watch fairs are swapping and buying the best pieces from each other long before the official opening time.

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43 minutes ago, ITProDad said:

 


“Boot sales”. ?? Not familiar with that term


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A UK term. Car boot sales, a large gathering where people drive into a field and sell items from their car boot (trunk in US parlance) typically Sunday mornings. Again like the above they're now saturated with dealers getting in early as possible and buying up the best stuff and many sellers now either knowing the rough value of things or having watched too many episodes of Dickinson's real deal or bargain hunt think every bit of crap they have is worth a load more than it really is.

 

Edited by m1ks

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A UK term. Car boot sales, a large gathering where people drive into a field and sell items from their car boot (trunk in US parlance) typically Sunday mornings. Again like the above they're now saturated with dealers getting in early as possible and buying up the best stuff and many sellers now either knowing the rough value of things or having watched too many episodes of Dickinson's real deal or bargain hunt think every bit of crap they have is worth a load more than it really is.
 


Ha!! . I’m from Texas. I was actually thinking there was some kind of gray market cowboy boot traveling show of which I was woefully unaware! Thank you for helping with my English!

It does sound like fun.


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Well, I don't about bargains, but the NAWCC chapter meetings and regionals can be fertile grounds. There is a lot of trading that goes on, but wristwatches might be only a third of what you come across. The rest are clocks and pocket watches.

Have Fun!

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Well, I don't about bargains, but the NAWCC chapter meetings and regionals can be fertile grounds. There is a lot of trading that goes on, but wristwatches might be only a third of what you come across. The rest are clocks and pocket watches.
Have Fun!


I started with pocket watches. I have about 52. Maybe I should put some up for sale or trade.


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It depends ..if you are looking for watches from the big players,bargains are sparse.If you are content to just have good running watches look at the off brands. 17 jewels or better,round crystal and stainless steel cases with screw down backs..buy intact complete watches whenever possible.you Will often be surprised to find that a watch that looks like it was pried out of the asphalt will have a spotless movement..the reverse is also true. Old caravelle watches came with horrid cases and very nice citizen movements. HMT watches have very sturdy cases . And a movement that will interchange directly with the caravelle.. lots of ways to have fun for not a lot of money.

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Don't forget to look at the job lot and junk lot auctions on ebay. You know the sort of thing, "{random number} watches for spares or repair", also look at lots that say "watch faces", as these are often complete watches, but also be aware that an "Automatic" may in fact be a manual wind, or even a quartz, so inspect the pictures carefully. Avoid anything that is being sold with out of focus or poor pictures, it is probably a piece of garbage, deliberately badly photographed.

You do occasionally get some nice pieces in among the dross. Don't expect any Rolexes or Omegas (excepting the usual crop of fakes of course), but do look out for odd ball stuff, high end, but relatively unknown Swiss marques, mechanical Seikos in with a bunch of modern cheap Chinese "copper frying pan" watches, Swiss automatics, high end Swiss quartz, very scratched up crystals, missing crowns, disgustingly filthy straps and other relatively easily fixed items in both the single lots and job lots.

Oh.. and if you want to beat me on the auction, bid £4.05p or more.:P

Edited by AndyHull

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