How To Start Buying & Selling Watches for Profit

The lucrative watch trading industry in the UK continues to draw many new entrepreneurs each year. Whether you’re an avid watch collector looking to monetise your passion or simply someone in search of an unconventional yet profitable venture, buying and selling watches could be your gateway to success. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you get started in this exciting business.

Understand the Watch Market

The first step is to understand the intricacies of the watch market. Watches come in various categories such as luxury, vintage, limited edition, and brand-new pieces. Each category requires a different approach when it comes to purchasing and selling.

It’s essential to stay up-to-date with current market trends and prices. Websites like Watch Exchange London provide useful insights on the going rates for different models, and forums such as Watchuseek can be excellent places to observe market trends and consumer behaviour.

Acquire Knowledge About Watch Brands and Models

The next step involves familiarising yourself with different watch brands and models. Recognised brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Omega generally have a higher resale value. Certain models are also more sought after than others, which can significantly affect their selling prices.

Extensive knowledge about watches, including understanding the technical aspects such as movement types, materials, and rarity, is critical. A Patek Philippe watch with a chronograph movement, for instance, can fetch a higher price than one without. An in-depth knowledge will also help you distinguish between genuine watches and counterfeit ones, a skill that’s absolutely necessary in this trade.

Create a Network

A robust network is the backbone of any successful business, and watch trading is no different. Attend watch fairs, auctions, and other related events to meet fellow enthusiasts, collectors, and potential buyers. Online platforms also offer excellent networking opportunities. Join forums and groups where you can interact with like-minded individuals and learn from their experiences.

Invest in Watches

Investing in watches requires a significant amount of capital. This business is not about buying low and selling high, but rather about understanding the value of a watch and its potential appreciation. When purchasing a watch, consider factors like brand, condition, rarity, and demand in the market.

Buying from a reputable source such as a watch dealer or auction house is recommended. This will ensure you’re purchasing genuine pieces and can often provide you with a history of the watch, which can influence its value.

Develop a Selling Strategy

Having a clear selling strategy is crucial. Depending on the types of watches in your inventory, you could either sell them immediately for a quick profit or hold onto them until their value appreciates.

Platforms such as eBay and Chrono24 are great for selling watches online but keep in mind the listing and selling fees they charge. Alternatively, you could set up your own e-commerce website or use social media platforms to sell your watches.

Legal Considerations

Ensure your business complies with all necessary UK laws and regulations. You might need to register for VAT if your turnover is over the current threshold. Also, if you’re importing watches from outside the EU, be aware of customs charges.


While the watch trading business can be profitable, it requires a thorough understanding of the watch market, sound investment strategies, and networking skills. Above all, passion for watches and patience will be your guiding principles on this journey.

By following these steps, you can set yourself up for success in the thriving and exciting world of watch buying and selling. Happy trading!

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