How to not get scammed by a watch dealer

Ari Pham
Ari Pham
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Choosing the right watch dealer, let alone one you can trust, takes time. Any time I consider making a deal with a specific watch dealer I am careful because not all of them have an actual storefront. Here are top 4 things to look out for in order not to get scammed by a watch dealer online.

Building a website can be done quickly and easily. I know it’s not that much of a challenge to make it look attractive and appear trustworthy. There are steps; however, I like to take to ensure that watch dealer is legit, so I won’t lose my hard-earned money. Whether you are new to watch trading, or just wanting to be a savvier collector, I will share some of the main things I like to review before I buy from any online dealer. 

Things to review when buying from an online dealer

  • Online Reviews
  • Contact Information
  • Type/Quality of Pictures
  • Method of Payment

Online Reviews

Having seen the many ways people like to scam each other, online reviews are one of the best things I have found to minimize the chance of dealing with a shady watch dealer.

The best way to search for real reviews from people is Google. You can use other methods to search for reviews; however, Google is one of the most efficient ways to get the most information.

Let’s say I search for a watch dealer, “XYZ”. The search will either show me a lot of reviews or none. If I can’t find out more information about a specific watch dealer, I move on because by not having a digital footprint, I am increasing my chances of getting scammed.

Check our out Watch Dealer Directory for with our vetted, structured, reliable data about your watch dealers.

Yes, there are new watch dealers who may not have many reviews, but at least they might have a social media presence such as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. At least if I see I can reach out to them in various ways, I will feel much more comfortable contacting them. That brings us to the next step! 

Contact Information

I like to connect with people I am buying watches from.

Some watch dealers have only an email or a contact form available for people to reach out to them. Recently, one of the watch dealer sites I was looking at, did not have contact information at all. Really? They wanted me to pay them thousands of dollars, and they are not willing to connect with their customers?! 

Sellers who are willing to communicate with me over the phone, email, or social media will make me feel more comfortable about making the transaction.

The best thing is text or calls because I can quickly tell if the dealer genuinely wants to help me or not. I can talk to them directly and ask specific questions and should not have any surprises when I receive the watch.

Check our out Watch Dealer Directory for with our vetted, structured, reliable data about your watch dealers.

Type/Quality of Pictures

I like to deal with dealers who have watches in stock because it eliminates possible issues of getting the watch. I see the same stock pictures all over different marketplaces and can easily see that the photos are not theirs.

For example, If I take pictures of my watches, anybody can tell that an individual took the images because the style and the angles are much different than stock pictures. 

Here are examples of stock pictures

Here are examples of non-stock pictures

Method of Payment

Having different payment options is a plus with watch dealers I’ve never worked with before. There are times that I pay direct wire to the dealer; however, it’s because I researched their references, and I know they are reputable.

If the watch dealer accepts credit cards or PayPal, there is an extra layer of protection in case the deal does not work out or the watch is not as it was advertised, but before I enter my credit card information, I make sure that their site is running HTTPS, which protects the user’s data, and it’s much harder for others to steal your information.

In the worst-case scenario, there is an option to dispute the charge with the credit card company to try to get your money back.

In the end, we live in a world where getting scammed is not unheard of, and unfortunately, happens quite a bit. The best defense is to be aware of the possible scams and how can you minimize your chances of becoming a victim.


Read more:

A Definitive Guide to Buying Luxury Watches Online

Top 5 Tips For Buying Your First Luxury Watch You’ll Love

Watches For Investment: Everything you need to know

Special thanks to Honza Hroch from Value Your Watch Marketplace for the contribution

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