Where to go from here...

Links to active on-line auctions or sales go here (not your own sales). Please read the forum rules before posting.
Forum rules
Links to active on-line auctions or sales go here (not your own sales). If an item appears to be misrepresented, please do not rush to judgment and disparage sellers or items, but try to offer constructive advice to help buyers and sellers alike. Any discussion which turns into a witch-hunt or might alter the outcome of an auction or sale unreasonably to the detriment of buyers or sellers will be closely moderated.

Where to go from here...

New postby MikeM » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:58 pm

I have been seriously thinking about trying to sell off most of my pocket watches for a while now, and today was one of those days where I started to look at some stuff I haven't gotten out for a good while.

I came across this very nice late period Illinois, that I have had for at least ten years. I believe it to be an original combination. The movement and case are very clean and have seen little use. It also has a period correct metal dial in way above average condition.

I used to think that watches like this were great for beginning collectors, or those just wanting good quality (and condition), but not wanting to spend huge sums of money. I bought quite a few of these mid grade watches when I was starting out and still have almost all of them. Unfortunately, It seems to me that a watch like this has almost no value in today's market, except to those who would sell the movement for parts and get as much as possible for the empty case. I don't have the heart to rip it apart myself, and I don't really like the idea of auctioning it off to some scavenger who will turn a profit by selling it in parts.

Now, don't get me wrong, I never saw watch collecting as an investment. I would just like to lose as little as possible, and pass my stuff on to someone who will enjoy it as much as I once did, if you know what I mean. So, I keep holding on and hoping that maybe there will be some sort of Rennaisaince for pocket watches (not just high grade "railroaders"), but I am starting to fear that they are going the way of the dinosaur, the clock....and the stamp :o

I would be interested in finding out how you guys see this... if there are any of you left ?? ;)

IMG_5269.jpg

IMG_5289.jpg

IMG_5281.jpg

IMG_5284.jpg

IMG_5283.jpg
Mike Meckley
MikeM
Super Member
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:41 am
Location: Hamburg Germany or Central Texas
NAWCC #: 0169737

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby Marty101 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:51 pm

Mike I see the market coming back. I also see a lot of younger buyers-in their mid thirties,which surprises me. They are buying a lot of mid-range pieces $400-$600. I'm not sure about lower cost pocket watches but I have seen prices going up generally.

I don't like to haggle and usually start off my auctions at a buying price I can live with. Men either bid or not,it's up to them. I sell mostly hands,as usual,but I am getting more across the board. But this year I'm also selling off a few pocket watches. I'm putting them on ebay in the same manner-with a high starting bid the equals a selling price I can live with.

I suggest you watch a few items/models on ebay. Whatever you are familiar with. Compare selling prices to anything you own that's comparable and see if the $$ is what you'd expect or hope for. You might be surprised...last year things were in a slump and it was certainly a buyers' market.

That might be evening out somewhat in some areas...
Am I being ambiguous enough here,or should I keep talking? ;)
Keep winding things,
Marty Bell
Marty101
Super Member
 
Posts: 4123
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: Niagara Falls, N.Y.
NAWCC #: 0168154

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby Stephan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:42 pm

One of the good things about Ebay is that it doesn't cost anything if you don't sell.
I have noticed a lot more stuff on there for sale at a price or with a make offer option rather than auctions.
This way you can list what you wish to part with at the price you want and let the market decide.
If it doesn't sell you keep it.

I think you can list 30 items a month with no listing fees or at least you can here.

Looked it up and at the moment it is 40 - https://www.ebay.com.au/help/selling/li ... gs?id=4163

If you were running an antique shop and you opened the doors on Monday and everything sold in a week then chances are you had it all priced too cheap.
Some stuff sells fast and some stock sits on the shelf for a while.

Unless you are having a clearing sale.
Learning all the time.
Stephan Gaal

Proud Member of Global Horology and Chapter 149
User avatar
Stephan
Super Member
 
Posts: 3307
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:10 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Skype Account: stephan.gaal

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby Irwin » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:48 am

Well, in the past year I did take the decision to sell off my collection of pocket watches and 400 day clocks. I wasn't doing anything with the watches anymore and the clocks had filled all the available shelves. My only plan was to try to recover what I had paid for them, but as they had been with me for 10+ years with changing monetary values, it was difficult to judge how to price them. I started off with the auction format and had a couple of disappointing sales, so I then switched to Buy it Now where I could control the price and knew nothing could be sold unless I got my price.

I learned a few things from the experience,

1. High priced watches are very difficult to sell. No real surprise there. Low end and priced watches are soon sold.
2. The market for railroad watches is limited. They are slow to go, but eventually will sell if the price isn't outrageous. I would say that there has been absolutely no investment profit over 10 years and if anything prices have declined.
3. The percentages taken by the auction site and PayPal are substantial and can't be ignored when fixing the price. Postage is also a factor. After sending a few clocks across the world directly and losing out on the postage costs, one to a guy in Texas who promised to refund me $40 for excess postage, and never did, I switched to the auction site Global Package service, which of course also takes a percentage. It gives more control over the postage costs.
4. There are plenty of 'crazies' and dishonest people on the auction site. Though you can state in the item description 'No Returns', it doesn't give any protection. All the buyer has to do is to put a Return Request on the item when he receives it which immediately freezes the payment in PayPal and you can't access it. The buyer then demands a partial refund for faults not described or that are non-existent and that leaves you helpless, no watch and no money. I had about 3 of these (2 in Poland and one in the UK by someone who had a Polish name - maybe it's the custom in Poland...). You are left over the proverbial barrel. You can't agree to accept the watch back because they may have stripped out parts that they wanted, so a partial refund is the only option.
5. My general impression is that prices haven't increased over the last 10+ years. I think they have dropped.

I've kept a bunch of favourite watches and have 2 clocks waiting for buyers.

If you are selling then don't get your hopes up or look forward to investment profits.
IF
User avatar
Irwin
GH Moderator
 
Posts: 1275
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:47 pm
Location: Argyll, Scotland
Skype Account: sirirwin
NAWCC #: 167882

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby Marty101 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:02 pm

Maybe I'm looking at things differently.
When I got into this hobby my situation was very different. It wasn't that long ago (at least it sure doesn't seem like it!) but I could not afford much. Just having a couple running Elgins was a big deal for me.
So my mind set was always money first. I could not afford waste;I had to be wise. Investing in pocket watches for profit is a fool's game,but I played it carefully. That was not easy and I never recommend it; I could never have done so successfully without places like GH. There are so many things to learn breaking into this hobby;any new guy is a target for a con. We all get hit sooner or later,but we have tried to protect each other here,and educate. Much more too,of course.
I always looked to that day I might have to sell whatever I bought,whether out of necessity or changing interest. I know there are others who are in a similar position and play the "buy a watch,sell a watch" game and limit themselves. That is wise also. I'm kind of self-disciplined anyway...mostly... :D ...except when I'm impulsive...but have tried very hard not to get attached to my watches. It is impossible not to care,and we must take care of our collections. But if I caught myself getting greedy or possessive I gave things away,did work for free,etc. It helped keep me centered.
Keep winding things,
Marty Bell
Marty101
Super Member
 
Posts: 4123
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:15 pm
Location: Niagara Falls, N.Y.
NAWCC #: 0168154

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby Stephan » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:20 pm

I have bought lots and sold a bit and kept records of it all.
So far the total of all my sales is about equal to the cost of those items with some gains and some losses,
so as far as I am concerned to date my hobby is costing me very little and I am happy with that.

I agree that when selling postage is the killer.
I always list items excluding postage costs and let the buyer select the option he wants.
It must be registered. I like those pre paid satchels as they are a flat fee which makes life a lot easier.

For big items I have discovered my local Pack and Send offers a shipping service.
The buyer pays for the item less postage and I take it to Pack and send along with the buyers details.
Pack and send contacts the buyer and between them they arrange shipping.
It can be as fast or as slow or as cheap as the buyer wants and it is 100% on them.

Finally you can't have enough pictures.
Don't try to hide faults. Point them out.
Full disclosure avoids problems later and a picture of a watch running stops any claim it was broken when sold.
If it doesn't run sell it for " Parts or repair "
Learning all the time.
Stephan Gaal

Proud Member of Global Horology and Chapter 149
User avatar
Stephan
Super Member
 
Posts: 3307
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:10 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Skype Account: stephan.gaal

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby MikeM » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:17 pm

Wow, thanks for the help guys. I got some really good info here! When I first opened my Ebay account, I did more selling than buying, but that was back when we still sent checks and sometimes cash(!) back and forth in the mail. There was no Paypal, buyer protection, or global shipping service... remember buyer feedback?? Anyway, it has been a long time and I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me some pointers.

I guess I never considered the "buy it now" format, or starting an auction at a price I can live with because I am so fixated on auctions. I have to admit I don't even look at things with (what I consider) high starting prices because I just assume they are over priced. I always set the filter to "auctions only". I thought everybody did it that way :lol:

I do worry about those crazies, out there Irwin. That's probably the main reason I keep putting off listing things, but I think I'll go ahead and list a couple and see how it works out. I'll keep you all posted.
Mike Meckley
MikeM
Super Member
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:41 am
Location: Hamburg Germany or Central Texas
NAWCC #: 0169737

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby Stephan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:39 pm

One more tip.

Do you have access to internet banking ?
If so go get a new credit card with a very small limit on it. A debit card can also work.

Keep this card just for use on the web.
You also link it to your pay pal account.

When you want to buy something you just transfer funds into that account first.
If you always keep it in the black you will never get charged interest and since it is an account just for internet use you don't mind sharing the details.

Paypal funds will come from there so do the same thing. Put the cash in first then pay.

The advantage is that if anything goes wrong Paypal don't have access to your main account. Just that one.
If worse comes to worse you just close it down and start again.
The Banks are very security conscious these days so if you tell them the account has been compromised they will close it post haste and give you a new one.
Learning all the time.
Stephan Gaal

Proud Member of Global Horology and Chapter 149
User avatar
Stephan
Super Member
 
Posts: 3307
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:10 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Skype Account: stephan.gaal

Re: Where to go from here...

New postby MikeM » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:59 pm

Stephan,
I have always used a debit card that doesn't allow any overdraw for almost everything I do online, because I'm scared to death of identity theft. It is, however, the same account my paycheck goes into. I like your idea of a separate account for Paypal only. I think I will do that...
Mike Meckley
MikeM
Super Member
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:41 am
Location: Hamburg Germany or Central Texas
NAWCC #: 0169737


Return to On-line trading - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron