Sell old watches for cash
Keep an eye out for any old watches next time you’re having a clear-out. Collectable, desirable and with intricate inner mechanisms sometimes made of precious metals, these timepieces could just be worth a small fortune.
Naturally, some watches are worth more than others, and there’s no telling whether a vintage collectors’ item could sell for more than an ancient pocket watch. However, with a little outsider knowledge, you could reap the benefits of selling unwanted items.
Vintage and antique: what’s the difference?
Before you start, it’s important to make the distinction between a vintage watch and an antique watch. Certainly, both items will likely go back generations, but there’s a key difference.
What is considered a vintage watch?
Vintage is usually a term we associate with 20th Century trends, so there’s no minimum age for vintage. However, vintage watches are generally no more than 100 years old.
Popular collectors’ items, these retro watches generally come to be considered ‘vintage’ when they’re around 30 years old or more.
When does a watch become an antique?
The term antique, coming from the Latin antiquus (ancient) generally refers to things over 100 years old. This is why you’ll find pocket watches more commonly in this category. Wristwatches were not invented until 1868, and rose to prominence in the 20th Century.
If you’re not sure which category your watch falls into, visit our handy antique and vintage watch guide.
How to sell old watches
Whether it’s antique or vintage, there are essentially three main ways to sell old watches. You can contact a private seller, attend an auction, or sell your watch to us.
Where to sell vintage watches
As more the more modern vintage watches are likely to have been mass-produced, they’re a hit with more casual collectors and are ideal for private sale. Alternatively, let the experts do the work through an auction or an online buyer.
How to sell vintage watches privately
To sell your vintage watch privately, you should have a good idea of what you’re selling. Be prepared to answer questions on serial numbers, origins, and its general condition.
It’s a good idea to get your watch valued, which may be free if it’s for sale value. Be mindful of getting valuations online, as photos don’t always paint an accurate picture.
You can sell online through platforms such as eBay, Facebook and Gumtree. However, remember that some sites take a cut, which may be significant if it’s valuable. Likewise, look out for reputable payment methods like Stripe or PayPal. Always get a receipt, and never send a watch before receiving the money.
Aside from the financial risks, there’s also a significant time cost with these platforms. Often, you have to upload several quality photos of the item and write an accurate description of its condition and other details. Then, you need to decide on what category to post your ad. It all adds up!
How to sell vintage watches at auction
Auctions can be at a physical auction house or online. For the best sale, pick a specific vintage watch auction, where sellers will be more interested and pay more. Remember to get your watch valued first for an accurate reserve price.
Auction houses charge fees, such as valuation, listing, reserve and final selling price fees. Make sure you research these before approaching the house.
Selling vintage watches to Vintage Cash Cow
The best place to sell vintage watches is somewhere convenient, with in-house expertise. Luckily, you’re in the right place!
At Vintage Cash Cow, we’ll buy a watch in any condition and appraise it individually.
All you have to do is sign up for our free postage labels, package it up and send to us.
Where to sell antique watches
While the process for selling antique watches is similar, there are pitfalls to avoid. These are often extremely high value, and tracing their origins may be difficult.
Again, it’s important to get your antique watch valued. Antique watches in their original boxes, with a certificate of authenticity, are much easier to value.
Selling antique watches can be risky. As they’re not generally mass-produced, they are often unique and high value. More importantly, they’re gold dust to fraudsters. Always wait for payment before sending, and ensure you photograph the watch in its packaging and on the post office scales.
For sites like eBay or Gumtree, look for other watches similar to yours. This will help give you an idea of price, but don’t sell until others have sold. Get a few quotes if you want to sell to a collector, and do your research. A collector with a good knowledge of your watch is more likely to be genuine.
You can sell online or via an auction house, but be wary of the fees. High value items, such as antique pocket watches, will cost more to sell. These fees are often difficult to understand as they may include valuation, listing, reserve and final selling prices. Look around a few auction houses to see where you’ll potentially get the best value.
Finally, try to sell your antique watch at a dedicated auction. While there may be more competition for these antiques, there will also be more interest in your product. This avoids the risk of no sale and could see a potentially higher selling price.
Selling antique watches to Vintage Cash Cow
For the best place to sell antique watches, speak to one of the experts at Vintage Cash Cow. Selling could not be easier – you can arrange everything online and have your watch personally valued by one of our team of experts.
We’ll offer a cash price or send it back if you’re not happy with the quote.
It really is the simplest method – no haggling, no hassle and our service is completely free to use.
Get started by requesting a free postage label and we’ll insure the contents up to £300. Or, if you’d prefer, we can even arrange a free door-to-door courier.
Our trusted experts have years and years of experience, so they know when they’ve spotted something special. Just look at this rare coin we found in a box of vintage clutter…
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