Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

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Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by thomcat00 »

I recently bought a second hand watch, not from the Forum. It’s in generally great condition, appearing well cared for, and mostly complete with box & papers. The original owner was very communicative, sent pics, etc. And the price was right. I’m happy with the watch.

One element, however, bothers me. The watch arrived unclean. It was worn, and I knew that. There was skin debris in the caseback stamping and the bracelet links. There was hair caught in the threaded crown. It was aromatic with a whiff of cologne. Um, eww.

Were I selling a used watch not only would I document it but I would send it in clean condition. I wouldn’t drop it on the new owner all caked in layers of my DNA. I would also expect when buying a used watch to receive something that was clean. Well, watch or anything used. Am I expecting too much? Am I too fussy? This condition was not clear in the pics. That, or the close up pics were older.

I cleaned the watch and I’m good to go. Do other sellers send off watches just off the wrist or do you clean them first? I’m not talking detailed cleaning as if new. Just free of lint, hair, and skin. What’s your protocol? What are your expectations?
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by welshlad »

I always clean the watches that I sell, including the bracelets. Not a mega-deep clean, but clean and presentable, ready to be worn. My view is to send them in the condition you would hope to receive them in yourself.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by gwells »

ugh. i could understand no deep cleaning, but no obvious filth, plz. it's not that hard.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by iain »

I too would like to receive a watch that was clean and I always clean watches I’m selling. I’ve recently sold a watch that had a CW tide strap that looked clean, but I still gave it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and some soapy water, especially on the rear of the strap where it came into contact with my skin.

However I’ve learned to calibrate my expectations over the years so I’m not disappointed. Every watch I buy privately second hand, ie not from a shop that has prepared it for sale, I clean before I put it on. However only once have I received a watch that I would call dirty.

I’ve had some issues doing this. Once I bought a watch and the cleaning process identified an issue with the seal that caused water ingress. CW fixed it for free in the end under warranty but my new watch was away for 12 weeks. However the seller did offer a full refund and would have taken the watch back.

Regarding straps, if a strap is worn but presentable then I usually swap it out and save it for any future sale. I only tend to like to reuse an unworn, or almost unworn second hand strap, especially leather ones. I have once had to throw away a strap as it was starting to come apart, however the seller declared this and provided another strap and only put the original in so to the watch was complete. It went in the bin but I kept the buckle.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

I personally would not wish to send a watch out in a condition where I wouldn’t want to wear it myself. If that were a truth universally acknowledged, it would say a lot about someone who was prepared to send out a grimy watch.

I know @thomcat00 stressed that this was not a forum transaction. If it were, then our Feedback on Seller section allows for comments on the condition of an item received.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by strapline »

I have to say I've never bought a second hand watch, but I would have the confidence to certainly from some of the Trusted Sellers that offer watches for sale on the forum. Hopefully when you're completing a sale with another watch enthusiast there should be a comparable level of expectation on both sides. If you're buying a watch from Joe public who is just trying to free up some funds then this kind of understanding could well be absent. Hair, skin flakes and dandruff etc is an unnecessary addition to paperwork and warranty cards etc being present. :lol:

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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by JAFO »

Much of the above never occurred to me, to be honest. I've never bought a poor condition watch.

My Speedmaster came with a disappointing extra horween chromexcel strap that I've never used. The actual alligator strap was fine, but I prefer smooth leathers.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by iain »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Fri Nov 17, 2023 8:20 am ……..If it were, then our Feedback on Seller section allows for comments on the condition of an item received.
I’m sure I would ever do that to be honest. I should of course stress that I’ve never had cause to though from purchases on here.

We all have different standards of cleanliness. I’m sure we all know someone who keeps their home so clean you could eat your dinner off their toilet. On the other hand I’m sure we’ve all entered houses where we’d rather keep our shoes on for fear of catching something. My house is probably somewhere in between.

Personally I feel criticism of the cleanliness of a watch is like going into someone’s house and commenting on how dirty it is. Yes I wouldn’t be happy having received it in that condition but to call it out would be like openly criticising someone’s personal hygiene standards and be quite rude.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

@iain

The Sales Corner here is, and always has been, “caveat emptor”. As such the Trusted Seller badge needs to be earned with positive comment in feedback.

I would think that instances of watches being presented in the manner described are pretty rare here on the forum, but do you think that the feedback section should be restricted to positive comments only? If you had a negative experience would you simply leave no feedback?

This is very much a what if, and me playing Devil’s advocate as usual. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with the watch being delivered in that condition.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by iain »

@Amor Vincit Omnia

I realise you are playing devils advocate with your comment above and I agree with you that feedback in sales corner should not be restricted to positive comments.

If a watch is damaged and not as described then that’s a pretty clear line that would draw negative feedback.

Poor service and delays in sending is another thing.

However what one person sees as clean, another might find revolting and there really isn’t a definite right or wrong as it comes down to perceptions. However the majority might take the same side in the disagreement.

I wouldn’t criticise someone’s personal standards of hygiene as it’s quite subjective.
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Post by NigelS »

iain wrote: Fri Nov 17, 2023 7:36 am
Regarding straps, if a strap is worn but presentable then I usually swap it out and save it for any future sale. I only tend to like to reuse an unworn, or almost unworn second hand strap, especially leather ones. I have once had to throw away a strap as it was starting to come apart, however the seller declared this and provided another strap and only put the original in so to the watch was complete. It went in the bin but I kept the buckle.
I mostly buy pre-owned because I like vintage pieces and whatever the condition I always give it a good rub with a disinfectant wipe. Then if its WR I wash it in warm water with a couple of drops of washing-up liquid. Carefully dried, it gets a polish with a jewellery wipe and a final rub with a microfibre cloth. But I never, ever keep the strap (just the buckle as Iain does) unless its obviously not been fitted or worn. COVID is still out there folks . . . .
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Post by Thegreyman »

That's fairly gross.

I've always made sure watches are clean and presentable if selling. When you own so many and rotate wearing them then I find my watches don't really get particularly dirty, certainly not to anything like the condition you describe. We also don't sweat much up here in the freezing wasteland of Scotland!
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

@iain For what it’s worth I’d probably be like you. I probably wouldn’t leave feedback even if the watch was promptly dispatched with a friendly transaction and in working order as described, if it wasn’t acceptably clean.
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by tikkathree »

I think as far as I've gone with selling - please pm me if I've let you down in this respect - is to take an already clean watch and give it a wipe over with a wet wipe. I have never sent out a maggoty old strap or bracelet.

I have recently taken ownership of a watch which smells faintly of tobacco smoke: it's faint enough that you wouldn't detect it sitting next to me and as a non-smoker, I am slightly intrigued by the faint smell so I keep it. I should add that I've had the watch back off and there is no cheese. Eek!
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Re: Pre-Owned etiquette and practice

Post by asqwerth »

I'm surprised sellers don't at least give their watches a good wipe, since surely a nice clean watch will look better in pictures and hopefully attract better prices. Anyway, if the strap is the original, it should be sold with the watch even if it's ratty and worn out. Whether or not the buyer uses it is another issue.

I bought my C5A Mk1 from a forum member ages ago (maybe 2012) and it came with the original strap and deployant clasp. The strap was really worn out and I've never worn it (nor the clasp), but in the unlikely event I want to sell it on, I have all the original bits (minus the box, which has disintegrated in the weather here).
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