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How to Sell Your Rolex: The Definitive Guide

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Where to Sell Your Rolex
3. How to Sell Your Rolex
4. Things to Know When Selling Your Rolex
5. Why Sell Your Rolex Online?
6. Selling Your Rolex to a Jewelry Store vs. Rolex Dealer
7. Selling a Vintage Rolex Watch
8. Selling a Rolex Without Papers or Documentation



Luxury timepieces have been an essential element of high style since the 19th century. Not only are they marks of sophistication and class, but they are also a valuable investment.  No other name in the world of haute horlogerie garners as much respect as Rolex.  If you’re looking to sell your Rolex, or any other luxury timepiece, you want to make sure that you’re selling to a reputable company that will give you the best deal in every aspect.

Over the last decade, the internet has redefined the way that commerce is conducted all around the world. Every year ecommerce becomes more and more popular. Many economists believe that it will eventually overtake brick and mortar establishments as the preferred consumer purchasing method in the near future. The vast and urgent growth of the online retailer has led to the development of a new practice called that benefits the entire supply chain. 

Recommerce (reverse commerce) is the act of consumers selling their used goods back to retailers.  This practice provides consumers with a ROI (Return On Investment) that did not exist with a linear path of consumption.  It also gives retailers an additional means of adding revenue streams, thus stimulating the economy.  It is also a green initiative, and has developed into a valuable environmental resource-saving practice.

Here at Time4Luxury we embrace the idea of recommerce.  We love providing our customers with a simple, secure, and profitable experience selling their Rolex online.  Auctions and other sites try to get your luxury timepiece for the cheapest price, but Time4Luxury believes that a safe transaction can be beneficial for you, us and the environment.  It’s a win-win-win!


Where to sell your Rolex

When you decide to sell your Rolex, a number of questions come to mind.  The first and foremost should be: “Where is the best place to sell my watch?”  Let’s take a look at the various options, and the pros and cons of each one.

Brick and Mortar Auction Houses

The advantage to taking your luxury watch to an auction house is that you can get your timepiece appraised, have it shown to watch collecting enthusiasts, and sold all in one day.  However these positives can also turn into disadvantages.  Many auction houses charge commission fees of 15-25% of your selling price, greatly reducing your profit.  Also, all of your exposure happens in-house.  While potential customers will be guaranteed to be in the audience, your buyers are very limited.  Brick and mortar auction houses tend to benefit those looking to sell watches valued at over $100,000, but anything less and you’re better off looking at other options.

Online Auctions

Online auctions have become a very popular option for Rolex sellers and buyers in recent years.  Today, 9/10 Americans are internet users, so your timepiece will get more exposure online.  However, these sites often take a large percentage in both Seller’s and Buyer’s commission, which cuts into the value of your watch.  They also involve hi-res photographs, insurances, and shipping rates that add a considerable amount of time and money into the process of selling your watch.

Jewelry Stores

Jewelry stores often offer free appraisals for your Rolex.  However, this is one of the few advantages of selling to a jewelry store.  Each store has a unique clientele, and unless your watch caters to them directly, they may not be interested. It is likely that you will have to spend a lot of time driving from store to store in order to get an accurate sense of what your watch is worth, and find a store that is willing to pay that price.

Online Retailers

Selling to an online retailer is the best way to sell your Rolex for 2 main reasons. The first is price point. There is high competition between online retailers for quality inventory.  This means that they are willing to pay top dollar for your used timepiece, in order to expand their catalog. The second is convenience.  Many online retailers will give you step by step instructions on how to sell your Rolex, and often will even provide you with shipping containers, or pay the cost of shipping for you.


How to sell your Rolex 

Thanks to the healthy growth of online recommerce, individuals have a number of options when it comes to selling their luxury timepieces. If you are looking to sell your Rolex you can either choose to sell to a brick and mortar location, or sell it online. You also have the choice of selling to a retailer, or using an auction.  Whatever path you choose, there are a few things that you will need to do before you make a deal:

1. Model and Serial Number

The first thing every valuation team or potential buyer will look at is your watch’s model number. This can be found on the watch or in the original paperwork that comes with the watch. The model number tells buyers important information about your Rolex, such as year produced, material, and the movement. The serial number is unique to your watch and will prove its authenticity. 

2. Packaging/Papers

Nearly every single luxury timepiece will come with a box and papers from the manufacturer. These prove authenticity and provide valuable information.  Including the original paperwork and boxes will add value to your watch, and help ease the minds of any potential buyers.  If you don’t have the original papers, it’s ok.  You can still prove the authenticity of your watch with the serial number, but the value of your Rolex may decrease slightly.

3. Approximate Value

There are many appraisal sites online, and most jewelry stores will offer free appraisals.  Take advantage of these free resources by getting quotes from multiple parties in order to gain an accurate understanding of how much your Rolex is worth.

4. Request a Quote

After you’ve gathered all of the information and packaging you have for your Rolex, it’s time to sell it!  The best way to sell your Rolex is to an online distributer.  They will offer you the highest price, and provide simple and secure shipping instructions with instantaneous payment.  Contact Time4Luxury today to receive a quote on your Rolex timepiece!


Things to know when selling your Rolex

Selling your Rolex can seem like a daunting task.  Trying to get a fair appraisal, find the right buyer, negotiating in-store deals or deal with shipping and handling troubles, and payment instructions can all be a real headache.  That’s why it’s important to keep a few things in mind when you’re selling your Rolex:

1. Authenticity Matters

While online retail has improved our lives and stimulated the economy in many ways, it has also led to an age where fraud is easier than ever.  Original papers and boxes help to prove your Rolex’s authenticity and add value, while model numbers and serial numbers are absolutely vital to find a buyer.

2. Features are Valuable

Each Rolex model is handcrafted and unique.  Many buyers/collectors are looking for specific features, and any one of them may increase the value of your timepiece.  Be sure to study and include every feature to guarantee top dollar returns.

3. Don’t Refurbish

Rolex’s are most valuable when they have all of their original parts in them, even if they are scuffed or don’t work properly.  Getting your watch refurbished before you sell creates a risk that a non-Rolex part will get in there.  It’s best to just sell it as is.

4. You won’t get Retail Price

While luxury timepieces are a solid investment, unless your watch is an antique (manufactured 50+ years ago), you will probably receive 70-80% of the current retail value.  This depends highly on the condition of the watch, and how much of the original packaging/papers/parts are included.


Why sell your Rolex online?

When looking to sell your Rolex, you have several options.  You can sell your luxury timepiece to a brick and mortar business—either an auction house or a jewelry store—or you can sell it online.  Selling your watch to a brick and mortar business usually leads to less profit, because your buyers are very limited.  If you choose to sell your Rolex online, you are putting it into a much more competitive market, with high volumes of traffic seeing your watch every day.  This competition and increase in potential buyers will lead to higher profits. 

Not only will you make more money, but it will be easier to do so.  Selling to an auction house or jewelry store involves days of research, travel, appraisal and negotiation.  Selling online eliminates most of these steps, and makes the appraisal and transaction simple, secure and fast, so that you are guaranteed a fair deal, and you don’t even have to leave your house.

Should you decide to sell online, you then have two options, should I sell at an online auction, or to a retailer?  Online auctions often charge hefty Seller’s Fees and Buyer’s Fees, which can cut into your profit on both ends.  They also require high-res photographs, and an ample amount of research and preparation, with no guarantee of receiving your asking price. 

Because of the high demand for inventory, selling to a retailer like Time4Luxury is your best option.  You will get the highest payment, often in cash or check, and you won’t have to deal with any listing fees.  Time4Luxury will provide you with an accurate appraisal, provide you with a complete set of instructions for safe and easy shipping and handling, and make sure that you get paid instantly, making it a no-risk, high-reward transaction.


Selling your Rolex to a jewelry store vs. online Rolex dealer

There are a few factors that determine the value of your Rolex watch.  The first is quality of the piece.  The dial, bezel and crown as well as the bracelet will all be checked by every appraisal team.  The next is amount of original documentation.  If you have all of the original paperwork and boxes that the watch came in, the value of your timepiece will increase.  After that, the main factor that controls the value of your Rolex is competition in the market place.

Selling your Rolex to a jewelry store may seem the most appealing because it’s quick and simple right?  Well the truth is that there are many disadvantages to selling your watch at a jewelry store.  The main one being that, depending on your area, there may not be a very competitive market for Rolex’s and other luxury watches.  Even if there are several jewelry stores that sell used timepieces, each store must cater to their small and selective clientele.  If your watch isn’t a perfect fit, they’re not going to be very interested.  Selling to a jewelry store also involves a lot of travel, negotiation, and a very limited pool of potential buyers.

The resale of luxury watches online is a booming market.  There is a high level of competition, and these sites receive high amounts of traffic from search engines, blogs, social media listings and other marketing techniques.  All this means that they will pay top dollar for your luxury timepiece, in order to gain the most expansive inventory.  These transactions are also secure, risk-free, and simple, as you will receive step-by-step instructions for appraising, shipping, and receiving payment for your Rolex.


Selling a vintage Rolex watch

While buying a new Rolex is an exhilarating process, and a monumental occasion, there is still a huge market for vintage Rolex watches.  Many buyers/collectors argue that purchasing vintage timepieces is even more fun that buying one brand new.  Rolex has been producing luxury timepieces for over a century, and every watch they produce is a piece of history in the world of haute horlogerie.  When it comes to selling a vintage Rolex, there are a few things you should bear in mind to make sure you get a fair deal.

1. Aesthetics

When it comes to vintage watches, each collector has their own preferences.  Some prefer timepieces with all of the original parts inside, while some will take it to a jeweler to have parts repaired and replaced.  When it comes to selling your watch online, if it still has all the original parts, it’s best to leave it as is. If it has been serviced and parts have been replaced already, you should take it to a jeweler and see if it needs any servicing.

2. Functionality

When it comes to vintage Rolexes, it seems that aesthetics is typically more important than functionality.  You can still sell an old Rolex that looks great, even if it doesn’t work.  However, if you’re looking to get top dollar, it’s important that you make sure the watch is functioning perfectly as well.

3. Authenticity

Due to the booming vintage watch scene, there is a lot of fraud happening.  It is absolutely crucial that you are able to prove the authenticity of your Rolex.  If you have the original papers and boxes, then the value of your watch will increase dramatically, and you will have no problems selling your timepiece online.  However, if you do not have these items, you can still verify the authenticity of your Rolex by finding the model number and the serial number.  NEVER post your serial number publicly. If someone sees it, then they can engrave it on another model, creating a duplicate and causing real trouble.  Only share it with a buyer when it’s time to finalize the deal.


Selling a Rolex without papers or documentation

Although it is best to keep all of the original paperwork and boxes that a Rolex comes in, let’s face it: things get lost.  It’s hard to keep track of all of these documents throughout the years.  While it is true that having the original papers will add value to your watch, and is the best way to prove authenticity, it’s still very possible to sell a Rolex without any papers.

When it comes to selling a Rolex without papers, you have a few options.  The first is to take the watch in and have it serviced by Rolex.  You can ask them to provide you with authenticity confirmation, but you will have to pay for it.  Local jewelry stores may be able to confirm or deny authenticity, but only a Rolex dealer can provide you with any sort of additional paperwork regarding the authenticity of your timepiece.  This paperwork will probably not increase the value of your Rolex, but it will make it easier to sell.

Your other option is allow the company that you are selling to take a look at the watch.  Typically they will check the model number, serial number, then open it up and look at the movement in order to determine whether it is an authentic Rolex or not.  Upon confirmation of its authenticity, they will purchase your watch.