Drawbacks of Selling Your Watch to an Auction House

As one of the most popular ways to sell an expensive luxury item, auction houses carry a certain prestige and attract sellers looking to sell their own luxury watch. However, while sellers often choose to sell their watch through an auction house because of their good reputations, there are a number of disadvantages to the auction house process.

For starters, there are a ton of fees associated with selling through an auction house, which ultimately take away from the total amount of money the seller receives. While the watch may sell for a high price at the auction, the auction house deducts various fees from the published selling price before paying the seller. These fees can include: insurance, photography fee, shipping, buyer’s premium, and seller’s premium. Oftentimes, those fees alone can make up close to half of the selling price, meaning the seller receives significantly less money than the actual selling price.

Various executions of the Siffert Autavia

The chart below is an example of the fees deducted from the net price the seller receives. These fees can vary by auction house, but the following fees are somewhat typical. Of course, we encourage you to check out the fees of any individual auction house on your own before making a decision as to whether or not to sell your watch.

Published Purchase Price 10,000.00
Buyer’s Premium (25% of Published Price) 2,500.00
Sales Price with Buyer’s Premium Deducted 7,500.00
Seller’s Commission (10% of Sales Price) 750.00
Insurance Fee (1% of Published Price) 100.00
Photography Fee 100.00
Shipping Fee 100.00
Net to Seller $6,450.00

From the chart above it is clear that the seller receives a lot less than what the auction house actually sells the watch for.

The second drawback to selling a watch through an auction house is that the process is extremely time-consuming. Since the seller has to provide the auction house with the watch approximately two months before the auction process even begins, the entire process can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months, when accounting for the fact that the auction house typically does not provide payment for the watch until 45 days after the auction. Therefore, if the seller prefers immediate compensation, the auction house process is far from a viable choice.

With the  fees and time-consuming process associated with auction houses, it is not necessarily the best bet for someone selling a luxury watch.

However, if you are looking for another option, consider using our solution at Crown & Caliber. We are an e-commerce company and do not have the overhead of a typical auction house. We also use market-based data to provide a fair price for your watch.

The process begins when the seller submits a free quote online that describes the watch. As soon as the quote is submitted, Crown & Caliber’s highly trained valuation team researches each watch to provide the seller with the most accurate quote possible.

In essence, it is important for a seller to be aware of the high fees and extensive selling process of an auction house so that the seller is not wrongly drawn to the auction process because of the deceivingly high prices that the buyers pay for the watches in an auction. In contrast to auction houses, Crown & Caliber provides sellers with the highest and most accurate value possible.

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Crown & Caliber is the smartest way to buy or sell a luxury watch. As an exclusively online marketplace for pre-owned timepieces, Crown & Caliber exists to ensure that when it comes down to the final transaction, buyers and sellers can both win. For sellers, we do all the legwork of valuating, marketing, and selling—for buyers, we put trust back into the act of purchasing sight-unseen with our servicing and authentication process. By emphasizing transparency and placing value on quality, Crown & Caliber has become the preferred marketplace for watch collectors and casual enthusiasts alike.

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