For those searching for watches at wholesale: Efficiently purchasing valuable luxury watches


Are you searching for watches at wholesale?

Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega—their popularity in the luxury watch market has no end. Efficiently and inexpensively purchasing items that are very popular among customers is a serious challenge for buyers. Many buyers are therefore constantly searching for reliable wholesalers to stock up on popular luxury watches.

Further, with the spread of digital technologies, an increasing number of buyers around the world have been participating in online auctions as a new purchasing option.

This article provides tips for using both transactions with wholesalers and online auctions as means of efficiently purchasing valuable luxury watches.

Differences between wholesale and online auctions for watches

Buyers typically purchase watches through the following channels.
・Auctions (real auctions & online auctions)
・e-Commerce sites
・Flea markets
Wholesale has played a central role in purchasing watches for many buyers to date. But since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, online auction services have been enhanced, mainly in Japan, and now more and more buyers are using online auctions as one of their new sources of purchase.
Having many reliable purchasing routes is a major benefit for buyers. But when purchasing watches, how should buyers take advantage of wholesale and online auctions? Let us summarize the respective benefits of using each.

Benefits of using wholesale to purchase watches

In Japan, it is common for buyers to make appointments and visit wholesalers to negotiate and trade. In other countries, the most common sales method is for wholesalers to sell watches directly door-to-door, without appointments.

Using wholesale to purchase watches offers the following benefits to buyers.

Benefits of using wholesale to purchase watches (1): Purchases can be made quickly

Wholesale transactions typically take place directly through one-on-one price negotiations between wholesalers and buyers. For this reason, most transactions are completed within one day. Online auctions, however, require a certain amount of time because online auctions include a preview period and a bidding period. By comparison, wholesale allows watches to be purchased more quickly.

Benefits of using wholesale to purchase watches (2): Purchases can be made with limited resources

In the case of wholesale, buyers can purchase many watches at once through a single negotiation with a wholesaler. Because it allows buyers to purchase large volumes while minimizing labor, wholesale is useful for organizations and others who cannot afford to allocate a great amount of resources such as buyers for watch purchases.

Benefits of using wholesale to purchase watches (3): Easy to purchase desired items in a reliable manner

Since wholesalers propose goods that meet the needs of buyers, it is often easy for buyers to have items from certain brands and in specific price ranges. When looking to purchase certain types of products continuously, using wholesale is likely the best choice.

Although wholesale offers many such benefits, it also presents the following challenges for buyers.

・Limits on place and time

Since wholesale involves face-to-face transactions, buyers must set aside time for negotiations. And because locations are also limited, buyers tend to deal primarily with local wholesalers.

・Need for negotiating skill and experience

Since transaction prices are determined through negotiations with wholesalers, buyers must have an understanding of each watch’s market price. Buyers must also have experience in the industry, including the skills to move negotiations in an advantageous direction.

・ Difficulty of buying a single item

When dealing with a wholesaler, buyers commonly purchase large quantities of watches at once. For this reason, buyers may have difficulty making small transactions, or purchasing a single item.

・Limits on items that can be viewed

In general, the number of items that can be checked is limited because the buyer makes purchases from among the watches that are presented (displayed) by the wholesaler.

Benefits of using online auctions to purchase watches

Next, let us take a look at the benefits that online auctions offer when purchasing watches.
In Japan, (physical) auctions of used designer goods have long been popular, and they used to be a major purchasing route for luxury watches. Due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, physical auctions are becoming increasingly online,allowing people around the world to participate. An increasing number of global buyers are now using online auctions as a new purchasing route.

Benefits of using online auctions to purchase watches (1): Purchases can be made regardless of time or place

Buyers can purchase watches by participating in online auctions at a time and place of their own convenience during the preview and bidding periods.* Because the time and location are not restricted, buyers can participate from anywhere in the world.

*In the case of Star Buyers Auction, the preview period lasts about one week and the bidding period lasts about six days.

Benefits of using online auctions to purchase watches (2): Market prices are easy to read

Online auctions set a starting price for each product, after which you can also check how the price changes as a result of bidding. Since bidding reflects the popularity among participants, the price tends to match the market value, and even people with little knowledge of market prices can easily participate.

Benefits of using online auctions to purchase watches (3): No need to negotiate

During online auctions, participants simply enter a value and click to complete their bid, so there is no need to negotiate prices with vendors. This also makes participation easy for those who are not confident negotiators.

Benefits of using online auctions to purchase watches (4): Desired items can be targeted with pinpoint accuracy

Participants in online auctions can bid on as little as one watch, so can target the item they desire with pinpoint accuracy. This also makes it easy to respond flexibly to sudden changes in customer needs.

Benefits of using online auctions to purchase watches (5): Ability to view an abundance of items

Since participants can see every item on auction, they can compare and consider many different watches to enable a wider range of purchasing options.

​ ​Benefits of using wholesale and online auctions to purchase watches

As we have seen, wholesale and online auctions each have their own respective merits.

In the past, it was common outside Japan to purchase watches only through wholesalers, but recently, as mentioned above, buyers are increasingly using online auctions as a new purchasing route, so that online auctions continue to expand increasingly as a reliable source of watches. The spread of online auctions will therefore present excellent opportunities for buyers who want to have as many suppliers as possible.

So, what kinds of watches are actually traded in different price ranges at online auctions? Looking at one example transaction, in Star Buyers Auction, a major Japanese online auction, bidding on a Patek Philippe Calatrava 570 PT950 in November 2020 started at 1,000,000 JPY and it was sold for 15,030,000 JPY. Many watches in high price ranges have been put up and won with a successful bid.

In fact, before the emergence of COVID-19, when physical auctions were the norm in Japan, such high-priced watches were rarely available through online auctions. However, given the recent difficulty of real-life transactions, online auctions services have been enhanced since 2020. They now attract many items and participants, making online auctions an exciting place to purchase goods.

What luxury watches are enduringly popular in wholesale and online auctions?​ ​

For luxury watch brands and models that are popular with buyers, there is not much difference between wholesale and online auctions. Many buyers aim to purchase items whose market prices continue to rise because they can be sold to customers at high prices. If you can take advantage of the strengths of both wholesale and online auctions, you will be able to increase your opportunities to purchase items that continue to be in short supply, thereby realizing more valuable purchasing than ever before.
According to Star Buyers Auction, as you might expect, one of the most popular luxury watch brands is Rolex. The following two models are always popular. Both have been in demand since their release, and they continue to be in short supply in the market.
Because Star Buyers Auction has its own purchasing system, there is a large number of transactions of these models compared to others in the industry, with bids from many buyers outside Japan.

Rolex Daytona 116500LN with white dial​ ​

Released in 2016. The Rolex Daytona series is the greatest of the Rolex sports models. One thing that makes the stainless steel (SS) model attractive is its affordability compared to other brands. The significant change from the previous model was making the bezel ceramic. The white dial is more popular because it creates a nice contrast with the black bezel. While prices fluctuate constantly, in the case of Star Buyers Auction, new items are traded at around 3,000,000 JPY.

​ ​Rolex Daytona 116506 with ice blue dial

2013年に発売された、デイトナ50周年記念モデル。記念モデルは価格が高くなる傾向があり、Star Buyers Auctionの場合、新品は1,050万円前後で取引されています(価格は常に変動します)。ディスコン(製造中止)になるとの噂があり、中古市場でも仕入れが難しいとされている商品です。

Participating in online auctions

With Japanese online auctions becoming more and more popular, Star Buyers Auction has gained the support of many buyers inside and outside the country.
Star Buyers Auction holds regular auctions of various genres twice a month separately for watches, bags, designer jewelry, jewelry, and apparel, among other items. B2B online auctions that boast an abundance of more than 25,000 items offered during every event are rare even in Japan.
Star Buyers Auction also provides extensive support in English, Chinese, French, and other languages, and many buyers from the United States, Europe, China, and Southeast Asia already participate.
Click here to complete your online application for an account. We hope that you include online auctions as one of your purchasing routes for realizing more reliable purchasing.

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