To eBay or Not To eBay

A few months ago a client gave us only 5 items to sell.  Included was an old Rolex watch that belonged to her deceased husband.  She didn’t like the watch.  It turned out she had bought another watch for her husband as a gift in the 1950’s and he didn’t like that one.  He returned it for a Daytona Rolex.  That was a long time ago, but that exchange left a bad taste for this woman.  She had no idea what the watch was worth and told us to get whatever we could for it.

We didn’t know a lot about different types of Rolex watches, but lack of knowledge has never stopped us before.  After quite a bit of research and writing and talking to people all over the country, we found out that this was actually quite a valuable watch.  It was stainless steel, not gold, and not even in top condition.  However, the model was very collectible.  But my past experiences with eBay left me a little nervous to try and sell this on their web site.  There are probably more fake Rolex watches than real ones, and I was a little nervous about a bait and switch problem happening.  As I wrote in previous blogs, PayPal always sides with the buyer and if someone bought this from me and then mailed me back a fake – I would be out the money and the goods.

My client really needed the money, and although I knew she was in a bit of a hurry to sell this, I told her to give me a little more time.  First I took the watch around to some of the better jewelery stores in Tucson. Either there was no interest, or the offers were insulting.  I then contacted some of the bigger auction houses around the country and although they were very eager, the time frame was too long and their fees were very high.

Over the years we have developed a database of buyers for specialty items and this has sometimes proved to be a more lucrative source than eBay.  So I decided to expand my list of buyers for high end jewelery.  I found a few interested parties in some big cities and after receiving a number of offers on the watch,  decided to pursue this.  We sold this watch for $14,000!  Our client was thrilled – we got her a great return!

Since the sale of the watch, we have sold other Rolex watches and some diamond rings through this same source.  The prices we were able to get our clients was terrific.  Dealing with this new source is extremely safe and there is no risk of fraudulent buyers trying to pull any scams.  It is a win-win for all.  We still believe that eBay is the way to go for a lot of auctions, but sometimes we have found it is best to go other routes.  When a client hires us to sell for them, they should know that we always have their back.

Published in: on October 23, 2011 at 9:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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