01/18/2021
 4 minutes

How to Ship a Luxury Watch the Right Way

By Tom Mulraney
How to Ship a Luxury Watch the Right Way

How to Ship a Luxury Watch the Right Way

So you’ve just made your first sale on Chrono24 – congratulations! It’s an exciting feeling, regardless of whether you’re a one-time private seller or trying to establish a part-time gig as a dealer. Before you get too carried away, though, it’s important to realize there’s a big difference between “making” the sale and “finalizing” it. The former involves agreeing to sell your watch to the buyer and the buyer agreeing to pay the price requested. The latter is when you get into the nitty gritty details of the sale such as shipping information, insurance, etc. These details may be less exciting than making the sale itself, but they’re just as important to ensure a seamless sales experience and successful delivery. To make the shipping process as simple as possible, we’ve laid out the essential steps below. As always, if you have any questions or queries, the Chrono24 support team is standing by to offer assistance in 22 different languages. 

Step 1: Finalizing the Sale

Before you can even think about shipping your watch to its new owner, it’s important to finalize all the details of the sale. This includes agreeing on who is responsible for paying shipping charges as well as any customs or duty charges that might be imposed on the item. These are distinct from sales taxes – which should generally be collected at the time of sale, if applicable – and only tend to arise when a watch is being shipped internationally. As a general rule of thumb, the buyer is usually liable for any additional charges due on the import of a watch to their home country. This may tempt buyers to request the seller to alter the information on the shipping documentation to falsely reflect a much lower value – a practice that is rarely effective and strongly discouraged. Lastly, do not begin the shipping process until payment is received in full to your bank account or through the Chrono24 Trusted Checkout service, which holds the buyer’s money in a secure escrow account until the watch is delivered, at which point the funds are released to the seller.

Step 2: Choose a Delivery Service

Once the details are finalized, it’s time to choose a delivery service. There are numerous options available depending on where the watch is being shipped. You may wish to use a specialist service that exclusively ships high-value items, but this is not strictly necessary. Big names like FedEx and UPS also have extensive experience shipping expensive watches. It’s important to do your own research and make sure you feel comfortable with both the price and level of service you will get. Here are five key things to consider when making your decision:

Watch Shipment

  1. Does the company ship to the location you need?
  2. Can they provide a sufficient level of insurance, and do they require any documentation to prove the value of the item being shipped?
  3. Do they provide a tracking service?
  4. How long will delivery take?
  5. What do online reviews say about their service?

Of course, you’re not going to find a delivery service with a completely unblemished record. The best thing you can do is a lot of research, including asking fellow watch sellers what service they have used before and/or recommend.

Step 3: Pack Your Watch

Watch Shipment

The worst thing that could possibly happen is your watch getting damaged in transit. If it has not been packaged correctly, any insurance you have purchased may be void. With that in mind, remember bubble wrap is your friend. You cannot possibly use enough of it when shipping an expensive luxury watch. If you’re shipping the watch in the original box it was sold in, wrap it in a layer of bubble wrap for extra protection before placing it in the box. Ensure you have included everything mentioned in your listing (e.g., warranty card, booklets, etc.), then wrap the box itself in bubble wrap and place it inside a cardboard box (padded with additional bubble wrap). If you’re shipping the watch without its original box, use extra bubble wrap and seal it with tape so it can’t come off. Then put it inside a cardboard box. Finally, place the cardboard box inside a second, larger one (also padded with bubble wrap) and seal it shut with heavy-duty packing tape. Ideally, the watch shouldn’t be able to move around at all during transit. This may sound a bit extreme, but it’s better than making a costly mistake.

Step 4: Ship Your Watch

You’re almost there. Don’t fall at the final hurdle and affix the shipping label incorrectly or make some other rookie mistake. Double check that you’ve done everything right and included absolutely everything mentioned in your listing. Likewise, make sure the shipping address is 100% correct and matches the address you’ve provided for insurance. Many delivery companies require high-value items be dropped off as opposed to coming to collect it. That being said, not all locations are set up to handle high-value items. To avoid any unnecessary delays, make sure you know where you need to go.

Step 5: Update the Buyer

This final step is more of a courtesy, but it’s an important one, particularly if you want positive reviews and repeat business. Send the buyer a quick message to confirm the watch has been shipped and provide the tracking number as well as an estimated delivery date. This may be impacted by the watch being held in customs until any additional charges are paid, but at least the buyer can see their watch is on its way and make plans to be available when it arrives. This also protects you as the seller by providing a clear audit trail of the transaction in the unlikely event of a dispute arising. Further protection is provided by using the Chrono24 Trusted Checkout service.        

Congratulations on successfully finalizing your first sale and shipping your luxury watch the right way. We’re sure the buyer will be thrilled with their new purchase and we hope you have found the Chrono24 experience a smooth one.

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About the Author

Tom Mulraney

Growing up in Australia in the 1980s and 90s, there wasn’t much of a watch scene. There was only one authorized retailer of high-end watches in the city I lived in …

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