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Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Luxury Watch to a Pawn Shop

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If you want to sell your luxury watch to a pawn shop, you are at the right place.

Whether the watch no longer appeals to you, you need cash in a hurry, or wish to put the money to better use does not matter. Or perhaps you are a beginner watch collector and want to buy a better watch.

Selling it to a pawn shop is one of the best ways to sell your watch.

Read on to learn:

  • Why a pawn shop is a great place to sell your high-end watch for quick cash.
  • How the process of selling it to a pawn shop works.
  • What you can do to get the best deal.
Businessman wearing a luxury watch

Why Sell Your Luxury Watch to a Pawn Shop?

Here are some of the best reasons why you should sell your watch to a pawn shop:

1. Your Sale Is Confidential

Besides reporting all purchases to law enforcement, as required by law, pawn shop transactions are confidential. Whatever your motives are for selling your luxury watch, you do not have to worry about what other people might think.

Unless you tell your friends and family that you have sold your watch, they will never know and won’t have anything to gossip about.

2. Safe From Scammers

Although some people still believe the many pawn shop myths in circulation, pawn shops are one of the most regulated industries in the United States.

You are much more likely to encounter scammers on online marketplaces and Craigslist than in a pawn shop. And, unlike scammers, most pawn shops have been in business for several years and will not run away or hide from customers.

3. Free Evaluations

Most pawn shops have years of experience in dealing with fine watches. And if they are not sure about the value of your watch, they will do the necessary research. Many have in-house experts that know the ins and outs of the luxury watch market.

If you don’t know the value of your watch, you might leave money on the table when selling it privately. Getting a free evaluation from a pawn shop is a smart way to get an expert’s opinion on the value of your watch.

4. No Insurance, Shipping, and Handling

With sites like eBay, insurance, shipping, and handling fees can get expensive. In addition, listing and fulfilling an order can be a pain!

By selling your watch to a pawn shop, you don’t have to deal with any of the headaches associated with selling it on an online marketplace.

5. Easier to Negotiate

It’s much easier to negotiate with a friendly person in a pawn shop than with a faceless stranger on an online marketplace. By talking to someone face-to-face, you’re more likely to agree faster.

6. No Waiting

Whether it is an online marketplace or a consignment store, once you list or drop off your watch, respectively, the waiting game starts. There is no guarantee it will sell at a fair price or how long it will take.

Pawnshops are a completely different story. If you want to sell your watch, you can get cash for it the same day you take it to a pawnshop.

If you need money in a hurry and don’t have time to waste, selling it to a pawn shop is your best bet.

Businessman with high-end watch sitting in car

How to Sell to a Pawn Shop?

Selling your luxury watch to a pawn shop is quick and easy.

Step 1. Come in for a quick over-the-counter evaluation of your watch.

Step 2. Receive your verbal quote in minutes.

Step 3. Provide valid identification, i.e. driver’s license or ID card.

Step 4. Payment is made.

Note that in California the customer’s signature and thumbprint are required under CAPSS (California Pawn & SecondhandDealer System).

How Much Will a Pawn Shop Pay For Your Designer Watch?

Pawn shops base the value of an item on what they can sell it for.

A pawn shop will always try to determine the market value of a watch – the price at which it would sell in a competitive auction – before making you an offer. Bear in mind that a pawn shop cannot pay you market value as they also need to make money.

Variables that determine designer watch value include:

Demand – The higher in demand your watch is, the more likely it is that you can expect a good offer for it from a pawn shop. Pawn shops tend to pay more for watches they can quickly sell than for watches that may stay on the shelf for a long time.

Brand recognition – A brand like Rolex is very popular and will typically always fetch a high price.

Condition – The condition of your watch plays a huge role in how much you can expect for it. A pawn shop may be hesitant to pay top dollar for a watch in poor condition that needs repairs as it will take longer to sell.

Completeness – Having the original box, packaging, and paperwork helps to prove authenticity and most collectors are willing to pay a premium for it.

Precious metals and gemstones – If your watch contains precious metals, such as gold, and gemstones, such as diamonds, you are likely to get a better offer for it.

What Are the Top High-End Watch Brands?

Collection of high-end watches

The top luxury watch brands include:

  • Rolex
  • Patek Philippe
  • Audemars Piguet
  • Glashutte Original
  • A. Lange & Söhne
  • Omega
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC)
  • IWC Schaffhausen
  • Breguet
  • Cartier
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Piaget
  • Blancpain
  • Ulysse Nardin
  • Panerai
  • Girard-Perregaux
  • TAG Heuer

Which Watch Brands Best Retain Their Value?

Most experts agree that the two watch brands that best retain their value are Rolex and Patek Philippe. Rolex is arguably the most valuable watch brand in the world. And Patek Philippe is at the forefront of luxury watchmaking.

Other watch brands that retain their value well include A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC), Omega, TAG Heuer, and Panerai.

7 Tips for Selling Your Watch to a Pawn Shop

Close up of hands in gloves holding a designer watch

Here are some helpful tips that might help you get more money for your luxury watch:

#1. Consider Selling It on a Consignment Basis

If you are not in a hurry to sell your watch, consider selling it on a consignment basis. Instead of receiving cash for it right away, you will only be paid once the pawn shop sells it.

The pawn shop will charge you a commission and it might take time for your watch to sell. But you may get a better price if you are willing to wait for the right buyer.

#2. Clean Your Watch

A clean watch presents better and creates the impression that it has been well looked after.

Cleaning your watch may increase its value. However, take care not to damage it by using abrasive detergents. Gently scrubbing it using warm soapy water to clean the exterior of your watch is usually more than sufficient.

#3. Replace Flat Battery

The first thing a pawn shop looks at is if your watch is working properly. A watch that is not working, even if only due to a flat battery, can create the impression that you do not look after it.

#4. Include All Accessories

If you still have the original box and papers, such as the warranty and receipt, a pawn shop might be willing to pay more for your watch.

#5. Find Out What Your Watch Is Worth

Knowing the approximate market value of your watch can help you decide how much you are prepared to accept for it. Remember that a pawn shop cannot pay you market value as they are not charitable institutions. And it can take them a long time to find the right buyer.

Here are two ways to help determine the value of your luxury watch:

Sold Listings on eBay

Search for your watch and model on eBay. Find the “Show only” heading and tick the “Sold Items” block. It will show you recent sales and how much they fetched. has a database with more than 29 million results of what items, including high-end watches, sold for on auctions all over the world. website

For example, shows 48,070 price results for Rolex Submariner.

#6. Choose the Right Pawn Shop

Not all pawn shops specialize in designer watches or have customers that want to buy high-end watches. If you want to sell your Rolex, for example, make sure the pawn shop you want to sell it to sells Rolex watches.

Note: All Maxferd pawn shops specialize in fine watches.

#7. Negotiate

Pawn shops are typically willing to negotiate. If you feel you are not being offered a fair price for your watch, feel free to negotiate.

Selling vs Pawning Your Luxury Watch

Sometimes, selling your luxury watch is not the best option. It is often the case when you are still attached to it but need cash in a hurry. Under these circumstances, it might be better to pawn it.

If you are unsure of whether you should sell or pawn your watch, most good pawn shops will be more than willing to give you advice.

That's a Wrap

After reading this ultimate guide to selling your luxury watch to a pawn shop, you should have a good idea of:

  • Why a pawn shop is a great place to sell your high-end watch for quick cash.
  • How the process of selling it to a pawn shop works.
  • What you can do to get the best deal.

And if you’re not ready to let go of your watch, but need a fast and convenient collateral loan, there is no better place to approach than a pawn shop. 

All Maxferd pawn shops specialize in fine watches. We’re good at determining the value of designer watches and have a reputation for offering customers fair prices. Learn more about pawning your luxury watch at one of our locations across California:

  • Beverly Hills
  • Lawndale
  • Woodland Hills
  • San Francisco

If you have questions about a watch you want to sell, pawn, or have evaluated, don’t hesitate to contact Maxferd.

Call us at (800) 888-7296 or visit one of our Los Angeles pawn shops or our San Francisco pawn shop to find out how we can assist you.