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Thread: Chrono24 vs Watchfinder Purchase

  1. #1
    Journeyman
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    Chrono24 vs Watchfinder Purchase

    Morning folks. I have my eye on a watch on Chrono24 that has been dropping in price gradually over the last week. Its from a seller in Japan, and I understand the norm is for VAT to be applied after it gets delivered. From what I can gather it can be hit or miss if this comes to fruition though, some Japanese Chrono24 purchases can slip through without it.

    Watchfinder also have a similar watch, albeit it is £1400 more. However they have the advantage of 24 month warranty and 0% finance, should I wish to avail of it.

    I've never bought from either, but Watchfinder probably fills me with more confidence that the watch would be a better example. I realise there are some negative Watchfinder experiences too though, so I could be naive in this thought.

    I suppose I'm just looking for some opinions on what other people would do. At £1400 difference the Chrono24 one would be worth the punt on, but if VAT gets charged its brings the total to £3700, which is then only £700 less than Watchfinder, and at that point I just don't know if I would be safer paying the extra for a UK 1 with no potential hassle. I should stress that I have absolutely no objection to paying the VAT, I just feel it should be factored in that it may not come in to play.

    All opinions welcome!

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Hi,

    Depends if it is a trusted dealer on C24. Are they offering the escrow service too? The Japanese have a very high customer service standard and I have bought from Japan before over C24 without issue.

    I have used Watchfinder on multiple occasions but more and more, they are now asking for a very high price. To the point where it is a bit off putting. Partly because they can, now that after Brexit the secondary market is restricted due to VAT. The only advantage I see is easier returns in the U.K. is the piece you are buying very complicated or a niche brand? As in do you think you will have issues?

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply. Sorry, I should have added its a trusted seller and the Escrow service is applicable. The seller is "Brand Lip Shops", who appear to have a couple of positive references on here too even.

    Yes Watchfinder are extremely dear, but they have £300 off at the minute which is what has made it a little more attractive (still £1400 more expensive though!).

    Its just an Omega Planet Ocean, so nothing particularly rare. I suppose I'm just nervous about the prospect of the unknown with the Chrono24 purchase.

  4. #4
    Master
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    As well as the probable VAT charge, there'll likely be a hefty handling fee on behalf of whichever courier delivers. Plus the added anxiety of whether it would actually arrive at your door. As an example, a coat I recently purchased coming from Germany took a month to arrive and attracted a VAT/handling fee that added around 40% to the purchase price. And the coat was too big !

    WF are the safe bet, I've had numerous dealings with them over the years, I haven't had a bad experience yet. Of course you pay the price for the WF slick machine. Is it a watch you really, really want badly ? If not, how about a WTB on here otherwise if it were me, I'd start negotiating with WF to get a better deal.

  5. #5
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    Iíve had a WTB for roughly 6 months- only 1 message in that time but sadly the member changed their mind and decided against selling.

    I didnít realise Watchfinder negotiated? Are they known to move on prices listed?

  6. #6
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyons View Post
    Iíve had a WTB for roughly 6 months- only 1 message in that time but sadly the member changed their mind and decided against selling.

    I didnít realise Watchfinder negotiated? Are they known to move on prices listed?
    They are open to haggling in my experience, maybe not if the watch you're looking at is already in the sale. Depends on the brand as well.

  7. #7
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    Worth an email I suppose!

  8. #8
    Master
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    Have you messaged the C24 seller to see if there's any room for negotiation there too? Just a thought.

  9. #9
    Journeyman
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    No, itís listed as fixed price. Thereís some listings which have the ďsuggest a priceĒ option and even they are unwilling to budge on price, so I didnít think to ask in this instance.

    Again, no harm in asking the question I suppose! I had already opened communication channel and got a photo of the full cards.

  10. #10
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyons View Post
    I didnít realise Watchfinder negotiated? Are they known to move on prices listed?
    Always make the assumption that everything's negotiable, especially second-hand stuff. I would certainly try, and I`d try hard! Watchfinder prices are so high I would expect some room to haggle.

    As for buying from Japan, you will almost certainly get hit with 20% tax plus around £12 handling fee, the days of getting stuff in under the radar seem to have disappeared.

    The difference is £700, I would try to haggle that down.

  11. #11
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    I have sent both parties a message, so will see what happens!

  12. #12
    Craftsman RS404's Avatar
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    I've haggled around 15% off Watchfinder both times I've bought from them.

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    Last edited by RS404; 14th October 2021 at 07:26.

  13. #13
    Craftsman SydR's Avatar
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    Iíve messaged sellers with fixed prices sales on C24 and made an offer. 50/50 success in getting it cheaper so far.

  14. #14
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    The other posters have a point- WF does haggle and I have succeeded in the past. But not if you are using finance though- that is a straight no from them.

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  15. #15
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    judging on the prices WF have offered me and then listed them for I would say they price for negotiations/dropping their prices over time so depending on how long they have had it and the margin they need you should be able to get a bit off.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Always make the assumption that everything's negotiable, especially second-hand stuff. I would certainly try, and I`d try hard! Watchfinder prices are so high I would expect some room to haggle.

    As for buying from Japan, you will almost certainly get hit with 20% tax plus around £12 handling fee, the days of getting stuff in under the radar seem to have disappeared.

    The difference is £700, I would try to haggle that down.
    Iíve also looked at importing from Japan but have been put off by the unknown costs, aside from VAT. Is it normally just a small handling fee on top?

  17. #17
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Courboy View Post
    Iíve also looked at importing from Japan but have been put off by the unknown costs, aside from VAT. Is it normally just a small handling fee on top?
    There arenít any unknown costs, just VAT and a small handling fee. Youíll need to pay the VAT and handling fee before the item is delivered, but youíll be able to pay online.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscuit View Post
    There arenít any unknown costs, just VAT and a small handling fee. Youíll need to pay the VAT and handling fee before the item is delivered, but youíll be able to pay online.
    Agree. There are no unknown costs. There are plenty of websites which can calculate for you each component and the total.

    BW,
    Chi Kai


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gomers View Post
    They are open to haggling in my experience, maybe not if the watch you're looking at is already in the sale. Depends on the brand as well.
    The 0% finance is only available if WF's asking price is accepted.

  20. #20
    Master
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    https://www.watchfinder.co.uk/Grand%...89/item/187426

    Watchfinder asking £3145 for a 2021 model Grand Seiko. I ordered the same model from a Japanese dealer via Chrono 24. It cost me £2527 all in. Granted Watchfinder may knock a few hundred quid off the asking price, but youíd still be paying over the odds.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by gcleminson View Post
    Have you messaged the C24 seller to see if there's any room for negotiation there too? Just a thought.
    Japanese shops usually don't negotiate.

    To OP - I bought watch from Japan and have no regrets. While I searched I noticed that there are plenty of watches in very good shape cosmetically compared to European ones.

  22. #22
    Master
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    I've bought three watches from Japan this year.

    VAT was billed for each of them and handling fee was approx. £20.00 (I think) on a £3,000 watch.

    All three were posted Fedex International Priority - amazingly detailed tracking. Twice I had to pay the VAT and handling fee online prior to delivery, once the watch turned up and the bill a week or so later in the post.

    If the seller was using Fedex International Priority shipping I would have no issues purchasing from Japan.

  23. #23
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyons View Post
    I have sent both parties a message, so will see what happens!
    If you decide to go for the Watchfinder one you'll do far better haggling by phone, in my experience haggling via messages isn`t as effective. Tell them you'll buy the watch now if the price can be £xxxx and sound convincing......sounding convincing doesn`t translate well in messages!

  24. #24
    Grand Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    If the watch from Japan isn't quite as described or has any problems, it's not going to be as easy to send back as it would be to send it back to WatchFinder.

    In fact, it would be a real ball-ache having to insure it for posting, waiting and hoping it gets there, then claiming back the tax from HM Customs.

    Stick to WF IMO.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    If you decide to go for the Watchfinder one you'll do far better haggling by phone, in my experience haggling via messages isn`t as effective. Tell them you'll buy the watch now if the price can be £xxxx and sound convincing......sounding convincing doesn`t translate well in messages!
    I can second this, have bought from them in the past and theyíve been flexible.

    In terms of buying from Japan, in my experience Japanese dealers tend to list the watch honestly and typically watches over there are very well looked after. The VAT / customs tax thing would put me off a little though as Iíd want to know exactly what Iím paying when I hit the buy button

  26. #26
    Journeyman
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    Recently negotiated with watchfinder on a watch and was still able to use the finance. The purchase still happened online in fact, the rep added the watch at the lower price to my incomplete orders page in my account and I was able to complete the purchase and select any payment method from there.

  27. #27
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    I spoke to WF today and they could only offer a further £100 off the discounted price, and not for finance.

    It makes their price hard to justify, so Iíll have a think for a few days and see if anything else comes up. Ironically I know Iíll be absolutely kicking myself if the Chrono 1 sells and I end up missing out on it!

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Courboy View Post
    Iíve also looked at importing from Japan but have been put off by the unknown costs, aside from VAT. Is it normally just a small handling fee on top?
    There is usually a minimum charge of about 8-12.00 which hits cheaper items hard, and then it is about 2% of the VAT value from memory.

  29. #29

  30. #30
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyons View Post
    I spoke to WF today and they could only offer a further £100 off the discounted price, and not for finance.

    It makes their price hard to justify, so Iíll have a think for a few days and see if anything else comes up. Ironically I know Iíll be absolutely kicking myself if the Chrono 1 sells and I end up missing out on it!
    Would be interested to hear how this turns it. I often look at omegas / IWCs / Sinns which are more than 30% cheaper than equivalents in the UK, but coming from Japan.

    Iím often put off because I feel that I donít really know what Iíd be buying and figure that shipping it back and claiming back import taxes would be such an enormous pain, itís not worth taking the risk on.

    All of the above is based on assumption though, as Iíve not had the courage to test it.

  31. #31
    Didn't want to start a new thread, but has anybody tried to sell anything to Watchfinder recently? I've sold a few things in the past and have found them to be fairly straightforward. I've put in a sales enquiry on a couple of things recently (both quite sought after) and they've come back both times that they don't want to make an offer. Seems a bit strange to me, and have never had it happen before.

  32. #32
    Master valleywatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Traveller View Post
    Didn't want to start a new thread, but has anybody tried to sell anything to Watchfinder recently? I've sold a few things in the past and have found them to be fairly straightforward. I've put in a sales enquiry on a couple of things recently (both quite sought after) and they've come back both times that they don't want to make an offer. Seems a bit strange to me, and have never had it happen before.
    Im doing a trade with them now as it goes!

    Pretty good deal too....Ive used them before, they were pretty good, then a while ago I thought, that the prices they were offering me for my trades weren't great.

    Still. fair play to them, Im pleased so far with the way things are going.

    They delivered the "packaging", for me to send my watch in to them,yesterday....D.H.L. will pick it up on Monday morning.

  33. #33
    It's depends on what you want to sell them I think. Just last week I offered a JLC to get an idea of what it was worth but they came back with a not interested.

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  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by zen123 View Post
    It's depends on what you want to sell them I think. Just last week I offered a JLC to get an idea of what it was worth but they came back with a not interested.

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    I had a no thanks last week for a nice AP, then two more this week for two Rolex which are both very much in the popular and hard-to-get bracket. Strange, I wonder if they've just put a temporary hold on buying watches or something. Might phone them tomorrow to ask.

  35. #35
    Master
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    Watch finder at Canary Wharf hasnít reopened and Royal Exchange has a limited range of stock. Perhaps they are reducing stock.

  36. #36
    Craftsman
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    Sold my breitling to them last week, and sold them a fair few over the years, never had any hassle with them and would recommend, a lot easier than selling privately.


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  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Space Traveller View Post
    Didn't want to start a new thread, but has anybody tried to sell anything to Watchfinder recently? I've sold a few things in the past and have found them to be fairly straightforward. I've put in a sales enquiry on a couple of things recently (both quite sought after) and they've come back both times that they don't want to make an offer. Seems a bit strange to me, and have never had it happen before.
    Diitto ! It was a straight not interested to a 2021 two-tone Breitling Navitimer 46.

    For a DSSD (2015) it was also another no to a buy, but they would consider a part exchange??

    This was in the last week, so maybe they just have too much stock? I may try BQ watches or just leave it for now ( I was considering p/x or buying a Explorer II Black dial)
    Last edited by odyseus10; 1st November 2021 at 20:24.

  38. #38
    Master Scrubnut's Avatar
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    Ive sold 2 and bought 1 this year with Watchfinder. Absolutely no complaints at all.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrubnut View Post
    Ive sold 2 and bought 1 this year with Watchfinder. Absolutely no complaints at all.
    A sold a couple earlier in the year, a Bremont and an Omega, without any issues (and Bremont arenít exactly that popular) - but that was 6 months ago or so. Maybe, they are trying to sell stock in the last few weeks/months and so are are being particular in what they buy?

  40. #40
    Grand Master
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    What does that tell you, as Richemont own both Watchfinder and JLC.

    Effectively not interested in their own watches!

    Quote Originally Posted by zen123 View Post
    It's depends on what you want to sell them I think. Just last week I offered a JLC to get an idea of what it was worth but they came back with a not interested.

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