How to Sell a Rolex: A Thorough Guide to Finding the Best Buyer
As one of the most renowned watch brands in the world, Rolex has upheld its reputation throughout the years and is often considered the best brand in the field. In fact, in 2020, Rolex owned a quarter share of the entire luxury watch market.
That not only makes it a fashionable choice, but a smart investment as well.
If you’re considering getting some cash for a watch you’re no longer wearing, or just looking to change up your watch collection, you might be considering the idea of selling your used Rolex timepiece.
Our experienced staff at The Estate Watch and Jewelry Co. know that selling such a valuable piece is no easy decision and that finding a potential buyer can often be an overwhelming task.
That’s why we’ve decided to lend you a helping hand and guide you through the entire process.
You’re going to get answers to all the relevant questions:
- Where can I sell my Rolex watch?
- What will affect the value of my watch?
- What should I look for in a buyer?
If you read through to the end of our detailed guide, you’ll be informed about the different options available to you and selling a Rolex will never be easier.
Why Should You Sell Your Rolex Wristwatch?
Often, people will decide to say goodbye to their Rolex watch for a number of reasons. Maybe you’ve also decided to sell your Rolex for some extra cash or you simply want to switch up your watch collection and add some new pieces to it.
Recently, The New York Times stated that the prices for a new Rolex have been rising exponentially, so the money you get from selling your old wristwatch will definitely come in handy if you’re thinking about investing in a new Rolex.
To find out the 4 most common reasons people have for selling their Rolex, check out our list below.
Time to upgrade
Once you’ve grown tired of your current Rolex watch model, you might decide to switch it up for the newest Sea-Dweller or Yacht-Master that complements your style better.
By selling your old timepiece, you get some extra cash you can later invest in something new.
If you happen to be looking for a specific model, you can learn more about our Rolex sourcing process by clicking the link here.
As we’ve hinted at before, it often happens that you need cash quickly, whether it be an emergency situation or an unexpected financial crisis that comes up.
That’s when you start thinking about which belongings you could sell as that’s still a better option than turning to the bank for a loan. Plus, the process is less time-consuming and you don’t have to hassle with signing dozens of loan documents.
There is also the option to pawn your Rolex if you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to it forever. That way, you’ll still get the money you need, but you’ll also be able to get your wristwatch back when you repay the loan.
A change in style
With the fashion trends changing so rapidly, it’s quite normal for your preferences to change as well. Two years ago you might have been a fan of stainless steel bracelets and now you’re looking for something a bit more classic and elegant.
Instead of letting the wristwatch collect dust in your drawers, why not sell it and make use of the money you get in return?
Maybe you could think about getting a fashionable Rolex Submariner that, according to Business Insider, is one of the timepieces that never goes out of style.
It often happens that you no longer want the emotional attachment to your Rolex wristwatch. Maybe the watch was a gift from an ex-friend or it might be a reminder of your previous relationship.
No matter the reason, it’s always better to sell the watch than keep it and be tormented by the negative feelings and bad memories attached to it.
4 Steps Buyers Use to Evaluate Your Rolex
The first part of your Rolex selling process will begin with gathering all the relevant information and documentation you have on your watch. The more information you collect about your timepiece, the easier it will be for the buyer to determine the value of your Rolex watch.
Naturally, if you choose a reliable buyer, they’ll also be able to answer any questions if you’re unsure about any part.
A little preparation goes a long way and the best part is that it won’t take too much of your time.
If you want to sell your Rolex, it will need to be verified that it is, in fact, an original, Swiss-manufactured luxury timepiece. If you’ve bought the watch yourself from a certified dealer, you can rest assured that you have an original Rolex in your hands.
However, if the Rolex is a gift from a friend or a family heirloom (and you’re unsure about its authenticity), a reputable buyer can ensure it’s real, as there are many counterfeit for sale in the market.
Just recently, around 460 Rolex counterfeit watches were seized by the government, which testifies to the fact that the production and import of fake Rolex watches is an ongoing problem in the USA.
Take a closer look at the watch’s movements. If there’s a ticking sound coming from the watch, then it could be a sign that it’s most likely a fake. Also, a Rolex watch is made from high-quality materials so it shouldn’t feel too light when picked up.
Another way buyers check the authenticity is to take a look at the date window. Since Rolex watches have a built-in cyclops lens, the date will appear magnified.
Real vs fake Rolex comparison-Image credits by thewatchstandard.com
This feature is extremely hard to replicate, so a fake Rolex may have a normal-sized date.
Find serial and reference number
Another thing they’ll want to check for are the serial and model reference number. The serial number is usually 4-8 digits long and it can be found on the side of the case underneath the band or engraved along the inner bezel at the 6 o’clock position.
Rolex serial number-Image credits by keepthetime.com
The model number is usually engraved on the opposite side, at the 12 o’clock hour marker, between the lugs.
Rolex model reference number-Image credits by rubberb.com
In most cases, you’ll have to detach the watch band to be able to check these numbers (unless the serial number is engraved in the bezel as mentioned above).
Understanding the Rolex market
Now that both you and the buyer you’re working with are sure it’s a 100% original Rolex watch, they’ll then do research on the market value of your watch.
The average MSRP(Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) for a Rolex is in the range of $7,000 to $12,000, but you can’t expect to always get MSRP (sometimes it’s more and sometimes it’s less).
The buyer you choose will also take into consideration some other relevant factors before determining the final price they can offer for your watch.
Just like when selling your jewelry, the overall condition is an important aspect a potential buyer is going to look at. If the watch is well-kept and without deep scratches on the case or crystal, you can probably expect a higher price.
However, if your vintage Rolex watch has some non-functioning parts or if there are visible scratches and marks on the side of the case, it will likely lead to a lower price.
If you own a rare Rolex model, that could significantly increase the value of your watch.
Rolex Submariner 6538-Image credits by monochrome-watches.com
Similar to other brands, Rolex also produced several limited-edition models that are highly sought after by watch enthusiasts worldwide.
Original box and papers
If you own the original box and papers that came with your Rolex wristwatch, you should definitely bring those as well when meeting with the buyer. These will also increase the value slightly.
Aside from the fact that you need these papers for your warranty period to be valid, many collectors and Rolex watch experts will appreciate getting the papers if they decide to buy your watch. It’s also easier to estimate the value of your Rolex based on the papers.
Rolex official papers example-Image credits by aluxurylifestyle.com
If you’ve lost your papers, it’s not a big problem as you’ll still be able to sell your watch.
Identify the Right Rolex Buyer
After you’ve gathered all the information, all that’s left is to find a Rolex buyer. You’ll need to make sure the buyer you choose is:
- Reliable and trustworthy
- An expert in the Rolex watch industry
- Professional and able to answer your questions
Selling your Rolex is much easier when working with someone you trust and that’s why we recommend meeting the buyer in person.
Finding a buyer online is not only risky but you may even end up being a victim of an online scam.
So far, more than 140,000 complaints have been made in 2022 about online scammers and their illegal activities. The data just goes to show that doing business online always comes with a certain safety risk.
That’s why we strongly recommend turning to a buyer with a long-standing reputation who’s known for dealing in a fair and ethical manner.
The best place to start is with a reputable local jeweler that has experience in buying pre-owned Rolex watches. Many stores do not have this level of expertise which can lead to lower prices for you.
In fact, a study has shown that 70% of Americans prefer to turn to their local communities when in need of a specific service or product. The main reason for this is because it’s generally safer to do business with someone you know and can talk to in person.
Also, it’s easy to look the store up and check the reviews to see what other people are saying.
In addition, some jewelry stores also offer the option of selling on consignment, meaning you’ll allow the store to display the Rolex watch in their showcase and sell it on your behalf.
Naturally, you’ll agree on the selling price or the store’s portion of the sale price beforehand and you can rest assured that your Rolex will be handled with care and sold to a great customer of theirs.
If you have a used Rolex watch you’re looking to part with, don’t think twice before you reach out to us. We’re proud to say that we’ve been positively reviewed by more than 600 happy customers on Google and we do our best to make sure each new customer walks out satisfied.
You can find out more about how to reach us by clicking here.
We keep the process as simple as possible:
The first step is the professional evaluation - this means your Rolex watch will be carefully inspected in order to gain insight into its value and market pricing.
The jeweler will take into consideration the overall condition of the Rolex, the current market trends and demand for your specific model.
No-obligation offer on the spot
After the evaluation is done, you’ll get an offer from the jeweler. The offer will be based on all the abovementioned criteria and then it’s up to you to determine if you’d like to sell.
Cash in your pocket
Finally, if you’re satisfied with the offer and choose to sell your luxury timepiece, all that’s left to do is sign a few papers and voila—you’ll receive payment right on the spot.
And, don't worry—there’s no hidden fees involved, we promise.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, after going through our tailored guide, you were able to get answers and find out all the ins-and-outs of how to find a buyer for your Rolex.
It’s necessary to learn how to distinguish a reliable buyer from a shady one and we hope that our guide has provided you with all the useful tips you’ll need to do just that.
We buy all types of Rolex watches - from Rolex Daytona to the Submariner and Explorer, feel free to bring your luxury timepiece in, no matter the model.
If there’s a question that remains unanswered or you’d like to know more about a specific part of the process, we encourage you to come by our Scottsdale jewelry store, just a quick drive from Phoenix.
You can expect professional service, a group of knowledgeable experts and a fair deal and price should you decide to do business with us.