Pawning a Watch for the Most Money Possible

February 28, 2020 - Jewelry & Luxury Items

Pawning a watch is a convenient and easy way to get quick money when you’re in a pinch.

It’s not difficult to prepare to sell your watch to a pawn shop, but you need to understand that there will be a human being on the other end of the transaction. This person will be responsible for evaluating your watch. As an example, one of the factors they will take into account regardless of the brand name are aesthetics. There is a certain degree of control you have other that.

Read on to learn the simple steps you can take that will help you ensure you are pawning your watch for the most money possible.

Whether you’re pawning a watch from Rolex, Movado or a Fossil, we’ll help you get the most money possible for your high-end watch.

Pawning a Watch Tip #1: Cleanliness

Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer who is trying make sure they’re getting a fair deal for your watch. If someone hands you a watch that is dull, dirty and has residue all over the watch head, it communicates one message: the seller didn’t take care of the watch. What does that communicate? The watch probably doesn’t work very well and therefore deserves a lower appraisal.

You probably see where we are going with this. Make sure you clean your watch before you bring it in to the pawn shop. Pawning a watch is a common practice. Make sure yours stands out to the pawnbroker.

Watch Cleaning Tips

  • Avoid abrasive cleaning agents
  • To play it safe, use a paper towel and luke warm water to wipe the dirt off your watch
  • Pay attention to hard-to-reach spots
  • Avoid stiff brush bristles – use an extra soft brush to get in the hard to reach places on a metal band and watch head
  • If you have a leather band, use a leather cleaner if necessary
  • If you’re willing to put in the time, ask a local jeweler how much it would cost them to buff out any scratches on the watch head – it might be worth it if it leads to a higher appraisal

Pawning a Watch Tip #2: Boxing

Want to receive the most money possible for your watch? This is where being a hoarder comes in handy. Find the original box it came in. If you don’t have that, try to find any paperwork or manual that came with it.

Although it might sound trivial, collecting any tags, warranty or original piece of paper that came with your watch actually makes it look more legitimate to the pawnbroker. This, in turn, will allow them to feel more confident in selling your watch to another customer. Don’t underestimate the power of perceived value!

Pawning a Watch Tip #3: Extra Pieces

Do you recall taking out a link from your watch to make it fit better or storing away extra links that came with the watch? Did any stones fall out of the watch head? If so, check your drawers to see if you still have them. When it comes to pawning a watch or any other used item, completeness will improve the perceived value of the set and can result in a higher pay out.

Bring these to the pawn shop in a sealed ziplock bag so that the pawnbroker can include these in their sale of the watch to a future customer.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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Avatar for Kate Hansen

Kate Hansen

October 10, 2019, 8:37 PM

It was really helpful when you said that you should find the original box it came in. My husband is wanting to pawn off some of his old watches. I’ll make sure to pass these pawning tips along to him!

Avatar for David Johnson

David Johnson

January 17, 2020, 7:54 PM

Thanks for explaining that you should put back any links or stones you took out. I’ve got a Rolex I don’t use any more. I’ll have to look at pawnshops I can go to.

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