Advice on selling

Submitted by gawl07 on April 24, 2020 - 11:58am

I realise this may be too vague but would most of you generally sell Bulova watches individually, or as a collection?


Posted April 24, 2020 - 10:00pm

Individually at a reasonable price would be my recommendation.

Posted April 25, 2020 - 9:22am

Agreed.  Individually will tend to bring the most money but will take time.   Selling a collection can be fast but would generally sell for less.  I tend to sell watches I don't need or want individually for a time period then if they don't sell I build a lot of 10 or 12 then sell them as group.  .

Reverend Rob
Posted April 25, 2020 - 11:17pm

I guess it depends what the situation is, if you are trying to do it quickly for whatever reason, then separating watches into lots might help.

Ideally, you want each watch assessed on its own merits. Values in general might take a hit during this pandemic, and might be slow to recover, but certain watches fall into the 'Ones that everybody is after' category and pretty much stay stable or continue to increase. This goes for pretty much any brand, but Bulova is a bit different.

Bulova was at one point, the largest watch manufacturer on the planet, and the sheer numbers of watches still around tends to make them less valuable. We have all seen the examples dating back to the early 20's, and everything in between, there are not many manufacturers that have such a history or plethora of models. A lot of similar companies at the same time, made what I call the 'stamped case' types of watches, that is, sheet metal stamped to make the bezel and caseback, and in general, this is not a great method of case manufacturing, but there are millions of them out there form many makers. With exceptions, these tend to be the lower valued offerings. 

The so-called 'Golden Era' of watches in general is the 40's-60's, with some 70's watches also in there. By the end of the 70's, Switzerland was suffering and quality dropped, some manufacturers disappearing entirely or only to be resurrected right away (Breitling) or much later on. (Alpina, Eterna, etc)

If your watch is any way collectible, it should be offered for sale individually, as to mix it in with others will not help sell it. As a watchmaker, I buy groups of watches for parts, so these are mostly non-running examples, but collectors will also look these lots over for anything that stands out. I still see large lots, like 20 or more, and spot something I am interested in, and end up purchasing the whole pile, which can then be re-sold or used for parts. When I was in school, we often just purchased larger lots for things to work on, and every once in awhile, something really interesting would be revealed that didn't show at all in any pictures that were shown. 

In addition, if you have a specific collection of a certain model or series, like say the Academy Awards models, putting them together might work in your favour, unless there is one standout or rare one amongst them that is worth more than the rest put together. I still see collectors that are after what I call 'Instant Collections,' so if your group is a well curated and organized lot, it can be quite valuable.

eBay is not generally a good source of information on values, regardless of what the sellers might say. I see the word 'rare' so often you'd think it means something different altogether. Also beware of any Valuation books, keep in mind a lot of them contain a LOT of errors and false valuations. 

CARL lindsay
Posted December 13, 2020 - 4:29pm

In reply to by Reverend Rob




Posted April 26, 2020 - 11:41pm

Here's a neat trick I didn't know existed until now (Google is your friend).

To see past sales on eBay of a particular item d the following:

  • Type in exactly what you are looking for in the search box.  
  • Once the current listings come up, look to the left (may have to scroll down a bit) and click on the box that says 'Sold Items'. 

You will see what has sold recently. 

It may not be perfect but it does show what people are actually paying for stuff.

Reverend Rob
Posted April 27, 2020 - 4:38pm

A couple months ago I was bidding on a Bulova Chronograph, it went pretty high so I gave up. I got a notice that it had sold, but also a notice that it had immediately been re-listed by the seller.

Now, it seems to me that this might be the seller themselves using a third party or sock account to buy the item when they think the bidding is too low, and then re-list it, in an attempt to drive the price ever higher.


Posted June 12, 2020 - 11:32am

In reply to by Reverend Rob

This is a thing, particularly on eBay.  Often you can find low or now feedback users with 100% of their bidding history for a particular seller.  This is not perfect buy it can give you an idea if the bids are being artificially boosted.

Posted February 3, 2021 - 6:31pm

Especially this year when the pandemic has created a type of recession on values, because people are not confident they should spend their money on non-essentials. Since I am a long term buyer, seller and collector, I find the phenomenon extreme. Sales are either very low priced or extremely high. Takes much longer to sell, only the very well established sellers with a platoon of returning customers do well.

So it's a distorted value situation, as a collector I know when some items sell for $500 and they are worth 10% of that. It is an exercise in increasing values as was already said, but a pandemic is the worst time to try this unethical approach. You need several friends to do this, and then cancel the sale to avoid the fees. ....