watch trading

Watch Trading Guide: How Does Watch Trading Work?

If you followed our advice in the Uniform Wares gift guide for Valentine’s Day 2021, you may have splashed out on a brand-new timepiece for your significant other recently. Whilst our products are reasonably priced, a high-quality timepiece is always an investment. So, perhaps you aren’t in the position to purchase another brand-new watch and watch trading is on your mind.

After being so kind as to treat your significant other with a gorgeous timepiece, we believe you deserve a new addition to your collection, too. But how is that possible on a tight budget?

It’s possible thanks to the magic of watch trading. 

Watch trading means swapping your watch for another timepiece that’s usually valued at a similar price. By doing this, you get to spice up your collection without losing any money. In fact, sometimes you can even save money using this method!

Read on to discover how watch trading works, the pros and cons of trading, and how to know if it’s the right thing for you.

What Is Watch Trading?

watch trading

So, what is watch trading? As outlined previously, watch trading involves offering your watch in exchange for another; it’s simply a direct swap.

There are two types of watch trading that both come with their own advantages and disadvantages. 

First, we have retail, which means the value of the watch is determined by the brand itself. This type of trade is full of opportunity as there are often enticing offers made by retailers. What’s more, you have a world of high-end watches at your fingertips with this method of watch trading. 

The second type of watch trade is the grey market, which involves the same watch being valued by the market instead of the retailer. This is generally the cheaper option, however, you must take into account the lack of offers available, unlike in retail trading.

How Do You Trade Your Watch?

watch trading

Now that you’re all clued up on watch trading, we expect you’re shouting at the screen: ‘how does watch trading work?’

First thing’s first, the secret to successful watch trading is plenty of research. Make sure you learn about your own watch in great detail, including the specification, age, and predicted value. Next, observe your options on trading sites and note key information such as the age, style, and condition.

Once you’ve completed your background research, it’s time to showcase your watch to the world! Upload photos of your watch to the trading site of your choice (such as eBay or Watches To The Trade), along with a detailed description of the product.

If you’ve chosen to follow the grey market type of trading, hopefully, some messages will soon come flooding in. If and when they do, take care to communicate well with potential traders, as this will increase the likelihood that they will choose your product.

This takes dedication. You should reply to messages frequently and provide any extra information that the potential trader desires. Equally, if you’ve selected a retailer, communication is key as it will speed up the process.

Finally, once you’ve got a match, arrange with the other watch owner to ship the products to them or liaise with the retailer to discuss their preferred delivery service.

And there you have it: an easy guide to successful watch trading!

Where Can You Trade Your Watch?

watch trading

It’s true that watch trading isn’t all sunshine and rainbows; it’s risky business.

While we could tell you countless success stories, it’s important to note that you should be cautious in selecting your trading site.

Ideally, you would only use reputable websites such as the following:

Watch Shop

This trustworthy website allows you to consult an expert as soon as you’ve selected your desired timepiece.

Not one to wait around, Watch Shop will then ship your watch to be delivered within two days.


This excellent trading site offers a range of luxury watches available for trade.

They also answer the frequently asked question ‘can you make money trading watches?’ According to Watchmaster, you certainly can!

Pros & Cons Of Watch Trading

watch trading

Let’s be honest, most people choose to buy their watches outright. It’s less hassle and means you can enjoy a brand-new product.

However, too many people overlook watch trading as a wonderful way for watch aficionados to practise their hobby. 

If you possess a watch that has been sitting in its case for months or years, never again to be worn on your wrist, trading it for a different timepiece could be just what you need to spark your love for horology once again. 

What’s more, this method of acquiring a watch is eco-friendly. Swapping your timepiece for another preowned one allows both watch owners to receive a product that is new to them, and yet has been loved for many years. What better way to appreciate timepieces without spoiling the environment?

Yet, for the purposes of making our guide as objective as possible, we must state some negatives of watch trading.

Unsurprisingly, it can be risky as you can’t always trust that you will receive a watch of similar value to the one you traded in. That’s where our previous advice comes in handy: do your research and you’ll reduce the risk that comes with this business.

Our Final Thoughts


Evidently, if you’re after a budget-friendly way to acquire your next timepiece, watch trading may be right for you. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also kinder to the environment.

After learning so much about watch trading, we hope you can approach your trade with confidence.

However, if you’re in the position to spend a bit more and would like to stick to the traditional method of purchasing a brand-new watch, we’ve got you covered, too.

Our website boasts a wealth of premium Swiss-made timepieces. Our stunning watches could be just what you need to light up your life! Browse our watches for sale and find your perfect match.

Select your currency