Article By: Logan Hannen

What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re talking buying watches on Etsy!

Etsy is a well known platform for crafty people to sell all manner of art, jewelry, clothing, etc. But it’s not the place typically known for selling watches. (Check out this episode of ASKTNH on the subject).

The company prides itself in being unique, and offering a buying experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Their sellers are all independent individuals, not bigger companies like you might find on eBay (see: Holben’s Fine Watch Bands). Generally, the individuals selling on Etsy are operating at a much smaller scale with the things they create, but there is a section of the site dedicated specifically to goods which have not been made by the seller. This is where the watches will be found.

When it comes to the kinds of pieces you’ll find on Etsy, a majority of them can be found in the platform’s “Vintage” category, which does inform the specific kinds of pieces you’ll expect to see there. There can be found everything from vintage Omega Bumpers to a really large number of Russian pieces (mostly Poljot and Vostok), but there is one overarching issue that influences the buying experience from Etsy, one that every geek and non-geek needs to be aware of: they’re not watch specialists.

Vintage Omega Bumper
Source: Etsy

You may have heard this before, and it’s big: You shouldn’t buy any watch online unless you have substantial reason to trust the source. This applies to eBay and Chrono24 just as much as Etsy, but since Etsy is specifically geared more towards those creating the thing they’re selling, Etsy isn’t as properly equipped as someone like Chrono24 to deal with reports of a fake watch being sold.

That brings us to the issue of accountability. Etsy’s watch listings, by and large, are pieces found at estate sales, in family members’ drawers, etc., where the seller is – in all likelihood – not a watch geek and doesn’t have a clue about even basic things, like if a piece has been serviced or if it is on the original strap. It‘s likely that they are not experienced in dealing watches, especially vintage, so even if you think to ask those questions, they simply may not have the answer.

Now, the final point, and the one people tend to forget, is that you, as the buyer, have all the leverage. You do not need to buy their product. You’re going out of your way and choosing to spend your hard-earned dollar on them, and they have an obligation, as the seller, to make everything right by you if something goes wrong, and give you a stellar experience even if things go right. Doing so doesn’t just mean that you’ll be happy with your purchase and might go to them again for future purchases, but it is also a stellar indicator that they know how to keep it classy, watchfam.