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The complete guide to buying and selling second-hand watches by Extropian

Second-hand watches
Mid-market watches
The complete guide to buying and selling second-hand watches by Extropian

Most watch enthusiasts (that’s you guys!) will at some point have to get to grips with the second-hand market. Whether you’re hunting down some elusive limited edition, searching for a bargain, or simply slimming down your marvellous collection to make room for even more marvellous new purchases, buying and selling online is kinda a key part of being a watch geek. 

But the Second-hand market is enormous and can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re looking for the kind of mid-market microbrand watches that we know Extropian’s community loves. So, to help make things a bit easier, we’ve come up with this useful guide to point you in the right direction!

Buying and selling mid-market watches

Try Googling “where to buy second-hand watches'' and you’ll get a whole bunch of results, but they may not be exactly what you’re after. You’ll quickly find that the most prominent online sites – the ones which dominate the Googlesphere – focus almost exclusively on the vintage or luxury markets. Places like Watchfinder, WatchBox, Chrono24, and Crown&Caliber are great if you’re looking to buy or sell something by Rolex or Cartier, but they’re definitely not the place to go if you’re looking for indie or microbrand watches. For that, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.

Unlike the luxury brands listed on these well-known marketplaces, when it comes to mid-market watches they’re often found on less well-organized platforms, and this can make it a longer and more complex process for buyers and sellers to find or list any given piece. Your friendly Extropian is the notable exception here - but more on us later!

Selling a watch can be especially complicated, as you may want to list it on several different platforms to maximize exposure, which means you’ll have to enter the same info and upload the same images several times over, navigating the different requirements of each site as you go. Bit of a drag, huh?

And finding your ideal watch isn’t necessarily any easier. As indie or microbrand watches don’t usually have a reference number, and often come in multiple variants, buyers may find them listed under various different names, making them more difficult to find.

However, one of the benefits of mid-range watches, as opposed to luxury models, is that there’s no market for fakes, so no danger of buying a counterfeit piece, and no need of a platform or other middleman to authenticate the watch. In other words, when you eventually find what you’ve been looking for, you can be pretty sure that what you see is what you’ll get.

So, having considered a few of the pros and cons of buying and selling online, let’s take a look at some of the different platforms out there…


eBay is an obvious choice for many as it’s such an enormous and well-known platform. It’s easy to search, offers a Buyer Protection program, and it’s relatively straightforward to list an item for sale (although it can be a lengthy process). And, of course, there’s a huge range of choice. But a lot of watch enthusiasts are wary of the large amount of rubbish which clogs up the listings, from fake Rolexes to poorly restored “Frankenwatches”, so you have to be a bit careful, depending on what you’re looking for.

However, the site’s sheer size can also be a drawback, especially if you’re looking to sell something. The huge amount of competition can make it difficult for new sellers with no feedback to establish themselves, especially if they’re only selling one or two pieces. Also, the combined eBay and PayPal fees will take a major chunk out of your sale price, and the site’s returns policy always favors buyers if anything goes wrong with the sale, so you’re at risk of being ripped off without any way to appeal.

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Watch Forums

Active watch forums are another alternative. They’re run by, and populated by, dedicated enthusiasts who are looking to buy, sell, or trade watches, and who are generally willing to pay a fair market price for any given piece. Some are dedicated to specific brands or categories (such as Dive watches), but something like Omega Watch Forums includes other brands too.

They can be a good option for sellers as there are no marketplace fees (unlike on eBay or Chrono24), and you’ll get a better price than you would selling to a dealer. And buyers can get a good idea of a seller’s reliability depending on their presence on the individual forum. But, on the downside, these forums are often pretty basic, not very well structured, and can often be rather messy and difficult to search.


A popular forum for watch geeks of all kinds, Watchuseek also has its own marketplace, where members of the community can sell or trade items from their collections. As such, it’s a good place to find all sorts of watches, from luxury names to popular mid-range brands and modern microbrands. Selling on this forum is pretty straightforward, although there are some strict barriers to entry: all new sellers must have an account at least 90 days old and with over 100 posts on the forum itself.


Facebook groups tend to specialize in specific brands or types of watch (eg; Omega or Chronographs), but others have a broader focus, such as Microbrand Watch Sales which covers a lot of great indie brands. It can take a while to list a watch for sale as some groups insist that individual pieces be approved by the moderators, and they can also be difficult and frustrating to search as these groups don’t their own have search engines so you’re liable to find yourself scrolling through everything, from top to bottom, with no guarantee of success.

Reddit r/WatchExchange

The Reddit Watch marketplace has over 250,000 members and is one of the top 1% largest Reddit groups, so it can be a good place to buy and sell. But, like other forums, it’s quite a messy platform to search, so if you’re after something specific it can be a frustrating experience.

Extropian’s Second-Hand Marketplace

And finally, we’d like to offer what we (in all modesty!) think is the ideal solution for collectors who want to buy and sell second-hand microbrand watches. Extropian’s new marketplace is a breeze to use compared to other sites, as every watch (and every unique variation of that watch) has only one reference based on our enormous database, so there’s never any risk of confusion when listing or searching for a specific piece.

You can quickly upload photos of whatever watch you’re selling, along with a description, and search the listings by brand, price, watch type, country of manufacture, or any of our more detailed filters. It’s also completely free, without any hidden marketplace fees, and you’ll receive bonus Extropoints which can be put towards exciting rewards, gifts, and privileged invitations, or used to make big savings at our partners’ online stores. What’s not to love?!

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Alexander Andrews an Uol C3z M D4 Unsplash (2)


So clearly there’s much more to the second-hand market than vintage or luxury pieces. The platforms listed above all have their good and bad points but are worth checking out. And, if you want to take a peek at Extropian’s lovely marketplace, you can find it here!

Created the 2023-06-22

Modified the 2023-11-26

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