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  • Using Ebay and Chrono24 to assess market value.

    I saw a listing on Trademe where the seller has used the following as an indicator of the market value.



    I am not sure about the legitimacy of this valuation service, but do valuers use eBay as a source? In my opinion, eBay is not a reliable source to ascertain the value of an item. The prices on eBay seem to be influenced by "peers". What's your take on this?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • #2
    Kronos, I remember one of your early topics when you first joined Timekeeper was a question on a reliable place to get a watch authenticated. I replied in my usual long-winded manner, and it may have come across as negative or cynical. You’ve come some way with us now, and through seeing more of the theatrics of the online used watch sellers and valuation providers, both local and overseas. Hopefully, you understand my sentiments more now, and where I was coming from.


    Originally posted by Kronos View Post
    ...
    I am not sure about the legitimacy of this valuation service, but do valuers use eBay as a source?...
    I’ve seen many hilarious insurance valuations over the years, many for Franken-watches, and it seems that, for be qualify to provide such a service, one only need a few skills. 1) literacy, 2) knows the correct terms for various parts of a watch, 3) elderly citizen level Google search skill.

    To your question, insurance valuations require a market value, and usually, the valuer merely states a value. I don’t think they are required to disclose the source of those figures. So, in an unlikely defense of piece of paper from The Jewellery Valuation Centre, they are quoting what they base the value on, when many other valuer would simply just state their estimate. As there are no official market value list, I suspect that the majority of valuers simply Google, finding some on eBay, others on Chrono24, whose algorithm somehow ensures they come up near the top of the search.

    I think you would agree that Chrono24 should be taken out of the picture entirely when ascertaining market value. I know of “watch collectors” who list for sale their entire collection on Chrono24, each watch three times the market value. In the meantime, they wear and enjoy those watches exactly like those were not on sale. If some sucker bites the bait on Chrono24, then the owner sells it. If no one buys, no problem, keep wearing the watches until it’s really time to sell, then it’s forum or eBay.


    Originally posted by Kronos View Post
    ...
    In my opinion, eBay is not a reliable source to ascertain the value of an item. The prices on eBay seem to be influenced by "peers". What's your take on this?
    Every now and then, we have newbies signing up to the forum to ask what a watch they have is worth—every forum gets this. We tell them to research the price on eBay, but we don’t really tell them how. I’ve seen sellers on TradeMe, and locally here where I am, using eBay active listing BuyItNow prices to set their own asking price. I sometimes have friends saying something like, “I saw one on eBay going for $xxxx”.

    The problem here is that active listings are not “going”, or selling, for $xxxx like the way a 2L-bottle of milk is selling for $4-$5. The BIN prices on active listing are offers yet to be taken, and don’t become part of the market price until it is sold. This is more akin to if you own a $700k property and you tell your real estate agent, “I’ll sell if someone gives me $2M.” Your property doesn't instantly become a 2 Mil property. Another analogy is the Air New Zealand stock, which is currently trading at $1.29, and I'm very sure there are currently sell orders at $1.90, i.e. offers to sell at $1.90, but that doesn't make Air NZ shares $1.90.

    eBay is, however, indispensable for researching market value. You search for the key words in your category, narrow down the category, and if it’s a vintage model, filter for “Used”. Then, on the left hand column of the page, you’ll find “Show only: Sold items”. Arrange the result in ascending price order.

    Identify which are the relevant completed listings for your intended watch, and to avoid statistical outliers (the train-wreck cheapies that some hopeful bought, plus the sad individual who wanted a watch so badly and didn’t care what he paid), find the Median, i.e. the one in the middle. That would be the approximate market value for 1) a seller with that credibility in terms of history and feedback, 2) a seller who is based in that country, 3) a listing with that quality of description and image, 4) a watch of that level of originality, 5) a specimen in that condition, 6) an example in that running condition or with that servicing history. That watch, in that state, if sold by another seller of a different trade history, who is based in a different country, who presents that watch in a different manner, would result in a different final price.

    This is what I go through personally every time I am looking to buy a used watch, and even more importantly, when I sell one. A lot of understanding the market value is about understanding how these elements interplay.

    I’ll conclude with another defense of Mr Stephens. For this particular watch that he valuated, none have been sold on eBay within the last three months. So, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he would not have found any Sold listings to reference. However, I disagree with using active listings, whether on eBay or Chrono24, as representative of the market value. In the absence of sold eBay listings, there are completed (sold) forum sale posts, which can be found provided one knows how to search.
    Last edited by Don; 29-06-20, 06:11.
    On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Anyone who has ever tried to perfectly ‘prop a boat’ understands the term ‘black art’… decently ‘valuing’ many of our watches is also a ‘black art’.

      Many (most?) Insurance ‘valuations; are done with the purpose (intentional, and otherwise) of dishonestly, fraud etc

      I agree w/what Don has said, the method Mr. Stephens from JVC has used in this instance sits a-ok with me.

      Points from Don’s dissertation that jumped out, being ‘key’ to me:


      Originally posted by Don
      I know of “watch collectors” who list for sale their entire collection on Chrono24, each watch three times the market value.


      Originally posted by Don
      I’ve seen sellers on TradeMe, and locally here where I am, using eBay active listing BuyItNow prices to set their own asking price. I sometimes have friends saying something like, “I saw one on eBay going for $xxxx”.


      Originally posted by Don
      The problem here is that active listings are not “going”, or selling, for $xxxx like the way a 2L-bottle of milk is selling for $4-$5.
      Harlan
      Timekeeper Watch Club
      New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

      Comment


      • #4
        as per Don above, i have on rare occasion used eBay for pricing info based on sold items but i generally use watchrecon.com for ballpark starting prices. the vast majority (before instagram retards) of sellers are watch enthusiasts or forum dealers so you get a more realistic picture of the current market value.
        the bit i keep forgetting to do is taking the realistic price and running it through the 'kiwi equation' this is where you take the $us x 2(as the exchange rate remains constant) + 20% (to pay for GST & import fees that were hypothetically paid, but remember NOT to remove the local tax that you didn't pay) + 15% (as a kind of 'i'll call this my margin' cost) = better to buy and sell overseas. i'm pretty sure the equation is used for much more than 2nd hand watches but we all know that buying local makes us all better off, a team of 5million as it were.

        Hoodwinky tried to sell one for $3200us a while back, it looked like it sold after a rather long time on the page but im guessing it was withdrawn and will appear again when/if Tokyo host their games.


        the bit that we as 'friends of watches' often forget is the outlier sale, as Don has pointed out. if you are a private seller or small time dealer why be competitive? anyone who can do background checks will know the $ area they are looking in but if you aint in a hurry to sell then why not put up a joke price and see if an idiot bites. TM is awash with these sales posts.
        Last edited by deerworrier; 29-06-20, 13:32.
        “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”


        Despite having the numbers, there is the crazy man in the mountains that none of the tribes will go near!
        Always aim to be that man.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Don View Post
          Kronos, I remember one of your early topics when you first joined Timekeeper was a question on a reliable place to get a watch authenticated. I replied in my usual long-winded manner, and it may have come across as negative or cynical. You’ve come some way with us now, and through seeing more of the theatrics of the online used watch sellers and valuation providers, both local and overseas. Hopefully, you understand my sentiments more now, and where I was coming from.
          As usual, wonderful insights! Thanks, Don. Yes, I now clearly understand where your earlier points

          I agree. Chrono24 should be taken out of the equation. The prices are grossly inflated. I once saw the same item listed on TM for $450, and on Chrono24, it was $850. I suppose you can always message the seller and quote your price ;-).


          Originally posted by Don View Post
          eBay is, however, indispensable for researching market value. You search for the key words in your category, narrow down the category, and if it’s a vintage model, filter for “Used”. Then, on the left hand column of the page, you’ll find “Show only: Sold items”. Arrange the result in ascending price order.
          Well, I agree to an extend. eBay is certainly a good tool to research items, perhaps more so for some items than others. However, whether or not it is a good tool to assess market value is debatable. I base my "opinion" based on numismatic items (banknotes specifically). Of course, it might be different for watches. Honestly, I have zero experience when it comes to assessing the market value of a watch. I collect banknotes, and I mainly assess the market value of banknotes using realised prices from auction houses. I keep an extensive record of the past 5-8 years of auction catalogues and realised prices from 15-20 auction houses around the world, and then use excel sheets to assess the trend. Way too much work if you ask me! . Coming back to eBay, I see the prices are quite high (for banknotes) when compared to the realistic prices achieved by auction houses.

          Of course, I understand that the watches are an entirely different market, and it's difficult to keep track of the model and reference numbers and their selling prices. But wouldn't the same thing happen on eBay? For example, if you take the most popular models of Omega or Rolex, the prices achieved by auction houses are entirely different from eBay. That being said, I would certainly use eBay to research items and would look into the Median value (that's my next research goal ).

          Originally posted by Don View Post
          This is what I go through personally every time I am looking to buy a used watch, and even more importantly, when I sell one. A lot of understanding the market value is about understanding how these elements interplay.
          Totally agree! Would keep this in mind and would use the median value.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by deerworrier View Post
            the bit i keep forgetting to do is taking the realistic price and running it through the 'kiwi equation' this is where you take the $us x 2(as the exchange rate remains constant) + 20% (to pay for GST & import fees that were hypothetically paid, but remember NOT to remove the local tax that you didn't pay) + 15% (as a kind of 'i'll call this my margin' cost) = better to buy and sell overseas. i'm pretty sure the equation is used for much more than 2nd hand watches but we all know that buying local makes us all better off, a team of 5million as it were.
            This is brilliant! Thanks, deerwarrior. And I would also check out watchrecon.com. Thanks for that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kronos View Post
              ...
              Well, I agree to an extend. eBay is certainly a good tool to research items, perhaps more so for some items than others. However, whether or not it is a good tool to assess market value is debatable. I base my "opinion" based on numismatic items (banknotes specifically). Of course, it might be different for watches. Honestly, I have zero experience when it comes to assessing the market value of a watch. I collect banknotes, and I mainly assess the market value of banknotes using realised prices from auction houses. I keep an extensive record of the past 5-8 years of auction catalogues and realised prices from 15-20 auction houses around the world, and then use excel sheets to assess the trend. Way too much work if you ask me! ....
              Well, there’s an area you can teach me something about ...I have limited knowledge and zero experience in numismatic, Kronos. The little I know is thanks to a good friend in Auckland who is avid collector, though more of coins than notaphily. My friend is sometimes into watches too, so over the years, we have had chats relating the two fields. Despite both being collectible items, I’ve gathered, from the way he approach watches, that there are many differences indeed.

              In my limited view, it does seem like that numismatists do use professional coin dealers and specialist auction houses more frequently than I hear watch enthusiasts do. In the used watch market, customers of professional dealers and auction houses tend to be non-watch people, who might see these venues as more trustworthy, or as safe places to buy from. This is the same for new retail watch market, where most customers of Authorized Dealers are non-watch enthusiasts. On TradeMe, when I see a seller stating their Seiko was purchased locally through a Seiko AD, I know that person is not a WIS.

              Unfortunately, I have no experience with buying used watches from an auction house, so could not give a balanced perspective.


              Originally posted by Kronos View Post
              ...
              Coming back to eBay, I see the prices are quite high (for banknotes) when compared to the realistic prices achieved by auction houses.
              ...
              If you allow me to take out the category of item discussed, I would say that a completed “sold” item is as real as realistic can get …If an item is yet to be sold, then one could consider whether the price is realistically set. So, I’m wondering whether you mean that the sold prices on eBay are unreasonable, i.e. more than what you think the item is worth? This, I would be the first to agree that some items sold on eBay, as well as TradeMe, are sold for more than what I think they are worth, too.

              However, the market price doesn’t really care about what I think, and I’ve learned not to argue with it. I simply take it as the market is always right. And here, perhaps, is where we also need to define the exact boundary of our market.

              Drawing watches back in, if someone were to keep track of watches sold through auction houses and did a price analysis on them, what one would get would be the market value for watches sold through auction houses—not necessarily a global market value. When the market participants are of a different size, made up of different buyers, they are, in essence, different markets. And because, worldwide, eBay is the biggest auction platform for watches, it has more market participants and total trade volume. So, while eBay Sold prices are not good yard sticks for everything, it should definitely be taken into consideration, IMO.


              Originally posted by Kronos View Post
              ...
              Of course, I understand that the watches are an entirely different market, and it's difficult to keep track of the model and reference numbers and their selling prices. But wouldn't the same thing happen on eBay? For example, if you take the most popular models of Omega or Rolex, the prices achieved by auction houses are entirely different from eBay. That being said, I would certainly use eBay to research items and would look into the Median value (that's my next research goal ).
              ...
              I’ll try a half-baked job of comparing the used watch market to numismatic so please excuse in advance. My assumption, firstly, is that you are referring to your interest in numismatic as, what would be termed, a “dealer”, i.e. you’re interested in buying and selling as a form of investment, and not other aspects of your interest in numismatic as, maybe, an amateur scholar researching historical context. To be on the same page, I will be looking at watches wearing my dealer hat, i.e. as a buyer and seller, and not a horology enthusiast.

              I won’t say that the difference is due to the difficulty you mentioned above, as there are also mountains of information for numismatic relating to categories of coins and paper money, origin, production, not to mention mintage figure, errors etc. The difference is that collectible watches in general have more variable factors, or dimensions, than numismatic. Here are some that comes to mind...

              1. The reason you can analyze numismatic on a spreadsheet is because there are few independent variables, and (correct me if I’m wrong) the numismatic communities and market have a certain agreed standard for classifying coins and notes. In numismatic, you can “shorthand” the description, almost like the way a chess player could use chess notation to verbally tell another player what exact piece is occupying which exact square. In numismatic, you could say, “I have for sale a [Year][Denomination][Name of Note] with [additional specifier] in Extra Fine condition, for $xxx.”, and someone could make a purchase decision right there and then. However, “I have for sale a 1968 Omega Seamaster Automatic in good condition for $1,000.”, on its own, is insufficient for informed watch buyers to make a decision… In watches, each descriptor has a degree of freedom that is not universally agreed upon in language usage. Yes, there are websites that attempt to graph the price evolution of certain models of watches, but most people will find that such things have little practical application in real-world buying/selling.

              2. The nature of coins and banknotes, combined with the ability of digital cameras and most phones now to produce quality high-resolution images, makes it very convenient to deal in numismatic online. Put this together with the reputation of a coin dealer, or that of the an established auction house, and a numismatist would have all that he/she needs to make an informed purchase. Used watches, on the other than, are more like used automobiles, to which no amount of photo can actually fully assess its actual state as a vehicle. Like used cars, watches, once purchased, has to be operational and function within reasonable expectations, very much unlike numismatic items, which are not bought to be used as an actual medium of exchange.

              3. Old coins and notes can be owned without incurring additional cost post-transaction. A used watch, again like a used car, will potentially require some, and thus add to the cost of ownership. If the watch is obtained for investment purpose, then any work needed will be less return on investment. Thus, the running state or service history can play a part in asking price and subsequent negotiations… Anyone who has ever experienced the pain of having to sell a car they like to a wrecker because the repair quote is higher than its attainable market value will understand the importance of this.

              4. Numismatists scan the market, potentially paying attention to every coin or paper money, to find one that is sufficiently below the market value with a strong likelihood of future increase in value. They don’t need to personally like the banknote, won’t be wearing the bill on their person, don’t need to bond with it, and will be happy to make a large profit from anything. Most watch enthusiasts don’t scan the market that way, but rather, search for specific watch models that they are interested in buying. Therefore, they prefer larger selections, like those available on eBay, or in some countries, locally, like TM, Yahoo!Japan, etc.

              5. There will always be differences between prices from professional dealers and private owners. Jumping back to the automobile analogy, when buying a used car, there are options of buying from a registered motor trader or from a private seller, both with their pros and cons. The final prices also tend to differ—in New Zealand, private sales are usually lower in price, while in Britain, the reverse tends to be true—but the difference will always be there. Likewise, auction houses are professional dealers acting behalf of their consignors, while eBay is made up of both professional dealers with stock and private individuals, with each buyer having their own preference about which to use... Even on eBay, sold prices also differ if you compare business sellers to private ones, with the former—all else being equal—usually able to sell for more.

              6. Auction house consignors and eBay sellers (both business and individual) are different groups of people. Because the associated cost of consigning to an auction house and the limited control that the item owner has over the sale process through an auction house, consignors are usually not those who have recently paid market value for the item being consigned. They may have inherited the item, or obtained it some other ways at a fraction of its market value, and they are usually not dealers. The vast majority of popular collectible watches in the used market today are not like this, and their current owner, whether an individual or a business, will likely have paid market value, or not much below, at the time of their initial purchase. This includes watches bought new being sold by its first owner… Most popular watches in the used market today are also likely to be sold by someone who has owned it for less than five years. If they are actual owners, they may be selling at a monetary loss, and if they are a business, they need to make a profit through a small margin. For both types of watch seller, every dollar counts toward lowering the loss, or increasing the profit. These sellers prefer as little money as possible going to intermediaries, and they want as much control as possible… This is why watch sellers opt for eBay, the likes of TradeMe, or watch forums.

              7. Numismatic market is, like all markets, demand-driven. For both numismatic and used watches, current demand is a measure of collector’s value. To my understanding, the major overruling factor to collector’s value in numismatic is relative rarity, including scarcity resulting from production numbers, some specific minting variation, or errors. I’m not sure how large a factor rarity is, but from my casual layperson’s observation, possibly contributing to 80% of the collector’s value? A distant second factor could be condition, maybe another 15% worth of contribution, and the rest due to other factors like aesthetic design, etc… For watches—and you may be surprised given the very liberal use of the word “rare” when selling watches—relative rarity is actually only one of many factors. In today’s trend-driven world, rarity plays even less a role in determining a watch’s collector’s value... A recent example on our forum is the Herma Automatic discussed in Hammers’ thread, which if proven original, would be an extremely rare timepiece. Yet, a used Seiko Monster SKX779, likely made in the hundreds-of-thousand, will out-price this French diver all day long on TM and eBay. In the classic car market too, there is a strong demand for the original Volkswagen Beetle and Austin/Rover Mini, despite both been made in gargantuan numbers. Like cars, watches don’t play by the same rules as numismatic… To see other factors that influence collector’s value in vintage watches, check out my post from 2011 ( https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...=5458#post5458 ), which I would stand by today, nine years later.

              8. While both numismatic and watches are made up of physical objects with varying degrees of intangible value, the manner in which they are purchased differ. When buying coins and banknotes, there will indeed be psychological factors—primarily rooted in greed and fear, both inescapable—involved. But ultimately, I doubt those seeking to invest in numismatic would get as emotionally-vested in the acquisition as many watch buyers would when buying watches. The purchase of watches, especially luxury watches, is often tied to the buyer’s system of value, self-perception, and self-identification with brands... Ownership of some watches might even have a significant stake in the buyer’s sense of achievement and self-worth… In auctions, numismatists will find it easier to set their maximum limit, adhere to it, and thus not pay more than what the coin/banknote is worth. In popular watch auctions, buyers either don’t plan a limit or are unable to stick to it, frequently ending up paying more than the general going rate—they just want that darn watch! ...When buying watches, we decide with our feeling, and follow up with justification. This has an eventual impact on the final price.

              Perhaps there are others here who are also numismatic enthusiasts might like to help shine more light?
              Last edited by Don; 30-06-20, 21:49.
              On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Interesting topic guys.

                I'll just chime in by saying some weird things are happening at auction houses these days:

                https://youtu.be/ZWjL0wmpZV8

                https://youtu.be/05M58eanwD0

                Definitely agree with Don that it's a different market to eBay...but why? Why do auction houses attract such high rollers who have no sense of what the market value is?


                When it comes to marked up prices on trademe and eBay, i think certain sellers will be accounting for haggling. I know because I do this myself when selling. NZrs HAVE to get a discount regardless of whether the price is fair to begin with - they want to walk away with a watch and a victory.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Pretty certain you will find that thats happened for ages (forever?) - insiders etc whatnot boost/pay astro money, to alter (perceived) market value.. guess what, it works and is not even illegal they way they do it.

                  Promise you they are phone bids, you won't get Mr. Wildorf or an actual account holder (or their wife/friend) standing in-house holding up auction cards, lol, that could be pretty illegal ?

                  ROLEX is a massively clever branding company, they cost SFA to make, they spend gazillions on marketing & most of the buyers are suckered completely.

                  They make millions, annually, there IS NO shortage, they're not hand made, machines/robots spit them out, thousands and thousands a day.

                  Those prices are not genuine, not genuinely believable, they are part reason the market here has become a good 'ole comedy.

                  People are mostly stupid, but no one who can operate a telephone to bid on a listing is that stupid as to pay 3-4 x market.

                  Some of those prices, they're just steel models, you could easily have then in 950 or 18k hahahahaha

                  (JM2CW and the unlearned musings as a total non-expert)
                  Harlan
                  Timekeeper Watch Club
                  New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am late to reply! In Napier for a short break :-)

                    Originally posted by Don View Post
                    Well, there’s an area you can teach me something about ...I have limited knowledge and zero experience in numismatic, Kronos. The little I know is thanks to a good friend in Auckland who is avid collector, though more of coins than notaphily. My friend is sometimes into watches too, so over the years, we have had chats relating the two fields. Despite both being collectible items, I’ve gathered, from the way he approach watches, that there are many differences indeed....
                    Brilliant analysis, Don! Your points on numismatics are pretty spot on! This is exactly what I wanted: To understand watch enthusiasts by analogy with numismatists. Thanks for the fantastic insights. It took me a few years to get a hold on numismatics, and I am still no expert. Learning about watches is fun and entertaining, though I find it much harder than numismatics. Will get there eventually. One step at a time :-)

                    Comment


                    • Don
                      Don commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Glad you found it useful, Kronos. "Hard" is good ...If one finds buying used watches easy, one is doing something wrong

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by retlaw4 View Post
                    When it comes to marked up prices on trademe and eBay, i think certain sellers will be accounting for haggling. I know because I do this myself when selling. NZrs HAVE to get a discount regardless of whether the price is fair to begin with - they want to walk away with a watch and a victory.
                    Oh I agree! :-) Haggling is the way of life! ;-) Some of the prices do seem fair and you might be totally willing to pay the amount. Still, one part of the brain tells you to ask for more :-)

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by harlansmart View Post
                      Those prices are not genuine, not genuinely believable, they are part reason the market here has become a good 'ole comedy.
                      Totally agree! Some of the prices are ridiculous. One of my pastimes is to watch auctions. Sometimes I see a watch at UK auctions, for which I think £500 is a good price, and bid for it. I smile to myself to see the live bidding go swisshh...to £1000+. And this is before the buyers premium and VAT, which would add up another £250+. Maybe its worth so much. I don't know. Anyways, some of the prices are unbelievable!

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