Online store vs AD
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  1. #1
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    Online store vs AD

    What are your thoughts of one versus the other? The price differences are pretty hefty as far as online goes, one of the watches I'm looking at is roughly $550 more expensive from a local AD. I assume the warranties are most likely better from an AD. The specific website I am looking at is authenticwatches.

  2. #2
    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    Well, I've only bought a couple of watches at AD stores and only when they matched or bettered Gray Market deals.
    So, most are Gray Market for me.
    Any watches posted may be seen as gifts,borrowed or found property and not as personal property of Little Big Feather.

  3. #3
    Member CitizenM's Avatar
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    Some online stores are also ADs (Watchbuys for instance), so it's really more of an AD vs non-AD thing.

    ADs are normally the only ones that can give a factory warranty, with some rare exceptions. Some grey market (non-AD sellers) will offer a warranty with their store, meaning if it breaks, they will send it to their local watchmaker of choice to get it fixed at their expense. So you may want to see if the grey market dealer you like has that. Still, factory warranties are usually much longer and generally are going to provide superior skill for your particular watch (i.e., your Omega goes back to Omega, people who really know about that particular movement or watch).

    Some other advantages to the AD route are superior service, if it's a good AD. That can be something as obvious as just helping you shop and figure out what you want, letting you try things on and so on, but it can also have important real-world impacts if things don't go as planned. For instance, if you get your new Brand X watch, and something clearly fails on the first day (a hand falls off, whatever), a good dealer will often give you the option to send it back to him and he'll just send you a different one right away if he has it in stock. That would mean you'd only have a few day delay on getting your new watch, instead of waiting 1-3 months for factory repair. Some dealers also have a relatively kind return policy that extends beyond defects. So if you got your new watch, tried it on, realized it's much too big in real life, a good dealer might let you return it (probably not if you wore it a week though, so don't push it).

    ADs are sometimes also open to trades as well. Another price consideration is that for most brands ADs can negotiate a little with price. Discounts can normally range between 10% and 20% in the real world (assuming no relationship with the AD), although those numbers are hugely impacted by a bunch of external factors (the brand, the demand for a particular model, if the brand has been monitoring the dealer closely etc).

    So long story short, the AD offers security--you pretty much know things are going to go as smoothly as they possibly can. Lots of grey market transactions go very smoothly too, but you can face some trouble if you don't like the new watch or there's something wrong with it for instance. So it's a risk/reward analysis basically. If I'm buying new, I generally buy from ADs.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    I'm going to answer this with a scenario:

    Take X brand with a 2 year warranty. If you would happen to need servicing within 2 years, depending on what brand we are talking about, that money you saved may be more than what the servicing will cost you. There's a chance that you may still be saving money after servicing.

    Reality is, how likely will you need a repair during those two years? Probably unlikely.

    I think warranty is overrated and it probably makes more sense to save that money since you are buying the same thing.

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    Re: Online store vs AD

    'overrated", I've used it three times.
    Quote Originally Posted by colgex View Post
    I'm going to answer this with a scenario:

    Take X brand with a 2 year warranty. If you would happen to need servicing within 2 years, depending on what brand we are talking about, that money you saved may be more than what the servicing will cost you. There's a chance that you may still be saving money after servicing.

    Reality is, how likely will you need a repair during those two years? Probably unlikely.

    I think warranty is overrated and it probably makes more sense to save that money since you are buying the same thing.

  7. #6
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    A good time to check out the search funtion.
    colgex and fjblair like this.

  8. #7
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    Quote Originally Posted by colgex View Post
    I'm going to answer this with a scenario:

    Take X brand with a 2 year warranty. If you would happen to need servicing within 2 years, depending on what brand we are talking about, that money you saved may be more than what the servicing will cost you. There's a chance that you may still be saving money after servicing.

    Reality is, how likely will you need a repair during those two years? Probably unlikely.

    I think warranty is overrated and it probably makes more sense to save that money since you are buying the same thing.
    My conondrum is this. I recently bought a watch from a local AD. They didn't carry the exact watch I wanted so they ordered it for me. Before I orderded and paid for it, I asked them to show me a similar watch so that I could be sure it was something I was going to like. I'm am relatively new to watches so my experience is little. They showed me watches similar in all aspects except thickness. The watch I orderded was incredibly thick and just a turn off. Well I returned it today and was looking for something else and I found a watch I really like. He quoted me their price. I was in a hurry to get out if there because I was late for a prior engagement. Well I just got home and decided to look up the watch and found out I can buy it online for roughly $550 cheaper. I feel a sort of loyalty to this guy because he has spent a decent amount of time with me over several visits, however I also feel slighted in the first place with my initial purchase.

    I don't think I can justify loyalty for that amount of money though. The website I found the lower price is authenticwatches.

  9. #8
    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    Well OP, that's the Cookie, and that is how it crumbles. Next time you can try the Net.
    Good luck and good hunting.....
    Any watches posted may be seen as gifts,borrowed or found property and not as personal property of Little Big Feather.

  10. #9
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    It's up to you. Is a manufacturer's warranty worth $550? Personally, I'd buy it from authenticwatches, ignore their warranty, and feel fairly confident that there won't be $550 of repairs in the first two years.

    As for obligation to stick with the current AD, that's up to you. Keep in mind that you should be bargaining. ADs are perfectly aware that the same watches are available much cheaper from the grey market, and most (but not all) will happily bring their price down to a more competitive point if you ask. If an AD won't budge on MSRP, just walk away -- there are always other ADs that will.
    little big feather likes this.

  11. #10
    Member Split Second's Avatar
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    Re: Online store vs AD

    AD = If something goes wrong you have an actual store (with someone to speak to in person) to return the watch, with an accompanying manufacturer warranty. Establish a relationship with a sales associate might yield greater discounts on repeat purchases, advance notice of special customer events, etc.

    Online = If something goes wrong there is no actual store to return the watch to and no one to speak with face-to-face, but you instead send the watch to some remote location where, without the manufacturer warranty, the watch will be at the mercy of - and likely serviced by one of their "trained" staff. No way to establish a relationship with a particular sales associate.

    So, don't know about you, but I'd be more inclined to stick with an AD.
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