Friday, 24 July 2015

Market & Stock Update July 2015

Demand remains high, particularly for English and high end American, unfortunately these are also the ones most difficult to get hold of and with the general shortage of watches available to me I am now down to 40 watches in stock. I have currently only got two English watches available and have sold out of true railroad watches (although I do have a few railroad grade). I do have some watches, mainly medium quality Swiss, awaiting restoration but it is going to take some time for the stock situation to improve and it may get worse before it gets better.

In UK, Fellows of Birmingham have stopped their quarterly specialist auctions of pocket watches and are now including just a few, mainly solid gold watches, in with their general watch auctions. On eBay volume is down dramatically from a year or so ago and the availability of quality watches is even further down.

I used to import watches from the USA, volume is probably down there as well, but I have had to largely stop imports. This is largely because eBay have encouraged sellers to use a newly introduced facility (from a third party I believe) that collects import duties in the USA so that goods come straight through UK customs.

Unfortunately not only is this frequently slower it is far more expensive. Previously, if charged at all, I would pay Royal Mail £8.50 handling fees and up to about 9% VAT, with the eBay system charges it is more than double.

As an example a watch currently listed in the USA on "buy it now" is listed at $320 plus $15 postage plus a whopping $90.37 "duty" and handling! Someone is making a lot of money out of this, but no longer from me!

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