Ebay has a huge array of preowned watches available and has proved a great source of collectable vintage watches for the watch collector. The whole range of Seiko watches - divers, chronographs, dress watches etc. have become more and more desirable as collectors and enthusiasts, as well as the WIS community, have taken to building up their private collections of these Japanese watches. Vintage Seikos not only hold their value well but have seen some big price increases recently. This guide will help you, I hope, make the right decision about the right watch, or watches!
Buying the right vintage Seiko...
1. Clear photos. Can you see the watch clearly in the sellers photos. That grainy, out of focus photo is probably there for a reason - it is a heap of junk and a clear photo would give that away. Occasionally a bad photo masks a reasonable watch, but rarely. Keep your money in your wallet and move on. Avoid sellers who take their photos ever so stylishly in the dark - look at their feedback to see buyers surprised by scratches and damage not visible. This is the equivalent of looking at car bodywork in the dark during rain!
2. Buy the seller. OK - obvious but not only check the feedback rating but the comments. I have seen watch sellers who have a surprising number of positives with comments that reveal disappointment at watches that do not work or have visible defects e.g. scratched watch backs from casing tools etc.
3. Return policy. We offer 6 months warranty on our watches. I can see no other seller that offers this length of warranty on a vintage Seiko watch. You are covered by distance seller regulations in the UK by business sellers so you are protected from a dodgy deal when dealing with sellers registered as business.
4. Paypal protection. Further to the above - paypal offers great protection to the buyer. If you are in anyway unsure about the seller use it and you are covered - giving you 45 days from which to make a complaint and get a refund.
5. Buying abroad? Quite simply there is a huge amount of junk out there. The Phillipines is full of sellers who cobble together Seikos from old watches and poor quality parts. Not all the sellers are bad - just a lot of them and finding out who is good is a painful experience. I myself have come across complete and utter junk thrown together there. Add in customs difficulties, delays, charges etc. and I would advise finding that special piece in the UK or at least Europe. This way your watch will reach you without delay and you will not have a piece of cobbled together parts masquerading as a vintage watch.
6. Doubts? Ask the seller a question and clarify before purchase. The reaction to your question tells you a lot about who you are dealing with - their tone, level of courtesy and response time are important. I have often been pleased that I have mailed a seller with other possible purchases and their poor response has made me think "No way - I am not dealing with you..."
7. Fakes? Ebay is actually incredibly safe on the whole and there are not many fakes. This said, the number of Feikos, as fake Seikos are gamely referred to, is rising as there are the Swiss manufacturers have been so much better at getting their counterfeits removed. If you are concerned a watch is a fake and are interested in it mail me and I will double check for you.
8. Relax and enjoy. As mentioned Ebay is incredibly safe and has allowed watch enthsisasts to build wonderful collections - you will find some great bargains. Check our listings and feel free to mail with questions.