At some point in a watch collector’s life, there will come a time when a watch needs to go up for sale. Whether that is because you need the money for something else (probably another watch), are just bored with it and want something new, or you’re a frequent flipper who goes through a handful of watches in a year. Regardless of the type, one hurdle all sellers face is how to set the price for the watch we want to sell.
Some brands obviously hold their value better than others and some increase or decrease drastically. In the first part of our Selling Your Watch series, What It’s Worth: Condition and Value (parts Two, Three and Four are also worth reading), we address this topic by offering the way it has been done for years: browse and search the sales forums and eBay to see what similar conditioned and style watches are selling for. While this can provide useful information for your sale, it can also be time consuming and frustrating. A couple of guys, an engineer/developer and a designer, decided to do something about the lack of easy-to-find-pricing by creating a real time automated price guide called SecondHander.
Daniel Dillard is the developer behind the new site with Mike Heitzke on site design. The two met while working at a software shop in Birmingham, Alabama. The idea for SecondHander came from Daniel’s own frustration as he entered the watch market with trying to find some sort of price guide and coming up blank. An admitted “serial flipper” Daniel saw first hand how challenging it could be to pinpoint an accurate price range for a watch, and having been burned a couple times on pricing decided that there may be something that could be done about the problem. He took his passion for software and watches, enlisted his friend Mike and created SecondHander.com.
At its root SecondHander is a “real time automated price guide and marketplace snapshot for about 45,000 watch models spanning nearly 200 brands.” To do this, Daniel had to create an algorithm to pattern match all those brand naming conventions and then account for those that had recently changed their naming style. Needless to say it was not an easy undertaking. A lot of research and coding were needed to build the automated engine that does the crawling and adds to the library with new data and pricing. The biggest challenge they faced was, not surprisingly, with Rolex. They wanted to be able to be granular as possible with the variations to provide the best experience for those looking for a particular model. Right now the database is limited to current models; vintage pieces are on the team’s list, but working out the variables for models and pricing will take some time and further development.
The way the site works is pretty simple. You start by selecting your brand from the dropdown menu on the home screen and then start typing a model, keyword or model number. The list will drop down with matches for your search that let you narrow down to the model you want. When you select your model you are taken to a new page that shows you breakdown of pricing including a target price, price range and a confidence rating of the pricing. A graph shows pricing history for the watch from recent sales as a guide. The bottom page shows active eBay matches as well as a list of matching sold items. As more items are sold the more the database is built up to provide more pricing data. It’s a really slick layout that clearly shows trends and history for sales and pricing.
Aside from just the pricing the site also offers buying guides and articles aimed at helping buyers manage the secondary watch market. There is a sales forum feed showing current sales from popular watch sites as well as current deals from a few sales sites. Of course the site offers a FAQ for questions on how the site works or how to contact them if there are questions on a price. The team plan on leaving the site free but want to build up offerings for a premium tier so as to keep SecondHander self sustaining.
SecondHander is in a beta state having just recently been released, but Daniel is confident in the early results of the site. For someone looking for pricing on a watch to buy or sell, or even to just browse around SecondHander should prove to be a great resource. It’s a great looking site as well with solid design and what looks like an accurate pricing algorithm. Daniel is hoping to get feedback from the “hardcore fans” on the site, so take a moment to browse over and check it out.