Watch This

My wife thinks I’m a fool. She’s probably right. So here’s the worst way I’ve ever lost $100:


Actually, first you need to know I have this unhealthy obsession with watches. I love the confluence of mechanical and aesthetic design. I love the engineering precision. And I love the heritage; witnessing hundreds of years of progressive sophistication.


I want them. All of them. But I can’t have all of them because that would be silly. So I’ve been thinking about how I can have at least some of them.


There are a handful of eBay search queries I track closely, and I’ve noticed that things (watches or otherwise) tend to sell below market where pictures or descriptions of those things are sub-par. Where sellers add blurry photos, or incomplete / inaccurate descriptions, buyers might enjoy a 20% discount.


My ingenious plan was this:

  1. Target watches that have been underserved in their advertising and buy them at auction
  2. Take a couple really great photos, add some copy that excites bidders, and sell at a profit
  3. Latherrinserepeat


Eventually I’ll buy the watch I really want, and I’ll have had a good time along the way. Fool proof, right?


I confidently ignored step one and bought a watch via offer, not auction. I knew the market inside and out, so why bother waiting for bidding to close. Seller was offering $600, I countered with $300, we met at $400. Perfect. I’ve seen these selling for more time and again.


I received the watch, a Hamilton homage to the Submariner, and quickly reposted it with excellent pictures and engaging copy. And just like that, I realized the models I saw selling above $400 had metal bracelets; this one had rubber. There was going to be a difference, but I couldn’t bring myself to find out what it would be.


It was exactly $100. The fucking watch, new in its box when I got it, sold 6 days later for $300. I didn’t get to wear it, enjoy it, or play with it. I just…


I paid this guy over here $100 so that guy over there could have my goddam watch.


I also got myself permabanned from my genius plan, and now I have to consult with Nura on any purchases over $50.




And the worst part about all of this is I did exactly the opposite of what a watch is supposed to be; simple, useful, pragmatic, and elegant.

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