The Best Way to Pack and Ship a Watch

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When preparing to sell a watch, anything but an in-person deal will require secure, insured, and rapid shipment. The best way to pack and ship a watch revolves around comprehensive accessories, robust packaging, and a premium shipping service. By ensuring the quality of packing and shipping, a watch seller can maximize his return upon appraisal or maximize the successful delivery of a watch that has already been sold.

Packing a watch for shipment should start with a complete collection of the watch’s original boxes, accessories, factory paperwork, and dealer sales receipts.

All luxury watches are delivered with a minimum of an outer box or sleeve, an inner box, and a warranty document of some kind. Most watches also include a user guide or instruction manual. A watch buyer will consider a “complete-set” watch to be more valuable, so digging an old accessory set out of storage will be financially worthwhile when selling a watch.

Moreover, many older watches will have accumulated receipts and invoices over the course of many mechanical or refinishing services. While watch buyers look for original boxes and papers as a mark of careful ownership, additional service paperwork indicates that a watch has received ongoing maintenance from a dedicated watch collector. Just as it would in the case of a well-kept pre-owned automobile, a record of post-purchase care is a selling point.

Once the full collection of watch, boxes, papers, and accessories has been assembled, careful packing should be undertaken. At this point, many luxury watch owners commit the cardinal sin of shipping; using the original factory “shipping box” as the outer box for an outbound package. This is a colossal mistake.

The original watch manufacturer’s “shipping box” is part of the watch’s accessory set, and it should be considered as a valuable piece of the package to be sold. Placing a shipping label on this box and subjecting it to elements and handling will diminish the appeal of the package, may lead to damage during transit, and absolutely will lead to damage if an adhesive label is attached. Moreover, the original factory shipping box often features the name of the watch brand, the model of the watch, the serial number, and other identifying information that could invite theft en route.

For watch collectors who plan to ship a watch, each shipment should start with a fresh corrugated cardboard box that has never been used. Place the watch, its papers, and its accessories inside the original packaging. Once all original watch affects have been assembled and packed, wrap the watch box in bubble sheets then place the bundle in the new cardboard box.

Stuff the empty spaces between the boxes to guarantee that the wrapped inner package does not move once inside the shipping box. Use additional bubble wrap, crumbled newspaper, or packing peanuts to ensure that a shock buffer exists on all sides of the luxury watch inner package.

Clarify in advance whether the recipient or the sender will be responsible for shipping and insurance expenses. The WatchBox pays for the shipping and insurance of all luxury watches forwarded to our offices for appraisal and purchase or trade offers. When shipping a watch to The WatchBox, contact your sales associate by email, text, phone, or complete our online purchase form to receive a preliminary offer, shipping insurance, and a paid express shipping label.

When non-warranty service requests (e.g., repairs, refinishing, or adjustments) are shipped to the offices of The WatchBox, inbound shipping is the responsibility of the owner. However, the service team at The WatchBox can be contacted to guide customers through each phase of procuring shipping and insurance services prior to shipping a watch.

When forwarding a watch at one’s own expense as in a private sale, always start with a securely packed watch and choose a premium service from a major carrier. Resist the urge to save money on shipping; slow delivery by ground, marginal carriers, and inadequate insurance are down payments on disaster when high-value goods are involved.

Once a major carrier and a premium service have been selected, take measures to provide sufficient insurance for the package. Many carriers such as UPS and FedEx only provide automatic coverage of $100 for parcels in transit. Additional shipping insurance can be purchased, and each carrier will have a different schedule of charges based on the value of the timepiece, its destination, and the specific shipping service that has been selected. Never ship a watch without insurance.

Take precautions to alert the receiving party in advance, confirm that he will be able to track the package in transit, and clarify the exact address, phone, and email contact of the recipient. A shocking number of luxury watches are forwarded to watch buyers without any advance notice to the receiving parties. In addition to creating a serious risk of loss, this careless practice may slow the process of completing a watch appraisal.

As a final measure prior to shipping a watch, be certain to specify to the recipient whether any adult signature or a specific designee is required to accept the package. If successful delivery to a business or home is uncertain, clarify with the shipper and the recipient whether the package value will limit the types of shipper-operated facilities that can receive and hold the packed timepiece. Never consider a shipment complete until the receiving party has made contact to confirm successful delivery of the luxury watch, all associated material, and no damage to either.