How to Sell a Rolex Watch in Los Angeles – FAQs

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by Fletcher Blackburn, Head Buyer LAJB

Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer is one of the country’s most prominent buyers of used Rolex watches — in particular vintage Rolex watches of exceptional value.

Below you will find some commonly asked questions that potential clients ask us. While these FAQs explain how to sell a Rolex watch, the information provided is useful for anyone wishing to sell us an expensive timepiece from a luxury watch maker.

How can I sell a Rolex watch to you?

The process is simple. Just send us some pictures of your Rolex watch by phone or email. If you have the serial number and reference number that’s great. If not, we can look up your Rolex model from the images you send.

After we receive your details, we will send you a quotation, often within minutes. If you feel the price we give you is within an acceptable range, just set up an appointment. Then bring your Rolex watch in for our best cash offer and instant payment.

Call Toll Free: (800) 729-6024

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Can I sell a Rolex without box and papers?

Absolutely. We always ask if you have the box and papers because they do carry a monetary value. Also, if you have them, the details on the papers can give us valuable information to help us make an accurate estimate and offer. That said, the box and papers are not necessary to sell a watch to Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer.

 

I’m not sure if I want to sell my Rolex but would like to know its value. Can you give me a price and will there be a charge for it?

Yes, we can give you a quote. There is no obligation to sell your watch, and there will be no charge whatsoever to give you a price. Think of us as your personal Rolex watch selling consultant.

 

Can I sell a Rolex watch if it isn’t working?

We often buy non-working Rolex watches. You would need to bring it in, so we can see what’s wrong with it, for an accurate price. If you want a ballpark price, we can give you an estimate on a working Rolex, knowing that most likely we will need to deduct the amount required to get the watch back into working condition.

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Can I tell you the model number of my Rolex watch instead of sending pictures?

“A picture is worth ten thousand words” said the famous 19th century illustrator Fred R. Barnard. While it is possible to give you a price for your Rolex watch with just a reference number, 99 out of 100 times the price will be inaccurate and we will have to reprice the watch.

While we love to help our clients and make them happy, we feel it is in everyone’s interest to save precious time. With Rolex watches having so many different dials, bezels, bracelets, conditions, and years of production, we’d rather not throw a dart at a dartboard and hope we get lucky.

It’s best to send a few pictures or just bring the watch in. With a few decent pictures, or seeing the watch in person, we can usually get an accurate, reliable price over to you in minutes.

 

Do you open up my watch when I come see you?

We may or may not need to open your Rolex watch. If everything is in working order and you have the papers that match the serial number, we probably won’t need to. 

 

How do you pay?

We pay on the spot. As soon as you accept our offer and we check your identification, we will write you a business check. If you prefer a cashier’s check or cash, we can arrange that as well. 

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Why don’t I just sell a Rolex watch on Craigslist?

Craiglist is a popular site for selling many different types of items. Other services like Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace have also popped up recently and seem to be doing a lot of business.

We don’t recommend using these type of services for selling a pre-owned Rolex watch because of the security risk. You really don’t know who you’re dealing with and there is no accountability if something goes wrong. Do you really want to sell an expensive, portable item like a Rolex watch in a Denny’s or Starbucks out in the open?

These services may be great for selling a lawnmower or unused gym equipment, but it’s just not the right place to sell high end, easily portable luxury goods like Rolex watches.

 

How do you arrive at a price for my used Rolex?

First, we tap into our 25 years of experience in the second-hand watch market, and then we cross reference our knowledge with recent purchases and sales within our own business. We also utilize online resources that display actual recent Rolex sales (not just what people are asking), as well as consult with members of our dealer network when necessary.

 

Why do some used Rolex models sell closer to the retail price while others sell far below?

Rolex Sports Models Supply and demand. Rolex releases less stainless steel sport models (like the Submariner and GMT Master) to their authorized distributors than they do dress models like the Datejust — even though there is more demand for the stainless steel sport models at this time. It’s a strategic play by Rolex to create more demand than supply, which makes their brand more exclusive. It’s not much different than a nightclub not letting people in, even though the club is only half full inside. When people walk or drive by they see a massive line of people trying to get in and think “that’s the hot club” and that’s where everyone wants to go.

On the second-hand market, we can sell the “high in demand” watches at a premium price because there are less of them in the market, so those prices will be closer to the Rolex list price than the models that have abundant supply and are easier to acquire.

Just to be clear, we love Rolex watches and the Rolex brand. We would much rather see Rolex control the production and distribution of their watches, so their customers own a product that holds value through time, rather than overproduce and over-discount to the point where their watches drop to pennies on the dollar like many other brands do. In that regard, good work Rolex! We love to pay people what they paid for their Rolex or even more and walk away happy. 

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I don’t have the Rolex box or original Rolex papers. How do I know the serial number of my watch?

If it’s a newer mode (2008 – Present) the reference number will be under the crystal and on the edge of the dial in the area known as the “rehaut”. Between 2005 and 2007, Rolex engraved the serial number on both the “rehaut” and between the lugs at 6 0’clock (the bracelet must be removed to expose the serial number). You can learn how to remove the Rolex bracelet in the video below.

Before 2005 the serial number was only between the lugs, beneath where the bracelet and pin are located at 6 0’clock. It’s best to use a loupe with at least 10 x magnification, or a magnifying glass if that’s all you have, in order to see the serial numbers clearly. If you have excellent vision, you may be able to see the numbers with the naked eye.

 

I have a certificate but it’s not from Rolex. Is it the same?

Used Rolex Paperwork Often you will see a certificate printed on high quality paper with signatures, emblems, a seal icon, green colors, and an overall “official” appearance, but it’s not from Rolex at all. Usually these second-hand dealer papers won’t have the Rolex logo or name on it, just similar colors and patterns and perhaps the name of a third-party seller.

It’s important to distinguish these documents, which were not created by Rolex, from actual factory Rolex papers. While factory Rolex papers add value to a Rolex watch, documents made up by a dealer or retailer add absolutely no value to a Rolex watch when it comes time to sell. Authentic Rolex papers will either be in the form of a Rolex card on newer watches or a perforated paper Rolex certificate of authenticity for older watches.

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I don’t really need to sell my Rolex, but I don’t wear it. Is it a good time to sell a Rolex watch or should I wait until prices go up?

Los Angeles Rolex Buyers Excellent question. Rolex prices on second-hand sport models have been rising steadily since about 2015. Sport models include the Rolex Submariner, Rolex GMT Master, Rolex Sea Dweller, and Rolex Daytona.

Part of the reason is Rolex has begun to hold back production and distribution on stainless steel sport models for the last couple years, creating a supply/demand imbalance. Another reason is a few really unusually high auction results that have further “elevated”, if you will, the Rolex brand recently.

For example, Paul Newman’s personal stainless steel 1968 Rolex Daytona auctioned for $15.5 million dollars in 2017. We’re talking about a watch that retailed for around $250 in 1968.

Of course, the fact that the triple chronograph Rolex Daytona is nicknamed the “Paul Newman” and this was Paul Newman’s actual watch, and Paul Newman is no longer with us (may he rest in peace), made it especially rare, but the price still shocked the watch world.

Additionally, the Asian market really caught onto the Rolex sport model trend, and many wealthy buyers from China and Singapore heated up the market, also contributing to the price increases. With the Chinese economy slowing down a bit, and the dust settling in general, we are now seeing a cooling down period. Prices are still high but they seem to have plateaued.

Our hunch is prices will start going down (partly because we’re seeing many dealers and collectors flipping these watches and not holding onto them), and we advise the following: if you love and still wear your Rolex, or feel you want to keep it as a long-term investment or to pass down to your children, we suggest you keep it. If you are considering selling your Rolex because you don’t wear it often, or you would rather have the funds, then now is a good time to sell. Prices are still strong but will probably begin to slide in the near future, and you may not be able to get the numbers we’re seeing right now for much longer (as of February 2019).

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What about shipping my watch to an out of state buyer?

That is an option and you will find many companies online who can provide that service.  If you live in an area where there aren’t many local options to sell your Rolex, then perhaps shipping your watch to an online buyer could make sense.

A few questions to ask yourself are: “Which method for selling my Rolex takes more time?” After all, time is money, right? Another question is: “Am I comfortable shipping my Rolex watch to someone I don’t know?” Thirdly, you might ask: “Will I receive more money shipping out my watch or selling my Rolex watch locally?” Here are some answers to these questions:  

Which method takes more time?

To ship your Rolex to a buyer, you will need to print a label, pack the watch securely using bubble wrap and strong packing tape using a FedEx or UPS shipping box. You will need to double box it in order for the insurance to be valid. Then you will need to drive over to FedEx or UPS, get the package scanned and get your receipt (make sure you keep the receipt in case the package goes missing). Depending on how far you live from the shipping service provider, the whole process should take about an hour.

When meeting with a local buyer you, of course, need to drive to the buyer’s location. Then the process of a buyer evaluating your Rolex watch and cutting you a check takes about 45 minutes. Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer has a main office and satellite offices throughout the greater Los Angeles area. The process of visiting Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer and shipping your item via Fedex or UPS probably takes about the same amount of time.

Am I comfortable shipping my Rolex watch to someone I don’t know?

This is a personal and individual question only you can answer. Of course, there are reviews you can read, and you can do some research on a business through the Better Business Bureau, or Google the business to see if there are any red flags, but in the end you will need to decide whether you want to trust a business enough to ship them your Rolex watch based on the information you have gathered and your gut feeling.

That said, we are living in an increasingly digital world and what was once considered a non-starter has now become more commonplace. The major benefit of selling a Rolex watch to a local business is the watch stays in your possession, and you don’t have to go through any more logistical steps if you decide to keep the watch besides putting it back on your wrist.

While Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer is a local buyer, we often receive shipments from sellers who don’t want to drive through LA traffic, but still want to sell locally. We’ve received shipments from sellers in Santa Monica, 15 miles away! Some of these sellers have done business with us in the past, or they read our reviews, know we’re local, and feel comfortable with us enough to ship their watch.

I’ve recently had a client joke: “I’ll just ship it to you. I know where to find you, haha!”. Of course, our address is right on our site and on Google maps, and we’re practically a stone’s throw away.

But all kidding aside, this is a personal choice, you will need to make on your own and, ultimately, be perfectly comfortable with. 

Will I receive more money selling my Rolex watch to a local business or shipping out my watch?

Great question. I wish there was an easy answer. There are legitimate, reputable buyers both online and local, so it’s very difficult to give a black and white answer.

There are two basic buying practices in the second-hand watch business. One is to pay the lowest price possible — the buyer will get less deals but will hit a home run when a deal does go through.  

The second (which we practice at Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer) is to offer as high a price as humanly possible without losing money, try hard to beat our competitor’s offer every time, and do a lot of deals, even if each deal is only a small profit. The reason we are able to do this is we keep a modest overhead and run an efficient and tight ship.

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Why do some companies make offers over the phone, then lowball when it comes time to pay?

Used Rolex Daytona In both business models (local and shipment based), you will have some buyers who knowingly will make you a high price estimate over the phone that they have no intention of paying, just to get you in the door. It’s a bait and switch tactic that’s an unfortunate reality of this business.

Some may say that an online watch buyer who is trying to persuade you to ship (when your “prudent” instincts are telling you to sell locally and don’t leave the watch out of your site) can only persuade you by overpromising on price. In reality, bait and switch tactics can be used by local and online watch buyers equally. And it’s a terrible practice either way, and we denounce it.

We believe that the key word here is Intent. Our intent is to give as accurate an estimate as possible by phone, text, or email. Even with the best of intentions, a situation can arise where the item wasn’t exactly as described. Maybe it was damaged or the watch was not in the condition it appeared to be from the photos. We’re talking about a product that needs evaluation by at least 10 x magnification and has a working mechanism with hundreds of tiny parts. It would be unrealistic to think that every estimate from a cell phone photo will exactly match up with the final in-person offer 100% of the time.  90% to 95% of the time is more realistic.

An example I like to use is when you go to sell a used car. I recently sold an old Mercedes I had in my garage to one of the big, highly advertised used car companies. I called them and gave them a description of my car, and they said there’s no way they could give me a price over the phone without seeing it in person, so I brought it in. It took them 2 ½ hours to give me a printout with an offer for my old car. The offer for the entire vehicle was what it would have cost me to replace one side view mirror – and the Mercedes still ran pretty well!  

After receiving my printed offer, I had to take the document over to another office in the back, where I waited another 30 minutes for my check. So, 3 hours later I had my payment. I’m not complaining, I was happy to get that old junker out of my garage. But it also made me think that our process for buying Rolex watches here at Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer is pretty efficient in comparison.

What we do guarantee is that we make every intent to make an accurate estimate before you come in, and that’s the most you can expect from any honest and reputable company.

Call Toll Free: (800) 729-6024

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Current Rolex Market Demand

Would you like to sell a Rolex watch? The market demand for your specific watch is an important factor in determining price. All Rolex watches in good condition are valuable assets. But certain models are less available than others. And that limited availability, combined with high demand, drives up the resale price. This is especially true today for Rolex sports watches, such as the GMT-Master, Daytona, Submariner, Explorer, and Yacht-master.

Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer is recognized for making the highest cash offers for these Rolex sports watches, because we have an international resale network that enables us to pay you more than a local Los Angeles watch buyer — whose main outlet for reselling your Rolex is through their storefront.

How much more can we pay? In some instances, we have been able to pay our clients thousands of dollars more than they would have received from Los Angeles jewelry stores, watch dealers, and pawn shops. Below is additional information on some of the Rolex sports models that are now commanding the highest prices.

 

Sell a Used Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Daytona achieved its iconic status thanks to it being worn by actor Paul Newman, the Hollywood legend turned race car driver and philanthropist.

Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer pays premium prices for both vintage Rolex Daytonas and pre-owned Daytonas purchased in recent years. A used Daytona is always a sought-after timepiece — though certain models are of course more valuable than others.

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (aka “Paul Newman” Daytona) wasn’t always as popular as it is today. Many Rolex aficionados didn’t like its distinctive exotic dial. They felt the large art deco numbers and distinctive hash marks broke too far away from tradition. The timepiece thus languished on jeweler shelves when it was introduced in the 1960s, and didn’t pick up steam as a collector’s “must-have” until the 1980s, when it was famously worn by the race car driving actor Paul Newman.

The most iconic Paul Newman Daytona is the original one worn by the actor. The watch has a white dial, easy to read art deco numbers, and black elapsed-time counters. However, other Rolex Daytonas also can bring a high cash price when sold on the resale watch market.

It is important to keep in mind that due to its popularity and value, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is frequently counterfeited. Not only are their many counterfeits in circulation, but also fake ones that have been cobbled together from the components of other Rolex models.

Buyers thus need to be careful when purchasing a vintage Paul Newman Daytona. The timepiece should only be bought from an established Rolex seller whose credentials can be verified. The same thing applies when attempting to sell a Rolex Daytona.

Because Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer is a service division of Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers, one of the nation’s leading Rolex buyers, with an A+ BBB rating, you can sell your Rolex to us with complete confidence.

Contact us now to sell a Rolex watch in Los Angeles County for a generous cash price.

Call Toll Free: (800) 729-6024

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We Buy Rolex Daytonas

Some of our favorite Rolex Daytonas include:

Daytona Cosmograph 6263: The black/white “Panda” version of this Paul Newman Daytona is the most coveted and expensive Daytona.

Daytona Cosmograph 6239: Produced from the mid 60s to early 70s, this is the original Paul Newman Daytona worn by the actor.

Rolex Daytona 116500LN: Described as a perfect blend of old and new, this steel Daytona was introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the 116520. High demand in 2019 is currently driving up the price.

Rolex Daytona 116520:  This Daytona has a special place in history because it features the Caliber 4130: the first completely new in-house movement that Rolex had designed over 50 years. Production began in 2000.

 

Sell a Rolex GMT-Master II

The 2nd generation of Rolex’s famous GMT-Master aviator watch, the Rolex GMT-Master II, began production in 1981 with Reference 16760. The timepiece’s larger case, hands, and hour markers differentiate it aesthetically from the original GMT-Master.

While the original GMT-Master often is in greater demand among collectors, the GMT-Master II is still a coveted timepiece that can bring a seller a high cash offer — especially the following two models:

The Pepsi 16710: This collectible model has a red and blue rotating bezel and independent hour hand that allows 3 different time zones to be read.

The Batman 116710 BLNR & 126710BLNR: With a nickname derived from the caped crusader, this model features a black and blue bezel.

 

Let Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer help you sell a Rolex GMT-Master II for the cash price you deserve. Contact our watch buyers now for a free appraisal.

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Sell a Rolex GMT- Master

Manufactured from 1954-1959, the Rolex GMT-Master 6542 was developed in collaboration with Pan-American Airways. This aviator watch became popular because it includes a 24-hour 4th hand complication and allows pilots to simultaneously reference two different time zones.

NASA employees and international business travelers also became fans of the watch, as well as stylish women who embraced the watch after seeing it worn by the character “Pussy Galore” in the James Bond film Goldfinger.

In 1959, Rolex introduced the updated GMT-Master 1675. Manufactured until 1980, this timepiece is highly collectible, especially those manufactured in gold or gold and steel, including those with a root beer, nipple dial.

Rolex continued to manufacture new models of original GMT-Master until the late 1990s, even after the new GMT-Master II was introduced in 1981.

Discover how much your vintage Rolex GMT-Master is now. Contact us for a free valuation and immediate cash offer.

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Sell a Rolex Submariner

While the Rolex Daytona has Paul Newman to lend his celebrity status, the Rolex Submariner is in close competition for the title of the most iconic Rolex of all time.

Highly sought-after by both professional divers and watch enthusiasts alike, the Rolex Submariner functions both as a benchmark “tool” watch, as well as a luxurious fashion accessory. Some of its fashion cool is also due to it being worn by James Bond in multiple films — and by both Sean Connery and Roger Moore.

Rolex introduced the now legendary Submariner in 1954 with two models (Ref. 6204 and 6205). Robustly made initially to withstand water pressure of up to 100 meters, today’s Submariners have pushed that envelope up to 300 meters.

While small cosmetic changes have been made to the Submariner over the years, it has always maintained its distinctive look and unique place as a timepiece suitable for both sporting activities and lavish social occasions. Indeed, it is that combination that has made the Submariner such a coveted watch today — among both men and women.

The Submariner’s appeal has also been enhanced by the variety of metals in which it is manufactured, including pink gold, white gold, yellow gold, two-tone, and stainless steel.

At Los Angeles Jewelry Buyer, we are especially interested in purchasing the following models:

The Submariner Four Liner 14060M: This collectible model (with 4 lines of text on the dial) is sometimes referred to as the last “real” Submariner because of its sleek lugs and aluminum bezel.

The Submariner Hulk 116610LV: This Submariner has both a green dial and a green bezel. It was introduced in 2010 as an update to the Kermit.

The Submariner Kermit 116610LV: The Kermit was released in 2003 for Rolex’s 50th Anniversary and immediately drew the attention of collectors. It has a green bezel and black dial.

The Submariner Big Crown 6538: The only Submariner to have been worn in three James Bond films: From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and Dr. No. It was manufactured from 1954-1959.

Do you have a different Submariner that you wish to sell? Great! We purchase all models and love talking with potential clients about how much their Rolex watch is worth.

Simply contact us below and tell us a little about your Submariner (or other Rolex watch) — including whether you have the original box or any papers.

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