6 tips for avoiding dreaded watch buyer’s remorse 6 tips for avoiding dreaded watch buyer’s remorse

6 tips for avoiding dreaded watch buyer’s remorse

Cameron Wong

Editor’s note: I don’t know about you, but all this turmoil and uncertainty in the world lately has had my watch browsing time going through the roof. It’s a safe place. A happy place. But with much browsing comes much danger. A few drinks. Late into the night. Then boom. You’ve hit the button. You’ve bought another watch. Cam compiled this handy checklist for avoiding bad decisions a couple of years ago, and it’s never been more relevant. Be safe out there folks, nobody needs to compound a crisis with gut-wrenching remorse.  

I think we’ve all found ourselves in a similar situation to this before: you wake up, the morning after a big night out and all is seemingly well. At least until the night’s events start trickling back into your mind’s eye, and an odd sensation begins to stir deep down inside, giving you the feeling that things are not quite as they should be. You then roll over and notice something lying there next to you, something that in the unforgiving morning light is not what you were first expecting to see … Flashing before your eyes is a notification from eBay, exclaiming, “Congratulations! You won this item.” And before you even have time to react, the regret has started to sink in.

Frequently associated with the purchase of expensive items like a house or a car, buyer’s remorse is a very real thing in the watch world. After all, we all know that our much-loved pieces of wrist candy can sometimes come attached to hefty price tags. However, it’s not always the money that is the biggest factor, because buyer’s remorse occurs most frequently when we must make a difficult decision. Stemming from a cognitive dissonance that arises when we’re spoilt for choice and feel like we have only one chance to choose correctly.

While hindsight may be 20-20, there’s no way to go back and stop ourselves from making the wrong decision. But there are a few things we can first consider, so can avoid the feeling in the future. Starting with these six things.

1. Research, research, research

I repeat, research! That’s why we’re here. Read reviews and ask questions, find out everything there is to know about the object of your affection. What are the dimensions? How does it feel on the wrist? Does it meet the criteria for what I need/want? And, most importantly, TRY IT ON. Finally, be sure to remove all regrets by finding out the absolute best price you can expect to pay.

2. Sleep on it

So, you’ve done the research and found the watch at a great price, now it’s time to wait. Don’t go in guns blazing; after all, you want to be sure of your decision. Is this still the watch that you want? Or are you substituting it for something else? Which brings us to our next point.

3. Never settle

Even if it means having to save money for a few more weeks, months, or maybe even years, never settle. A quick fix is never going to be as good as waiting and getting what you truly want, and the regret is sure to follow. This also applies when something from your list of criteria – whether it’s a smaller case size, or a ceramic bezel – is missing from the watch. If it’s important to you, chances are it’s important to others. And if you can be patient, they just may release the exact version you’re after soon.

4. Buy from someone you trust

Definitely not from this guy

Buyer’s remorse can stem from worrying about whether the watch you’ve bought is 100 per cent legit, or from not knowing whether it’s in working order, and if not, will it be covered by warranty. So, when buying new, always buy from an authorised dealer or boutique. Not only do you get additional perks, but also peace of mind. When it comes to second-hand, follow the old adage and always buy the seller first, and if possible find good references.

5. Watches are not an investment

We’ve talked about this before. And ultimately it comes down to two separate buying agendas. You can either buy what you love or buy for investment potential. Sure, there may be some overlap, but if it comes down to choosing X or Y, where X is something you love, and Y is perhaps a better investment, buy X.

6. Ultimately value no one’s opinion but your own

This is the biggest one. Don’t ever buy to impress others, if you’re not impressed first. Like I’ve tried to hammer home throughout this article, buy what you love. You’re the one dropping the coin and the one who’s wearing it. So who cares what @watchymcwatchface said over on that forum. You’ll never regret buying something that you love.

Happy buying!