Buying watches online versus in retail stores - Things to keep in Mind!

These days, most people don't think twice about shopping online, where pretty much anything and everything can now be purchased over the internet at the click of a button. But, there are certain items that some people are still worried about buying online, with watches being one of them. When you're in need of a new watch, should you get one from a bricks-and-mortar store, or is it perfectly safe to shop online?

There is actually no right or wrong answer to this dilemma. Many people are happy to buy watches online and have never experienced problems, whilst others would never consider anything other than purchasing from a physical store. Whichever option you choose, there are various things to consider to ensure you enjoy a great experience and get the watch of your dreams.

4 Things to Keep in Mind while Buying Watches Online

  1. Price

    Price is a big consideration when purchasing any watch, and where you buy your watch from can influence how much you pay for it.

    Generally, you'll find watches sold online are cheaper than those sold in physical retail stores, as there is more competition online and retailers need to offer the best price to stay ahead of their online rivals. Plus, by not having a physical store, there are fewer cost overheads that can help to keep the online price down.

    If you buy a watch online from another country, the price may be even cheaper still, but do proceed with caution and consider aspects such as possible language barriers if you need to ask questions, or any shipping issues.

    In particular, when buying watches online be wary of prices that seem overly cheap, as the watch might not be an original, or you could even be purchasing from a fake site. Most online watch stores are genuine, but, like in any industry, the odd rogue trader does exist, so it pays to be cautious.

    If you decide to buy a watch from a physical store, you may still be able to get a bargain, however, as you have got the opportunity to talk to a salesperson and negotiate a deal on the terms and price.

    Albone Jewellers have got the both Online Store & a Physical Store for your ease.

  2. Choice
    As with any product you want to purchase, you tend to get much more choice online than in a physical store, and the same is true for watches.

    When buying watches online, you've got a global marketplace at your fingertips, whereas a physical store only serves a particular area. If you live in a rural location and are looking for a particular brand or style of watch, you'll certainly find a wider selection of options if you browse online than in your local patch, for instance.

  3. The purchasing experience

    Buying a new watch demands time and careful consideration to ensure you make the right purchase for your requirements. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, especially if you're looking to purchase a luxury watch.

    Many people place a high importance on the purchase experience when buying a new watch, and they like to take their time to browse and compare options, try watches on and glean knowledge face-to-face from experienced staff. They like to inspect the watch carefully with the naked eye, to ensure it's genuine and in good working order, test it and see how it fits on the wrist. If they have any queries there and then, these questions can be answered immediately and may influence the purchase decision. In this respect, you can't beat walking into a physical store if you want to relish the experience and immediacy of buying the right watch.

    Although many online stores have taken great strides to make the watch purchasing experience easier, including providing size charts and indications what the watch will look like when worn, there will always be a physical barrier that prevents you from actually trying the watch on, touching it or inspecting it for any imperfections. Additionally, if you have a question about a watch you see online, you might not get an immediate reply from the retailer, and by the time you do, the watch may have already been sold.

    There are some watch buyers, however, who may prefer to buy online, knowing that fewer people will have tried the watch on beforehand, potentially exposing it to fewer knocks or scuffs. Although how a watch is packaged and shipped could influence its risk of getting damaged during transit, so you'll need to weigh these factors up against each other.

    The beauty of buying a watch in a store rather than online is that you get to enjoy it immediately, whereas you'll have to wait for it to arrive in the post when buying watches online. There is always the worry that the online retailer may be a fraudster and you may not get your watch at all, or it may arrive in the post damaged, or not how it looked in the online photos.

    If you have got the time to browse for a new watch and are open to various options, and have some knowledge of what to look for, you may prefer to purchase online and make an informed decision, without being persuaded by any potentially pushy sales staff that you may encounter in some physical stores.

  4. Aftercare
    When considering buying watches online or in a physical retail store, it's also a good idea to spare a thought for any aftercare issues that may crop up. If you need to return the watch, or if it needs some maintenance, you may find this much easier, quicker and less of a hassle taking it into a bricks-and-mortar store rather than having to package it and ship it off to an online retailer.

    If you do decide to go down the online route, always check the terms and conditions before you hit the buy button, so you know what the procedures are if you need to return the watch.

    Some online watch retailers also have physical stores, so this offers a good compromise if you want to buy online, but can still visit the retailer's store if you have any aftercare issues. Like, we also have both physical store & an online watch store.

Whether you choose to buy a watch online or from a physical retail store, it's essential that you choose an authorized dealer for a particular brand, with a good reputation. Choose one that comes highly recommended and receives positive customer reviews. If you want to dip your toe into the world of buying watches online but still feel an element of caution, go for a store that also has a physical presence, or use an online brand that is highly regarded or well-known. When purchasing watches online, look for a site that provides crisp, clear photos with close-up shots of the watch and at different angles, so you can be sure of what it will look like in reality.