Watchtime talked with two watch collectors, Ruben Camacho and Paul Pittman, about their recent online shopping experience with Truefacet, “an online marketplace rooted in trust,” and why they decided to buy a pre-owned watch online. Surprisingly, it wasn’t just about finding the lowest price.
WT: Have you bought online before?
Ruben Camacho: Absolutely. I bought my first Rolex, my first Audemars Piguet and different jewelry for my wife.
Paul Pittman: My first instinct was, what if this is a scam? I had that little bit of uncomfortable feeling, but as soon as they sent me the shipping receipt where I needed to send it and I found out that they had my watches covered for a good amount of money, I felt better. The process was very easy, I wouldn't buy watches anywhere else. The watch came to me just like they said it would. Opened it up, and it was absolutely perfect.
WT: Why didn't you go through a traditional retailer?
Paul Pittman: I've bought watches in the past at stores. But it's like you're getting ready to spend $30,000 on a watch, and you just don't get the feeling of customer care, making sure you're happy. I just didn't feel that at any of the jewelry stores I went in. They kind of give you the chip on the shoulder, “Can you really afford this?” That's the way I felt.
Ruben Camacho: I guess the convenience. I can be in the comfort of my own home. Sometimes I don't have time to go out and spend that time at a retail store. I'm very limited on time, and when I go out, I go out with my wife, mainly just to eat. When I saw Truefacet, I took a chance. I know they have and sell all kinds of watches, any kind of brand that I was looking for at the time. They had everything on their website. And I'm like, "Wow, this is almost too good to be true." And the fact that they do the whole process, it just felt like it wasn't going to take too long to get the watch of my dreams at a very comfortable price.
WT: You went for a pre-owned piece?
Ruben Camacho: I did. Instead of paying like $12,000 for the watch, I paid half. My first Audemars Piguet watch, I got it for like $6,000. And it was a great deal. It was a vintage model I was looking for. And that's another thing: when you go out to [offline] retailers, they might not have what you need. They're like, "Oh, we don't have [this watch] here, but we can get it." And that's not the answer that I'm looking for. As a buyer, I want you to have it in stock and I want it to be ready to purchase.
WT: How do you feel about buying a watch that was previously worn by someone else?
Ruben Camacho: The way that I look at it is this: I can buy the same watch pre-owned, in just immaculate condition online. And I know I'm going to get a pretty decent watch. They tell you what kind of condition the watch is in and they give you a chance to exchange it within three or four days. So if you don't like it, just return it and then they'll either give you your money back or they'll give you a store credit for another piece that you may be interested in.
WT: Did you consign or sell a watch or trade one in?
Paul Pittman: I had two watches I was going to exchange for one watch. They expedited it very quickly, the whole process, they kept me up to date from start to finish with emails, what process we're going through at the time. I mean, it was just that the experience I had online was just way more than what the jewelry store could offer.
Ruben Camacho: I did. I traded one of my Audemars Piguet watches and was able to get a whole bunch of other things, because they gave me great value for the watch and some jewelry for my wife. They gave me almost 2,000 dollars more than what the local dealers were offering.
WT: How would you describe the transaction?
The experience I had online was just way more than what the jewelry store could offer.
Paul Pittman: It was a very smooth transition, and I would not be scared to do it again. And I'll do business with them again, for sure.
Ruben Camacho: It was super easy. I just entered my debit card info and that was it. I was good to go from there. I got confirmation of the purchase and I got confirmation of when the watch was going to be shipped, and that was basically that. There's no hassle. And the cool thing is that they make it so easy to contact them afterwards. Even if you don't want to speak to them, they have a chat. I feel like I'm like a regular. You know like when you go into the same coffee shop for the same 20 years and they know how you want your coffee? That’s the feeling that I get when I reach out to them.