Online Watch Shopping 101: 11 Steps to Ensure Success

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Online Watch Shopping 101

Don’t you just love it when you search for something online one time, and then BOOM–it starts popping up everywhere? You do a simple Google search for “men's watches for sale,” and suddenly, you’re getting recommendations from Instagram, Facebook, and your mom. Most of these brands you’ve never even heard of. Are they even legit?

Shopping for a watch online can feel like digging for a needle in a haystack. There are almost too many options. Where do you even start? Before you go crazy scrolling through pages and pages of results, it’s best to narrow some things down so you can have a better idea of what you’re looking for.

With a little time and research, you’ll have a clearer picture of the watch that’s right for you. Here are eleven things to consider before you click “buy”:

1. Set a Budget

As with any major purchase, setting a budget before you browse is crucial to saving you time and money. When considering how much you’d like to spend on a watch, it’s essential to keep in mind the product's longevity. While often more expensive, a high-end watch will last you much longer than its cheaper counterparts, making it a more long-term investment.

2. Research Reputable Brands

While you might be able to list a few of the top manufacturers of elite watches, there are a plethora of reputable brands that deserve your attention, as well. Start by checking online forums for brands that folks love, or ask your friends and family for their favorite watchmakers. Don’t be scared off by a name you might not have heard before, but make sure you look into customer satisfaction and the quality of the products before making a purchase.

3. Consider the Movement

Watch movement typically falls into two categories: analog or automatic. Analog watches can be powered by battery or are mechanical, requiring the wearer to wind them. These watches are timeless (pardon our pun) and classic. They’re your good old-fashioned tick-tock clock and are loved by many for their appeal to tradition and durability due to their handcrafted mechanics.

Automatic watches are battery-powered and often boast a variety of features, such as step counters, dual-time zones, and multiple alarms. Because digital watches don’t require the hand-placed mechanics that analog watches do, they’re often a less expensive option.

4. Determine Your Style

Everyone’s got their own unique style. While some guys might do best with classy Swiss luxury watches to accompany their crisp business attire, other guys might prefer automatic sports watches to pair with their favorite fitted tee and running shoes. Whatever your style, a watch can be the perfect accessory to take it to the next level.

5. Consider Your Lifestyle

You might be a gym rat, a business executive, a truck driver, or Navy Seal. The watch you purchase should complement and keep up with your lifestyle, whatever that looks like. Corporate watches will look and function differently from a tactical military watch. Tough sports watches might offer more practical features than those sleek, square luxury watches. Take some time to map out your lifestyle and the features and functions that would best suit your needs.

6. Know Your Wrist Size

Let’s face it. Sometimes, size really does matter. At least when it comes to buying a watch. While most men’s watch bands measure between 7 ¾ and 9 ½ inches, women’s watch bands will usually be between 6 ¾ inches and 8 inches. Measure your wrist before purchasing a new watch to make sure it’ll fit nicely. For those with thicker wrists, longer bands can sometimes be purchased separately.

7. Check the Fine Print

When purchasing a new watch, there can be all sorts of fine print. And while nobody really wants to take the time to go through all that mumbo-jumbo, it might just save future you a massive headache.

Let’s say you forgot to take our advice in step six and accidentally ordered a watch with a band so tight you’re worried about your circulation. Your hand is starting to turn purple. You can feel your heartbeat in your fingertips. Frantic, you rip the thing off and let the manufacturer know you’ll need to make an exchange for the sake of your appendages. The only problem is that your unfortunate situation doesn’t fit the exchange terms that were listed in the fine print. Day ruined. Don’t you wish you’d read that fine print?

8. Review the Warranty

Just like that pesky fine print, reading through the warranty can be a real pain in the you-know-what. But if your watch starts malfunctioning a year and three days after the purchase date, you’ll hope the limited warranty is a two-year deal.

9. Ensure Authenticity

Whether your watch is brand-spankin' new or you’re buying it used, double check that it comes with papers of authenticity. Scammers love to get you with their look-alike knockoffs. Make sure you’re purchasing from a reviewed source that can provide you with papers so you know it’s the real deal.

10. Compare and Contrast

Even if you love the first watch you clicked on, take some time to shop around and compare styles, features, materials, pricing, and retailers.

11. Read Reviews

A picture might paint a thousand words, but an honest review will paint an accurate picture. Or, make that several honest reviews. Before you hit “buy now,” look over as many reviews as possible to note any recurring problems buyers might have with that particular timepiece. If you’re lucky, you just might find a fan favorite.

Buying a new watch is fun. It’s exciting. It can also be a lot of pressure. Reliable watches aren’t cheap watches, so do yourself a favor and do the research before hitting that “complete purchase” button. When your trusty new accessory finally arrives, you’ll be glad you did.

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