I don’t know entirely what sparked it, but after I started making money as a kid, the first “big” thing I bought was a watch. It wasn’t high-end, but to a 12 year old with money burning a hole in his pocket I was immensely proud of it.
The watch interest held on loosely as I grew up, usually overshadowed by other phases, but started to pick up steam in 2016 when I taught myself using YouTube and Reddit posts how to modify Seiko watches. I was hooked. It was mechanical, technical and creative, a great way to satisfy the need to work with my hands after a long day working with my head.
When I started the 2017 Flip Challenge, I started out by selling whatever extra stuff I had around the house and quickly ran out of inventory. I needed something I knew about, would ship easily and cheaply and had a huge amount of demand.
And that’s where watches came in.
I began buying watches on LetGo, eBay and Facebook Marketplace, identifying trends and trying to become an expert in values. What brands sell well? What model holds its value? How expensive are parts if it needs work? Does anyone want these?!
I advertised them on eBay and my Instagram account– and they started selling. Since then, I’ve bought and sold at least a dozen watches to people all across the US– and two to a repeat customer in Australia. The other night, a Seiko 7002 I bought from a guy in a Sam’s Club parking lot sold within 5 minutes of being posted on my Instagram.
I’ve since refurbished two Seiko 6139 “Pogues” (pictured above) and have a much better mechanical understanding of these pieces. I’ve begun to grow a network of other enthusiasts and vendors. I have people messaging me asking for what I currently have.
So, the surprising side benefit I never expected to happen?
I get to make money off of my hobby and a great passion. I’m getting paid to play. It’s nothing to live off of anytime soon, but it is getting me closer and closer to my goal for the flip challenge. And like Gary Vee says: patience.