Are you in the market for a new watch? Then you’re probably wondering what is the best online watch store?
If you’re like some people, you might want to go the traditional route and shop at a physical watch retailer. And while this has been the standard way of purchasing watches in the past, it’s becoming easier and more cost-effective buy a watch online.
The good and bad thing about buying timepieces online is that there are so many online retailers to choose from. So, where do you start?
To help you out, we’ve spent hours upon hours researching a huge variety of online watch retailers to determine who’s the best and why.
We looked at:
- Shipping times
- Return policies
- Product selection so you can form the most well-rounded opinion of each of these stores and experience the best watch-buying process.
- We even considered overall customer service because we know just how impersonal shopping online can be. The customer service department can make or break the experience, and we understand the importance of good customer service, both when there are problems and when there aren’t.
Before we jump into our list of the best online watch stores, it’s also important to understand why buying online is superior. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons using the web to buy a watch is the best way.
Why Buying a Watch Online is Best
Online watch stores offer a wide variety of benefits over their physical counterparts. While both venues sell watches for the same purpose, they do things drastically different. Here are the pros online stores provide:
Convenience – It’s no question that shopping online is much more convenient than visiting a physical storefront. Instead of getting dressed and driving somewhere likely far away, you can buy whatever you need from the comfort of your own home with the simple click of a button. No amount of human interaction can beat that, right?
Price – Online watch prices tend to be much lower than those you can find in typical watch stores, which is another huge draw to purchasing from online stores. You can typically also find more sales online, which only leads to more savings for you.
Selection – If you’re looking for a specific style of watch and it isn’t available in the store you’re shopping at, you’re pretty much out of luck, unless the shop owners can special order something for you. Of course, this means you’ll need to wait even longer to get your new timepiece. Online stores have a large selection, giving you a higher chance of getting what you want.
The Best Online Watch Stores
You can buy watches from any number of online watch stores, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a good deal or a reliable watch from just any online shop. You should take as much care researching options on the internet as you would choosing a store in the real world.
We’ve taken some of the research out of your hands to make your shopping experience easier and more convenient. After analyzing over 20 different online watch stores, we’ve listed out our top 5 choices. Let’s take a look.
Overstock.com has a ton of watches for sale. The website has over 80 pages of product, including both smart watches and traditional models. With such a large selection, you might think that it would be difficult to find what you’re looking for, but Overstock.com has also provided comprehensive search and filtering features to help you find the perfect watch.
Overstock carries most major watch brands, and even dabbles in some of the luxury brands, including pre-owned Rolexes.
If you receive a defective or otherwise unacceptable watch from Overstock.com, you can return it within 30-days for a full refund. Interestingly enough, you can still return a watch after 30 days, but you won’t receive a full refund. Instead, the website will give you a partial refund, based on the idea that products depreciate in value over time.
Overstock.com is based in the United States and offers free shipping on any order over $45, which is a unique benefit we didn’t find at other online retailers. Most other online retailers will run specials where certain dollar amounts will give you free shipping, but Overstock always has free shipping over $45.
If you’re in the U.S., you can expect to wait 1-2 business days before Overstock fulfills the order, but actual shipping time varies greatly depending on the specific product. In general, you can expect to wait 5-10 business days total before you get your new watch. This is pretty standard in the online shopping world.
If you have any questions or issues about your watch order, you can always reach out to Overstock’s customer service department via phone, text message, 24/7 online chat, email or email. We tested several methods and found that in most instances, customer service was quick to respond.
International support isn’t as strong as U.S. support, and the international customer service reps can’t help fix international orders as much as the U.S.-based reps. Overall, Overstock’s customer service is strong, but they struggle with many of the same things as other major online retailers.
Overstock offers a huge variety of watches, often for discounted prices, and gets them to you fairly quickly. While their customer support could be a little more helpful, you don’t have to jump through a million hoops to get connected to a representative. Overall, Overstock is a great choice.
#2 World of Watches
As their name suggests, World of Watches offers the biggest variety of watches on our list. With over 15,000 different watches to choose from, you won’t walk away from this online retailer without something in hand that you like. You can buy low-end and luxury watches for steeply discounted prices, and the company’s mantra seems to be “New Styles Added Daily/Weekly!”
Brand availability is also impressive. World of Watches carries most major low-end and luxury watch brands.
Return Policy – World of Watches offers a standard 30-day return policy for a full refund. However, you will be charged an 8% restocking fee for any watch return over $4,000, unless you exchange your purchase for something of equal or greater value.
If you need to return a watch outside of the 30-day window, you’ll need to get supervisory approval and may be subject to that same restocking fee, regardless of your original price of purchase.
You have several different shipping options available to you via World of Watches, starting at $5.99 and ranging up to $49.99 for Saturday delivery. While the company says you should expect to receive your watch between 1-7 business days after placing your order, we’ve found actual shipping time to be closer to 7-10 business days after our testing.
World of Watches offers free economy shipping on orders over $100, which shouldn’t be too hard to meet when buying watches. You can get discounted ground shipping on orders over $100, as well.
If you need to contact World of Watches for any reason, you can reach out via phone, email or online chat. Where some other online retailers offer 24/7 support, World of Watches limits their customer service department’s availability, which can sometimes make it difficult to get support.
Actual customer service is reliable and decent. We didn’t find any major problems during our testing, even during the returns process, which is where most things seem to go wrong with the customer service department.
World of Watches offers the biggest selection of watches you can find online, and all for a great price. While their return policy and shipping times aren’t the greatest, especially when you consider high restocking fees, the sheer amount of product is hard to beat. If you can’t find your desired style anywhere else, don’t forget to check these guys out.
#3 Authentic Watches
Authentic Watches has a good number of watches on their website, but it isn’t nearly as large as what other online stores offer. However, this does help with product discovery, and you may find it easier to narrow down results to find a time piece that you like.
Like other online watch retailers, Authentic Watches includes both low-end and luxury brand on their website. You can also search for “rare and unique” watches, which is a unique feature that most other online stores don’t offer. If you’re looking for something different, you should stop at Authentic Watches first.
You can return your watch to Authentic Watches within a standard 30-day return policy, but there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get your watch returned here. First, Authentic Watches requires you to fill out a Return Merchandise Authorization form (found on their website) to get an RMA number assigned to your case (which expires after 5 days). You can only return unworn merchandise, and the retailer tries to enforce this as much as possible.
Authentic Watches charges a 10% restocking fee, with a minimum fee of $50, which is much higher than many of the other retailers we reviewed and tested.
This online store has a leg up on other retailers’ shipping policies. If you place your order before 12pm Pacific Time, you’ll receive same-day shipping, which is a huge benefit. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive the product next day. Depending on where you’re at, your watch can still take a couple days to get to you.
If you place an order over $500, however, you’ll receive free overnight shipping, which is another amazing benefit, especially if you’re shopping last minute.
You can only reach out to Authentic Watch’s customer service department via phone or email, and only then during limited hours. We found it fairly difficult to get in touch with an actual representative, but once we got connected, the actual service itself wasn’t horrible.
With a restrictive return policy and hard-to-reach customer service department, Authentic Watches isn’t our first choice for online watch stores. However, if you’re in the market for unique timepieces, you can probably find something worth buying on the website for a good price.
#4 The Watchery
The Watchery has a fairly large selection of watches available on their website, but don’t expect to find anything under $100. This online watch store solely features luxury brands. As such, you might find the product selection limited, especially if you’re on a budget. However, for luxury watches, this is a wide spread of products and you won’t be disappointed to know that The Watchery carries most of the popular styles from these luxury brands.
This watch store abides by a strict 30-day return policy. Where other online retailers offer smaller returns for purchases outside 30 days, The Watchery cuts that option off once you hit the 30-day mark. A 6% restocking fee only applies to special orders over $4,000, which is to be expected and not outside of normal bounds for an online watch store.
Standard shipping is free with all purchases at The Watchery, and you can expect to receive your new timepiece after 1-7 business days. When we tested standard shipping, we found that to be a reasonable time frame. Of course, you have options for expedited shipping at various prices. Free shipping on any order is a great deal, especially since you are paying a pretty penny for the luxury brand watches.
You can contact The Watchery’s customer service representatives via online form, live chat or phone. None of these are 24/7 options, which can limit you during times you need support the most, but that isn’t uncommon in the online watch industry.
When we contacted The Watchery’s customer service department, we were pleased at their quick response times and general knowledge. They were kind and helpful each time, even with difficult questions.
The Watchery specializes in luxury brands, and we recommend them if you’re looking specifically for discounted luxury watches. While their overall selection is limited, you won’t be hard pressed to find something you like on the site.
Ashford has a decent selection of both lower-priced and luxury watches. With around 3,000 different watches on the site, you’re sure to find something to fit your needs and budget. Ashford also offers a unique option in purchasing pre-owned watches. This isn’t something you typically find on other online watch stores, but it gives you the option to find something more expensive for a much lower price.
Ashford’s pre-owned watches are certified in-house and carry a 1-year guarantee and warranty, making them a safe bet even for doubtful shoppers.
This online watch retailer follows the industry-standard 30-day return policy for new items. If you’ve purchased a pre-owned watch, however, you only have a 14-day return policy. Ashford requires you to have not worn the watch in order to receive a full refund, which is kind of limiting. Of course, it can be difficult to determine if you’ve actually worn the watch unless you’ve damaged it, making this a hard policy to enforce.
Ashford offers free ground shipping on all orders within the continental United States, which is a great benefit. When we tested Ashford’s shipping times, we found that most orders with free shipping took 7-10 business days to get to us. Of course, you have the option of paying more to get your new watch faster.
If you need help with one of your orders, you can reach out to customer service through phone, chat and email channels. They also have a bunch of different international support options, which is helpful if you’re outside of the U.S. None of these options are 24/7, which was a bummer.
When we contacted Ashford’s customer support department, we waited longer than expected to get connected to a representative, but the overall wait wasn’t bad. Ashford is a relatively small company, and longer wait times are to be expected. The representatives we talked to were helpful and nice, and we didn’t have any problems getting the answers we needed.
Ashford is a great online watch retailer that offers free shipping on all orders and a helpful customer service department. Product selection isn’t as large as other online stores, but their pre-owned watches section is truly unique and a great choice for those on a budget.
Best Online Watch Store: Expert Ratings and Buying Advice is courtesy of Gadget Reviews process