Consignment Vs Direct Selling Watches and Jewellery


Owning luxury jewellery and high-end watches has multiple benefits. There is the emotional attachment and pleasure of wearing your pieces, the financial value of gold and other precious metals, or the investment value of Rolex and other watches by luxury Swiss watch brands.  Over time you may decide you wish to refresh your jewellery collection, upgrade your watch, or simply conclude you wish to realise the financial value of your items. That is when you will wish to explore how to sell a secondhand watch or jewellery.

Our guidance will help you consider the options available, particularly when selling second hand watches and jewellery for financial return.

1. Pawn or Sell Watches and Jewellery

When considering selling a watch or jewellery it is important to consider the primary reason. Is it purely to realise the cash value versus a conclusion that your watch or jewellery has lost its original appeal and you have no further use for the item(s)?  If you still love your belongings, or would even like to ultimately provide them as a keepsake or valuable for future generations, then you may wish to consider the option to pawn jewellery or a watch. 

In summary, to pawn a watch or jewellery allows you to retain ownership of your pieces throughout the loan period and is a quick route to financing, with loan availability typically between 60 – 70% of the total value, dependent upon the pawnbroker. Selling may make it more likely that you could receive closer to the full value of your item and it means that there is no loan to repay – but you will lose ownership of your pieces. If you remain unsure, our Pawn Versus Sell Guide explores this choice more comprehensively and as a newcomer to the subject of pawning watches or jewellery then you may also wish to read our Beginners Guide to Pawnbroking.

consign watches

2. Selling Luxury Watches or Jewellery

A prerequisite to selling your valuables is understanding how to protect the value of your luxury watch or jewellery, and to assess the current financial value. These factors will enable you to determine whether jewellery or watch selling is worthwhile in relation to any wider value to you personally. When you feel you have reached or have become near to a conclusion then you will want to explore specific selling options. Let us help you understand the concept of direct selling versus consigning your watch or jewellery as a route to market.

What is direct selling?

Direct selling is simply exchanging your watch or jewellery for financial compensation from a jeweller or third party, whether that be an organisation or member of the public. Direct selling personally will involve independent valuations and sometimes lengthy and time-consuming management of the process. Selling to a pawnbroker or jeweller will provide both a valuation and financial offer, which if accepted will provide instant settlement in exchange for your watch or jewellery.

What does consign mean?

To consign a watch or jewellery effectively means to instruct a third party, typically a jeweller or watch trader, to manage the sale of your item(s) while you retain legal ownership until such time an acceptable sale is reached. In this scenario, commission will be deducted from sale proceeds and the residual value released to you upon sale settlement. Minimum sale value and commission rates are agreed up front to ensure you are fully aware of the minimum value you can expect to receive from a sale.

Consignment selling places responsibility for marketing and promotion of your watch or jewellery with your chosen selling partner. They will find a buyer and handle the sales transaction from start to finish.

3. Direct Sale versus Consignment Selling

Direct selling personally can be a lengthy process and involve risks associated with the integrity of enquiries and indeed receiving genuine financial value. Most selling will additionally attract selling fees from the chosen platform, for example Ebay. As a seasoned seller you may be comfortable with finding your own buyer and coping with those challenges, however if you wish to avoid these hassles then direct or consignment selling to a jeweller or trader becomes an attractive option.

Timing of cash payment can be the primary consideration when assessing these options. A direct sale will provide instant payment whereas consigning involves waiting for sale prior to settlement. Conversely you may ultimately receive more value through consigning your watch or jewellery – as there is always an element of uncertainty regarding onward sale when a jeweller or trader buys directly from you, this will be reflected in valuation and therefore consignment may ultimately secure you a higher value. 

Consignment selling places responsibility for marketing and promotion of your watch or jewellery with your chosen selling partner. They will find a buyer and handle the sales transaction from start to finish.

4. Consignment Sell with Suttons and Robertsons

We offer a seamless service that begins with our valuation of your piece. If you accept our valuation and submit your piece to consignment,  it will be fully insured and securely displayed in our stores and held in our vaults outside of store opening times.

Selling your jewellery through consignment with Suttons and Robertsons means that we will market your piece through both our London stores and through our online sales channels. In addition to our Suttons and Robertsons-branded sales channels, we will also list the consignment pieces on reputable sites, such as Chrono 24 and our eBay store. When we’re looking for a buyer for you, we’ll be working hard to secure the best sale price for you – and you can count on our excellent customer service as standard while we sell your piece. 

With a reputable and well-known jeweller overseeing the sale of your piece, buyers are assured of authenticity and provenance through our valuation process. As the seller, you can count on any sale being completed in good faith, with funds transferred as expected with any returns also taken care of.  

We will manage the full end-to-end sales process, from marketing the piece to payment management and shipping. Selling by consignment is a fee-based service, with 

commission rates up to 30%, agreed in advance based on the item for sale. This fee becomes payable only when and if the piece is sold.

consign jewellery

5. Why Suttons and Robertsons

There are other providers that offer selling by consignment. However, the Suttons and Robertson’s’ Consignment Service has been developed to offer a high end and quality service that we can deliver through our in-store experience as well as through our multi-channel online retail store. 

As a luxury brand, Suttons and Robertsons places our focus on high end brands, such as Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe and Breitling watches and Tiffany, Cartier and Boodles jewellery. Our Consignment Service has a minimum value of £3000 for a piece to be accepted. This is a clear signal to both buyers and sellers that Suttons and Robertsons are committed to working with luxury jewellery with provenance and authenticity assured – all of which helps to secure the best price for your piece.

6. What’s next?

If you have a piece that you would like to consider for Consignment, contact us. We could have your piece up for sale within 14 days, with a commitment for us to market your piece for a minimum of 60 days.

Please contact us on 0800 038 9839 or visit one of our London stores.