Over 96% of Americans do some of their shopping online.

However, most people still make a lot of their important purchases in-person. While watches can be pretty big investments, if you know how to stay safe when shopping online, you don’t have to make the extra trip to the mall.

We’ve put together a quick watch buying guide that’ll help you stay safe when you shop online.

So let’s dive in!

What to Consider Before You Buy Your Watch

When you buy a watch online, you have to spend some time doing your research.

If you buy the first watch you see online, you might not know what you’re getting. You could end up with a watch that doesn’t fit you or a style you don’t like. So before you pull out your wallet, make sure you know what type of watch you want.

We’ve come up with three main things you have to consider when buying a watch online: style, price, and size.

Let’s take a closer look at each one below.

What Style Do You Want?

There are a lot of different watches to choose from online.

Do you want an automatic watch? A mechanical watch? A chronograph watch? Are you looking for men’s watches or women’s watches?

Ask yourself how you plan to use your watch. Diver watches will keep working at the bottom of the ocean. Luxury watches are an art statement. Fashion watches can accessorize casual, professional, and formal outfits alike.

You also have to think about the material. Your watch can be made with nylon, stainless steel, leather, silver, gold, etc.

There’s no option that’s any better than the others. It all comes down to your budget and your personal preference.

What’s Your Price Range?

If you want a quality watch, you have to be willing to spend some money. Cheap watches that cost $20 aren’t going to last very long.

Think about your budget before you start shopping.

A good price point to start with for luxury watches is about $1,000 to $3,000. If you want watches with additional features or better material, you might need to spend a bit more than that.

Figure out what you can spend before you start looking. Otherwise, you won’t know where to shop or how to start looking.

What Size Do You Need?

You can’t try on the watches you buy online, so you need to make sure you’re getting the right size.

Take a look at different sizing guides and measure your wrist. If an online store has their own sizing guide, use that.

Don’t just pick the size you think will fit. You can end up spending a lot of money on a watch that slides right off your hand if you do.

Watch Buying Guide for Safe Online Shopping

Once you’ve picked out a watch that fits your wrist and meets your needs, it’s time to dish out the big bucks.

Because you’re shopping online, you’ll want to use caution.

Here are several things you should keep in mind when shopping for a watch online to keep yourself – and your money – safe.

Stick with a Website You Know

It’s a good idea to shop for a watch on a website you’re familiar with.

Have you never bought a watch online before? Ask your friends and family for recommendations. If they have a website they trust, buy your watch from there.

This will ensure you’re giving your information to a safe and secure website.

Trust your instincts. Does a website seem unsafe? Stop looking at their watch selection and look somewhere else.

Research the Seller

If you aren’t familiar with a website, spend some time researching the seller.

Look them up on The Better Business Bureau. They have an online directory for businesses, and they also have a scam tracker. If the business doesn’t show up on the BBB, you might want to find your watch somewhere else.

You should also check out customer reviews for the business on sites like Yelp. Did previous customers have good experiences with the business? Were the watches they bought high-quality?

Researching the seller will help you decide if they’re a reputable company.

Make Sure the Website Has SSL Encryption

Any website you give your financial information to should have SSL encryption.

This stands for secure sockets layer encryption, and it ensures your information is secure and safe from potential hackers.

You can tell if a website has this type of encryption by looking at the URL. If the HTTP has an S at the end (HTTPS), it has SSL encryption.

Most online websites have SSL encryption even if they’re non-shopping sites, so stay away from websites that don’t have it.

Be Careful with Your Payment Method

The best way to pay online is with a credit card.

Be wary of businesses asking you to pay with cash or a wire transfer. These businesses might not be legit.

You can use a debit card to pay for your watch, just make sure the website is secure. If the wrong people get ahold of your debit card information, they have direct access to your bank account.

Don’t Give More Personal Information Than You Need

No business should need your Social Security number or other personal information when you’re buying a watch.

If the business is asking for more information than you think they need, you might want to look for your watch somewhere else.

How to Stay Safe When You’re Buying a Watch Online

If you follow this watch buying guide, buying a new watch online doesn’t have to be risky or difficult. Make sure you spend plenty of time researching the type of watch you want (style, price, and size) and the seller you’re planning to buy from.

Need some extra money before you buy that new watch?

Click here to learn the top benefits of getting a hard money loan.

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