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Shopping a Used Rolex Online? A Guide to Not Getting Ripped Off

Rolex is one of the top wrist watch brands in the world, and inspires a lot of imitation. For consumers, it just means getting ripped off. Learn more here.

A posh car, a house by the beach, designer clothes. Nothing screams ‘wealth’ louder than owning these exotic items.

Nevertheless, whether you love flaunting your material possession or you’re one frugal junkie, there are certain items that are undeniably worth owning.

For instance, luxury brand watches like Rolex. This Swiss watch isn’t just your ordinary high-end watch, it can be an investment.

But given the price tag of a brand new Rolex watch, you may hesitate to purchase this masterpiece.

Fortunately, buying a used Rolex watch is still a viable option. Besides, it saves you a significant amount of cash without compromising on authenticity.

If you’re looking into buying a second-hand Rolex, you’ll definitely find this guide helpful.

Spotting a Fake Rolex Watch

Before we delve into how to buy a Rolex without getting ripped off, it’s important to know how to differentiate between a fake and a real watch.

Here’s how to spot a fake Rolex:

Second-Hand Movements

A genuine Rolex watch has a second-hand that moves smoothly across the face of the watch without making the ‘tick-tock’ sound. Although there were earlier Rolex models that made this sound, these versions are currently rare in the market.

Most counterfeit Rolex watches have quartz dial movement which makes the ticking sound. So, the next time you’re shopping for a new ‘Rolie’, be sure to pay attention to the movement of the second-hand.

Serial Number Stamping

The serial number of a counterfeit watch looks faint as if it has been etched with acid. On the other hand, a genuine Rolex serial number is perfectly engraved in solid, fine lines which often glow in the light.

Usually, the serial number is located between the lugs at the six o’clock mark.

Looking for the serial number on a Rolex watch can be an intimidating task. It’s always recommended to have it checked by a professional. This will minimize the risk of damaging the watch, which would void the return policy.


The true definition of a Rolex watch, just like any other Swiss watch, lies in its superior craftsmanship and refinement – which makes it quite heavy. Replica Rolex watches are notably lighter than the genuine ones since they’re made using cheap metal.

Usually, most Rolex models weigh around 140 grams. Anything less than that may be a clear indication that you’re dealing with a counterfeit.


The Cyclops lens on the face of a counterfeit Rolex doesn’t magnify the date. Genuine ones do. As such, the date on the fake watch may appear smaller and may not occupy the entire window of the lens.

Also, on an authentic Rolex, the lens is convex in shape and magnifies the date up to 2.5 times for easy readability. If the lens on the watch you’re about to buy is flat, that’s a dead giveaway.

Back Case Engravings

Checking the case of the watch is one of the most overlooked ways of verifying the authenticity of a Rolex. Except for some vintage Rolex models produced in the ‘30s, most of the newer models have a clear back case.

Any Rolex watch with engraved markings on the back isn’t worth your money. In addition, if the case at the back is so clear that you can see the movement of the watch, it may be fake.

How to Buy a Used Rolex Without Getting Ripped Off

So, now that you’re already familiar with what to look for in a genuine Rolex, here are tips on how to successfully buy a pre-owned watch. These tips will ensure you get value for your money as well as minimize the risk of buying a replica.

  1. Know Where You’re Buying

When shopping for the cheapest Rolex, it’s best you keep off generic e-commerce websites because you don’t know who you’re dealing with.

In most cases, items on these e-commerce sites are sold by just about anybody. This increases the chances of getting into a fraud deal. You can easily end up paying more or buying a fake Rolex.

The best places to buy a used Rolex watch is usually through a reputable jewel online store. You’ll get value for your money without the fear of getting scammed.

  1. Define Your Preference

Most illegitimate sellers often prey on customers who don’t know what Rolex models they want. If you don’t know what you’re buying, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a fake and a real watch.

Deciding on the model before you make a purchase prompts you to look into the features of the model. You can even visit the official Rolex website to know more about a particular watch.

In turn, you minimize the risk of being ripped off since you know what you’re looking for.

  1. Know the Price

Unfortunately, scammers know that most buyers shopping for a second-hand Rolex watches want the most affordable deal. As such, they advertise the cheapest deals to lure unsuspecting buyers.

To avoid getting into this trap, ensure you’re familiar with the trending market prices for used Rolex watches. You can do this by comparing prices from several trusted online watch stores. Normally, the price should fall almost within the same range.

So, if presented with a deal way less than the expected price range, you should be very cautious.

  1. Set a Budget

Whether you’re looking for a tradition-style or a diamond Rolex watch, you need to define how much you’re willing to spend. This ensures that you don’t spend too much on a watch.

Besides, with a set budget, you’ll be able to easily narrow down to a few viable options. But even with a budget, you may sometimes have to top up a little more cash to get exactly what you desire. Thus, it’s important to be flexible.

Get Your “Rolie” Today!

Rolex watches are a symbol of elegance and precision to detail, which makes them cost quite a fortune. Luckily, you can still enjoy the pride that comes with owning one by buying a used Rolex. Ensure you use the guide above to help you secure an authentic deal at a good price.

Apart from Rolex, there other luxurious watch brands that you may consider.

Check out this list for more information.