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Anytime you are considering a new career, it is a good practice to get an idea of what your potential earnings might be in that industry. Watch sales is an often exciting and dynamic industry that can offer a lot to those willing to put in the time and effort to build their skills in the field, and this all begs the question of how much you should expect to earn as a watch salesperson or dealer.
Watch salesmen make about $37,800 per year on average, with salaries that range from $18,000 to $101,000 annually. An independent watch dealer could expect to bring in as much as $150,000+ in gross sales revenue with a large enough business.
As you can see, your potential income from selling watches will depend on whether you become a salesperson or an independent dealer, if you work on a commission, experience, and more. Let’s take a brief look at how these factors affect how much you can make.
How Much Can You Make Selling Watches?
According to the online job listing site Salary.com, the median annual salary for working in sales of luxury watches in the US in 2021 is approximately $37,800 per year. The pay range for watch sales ranges from $18,000 to $101,000.
These would be for salaried salespeople for a watch dealing business. As we’ll get into, estimating how much a watch dealer earns is difficult to pin down to an easily definable range.
With this broad range of salaries, there would appear to be considerable potential for higher earnings depending on factors like skill level and experience. The location would also play an important role in earnings. This table (with data sourced from Ziprecruiter) gives a breakdown of the top 10 cities for the highest annual salaries of watch salespeople:
|San Jose, CA||$64,660|
|Santa Cruz, CA||$60,932|
How Much Does a Watch Salesperson Earn?
How much a watch salesperson can earn depends on who employs them. For instance, a typical sales associate in watches and fine jewelry at Macy’s earns approximately $10-13 per hour, which is well below the average. Meanwhile, a sales associate with Rolex could expect to earn about $55,000 per year.
If you work for a company dealing in watches, you can often expect to earn a base salary and a commission for each sale (although it depends on how your employer operates). In this model, you would earn a percentage of the total purchase amount for each sale, and the rest would go to the company. One example is watchmaker Tourneau, which has offered a 2% sales commission to their salespeople.
How Much Does a Watch Dealer Earn?
It would be impossible to give a specific amount for how much a watch dealer could own in their own business because of how many factors would drive earnings. A skilled watch dealer will optimize their profit margin, tend to their business effectively, and manage their operating costs so well such that their earnings potential could be quite substantial.
One example of a successful watch dealer would be Watch Outfitters, which has averaged about $162,000 in gross earnings per year. While you should not take this as a signal for how much your own watch dealing business would earn, it does show what is possible.
Being in business for yourself means, of course, you keep all the profits from your sales. This can sound attractive at first, but remember that being employed as a watch salesperson means having a base salary besides your commission, which can offer greater financial stability than the rollercoaster of having your earnings come entirely through sales.
Employment often comes with additional benefits such as health coverage, compensation for travel and/or Internet, and paid time off, none of which are available to you when self-employed. On the other hand, your earnings potential is much higher when you have your own watch-dealing business.
How Do Earnings Work Through Watch Sales?
Many watch salespeople are tasked only with selling a watch at a price set by their employer. For instance, if you work for a watch company, you will sell watches at a price set for each model. Whether there is room to negotiate on that price is at the discretion of the business.
If the business offers their salespeople a commission, then for each sale, you will earn a percentage of the sale. Sometimes, you may earn a bonus based on your sales performance. The actual amount you would earn would depend on your base salary, commission, and potential bonus.
In your own business, your earnings would come through the profits of your sales. Since you would be the one purchasing the watches to sell, your goal would be to purchase a watch at as low a price as possible and sell at as high a price as you could reasonably expect to sell it for. There would be no bonus or commission, but you would keep the entire profit from your sales.
If you have costs such as rent for your store, payroll for your employees, and things like business insurance, that will obviously impact your bottom line.
Whether you decide to follow a path of working for a watch dealer or becoming your own depends on how comfortable you are with risk and how much you want to earn. Working for a watch dealing business as an employee can offer greater financial predictability if more modest rewards.
It is also worth noting that watch dealing is a fairly common side hustle, and if you don’t want to rely solely on watch dealing as a source of income (at least at first), it might be a good way to try it out. Whatever you decide, if you pursue a career in watch sales, you’re certain to find an adventure in the journey!