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Online trading platform Chrono24 has long been considered a root cause of global grey market watch sales, but the company's CEO says the problems can all be traced back to the Swiss watchmaking industry, and his business can actually help to control the problem "If they want to manage the grey market, we are probably the best partner they can work with In the past, some considered Chrono24 to be the root cause of the grey market.
Now they realise that we are just the ones that made prices transparent for our users If brands want to control the grey market, we can help them We have solutions that work impressively well," he suggests.
The explosion in grey market sales over recent years may have coincided with the rise in digital marketplaces like Chrono24, but the industry concedes that the greatest problem is over-supply of watches into the global sales channel Chrono24 prices provide a perfect barometer of that oversupply and its impact on prices of new and unworn watches that are flushed out into the grey market "Our data broken down to specific watches gives a very deep insight on grey-market prices.
And if brands reduce supply by a little bit, you will then see how grey market prices adjust In partnerships, we help them control their grey market better than they can do it on their own A lot of brands are working with us today on this," Mr Stracke reveals.
The world's biggest watchmakers say they are committed to tackling the grey market as it undermines sales through authorised dealers and erodes confidence in the value of watches that consumers buy when they find the same watches advertised online at significant discounts "When I speak to the watch industry CEOs, I ask them how they incentivise their sales teams Most have bonuses based on revenue, which means that those people will keep pushing watches into the market that might not find customers at full retail [price].
Within a watch brand, you might have a salesperson responsible for expansion in North America They serve an account that is taking huge amounts of watches, more than they could ever sell, so it looks like they are feeding the grey market If the salesperson gets a bonus based on how many watches they sell, you know they are going to keep on selling to this dealer, even though they know it is creating a problem," he describes. More
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