A Fake Watch dealer in China explains how the Replica Watch Industry works
The information provided in this thread is largely the case for every other replica watch dealer based within China
How The Rep Industry Works. A guide for Noobs. • r/RepTime
The information provided in this thread is largely the case for every other replica watch dealer based within China, therefore most of the points in this thread can be applied to most of the dealers on the forums. So whether you decide to buy from us or not, this thread will be an informative read for you.
Who are we and what do we do?
PureTime is a replica watch dealer. We are NOT a replica watch manufacturer. However we do work closely with the Noob factory and some other makers, we have a degree of involvement in what gets produced and the QC of the prototypes before the watch is mass-produced. Other dealers may or may not have their own close relationships with various other manufacturers, and whilst we are close with many other manufacturers, we are the closest with Noob (A.K.A. Mr. CrÃ¨me De La CrÃ¨me).
Bearing the above paragraph in mind, this means a few thingsâ€¦
Factory Refund Policies:
We do not have a factory; we are located within an office within Guangzhou.
We do not hold stock of a watch UNLESS it is a best-selling and current watch. This means if a watch used to be a best seller, we wonâ€™t hold it in the office. This is to reduce potential losses, as the minute we get the watch from the maker, we must pay for it and it is non-refundable on our end.
As we mentioned in point 2, once the watch is in our office, we cannot get a refund on it. The best we can do is get an exchange but ONLY if the new watch you want is from the same maker or if your watch doesnâ€™t pass QC.
Why does it sometimes take a long time for me to get QC pics of my order?
Each maker has its own way of working, and this is something we have no control over. At best we have a very limited scope of control as to what we can ask a maker to do. Ultimately they provide us with our products, being fully transparent, they wear the trousers in the relationship.
Bearing this in mind, some makers take longer to either assemble our order (which we then pass onto you) or to deliver the order to our office (some makers will deliver to us, some will not). This affects the timeframe in which we can receive your watch. It also means (if they have delivered the watch to us) that if your watch has a defect it takes even longer for us to get you QC pics, as we have to wait for the maker to re-deliver the watch to our office. In all honesty, the makers produce many watches, with quite a few of them not being up to our standard (hence all dealers on the forums having to implement their own QC procedures).
We are not deliberately being slow, or lazy, or anything of the sort, but as I said, we have a limited scope as to how far we can push a maker to improve their own policies before they tell us toâ€¦ f*ck off.
How come when I order a watch, I get informed that it is out of stock AFTER I have paid?
Within this industry it is near impossible to update the website to inform ahead of time whether a watch is out of stock or not. The makers produce what they want, when they want and it always depends on what are the best selling watches CURRENTLY.
If we would even attempt to keep a continuous update on our website of what is and isnâ€™t in stock, it would be a full time job for a few people to do, not only on our end, but also on the makers end.
This isnâ€™t to say that an old watch wonâ€™t be in stock, it most likely is, but there are times where it isnâ€™t and it is beyond our control to mark it as out of stock on the website beforehand.
How come when I order a backordered watch, it is sometimes hard for the PureTime staff to tell me when I can expect QC pictures of my watch?
This is largely down to 2 things:
The makers seldom tell us when they will give us more stock, and when they do inform us, it is usually only a few days before they deliver it to us.
The makers seldom tell us how many they will give us upon our next batch.
This means that if you have ordered ______ <- insert watch name here, and it is on backorder, and letâ€™s say you are no38 on the waiting list, it is hard for us to tell you exactly when you will get QC pics from us. For all we know, the maker will deliver in 2 weeks time 20 pieces, which means you would have to wait for the next cycle.
Preorder and Backorder, the full breakdown:
Preorder: This is where we have been informed before the launch date of a watch approximately when we will be receiving it. We also at this time either get pictures of the finished watch or the prototype (and if the prototype, we inform what additional improvements will be made by the maker before its official release) or pictures of the finished model.
Preorder & Backorder: This is where the pre-sales have exceeded the amount of watches that have been allocated to us by the maker. This means that even before the watch is officially released, we are already out of stock and orders are being put on backorder.
Backorder: The watch is currently sold out and your order has been placed in queue (on the waiting list) for when we receive more stock and can fulfill your order.
What you SHOULD do: The moral of the story is to purchase the watch immediately. DO NOT wait until we have it back in stock, as a lot of the times if a watch is on preorder, it will sell out and go into a status of backorder before we have even got it. Then when a watch is on backorder, it could perpetually be on backorder until the hype and/or desire has died down (which is an unknown amount of time).
What you SHOULDN'T do: As we state in the above paragraph, DO NOT wait until a watch is back in stock. If you want the watch, order it, pay for it, then exercise patience.
How come responses from PureTime are sometimes slow?
We have an average of 500 emails passing through PureTime PER DAY (including Sunday, which is our day off). This is a large amount of emails to answer whilst we also all fulfill our other functions (QCâ€™ing, pictures, videos, descriptions, forum posting, repairs, working with Noob, etc., etc.).
I am placing a big order, how come you can't offer me a wholesale price or a big discount?
There is an awful lot of work to be done to keep this machine running, and in all honesty one could say that we should employ more people, but one must remember this is a business also, and profit and customer service are the most important things with any business. This means we always need to weigh things up, on the one hand we must maintain good customer service, but also a fair amount of profit. We already employ 10+ people (more than any other dealer) + rent of the office + bills + our Merchant Account takes 10% in fees and PayPal fees and so on and so forth. We must maintain a balance always, because, despite popular belief the profit on a watch isn't huge, it certainly isn't 100% or 50% like some people have proclaimed or assumed in the past over the forums.
When we offer incentives to pay via Western Union or Bank Transfer, it is simply because we want to pass our savings onto you. We offer a 10% discount for WU or BT because we save 10% in Merchant account fees. But we still keep the same amount of profit.
To be frank, our prices are already wholesale. There are scores of companies out there that will charge you $1000+ for a watch that we will sell to you for $300. We personally know quite a few companies that will sell a Rolex for $1200 that we sell on our site for just over $200.
We are incredibly grateful for your business, and if there is any chance to reward you further for your patronage, we will do it, however we hope you understand that this isn't the money making machine that some people state it is and to not think of us, or any other dealer, as mean or money grabbing or anything like that, quite the contrary, all dealers on this forum are in the business for the passion also, not just the profit and therefore we keep our profits as low as possible and give you, our valued customers, a bargain.
How the average Maker (or Factory) works:
Now I am sure most of you have varied ideas of how a Maker (or Factory works). Some of you I am sure have conjured up some very interesting mental pictures of the actual look of a Factory. Unfortunately I cannot show you pictures, and even if I could, Makers have their own setup depending on what they produce.
The most important thing to understand is the word MAKER is more apt to describe the Makers of our watches; because that is what they are, in the truest sense. Makers make the watch, and COMMISSION OTHER FACTORIES to make each individual part, with the final assembly of the various parts occurring at the Makers shop.
As an example, this is how the process would go:
Maker decides to make a new PAM.
A Gen PAM is bought and then dissected.
The Maker will then approach different Factories to produce each part, such as a factory specializing in cases, bezels, crystals, hands & dials, straps, movements, etc.
Once the maker has commissioned all the Factories needed to produce each part, each individual factory will make a prototype (if needed, if they have never repped that certain part before for that make/model).
The prototype pieces get QC'ed by the Maker, and if up to par, get approved for mass production.
The Factories send the maker the amount of pieces the Maker commissioned the Factory for.
The Maker then takes all the parts and assembles the watch, ready to be released.
An important point to raise on the whole procedure is there are minimum production quantities for different parts, like the case factories' minimum order is 1000 pcs, crystal factory is 500 pcs, strap factory is 3000 pieces, etc., and due to different production abilities of different parts, they may only pass the parts to the Makers in batches As an example the first batch the Maker received all cases of 1000 pcs, but only 300 dials/hands, 500 straps, 500 movements, so the first batch of the certain watch is only 300 pcs because there are only 300 sets of dial/hands.
The above points and paragraph lead onto a few things, which directly affect all of us:
Sometimes when we ask the Maker if he has a watch in stock, he might not have it assembled but will have all the pieces in order to assemble it. This is an occasional reason why sometimes it takes a while before the watch is given to us.
Because these are assembled largely by hand, not all watches are uniform in terms of quality. This is the reason why we have to do our own QC. If an employee working at the Makers company is tired/lazy/not well/etc., etc. mistakes happen (none of us are perfect, you know what it's like). An example would be someone assembling a watch with a scratched caseback.
When we ask the Maker if a watch is in stock, someone at the Makerâ€™s company might confirm, thinking that all of the pieces required are in stock, and upon assembly find out that 1 part is missing, and therefore get back to us and state the watch is out of stock.
When a watch is out of stock, it is because all of the Factories are still completing the Makerâ€™s order of ___ <- (insert number here) crystals, or bezels, or cases etc., etc. This is why it is hard to estimate at times. There is a whole chain of Factories that need to fulfill their part of the watch before the Maker can start assembling it.
So as you can see, the creation of a watch lies with many different Factories, who have been commissioned by the Maker. The Maker is the ideas man, the man who assesses the desire of a watch and then communicates with the various factories to see if the watch can be made, and to what standard. At that point, if it seems that the watch can be reproduced well, then the Maker will front the money and get the project going and done.
The Makers and Spare Parts:
The breakdown laid out above pretty much explains the subject of spare parts, however, to make it very clear:
If the Maker has spare parts, he might not want to sell them off, in case he has pending orders for a new batch of other parts to fulfill backorders.
If a watch is no longer in production, the Maker might not have spare parts from when he was producing it, and due to the fact that the Factories that produce the parts have high MOQs (minimum order quantities), parts for that no longer produced watch might be impossible to get ever again.
Usually we can get spare parts, but in the event that we canâ€™t, I hope this explains why.
We hope you have all found this helpful. Here at PureTime we felt the need to step up to the plate and invest the time in being fully transparent with you. We know and understand that the replica watch industry can sometimes be frustrating, and that almost all of you at one point have had a rocky time (whether with us or other dealers), but we hope this thread will serve its purpose in informing you as much as possible as to the mechanics of this industry, in the hopes that a greater understanding will lead to a more harmonious relationship between you and your China based dealer.