They represented a business which 'specialized' in watches. Namely, consignments. In essence, they needed someone who could provide valuations for the watches they accept for sale, verifying that the watches are genuine.
"So you are licensed second hand dealers, right?" I asked. "Yes" said the one on the left. "No" said the one on the right. "And you collect, record and submit the details of the customers and of the watches to the Police, every day, as per your requirement as second hand dealers?
This time the man on the left said 'no' and the other one said 'yes'.
The situation was seriously comical. At least for me.
"We can pay you for your service" said both, in unison.
But dealing in second hand watches is not just about money. It has lot to do with responsibility, expertise, building your own reputation and above all - doing it right way. I tried to explain that having a second hand dealers licence is an absolute must. Licensing and record keeping is not optional. It is the way how the NSW Government keeps the bastards honest - me included.
Somehow, my words got lost in translation. Based on their facial expressions I think they thought I was not interested because I fear competition - or something along those lines.
I grew up in a city of 50,000. And the city was cursed with no less than 7 watchmakers, each of them trying his best to make an honest living, heavily competing with each other. Competition is good. Actually competition is the best thing that could ever happen to a watchmaker or a watch dealer. I wish there are not 3 but 30 dealers in Sydney. Thirty registered experts that is.
"So you can not do valuations?" asked the smart one.
Yes I can. But doing a valuation for the competition does not make sense.
When you pay money to watch Nadal playing Federer, you don't expect to see Novak Djokovic serving of behalf of Nadal. That just does not make sense. People buy watches from the Rolex Boutique because they love Rolex boutique. They buy watches from NH because they trust NH. And they will buy watches from YOU because they will trust you. It's simple as that.
Learn, struggle, sweat and make mistakes. Learn fast and become an expert. Life is not a Hollywood show where you can call in an expert or friend to verify and tell you how much it is worth and what to do. That is YOUR job. And whatever you do, and before you do it, register yourself properly.
They left empty-handed and disappointed. But they are young, and hopefully one day, they will get it.