Do Pawn Shops Buy Watches Without Batteries – Solved!

Notice: This article has changed substantially since it’s original publish date, updated with the most current and relevant information available.

If your watch just needs a battery, will a pawn shop still take it in? Maybe, but it really depends on the type of watch that you have to begin with.

How 'Pawnable' Is This Item

What Value Does This Item Have

As you might expect with something that isn’t working, a watch that needs something like a battery is going to score very low in both pawnability and value. In both categories, this type of watch scores “Very Poor.”

If a pawn shop has to repair or replace something on an item in order to resell it, they typically just won’t have much interest in it. Therefore, the pawnability is very low.

Additionally, since the pawn shop knows that they are going to have to put money into the item, they will also put a lower than expected value on it. This of course, goes for watches as well.

Right off the bat, the pawn shop knows that they have to do at least one repair on the watch just to resell it, and for all they know, there may be bigger issues with the watch that they won’t discover until they replace the battery.

There’s a lot of unknowns in broken merchandise for pawn shops, and as a general rule, pawn shops don’t like risk.

What To Bring With You:

Like with most watches, there are some things that you will want to be sure that you bring with you.

  • Any links you may have had removed from the bracelet when you originally purchased it.
  • Any additional bracelets or bands you may have for the watch.
  • The original box, insert, and paperwork for the watch will always be welcomed as well.


Percentage Of Pawn Shops That Accept This Item 1%
Percentage Of Pawn Shops That Consider This Item Desirable 1%
Average Redemption Rate For This Type Of Item 10%
Percentage of Households That Have This Type Of Item 50%
Percentage Of Times This Type Of Item Is Pawned vs Being Sold 10%

Only 1% of pawnshops will deal with this watches regularly, and 1% might consider them to be desirable. Most people don’t come back to redeem watches in this condition and roughly 50% of households have a watch with a dead battery lying around in a drawer someplace. More often than not, watches in this condition are sold versus pawned, due in part to the low value offered for them.

What Are Some Advantages To Pawning This Type Of Item

  • You likely won’t miss a watch that you haven’t worn for years and doesn’t run.

What Are Some Drawbacks To Pawning This Type Of Item

  • It may be hard to find a pawn shop that will accept it.
  • You are likely going to receive very low offers for your watch should it need any kind of work, even as simple as a battery replacement.

Legacy Content

Pawnbrokers are realistic people, and they know that watch batteries go bad.

In fact, many pawn shops will offer free battery replacement for their customers in most cases as an extra service.

That having been said, do pawn shops buy watches that don’t have batteries?

Well, in many cases, a pawn shop will buy a watch, even if it isn’t running because of a dead battery.

However, keep in mind, that if they aren’t a pawn shop that has a lot of watch batteries laying around, then they can’t just put a battery in it and make sure that’s really the reason that it’s not running.

Because of that, they will probably be a little leary of the watch in general. You have to keep in mind that pawn shops have a lot of items come in every day that have problems that can’t be repaired.

So in the case of your watch, it may just be that the battery needs replacement, and the pawn shop might suspect that’s all that’s wrong with it as well – but they can’t really be sure that there isn’t a larger problem hiding beneath the surface.

do pawn shops buy watches without batteries
If you have a watch that has a dead battery, pawn shops may still buy it! That having been said, depending on how much more they will offer you had it had a working battery and been running, it very well may be worth replacing the battery yourself.

The Best Way To Sell A Watch Without A Battery To A Pawn Shop

If you take your watch into the pawn shop and they see that it’s not running, that’s probably going to be the first thing they say to you.

It’s not to insult you. A lot of people don’t realize that their watches aren’t running until it is pointed out to them.

The reason being of course that people tend to just leave watches laying in their dresser drawer for months, or years, without ever looking at them until they decide to take it to the pawn shop and sell it.

What To Do If The Pawn Shop Won’t Take It Without A Battery

So, if the pawn shop immediately says that they won’t take the watch, kindly ask them if they wouldn’t mind evaluating it as if it was running just so you know if it would be worth your time to get a battery for it or not.

You may find that a pawn shop that was previously unwilling to deal with your watch because it was missing a good battery makes a you very reasonable offer – assuming that you have a new battery put into it.

What To Do If The Pawn Shop Will Take It Without A Battery

On the other hand, if the pawn shop does make you an offer for your watch, even though it isn’t running, follow that up with another question.

Ask them if they would offer you more for you watch had it be running, and if so, what that price will be.

Much like the scenario where they wouldn’t take it at all, you want to see what the price difference is.

If it is significant, (more than the cost of a battery) then it could very well be worth you time to just buy a battery for the watch and put it in.

For reference: Most watch batteries cost between $3-$6. If they pawn shop is going to give you an extra $20-$40 for the watch if they see that it’s running well, that’s an easy way to pick up some extra money with very little effort.

But What If You Don’t Know How To Replace A Watch Battery

The next big objection to this is that not everyone knows how to replace a watch’s battery.

Well, fortunately, there are videos on youtube showing you have to replace the battery in just about every watch imaginable.

If you go to and search “Replace battery [watch name]” you will normally see several results all showing you how it is done.

What If I Don’t Want To Replace The Watch Battery Myself

In case you just don’t want to do the battery replacement yourself, or you aren’t comfortable with the idea of opening the back of your watch – then you still have yet another option.

Most watch stores will replace batteries for just the cost of the battery itself.

Failing that, jewelers are always another option, although they typically charge $10 to $15 to do it.

In these cases, you are really going to have to look at the scenario and determine if the replacement will pay off depending on what the price difference from the pawn shop was for the watch if it was running.