If you’ve ever wondered how much you can make selling custom modded G-Shock watches and how hard it might be, entrepreneurial-minded YouTube channel Stevie Sells recently posted a video about the subject titled “I Started A Custom G-Shock Watch Business.” In the video (embedded below), host Stevie recounts his experience of buying G-Shock watches on eBay and custom parts on Alibaba, customizing the watches, and then selling them on eBay.
Stevie used eight GA-2100 watches and a variety of metal bezel and band kits, as well as custom hour marker inserts. Despite having no experience with opening a G-Shock case, he managed to learn from tutorial videos (from YouTube channel Jeraland) and was able to mod the watches without issues. Stevie’s cost for the finished products was about $110 per unit. He initially listed all watches on eBay for $199.95 (which would yield a $60 profit per watch) but ended up lowering the price on most of them and profiting between $30-$60 per watch. After a week and a half, Stevie sold seven watches for a total profit of $290, and he had spent about two hours assembling the watches. He ended up keeping the last watch for himself, so his overall profit could have been a little higher had he sold it.
Based on Stevie being able to sell a watch about every day and a half, it seems like selling custom G-Shock watches on eBay isn’t very difficult and is potentially a worthwhile side hustle. When searching for “tiffany” keywords like “tiffany ga-2100” on eBay, there is just one seller dominating the results and asking for around $300 to over $400 per watch. It looks like it would be easy for someone to sell some watches at a lower price, and we’re surprised that more people aren’t doing it. Whether there is enough demand to scale it and turn it into a full time job or business is another topic to explore. If one is serious about starting such a business, there are other factors to consider (such as taxes), and one would probably want to consider doing custom dials too (which looks a lot more difficult and time-consuming) and possibly painting parts with unique colors and designs to stand out from the competition.
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This will push Casio to have an international customization system for its watches in order to tap into this market. It may be a good thing but Casio is rather clumsy in today’s market.
The YouTuber didn’t so much start a business as mod a few watches for sale so he could create a content piece around it.
Can a capable hobbyist make a few bucks, maybe even finance a bit of their G-Shock habit? It’s likely, especially if they consider their labor cost to be free.
As for Casio’s play, the “My G-Shock” customization service is really fan service instead of an actual business, in my view. I’m pretty confident that it operates at break-even at best. I don’t believe we’ll ever see it migrate out of the JDM. That market is so dense, so vibrant, and uniform that it would likely be a heavy money loser everywhere except perhaps North America.
Good for business but not good for a G-fan
Unless you are molesting the G-Shocks by painting them, I see little added value or business advantage. Fitting fake parts from Aliexpress is not really authentic Casio. If you stick with genuine Casio parts, it is hard to sell custom casios, as the market is fickle and ppl soon lose interest in casio models and are only interested in the latest editions, so unless you have real classics like screw backs, no one is interested. I thought it would be a good hobby but found it took nearly a year to sell the watches for near minimum wage profits, and would not recommend it unless you are buying them for yourself and only selling them because you don’t like the way the mod turned out. If you are able to get the Casios for rock bottom price it is marginally interesting. If you buy them too early on it is financiallly disasterous.