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Trusted Dealer Interview: Toro Bravo

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    Trusted Dealer Interview: Toro Bravo

    Come one, come all... Fix yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and enjoy a look behind the curtain w/ Toro Bravo!



    How old are you?
    36




    Are you originally from China? What is your background?
    I am spanish, with eastern european background




    What is your favorite food? Do you like to cook?
    Mediterranean. But I couldn´t live to eat the same type of food all the time. I think every cousine have a few dishes which I could enjoy. I am just a gourmet, I love good food and wine.




    What is your native language? Are you bilingual?
    Spanish, and yes, I am bilingual




    Are you married? Any children?
    Not married, that´s for the future.




    What about you is the most important that people should know?
    At torobravos currently are 5 people working, and sometimes I think it is not enough. It is impossible to take email answering, payment handling, watch ordering, quality checking, picture taking, package making, aftersales service, website developing by one person only. So it is me and my business partner who is obviously chinese, (as I speak basic chinese only, I still have the language barrier to communicate when it involves a formal conversation), and the 3 workers who let´s say are doing the executive things. They are all like family members and we do not change our crew as it is difficult to find trusted people. We have been working together since 2006.






    What is your favorite watch brand right now?
    I am fascinated by quite a few watch brands, I think at the moment let´s say Audemars Piguet and IWC, I even visited their showroom and expositional factory in Switzerland.




    How did you get into this business?
    That was around 2004-2005 when I was buying and selling watches, but it was a different world. Anybody could easily list on ebay or iOffer any rep. Quality was low, the margin was high. It lasted like one or two years the golden age, than suddenly everything changed and you couldn´t list anything anymore. When this happened I was already a connected guy in this ¨industry¨ which was a much smaller community both factory and customer wise. So I made the next step, started selling on spanish forums and in very short time as many sellers gave up their business (after ebay and iOffer prohibition) I have learned how to survive this business´s ups and downs.


    This profession doesn´t officially exists. There are no schools to learn how to do it and after graduation you can apply as a rep watch dealer. So it just happened...






    Is what you do dangerous? Do you have a lot of stress due to the legalities of what you do?
    Yes, I think so. At this selling volume, I am convinced that I couldn´t do the business in another country than China. You cannot have a normal life telling people what you really do. There is always a lie between. You need to handle shady third party credit card payments, illegal paypal accounts.




    Is business lucrative for you? Are you wealthy?
    I think it is lucrative... Not wealthy, but I can make a decent living, making more money than the average people and ejoying it because my hobby is my business. The only problem is that we can never make it legal and we never know how long will last.




    What do you think peoples biggest misconception is with high-end replicas?
    There are a lot of urban legends in the community, also rumors usually spread by some users from their ¨hidden source¨ which I don´t want to get involved as I don´t like conflicts.




    Where do you see the replica market in 5 years?
    That is a good question.
    Very difficult to predict that as I saw how fast developed in the last few years this industry. You have to consider that the high quality reps appeared just a very few years ago, when I started the hobby there were no sapphire glass or swiss movement so the development is amazing. In certain way it will grow, which means look, forums have more and more users, more forums will appear successful or unsuccessful where people´s opinion and egos doesn´t match they are looking for the ¨forum of freedom¨ which doesn´t exists. However I fear a few things for the future of the rep industry. The internet police is improving too, just we are too small potatoes yet to take actions and nobody really cared, but if domain names will be seized each month, payment methods will be persecuted on a daily basis. They have the skills and the tools to find us and make our business and hobby more and more difficult.




    What other hobbies and interests do you have?
    Travelling. I love to travel all around the worlds, but unfortunately I cannot make a trip longer than a week because of lack of time.




    Are some replicas really just sneaking out of the back door of the genuine factory?
    Never. Whoever said this he was just terribly misguided.




    How many Ferrari's does the noobmaker own now? (joke)
    They are doing well and they deserve it.




    The percent of high end reps made is very small comparatively, right? Why do people take the risk for such a small market, is the profit worth it?
    High end reps are made by expensive milling machines and it the whole business is a plan, which involves from molding and engineering to the final product many months of work, but once is done you can make money from it for several years (look at the high end watches with the same case) There is no tax to pay, and there is no refund Joe Pesci policy ¨It worked before you broke it¨ so practically they never loose money on the aftersales service like the dealer does sometimes. Yes the profit worth it because they can sell all the production within few months.




    Over the past year or two, which highly anticipated release wound up being the biggest flop?


    I think there were several models expected to be top sales and it was a huge flop, perhaps some Graham models which were not as good sell as expected and probably it was also affected by different factories making same model, it´s not a smart move in this industry. Also Zenith was a high expectation with quite high investment, and it leaded to a fail afterwards. But the real top loser fail was Nubeo, even the gen disappeared already. Where are they?



    The other things I would like to add is to see forum competitions and dealer fellows as a positive thing. It makes us improve our survival skills in the market becoming real pirates and ¨learning¨ from each other.



    The average user cannot imagine how difficult is to run a forum. How difficult is to get people´s interest by making something different, better or exclusive. It is very hard, close to impossible to run a forum with the satisfaction of everyone. Freedom of speech? But how free can be if an opinion can hurt or irritate somebody else. It is not what you say, it is how you say it. It is very difficult to judge specially when a ten thousand + post user with no social life but big ego is getting involved in a verbal riff raff with a new member that who is right and who is wrong. I think having different forums is good for the rep industry and in my opinion currently we have enough I mean I see no point for some different board, it gives nothing new haven´t seen before, or forbidden to talk about.


    Now back to the dealers.


    Whoever comes up with an idea which gives positive results it will inspire other dealers too. And I´m giving you an example.


    I guess you remember replicamake who made a new era in the rep world, many of you don´t know that he was the very first who introduced the qc pictures. I used to talk to him a few times and he seemed a very nice guy but he went too far deep into the risks and collapsed with no recovery and I tell you how and why.


    He appeared from nowhere and didn´t lasted much more than a year, it was like a bubble, he introduced many new things for the benefits of the buyer and honestly it happened similar situation to me, so I know what I´m talking about. As brand new dealer everybody was praising him, he had better prices (prices are set by the manufacturer so he had lower margin 15%) Than when he started with the qc pics, he really went up in sales, and all of us fellow dealers were inspired by him and also all of our buyers were asking for it as the satisfied forum members as customers are the walking advertisement for a dealer, than it just happened, everybody had the qc pics from default. Than he offered repair in EU and US and honestly I knew this won´t work as it happened to me already, no matter how trusted is the watchsmith, he cannot handle impatient customers and possible losses, when you work with cooperators watches just disappear sometimes and you are in the middle. Also I had problems when many of my watches got stucked in one place and my man just went on vacation because he thought so, than I had some terrible losses and probably around hundred people waiting for their watches, complaining at same time, than my section on repgeek was closed temporarily. As a bonus other people who just placed the order were making chargebacks because who knows what happens, his section is closed. I remember it took me almost two months to make it right and recover, but in all honesty it made me stronger than ever. Probably something similar happened to replicamake but he collapsed totally. I am just giving you an example folks that the experience of years, it cannot be replaced by a noob


    I will try to participate both business wisely and personally in all 4 forums where I´m dealer and supporting this communities where I have business and the best thing of all of this is that I made some lifetime friends here



    What is the highest quality replica you have ever seen?
    Some massive gold Rolex with diamonds, it was a watch I would never wear.




    Do factories really try to make reliable products or is it all superficial? Do they care if their products break a short time after they are sold?
    They are high quality mechanical watches first, after that they are reps. Who knows where are they assambled, in what conditions and how fast. They need a revision and mantainance like any other watch rep or gen. I think if spare parts would be available for the aftersales service it would be less headache for all of us. In some aspects they need to improve.




    Are there any other replica products you are aware of that are made to such high specifications and accuracy? Any other guy toys for us out there? I heard there are high quality replica knives being made in China, for example.
    Yes, definitely. I am thrilled by the bags, shoes some factories can make. I checked even in gen shop and the price doesn´t justifies the difference. Unfortunately these items are difficult to handle because of their volume and colors and sizes are even more difficult to handle, one who is doing this business needs a whole crew for this, but I could definetely recommend a few taobao seller where to buy good stuff.

    #2
    Great interview


    Sent from my iPhone 5 Using TapaTalk2 S???R?I?????
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      #3
      Thanks!

      Comment


        #4
        I like these interview threads. Good stuff!

        Comment


          #5
          Great interview!!



          I think if spare parts would be available for the aftersales service it would be less headache for all of us. .
          ^^^ +1 for this.

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            #6
            Kick ass interview....Toro Toro Toro !!!!!!

            "God is gooder'n hell"

            "Enlightenment through banter and repartee"




            "Chicks wear Thongs, gmg_ goes with Phong's" - R2D4

            "When in doubt, wammy" - Reb Beach

            "I am studying ancient Hebrewloid from Sumerifornia"...- Early Cuyler

            "I can't be sucking on no light saber". "My TIT is glowin' like Chernobyl" - JAFO

            "Have good and get give"- thedoover






            ODAAT

            Comment


              #7
              Very cool to get that perspective, thanks!

              Comment


                #8
                Daniel, buddy, great moderation for this interview. Rep points given.

                Toro, I am glad to see you open up here. It's good to know about your business and more importantly your family. My advice to you and every dealer here is to be as open with your customers as you were here, no matter how much time that consumes, even if that means declining some business. If the factories had spare parts, that would be a game changer! I am very empathetic to a dealers cause. They are out there on a branch with no net. Kudos!
                Mundus, Quote "Mundus> it is gen eta, i feel it on my loins"
                Debellum, Quote "Junio>Hi Mate , nice to read You !"

                bobandshawn 16:12 "Thou Shalt NOT Take the Mods name in Vane"
                sub4me "You could try contacting TxThrob he has a thread called Ask TxThrob and he can answer all your Fing stupid questions."

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                  #9
                  ...very interesting read! Thanks

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good interview Dan, and some good insight from Toro.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Great info... Thanks

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Nice one. Thanks to both RWI and Toro.
                        Collection:
                        Have: AP Diver v7 2xAR, MBW White 1680, Rolex SD4000, Omega Moon Watch.

                        Had: PAM 201a (regret selling it), TC SUB LV Type I, Franken Rolex 16610, PAM 318K, modded ult PAM 088K, Rolex Explorer II, MBK 1680 red dial, BP ND Sub, PAM 111H modded, Omega CrPo 42mm, PAM000N, BK BP Sub-C, Modded AP Diver v4.1, PAM 372N, MBK 1680 white done by RolexAddict, Modded 1680 red, PAM 312 KW version, Modded BP ND Sub and Super Franken Omega PO, Modded TC V6, Mini Fiddy, PAM201/a, Aramar, IWC 3878 Grey dial

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Good interview. Learned a thing or two.



                          Get your catalogs from all the major watch manufacturers by clicking here

                          Comment


                            #14
                            sorry double post

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Great insight from Mr. ToroBravo

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