Austen Chu Income Report




Watches, Luxury Goods

Revenue Models

E-commerce, Marketplace, Physical Products

Austen Chu's Wristcheck conquers the luxury market with $80 million in authenticated timepieces, turning passion into profit

Austen Chu’s journey began with a passion for luxury watches that led to frustration. After being swindled multiple times in the secondary watch market, Chu took these experiences and channeled them into creating Wristcheck, a platform revolutionizing the way we buy and sell treasured timepieces.

The Birth of Wristcheck

“I know that’s definitely bullsh*t … it was dented beforehand,” recounts Chu, reflecting on his early encounters with dishonest sellers. Refusing to be discouraged, he used those setbacks as stepping stones. Wristcheck emerged from his resolve in 2020, sporting an impressive inventory of authenticated luxury watches worth $80 million.

The platform recently secured $8 million in funding, showcasing significant industry belief in its model and mission. Gobi Partners spearheaded this financial boost, hinting at great potential for the young startup.

Chu’s Business Philosophy: Solving Problems Over Profit Margins

  • Avoid the traditional ‘buy low, sell high’ approach.
  • Elevate transparency and fairness for both buyers and sellers.
  • Foster trust within the luxury watch market.

Redefining industry standards, Wristcheck only charges a fixed rate of 8% from sellers and 4% from buyers while still allowing bidding—a stark contrast to the hefty fees demanded by auction houses.

Fueling a New Generation of Watch Aficionados

“You know when you love something so much, you’re also thinking about it subconsciously when you’re asleep?” That deep-seated love has propelled Chu since childhood and motivated him to challenge outdated perceptions about watch collecting being exclusive to older generations.

“In our day and age, everything is kind of temporary. But with a watch it’s something that can last forever…” muses Chu. With nods like these toward longevity and legacy, he speaks directly to his peers’ values—perhaps explaining why nearly half of Wristcheck’s clientele are under the age of 30.

The Impact of Passion-Driven Success on Wristcheck

In spite of its pandemic-era origins—a time rife with uncertainty—Wristcheck flourished with an astounding “75% year-on-year growth”. The details remain confidential, but profitability within their first year hints at a bright future ahead for this innovative marketplace helmed by Austen Chu and Sean Wong.

How it Works

Interested in delving into the luxury watch market with transparency and accessibility? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how Austen Chu transformed his passion into a successful consignment-based platform, Wristcheck.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Begin by pinpointing a challenge within the industry. For Austen, it was the opaque ‘buy low, sell high’ model that disadvantaged sellers.

Step 2: Foster Transparency

Create a transparent business where everyone—buyers and sellers—gets a fair deal. Ditch hefty auction fees for a straightforward, fixed commission.

Step 3: Embrace Technology

  • Innovation: Develop tech solutions to simplify processes and enhance safety for newcomers in the watch collecting scene.
  • User Experience: Offer an intuitive online platform paired with physical stores that allow hands-on interaction with pre-owned luxury watches.

Step 4: Draw in the Youthful Crowd

Showcase how timeless pieces can be modern-day cool. Attract young aficionados who now have greater ‘wrist awareness,’ thanks to innovations like the Apple Watch.

Step 5: Fuel Growth with Passion

Leverage personal enthusiasm to navigate through challenges like starting during COVID-19. Nurture your enterprise as you would your most cherished timepiece—patiently and attentively.


  • Financial Benefits: Lower Transaction Fees
    In comparison to traditional auction houses, which can charge up to 26% from buyers and 12% from sellers, this business model only requires a fixed rate of 8% from sellers and 4% from buyers. This allows for a more cost-effective transaction, putting more money back into the pockets of watch enthusiasts.
  • Lifestyle Advantages: Accessibility for Younger Generation
    The industry pivot towards transparency aims to demystify the luxury watch market for youth. It offers them an opportunity to engage with high-end collectibles in an approachable manner, fostering new interest in timeless pieces.
  • Scalability: Growth Potential in Youth Market
    With Gen Z expected to comprise one-third of the luxury market by 2030, this venture capitalizes on their increasing buying power and interest sparked by modern technology like smartwatches.
  • Financial Benefits: Consignment Business Model
    By operating on consignment, risk is minimized as inventory costs are lowered. This enables scalability without significant upfront investments in stock.
  • Lifestyle Advantages: Preservation of Value
    Luxury watches are often seen as heirlooms that hold sentimental and monetary value over time. This opportunity allows individuals to invest in pieces that can be passed down through generations, providing both emotional and financial returns.


  • Financial Risks: Entering the luxury watch market often requires significant capital, and with high-value items comes a greater risk of being scammed, as evidenced by Austen Chu’s early experiences.
  • Market Knowledge: Success in this niche market relies on in-depth expertise and understanding of watches; something that cannot be learned overnight and poses a barrier to new entrants.
  • Limited Accessibility: The luxury watch market has been described as “intimidating” for younger generations, indicating potential challenges in gaining trust and building a customer base among this demographic.
  • Dependency on Tech Solutions: As the business aims to attract tech-savvy customers, there is an inherent need to continuously innovate with technology, which can be both costly and time-consuming.
  • Sustainable Interest: Despite an upsurge in ‘wrist awareness’ among the youth, sustaining interest in traditional luxury watches over modern alternatives like smartwatches could be challenging in a rapidly evolving digital age.

Income Generation Platforms Used by Austen Chu

Hey, have you ever wondered how some folks turn their passions into paychecks? Let’s dive into the story of Austin Chu, a young entrepreneur who did just that in the world of luxury watches.

The Birth of Wristcheck

  • Can you believe someone would start a business after getting scammed? That’s exactly what Austen did. He created Wristcheck, a consignment platform for authentic luxury watches.
  • This isn’t just any old website with a bunch of watches. We’re talking about an impressive inventory worth $80 million, all checked out by in-house watchmakers. You know it’s the real deal!
  • Launched in 2020 and still going strong, Wristcheck is changing the game for secondhand watch sales.

A Transparent Market with Fair Fees

All about fairness, Wristcheck aims to shake things up with lower transaction fees:

  • Sellers pay just an 8% fee and buyers 4%, which is way lower than those big auction houses out there!
  • Better yet, this cool platform lets users bid on their dream watch. Now that’s something to get excited about!

Solving Problems and Seizing Opportunities

“Start a business to solve a problem”, says Austen. And boy, did he take his own advice! Not only does his platform offer transparency and accessibility, but it’s also appealing to the tech-savvy among us – especially younger generations.

Dinosaur Industry No More!

Austen is convinced that his move will ignite interest in luxury timepieces among younger folks. And it looks like he was right – more than 40% of Wristcheck’s paying customers are under 30! Talk about hitting the mark.

You see? Sometimes being scammed might lead you to start something groundbreaking – if you’ve got passion and resilience like Austen Chu!

Understanding the Revenue Model

Industry Landscape

The individual in discussion operates within the luxury watch industry, focusing on a consignment-based platform designed to mitigate the risks of fraud and misinformation prevalent in secondary markets.

Revenue Streams

  • Sales Commissions: Charging a percentage on each transaction from both buyers and sellers.
  • Consignment Fees: Earning fees for authenticating and listing watches on behalf of owners.

Estimating Initial Investment

Key Expenditures

    • Authentication Expertise: Hiring skilled watchmakers for verification is critical, ensuring authenticity which forms the trust cornerstone.
    • User-Friendly Tech Platform: Developing a robust e-commerce website or application that prioritizes user experience, transparency, and security.
    • Retail Space:If opting for physical presence, an initial investment in retail space could be significant depending on location desirability.
    • Licensing and Legal Fees:To operate legitimately within luxury markets while safeguarding against potential legal issues related to authenticity claims and business operations.

Inventor Cost: In designing consignment platforms like Wristcheck, minimizing inventory costs may not be as relevant as ensuring product quality is maintained through rigorous vetting processes.

Rationale for Costs

The initial financial outlay must reflect the venture’s value proposition. Authenticity assurance necessitates investment into expert personnel. Similarly, customer acquisition through a seamless tech interface can entail substantial development costs. Potential physical storefronts amplify start-up expenses but also increase visibility and consumer trust.

Note that profitability through this model does not rely solely on high markups but builds upon transparent commissions, creating a positive customer experience that encourages return business.

Essential Tools for a Digital Watch Trading Platform

Authentication and Quality Control

  • In-house watchmakers for product authentication and quality assurance
  • Tools to examine watch condition (magnifying glasses, microscopes, pressure testers)

Online Platform Development

    • Websites with inventory management systems
    • User-friendly interface design software
    • Bid and transaction processing capabilities
    • Secure payment gateways for financial transactions


    Ensure data protection protocols are in place.

Marketing and Consumer Outreach

    • Social media platforms to tap into youthful demographics and engage tech-savvy audiences.


    Leverage influencers within the industry.

  • Email marketing tools to keep customers informed about new listings and offers.

Pricing Strategies:

Avoid traditional ‘buy low, sell high’ models. Aim for transparency.

Funding and Financial Support

Gather investors interested in innovative marketplace solutions or from those who understand niche markets like luxury watches.

Retail Experience:

If considering a physical presence, locations that invite curiosity without intimating younger generations are key. Think less stuffy boardroom, more open-concept lounge tastefully sprinkled with horology charm.

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Revenue Type

Retail Business, Online Business




Full Time

Last Updated