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Long Island Watch: Engineer turns lifelong passion for watches into booming business

Marc Frankel was at lunch with friends from college when he spotted a watch one was wearing.

“I asked him where he got it, and he told me eBay,” he recalled about that day in 2000. “And I looked it up, contacted the seller, and just asked him if I could get 10 of them at a discount to sell myself. He said yes. And that's pretty much how it started.”

What started was the culmination of a love for watches Marc had since childhood. He began selling watches on eBay, then transitioned to his own website, Long Island Watch, a hub for authentic and affordable watches, in 2003. Brands of watches include Seiko, Orient, Laco, Damasko and many others.

Long Island Watch stands out because of its prices, quantity and quality of watches, and, most importantly, customer service, Marc said.

“When people talk about my store online, it's generally the customer service, whether they had a flawless transaction or a problem with their transaction,” he said. “Generally, it's the customer service that's raved about: fast on answering emails, treat everybody with respect, nobody's stuck with anything, always take care of things the way that you'd want it taken care of if you were the customer.”

An engineer by profession, Marc also applies his education and experience in that industry to what started out as a hobby.

“For the last 18 years or so, I’ve been the customer service face of the business,” he said. “Customers consider me and the company to be one and the same. So that’s how you keep them engaged because you’re not dealing with mindless retail or a conglomerate. If there’s a face to the business, that is the most important thing.”

Marc’s personal presence in his brand is exemplified on social media. Today, Long Island Watch has about 17,000 on Facebook, 46,000 on Instagram, and 152,000 on YouTube. Marc uses the platform to share products, talk about timekeeping, and how his background as an engineer gives him a unique perspective on watches.

Improving the checkout experience

To improve the customer experience, the Long Island Watch website migrated to the e-commerce platform BigCommerce in February. They contracted MAK Digital Design to redesign the store’s website, and the agency suggested installing Fast Checkout from the payments platform Fast. With Fast Checkout, customers can complete their orders with just one click.

“The integration was done in three or four hours,” Marc said. “And within 30 minutes of the button going live, the first Fast transaction had already come in.”

Out of about every 10 orders, one is processed using Fast, Marc said. Long Island Watch processes about 2,000 orders a month.

“I'm very happy with it,” he said.

Looking ahead, he wants to see more of the same at Long Island Watch: Growth. Part of that includes his new line of watches.

“I'm having a lot of growth lately,” he said. “I recently started my own brand of wristwatch, manufacturing, marketing, selling it,” he said. “A lot of my focus is on that. I'm growing that as much as I can.”

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