Online marketplaces offer consumers the unique and appealing opportunity to shop for virtually anything from the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, buying online is a risky endeavor and should be approached with serious caution; you never know when you may find yourself on the receiving end of a buyer’s scam.
Luckily for eBay users, the company has an authentication program that will save you from losing your hard-earned money in an online swindle, and now they’ve expanded it to include luxury watches.
The Authenticate program marks the watches with an “Authenticity Verified” label, safely assuring potential buyers that that shiny, expensive Rolex they’ve had their eye is the real deal.
The service was launched last year and previously only included luxury handbags. In addition to including watches, it has now been expanded into several European markets, such as the United Kingdom and Germany.
“eBay has the largest selection of luxury goods – from rare and designer handbags to fine wristwatches – and we know this community wants an added layer of trust and confidence when buying in these categories,” eBay Authenticate Senior Director James Hendy said in a blog post on the company’s website. “We’re adding third-party authentication to this inventory because we know the importance buyers place on trust for high-value purchases.”
eBay offers an authenticated selection of over 30 luxury watch brands, including Patek Phillipe, Omega, Panerai, and Rolex. The watches are the top selection of pre-owned, vintage, and new products and have been verified by third-party authentication experts.
In the blog post, the retailer describes itself as a “leader in the secondary watch market” and claims watches are one of the top-selling categories on the site.
Currently, the program has authenticated almost 7,000 watches, available for shoppers online now, and eBay anticipates to see that number grow to nearly 10,000 in the coming weeks. The prices of these watches vary, ranging from $500 to $50,000.
If a buyer receives their luxury product but doubts the authenticity label, they must contact the seller and return the watch with the Authenticate tag attached, at which point it will undergo another round of inspection from a third party expert. If the watch is found to indeed be inauthentic, or the expert can’t verify its authenticity, the buyer will be awarded a full refund.