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04/26/2021

eBay adds escrow payment option for luxury watches

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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eBay is providing an extra layer of protection for buyers and sellers of luxury watches on its platform.

The e-tail titan, which introduced an “Authenticity Guarantee” post-sale authentication service for all watches sold for $2,000 or more in the U.S. in September 2020, is adding escrow to marketplace payment offerings for luxury watches. 

This new payment option allows buyers and sellers an added convenience via online payments provider Escrow.com, which will hold funds securely until the transaction is complete. The hosted escrow service, which eBay’s automotive marketplace eBay Motors has been using since July 2020, is now available to buyers and sellers of luxury watches over $10,000.

At checkout, if a shopper decides to purchase a qualifying luxury watch using escrow, they will be directed from eBay to the Escrow.com website, where they will receive step-by-step instructions for creating an account. Both buyers and sellers must have an account in order to send and receive payments. It is a one-time process and all data is privately shared between Escrow.com and the buyer or seller.

The buyer funds an account via wire transfer or ACH electronic check, which is managed by Escrow.com as an intermediary. Funds are released by the third party to the seller once the item is received by the buyer in the condition described in the listing and terms of the transaction agreement are met to the satisfaction of both parties. 

Buyers and sellers can both check the status of their transactions where payment is made via Escrow.com by visiting the "My eBay" drop down under "Order Details," or via Escrow.com where they can access a transaction summary page and view the progress of all active Escrow.com transactions.

After receiving their watch from the authenticator, the buyer will have up to seven days to inspect and examine the watch before accepting the item. Once accepted, or if the seven-day inspection period has passed, returns will not be available. In the event of a return, the watch is shipped back to the third party for verification and funds are then released to the customer if the merchandise matches the original condition.

"We are changing the way people buy and sell luxury items on eBay," said Tirath Kamdar, GM of luxury at eBay. "When it comes to high value watches and other significant purchases, consumers expect additional assurances. eBay is committed to providing the best experience, from start to finish, and our new offerings will continue to deliver on that promise."