eBay authenticates luxury watches

eBay is preventing fraudulent sales of luxury watches and offering new purchasing and marketing services for the category.

The e-tail giant is launching an “Authenticity Guarantee” post-sale authentication service for all watches sold for $2,000 or more in the U.S. The retailer is rolling out the guarantee shortly after introducing a similar fraud prevention initiative for sports memorabilia sold on its site.

Luxury watches marked with the Authenticity Guarantee badge, which denotes the watch’s eligibility, are routed to a third-party authenticator for thorough assessment after purchase and before being shipped to the customer. Upon receiving the watch, the independent authenticator confirms the item is consistent with the listing title, description, and images; then performs a multi-point physical authentication inspection is performed, focusing on assessment of the crown, bezel, dial, case, clasp/buckle, hands, end links and serial number. Finally, a security tag is attached to the watch.

Once verified, the watch is then shipped via expedited, two-day shipping from the authenticator facility to the customer with signature confirmation upon delivery. eBay covers the cost of authentication, as well as the two-day, secure shipping from the third-party authenticator facility to the buyer. All watches verified as authentic come with an authenticity guarantee card detailing information such as the brand, model, reference number, movement type, case material, bracelet type, and serial number, as applicable. 

eBay is also introducing several other new features designed to enhance the shopping experience for watch buyers and sellers. The retailer will offer escrow payment for watches sold for $10,000 or more in partnership with licensed online escrow company Escrow.com. The buyer has the opportunity to inspect the item before payment is released, while the seller can track the transaction at every stage, ensuring payment is received. The feature will begin rolling out in the fall and will be available on all eligible listings from all U.S. sellers by the end of the year.

A new feature targeted to the luxury watch market on the latest versions of eBay’s iOS and Android apps, eBay Channels, offers a content feed including relevant articles, curated inventory, and spotlights of top sellers in the field. 

eBay is also reducing seller fees for luxury watch/fine timepiece sellers who are active in managed payments, lowering final value fees in the watches category for watches sold over $1,000. Managed payment sellers can save up to 35% in final value fees as compared to the final value fees they previously paid.  

Sellers who sign up for managed payments, but are not yet active, qualify for a 30% discount on final value fees on watches sold over $2,000. The reduction applies to auction and fixed price listings on the U.S. site. eBay sold over 2 million watches in 2019 with nearly 8 million watches sold over the past three years.

“For 25 years, watches have been one of the top-selling categories on eBay thanks to the marketplace’s unmatched selection of luxury goods,” said Tirath Kamdar, GM of luxury at eBay. “We know trust is paramount among the watch community, and with Authenticity Guarantee and adding escrow services for watches, eBay has evolved to give watch customers exactly what they want – incredible selection with an added layer of confidence through authenticity verification by independent experts for their high-valued purchases.”

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