If you are reading this you have probably decided to make an investment in a quality pre-owned luxury watch; or maybe you are hesitant on taking the pre-owned route- If this is the case, reading my previous post “Should I Buy A Pre-Owned Luxury Watch?” may give you an idea on why the pre-owned route has become prominent in the luxury watch market.
Now, you’ve decided to take the pre-owned route, but are unsure on where to buy your next timepiece. Thanks to the internet, almost anything we can possibly think of is accessible to buy and be sent to directly to our homes within a few days. So is buying a luxury timepiece online an exceptional idea? Let’s review some of the key points to look for when purchasing a luxury time piece online and how to go about the process of authentication.
“TRANSPARENCY IS KEY”
Let’s start with the basics. Anyone selling a luxury watch should be more than willing to make you feel comfortable with your purchase. A seller should be willing to provide transparent contact information and exceptional product details, as well as anything unique about who they are as a brand. Detailed descriptions and clear photos of the timepiece being sold should also be provided. If the information the seller provides seems to generic with insufficient detail or if you feel uneasy about the seller, then it may be wise to move on to another dealer.
I always tell people, “You’re buying the seller more than you’re buying the watch”. The key is to know who you are buying from. You want to buy from someone who’s willing to accommodate you and make you feel comfortable in your initial purchase, that way, if problems do arise with the watch, you won’t experience any problems resolving the matter.
AUTHENTICATING THE SELLER
Knowing who you are buying from is principle. The best way to authenticate a seller or business in today’s era is to look them up on social media. Social sites are a great place for brands to tell their story. They provide an opportunity for the brand to take consumers on visual journeys across all elements of transparency. Now, not every brand will have a social media page dedicated solely to their business, but just about every person walking this planet has at least one social media outlet such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc. If they claim to not have any of these, my recommendation is to steer clear.
Is it possible that a legitimate jeweler may not have a social media presence? Yes, it is quite possible- but in this era of technology and in the world of luxury watch sales, it would be detrimental to any business not to have an online presence. Could you imagine whatever industry you currently work in staying afloat for very long without an online presence? The same theory applies to this market.
Communication is another key principle to look for when it comes to authenticating a seller. A seller’s willingness to communicate with you quickly and with detailed answers is a huge indicator of the legitimacy of the online brand you are buying from. Are they easy to get in contact with? There are more than enough lines of communication available today- If it is difficult to get in contact with the seller or if the seller is unwilling to answer additional questions you may have, then they are not worth your time.
Below is a list of legitimate questions that a seller should be more than willing to answer for you when purchasing a luxury watch online:
- Ask for references from people that they have already sold to. Then contact the references provided and ask if they would do business with them again.
- Ask about the service history of the time piece.
- Ask them where the timepiece was originally sold.
- Ask them for further detailed pictures. Perhaps different angles if they were not already provided.
AUTHENTICATING THE TIMEPIECE
Determining the authenticity can sometimes be a difficult task, but it is possible. I always tell people, “do your research”. Look up the specific model and brand of the timepiece you are interested in to get a feel for the watch- then cross-reference the pictures and descriptions from your findings with the ones provided by the online dealer you are considering buying from.
Important factors to look for:
Model Number And Serial Number– Phony model numbers and serial numbers are common amongst counterfeit watches. Look up the model and serial number of the timepiece you are interested in then compare it with the model and serial number provided by the online dealer. If you come across incorrect ending digits of the model number provided, then it is probably fake.
Color and Face Discrepancies – Counterfeit watches sometimes have off-colored material or finishing that are slightly different than the authentic version of the watch. Flawed coloring is a distinct indicator of a fake watch. Also, look closely for discrepancies in the watch face and engravings. The faces and engravings on a luxury watch are generally sharp and decidedly distinct.
Imprecise Watch Hands– The hands on luxury watches are precisely designed. Look for small design discrepancies when comparing an authentic luxury watch with the one you are considering purchasing.
Box And Papers– While they can add to the authentication of the timepiece, one should not make a decision based solely on whether or not they are included. Check out my next blog post for a more in depth look at “Are The Box And Papers Really That Important?”.
To sum it all up, purchasing a luxury timepiece online is an exceptional idea if you are willing to do your research. Knowing who you are buying from is principal, along with doing a little in depth research on the specific timepiece you are interested in purchasing.