Every 7 seconds, a watch is sold on eBay. If you’ve considered buying your next watch online, eBay has made the whole thing a little more enticing: As one of the world’s largest luxury watch marketplaces, eBay launched “Authenticity Guarantee” for watches in 2020, a post-sale authentication service for watches sold for $2,000 or more in the U.S.
“My most important rule? – Especially when buying online, buy the seller.”
In partnership with eBay, WatchTime reached out to a watch collector in Chicago to talk about how eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee helped him acquire his dream watch:
As a collector, how do you use eBay?
To be honest, I initially used the site primarily to monitor the market and to do research. Some of the descriptions really helped me learn more about watches and watchmaking in general, especially when I started to get interested in watches. Around 2003, I realized that I could set alerts, and that’s when I started to get information more proactively.
What did you learn from that period?
I think every collector has made mistakes at some point, and I, too, had to learn the hard way: I once bought a beautiful dress watch a little bit too quickly. When it arrived, I realized that I should have paid more attention to the description, especially regarding its diameter: 34 mm really didn’t do it for me. And that probably also explained why I wasn’t outbid.
Your most interesting find so far?
I’ve just recently found a birthyear watch for my first grandson, a Datejust with gray dial – a watch I’ve not only always admired, but that I also see as the ultimate “exit watch.” It’s also been my most expensive purchase online so far, but I got it from a seller I had previously purchased a watch from, and eBay’s new authentication service really did help when I finally pulled the trigger.
Twenty years ago, collecting watches was very different: In recent years, the fakes have become insanely good, and way too many people that buy watches just want to make a profit. This has made it very difficult, in my opinion, to buy online. Obviously, as is the case with many vintage pieces these days, eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee isn’t the answer to everything, but I was extremely relieved to have a neutral party between myself and the seller when I bought a contemporary watch like the Datejust I’ve just mentioned. It’s just so much easier when you don’t have to worry.
Authenticity Guarantee is not affiliated with or endorsed by any of the brands sold on eBay.