eBay Watch Selling – How To Avoid Scams
Today, the watch market is overloaded with fake replicas and these products are alarmingly realistic looking. What this means is its easy to scam an eBay seller into buying what they think is a brand name. Like a Croton or Boldova watch, and in the meantime, they are getting a cheap counterfeit.
Worse yet, the eBay seller sells the watch at a price that one would only expect an original to cost. The customer gets the watch, somehow realizes it is a counterfeit, and then wants to return the product.
If you, the seller, has an understanding customer, they are lucky, but an irate customer can spread a compliant half way around the globe, not just through word of mouth, but through social media sharing in no time whatsoever. Or worse, leave bad feedback on eBay. An unhappy customer can lodge a complaint with eBay too and this can affect your eBay ratings. A simple complaint like that can ruin your reputation quickly, and that will reduce one’s income over the course of time.
As an eBay seller, whatever you are selling can influence how your target audience perceives your image as a business owner. And with a business “image” is everything. It takes a long time to brand yourself. Making your appearance in the industry reach a reputable status. One where consumers can become comfortable with trusting you with their hard-earned dollar. One means of gaining the trust of the customer is to always give them precisely what they are paying for; but what happens if, you as the eBay seller, are scammed, and sold something that really isn’t what you were promised? This kind of thing happens a lot, particularly when it comes to the sale of designer watches.
What can you, as an eBay seller wanting to maintain a good reputation do? How do you protect yourself from falling victim to a scam?
Follow these simple steps to keep your reputation intact.
1) Get any watch you buy inspected by a jewelry or knowledge professional.
If you know of a local jeweler you can go to whenever up buy watches, and that jeweler has good knowledge of brand-named watches, by all means, use that jeweler as a resource and ally. Bring any watch you buy to have it examined for quality and of course, for authenticity. In fact, when buying brand named watches for later resale, make sure you do so from a person who has a liberal and fair return policy: This way, you can have the jeweler inspect the watch and if it fails the authenticity test, you can return it to the seller of the product and get your money back. NOTE: If you are located in Ocala Fl by chance, my favorite jeweler in town is: Art Meadows ( http://www.jewelryocala.com/ )
FACT: As many of you know I am an eBay Consignment Seller. Recently a client brought me a few items to sell for them on eBay. Which included a couple of watches. I know first hand how adding a new battery to a watch helps the sale on eBay. I took the watches to Art, my local jeweler to insert the batteries for me. While opening the back of the Bulgari watch, he soon discovered it was FAKE!
This is a huge NO-NO to list a fake item on eBay. The eBay policy reads: “We don’t allow replicas, counterfeit items, or unauthorized copies to be listed on eBay. Unauthorized copies may include things that are bootlegged, illegally duplicated, or pirated.” (source: http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/replica-counterfeit.html )
2) Research the types of watches you are going to buy before you buy to resell.
Today, you have to know what it is you are buying. It is your job to know what kind of characteristics and features you should expect; pay particular attention to characteristics unique to the watch brand you are buying. Research brand names beforehand and become familiar with makes, models, and even the history of the manufacturer.
Access records for the leading auction houses were brand name watches are sold because these companies really know their stuff when it comes to comparing the real deal with a counterfeit. Examine the results for auction database from companies like Heritage Auctions or Sotheby’s, both of which have been in the business for many years. Check out the types of watches sold: It will let you familiarize yourself with makes, models, brands, and the look of each item. My number one resource for researching history with details is using the site: Worthpoint.
In Fact, thanks to Worthpoint I was able to take a look at the highest priced watch ever sold online. It sold on eBay UK for over two million dollars!
3) Know how counterfeits differ from the real deal.
When you buy a watch, knowing how counterfeits fall short from the real thing will help protect yourself from falling prey to a scammer. First, you will find replica watches often weigh less than the real brand watch because the products are made with shoddier, light materials. The finishing or color of the watch may not look quite right either, and if you are promised precious metal like silver or gold, get the watch tested to be sure you are getting what you pay for as well.
4) Engravings are refined in brand name watches.
Look to see if there are spelling errors on the watch too, as this screams out that you’ve got a fake watch in your hands. You’ll find the typeface of a fake watch is a bit off as well the quality of the replica is just no match for the real thing. Even the sound quality of brand name watches is better than that produced by the counterfeit brands out there today. Finally, examine watch movement, and if you know nothing about movement quality, have the jeweler examine the movement for you for its authenticity test. In fact, this is how we discovered the fake Bulgari watch. By looking inside, the mechanics were all “Made in China.”
5) Buy the brand name watches from a trusted supplier.
Just like the eBay buyer looks to be able to trust you as a seller, you need to be able to trust the seller of the products you plan to buy for later resale. Examine the seller’s reputation and if possible, check to see if the seller has any complaints through the Better Business Bureau. Research the seller’s reputation online and read any reviews you might find in relation to the seller’s activities.
6) Does it have a certificate of authenticity?
If you can get a certificate of authenticity with the product you buy, you are far better off and you can buy with confidence. Of course, not all watches will come certified. At minimum, learn everything you can about the product’s history and if you can find anything out about the actual line of ownership, this might give you some clues about the authenticity of the watch in question.
7) When you hear alarm bells in your head, listen!
Finally, when the alarm bells are going off and your gut instinct is screaming at. “Do not buy.” Don’t avoid these warnings! If you are getting the watch at an “all time low price,” or a “special bargain,” think again. If the seller tries to rush you through the sale and get you to buy quickly. There may be a reason other than profit why they are pushing the sale so hard. Always remember that old but very wise saying: “If it seems too good to be true …” that’s right, you know “it is.”
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