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eBay extends Authenticity Guarantee for luxury watches to the UK

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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

eBay has officially launched its Authenticity Guarantee service in the UK, which sees watches sold for more than £2,000 inspected on their way between seller and buyer.

Authenticity Guarantee was first launched in the United States last year and led to a significant rise in sales of high value watches.

Luxury watch sales on eBay have reached a record-high with more than 25,000 watches sold in the first half of 2021 by top brands including Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Patek Philippe and Cartier, the company states.

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Japan was added as a second market for the guarantee offer, and now the UK is joining the scheme.

Authentication is being outsourced to Stoll & Co, a giant service business in the United States that opened a UK subsidiary earlier this year.

Stoll & Co’s will carry out a multi-point physical authentication inspection of the watches including the crown, bezel, dial, case, clasp/buckle, hands, end links, and reference number.

“When it comes to purchasing luxury goods such as watches, confidence and trust is paramount for our customers. Our number one goal is to bring more trust to our marketplace for our entire eBay community which is why we are investing in authenticity guarantee for watches at no extra cost to the buyer or seller, so customers can buy or sell luxury watches with complete confidence and have the item delivered to their door within two days via secure delivery,” says Kirsty Keoghan, director of luxury goods at eBay UK.

Stoll & Co head watchmaker, Graham Foster, adds: Buying an expensive watch online can be a nerve-wracking experience, that’s why this process is of utmost importance to the second hand luxury watch market, giving customers the security of knowing that their purchase is 100% authentic. It’s the details within high end watches that make us tick, so we’re excited to bring our skills and expertise to the UK to help power eBay’s new Authenticity Guarantee for watches.”

How eBay Authenticity Guarantee works

When a watch purchase is made, the seller ships it directly to the Authentication Centre for a comprehensive, multi-point inspection by UK authenticators. There are a number of key elements to the Authenticity Guarantee for watches with eBay:

Proof of authentication

Upon receiving the item, the authenticator confirms they are consistent with the listing title, description, and images.  Each watch is given a unique barcode, and entered into a tracking system. An eBay tag embedded with NFC chip technology is attached to guarantee its authenticity and finalise the process, driving confidence in the collectability and resale value.

Third-Party authentication

eBay has partnered with an independent team of authenticators from watch-specialists Stoll & Co, who  will carry out a multi-point physical authentication inspection:

The authenticators verify multiple inspection points, including the crown, bezel, dial, case, clasp/buckle, hands, end links, and reference number.Any collateral that is sent alongside it is also vetted, including the watches’ inner and outer boxes, as well as the pillow on which the watch is presented

Enhanced seller protection with verified returns

For sellers who choose to offer returns, eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee programme ensures the exact item initially sold is returned to the seller, via a verified returns process. Returns are shipped back directly to the authentication centre, where the third-party authenticators verify each item and its condition before returning to the seller.

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