eBay has officially launched its UK authenticity guarantee service, which sees watches sold for over Â£ 2,000 inspected between seller and buyer.
The Guarantee of Authenticity was first launched in the United States last year and has resulted in a significant increase in sales of high-value watches.
Luxury watch sales on eBay hit a record with more than 25,000 watches sold in the first half of 2021 by major brands such as Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Patek Philippe and Cartier, the company said.
Japan was added as a second market for the guarantee offering, and now the UK is joining the program.
Authentication is outsourced to Stoll & Co, a giant US service company that opened a UK subsidiary earlier this year.
Stoll & Co’s will perform a multipoint physical authentication inspection of the watches, including crown, bezel, dial, case, clasp / buckle, hands, end links and part number.
âWhen it comes to purchasing luxury goods such as watches, trust is paramount for our customers. Our number one goal is to bring more confidence to our market for our entire eBay community, which is why we invest in guaranteeing the authenticity of watches at no additional cost to the buyer or seller, so that customers can buy or sell luxury watches with confidence and have the item delivered to their door within two days via secure delivery, âsays Kirsty Keoghan, Director of Luxury Goods at eBay UK.
Stoll & Co chief watchmaker Graham Foster adds: “Buying an expensive watch online can be a nerve-wracking experience, which is why this process is of the utmost importance to the pre-owned luxury watch market, providing customers with the security of knowing that their purchase is 100% genuine. It’s the details of premium watches that drive us, so we’re excited to bring our skills and expertise to the UK to help fuel eBay’s new guarantee of authenticity for watches.
How eBay’s Guarantee of Authenticity Works
When a watch purchase is made, the seller sends it directly to the Authentication Center for a full, multi-point inspection by UK authenticators. The guarantee of authenticity for watches with eBay has a number of key elements:
Proof of authentication
Upon receipt of the item, the authenticator confirms that it conforms to the title, description, and images in the ad. Each watch is given a unique barcode and entered into a tracking system. An eBay tag integrated with NFC chip technology is attached to ensure its authenticity and finalize the process, building confidence in collectability and resale value.
Third party authentication
eBay has partnered with an independent team of authenticators from watch specialists Stoll & Co, who will perform a multi-point physical authentication inspection:
Authenticators check multiple inspection points, including crown, bezel, dial, case, clasp / buckle, hands, end links, and part number. Any warranty sent aside is also checked, including the inner and outer boxes of the watches, as well as the pillow on which the watch is presented.
Improved seller protection with verified returns
For sellers who choose to offer returns, eBay’s guarantee of authenticity program ensures that the exact item originally sold is returned to the seller, through a verified returns process. Returns are sent directly to the Authentication Center, where third-party authenticators verify each item and its condition before returning it to the seller.