London, 11 October 2021: eBay, one of the largest luxury watch marketplaces in the world, is expanding its “Authenticity Guarantee” service, with a new post-sale authentication service for luxury watches sold for £2,000 or more in the U.K.
Offering meticulous inspection and verification by independent experts, eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee provides an extra layer of trust and confidence for shoppers browsing watches on the site and comes as the interest in watches spikes.
The buying and reselling of vintage and pre-owned timepieces has become a key part of the luxury watch market with searches for watches on eBay.co.uk increasing by 31% over the last two years with one selling every 28 seconds on the platform last year.
From today, all wristwatches sold for over £2,000 on eBay UK across all brands, including the most popular players - Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Breitling, Patek Phillipe and Audemars Piguet, will go through the Authenticity Guarantee process.
The watches will be fully vetted and verified by global leaders in the industry, Stoll & Co. Established in 1982, Stoll & Co’s team of experienced and dedicated watchmakers and technicians operate advanced technical equipment in a new, state-of-the-art UK facility where they 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. They will also review any collateral that is sent alongside, including the watches’ inner and outer boxes, as well as the pillow on which the watch is presented.
Kirsty Keoghan, Director of Luxury Goods at eBay UK, said: “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.”
Head Watchmaker Graham Foster, from watch experts Stoll & Co said: “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.”
The announcement from eBay follows the success of the Authenticity Guarantee for sneakers in the UK earlier this year, where new and used sneakers from popular brands sold on the marketplace for £100 or more are similarly vetted and verified by an independent team of authenticators.
Expanding the Authentication Centre in the UK with more categories set to form part of the programme, eBay is hoping to continue to drive growth in high value categories, as a trusted marketplace for the resale of luxury and high quality goods.
How Authenticity Guarantee for watches works
A longtime leader in the luxury watch market, eBay houses one of the largest inventories of new, vintage and pre-owned contemporary and fine watches in the world. 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.
UK Watches by numbers:
Searches for watches have increased on eBay UK by 31% over the last 2 years with a watch selling every 28 seconds last year on the platform.
Most popular watch brands (based on sales): Rolex, Omega and Tudor
Most popular watch models (based on sales): #1 Rolex Datejust, #4 Omega Seamaster, #5 Tudor Black Bay
Most expensive watch sold on eBay UK in past 3 years: Rolex GMT Master II 126715CHNR Rose Gold 40mm Black Dial 2019 With Papers for £50,000
To browse eBay’s full collection of authenticated luxury wristwatches visit the new dedicated hub