View Full Version : Buying watches on the internet without getting burned.
11-21-2002, 05:36 PM
Greetings! I am looking to buy a watch as a present for a friend, and as always, the best prices are to be found on the internet. I understand, however, that there is a brisk business in knock-off watches world-wide, and I would very much like not to get burned. It's not a tremendously expensive or flashy item like a Rolex or Breitling, just a decent, solid, Swiss watch; but it's still several hundred dollars.
So my question is this: how does one avoid getting ripped off via internet commerce? Is there any way of checking the reputability of an on-line vendor, and any way of authenticating their merchandise? They claim to be an authorized dealer, but of course, one would not expect them to advertise that they sell cheap taiwanese knock-offs. Their ordering system is part of the Yahoo! store, if that makes any difference.
If its within board policy, I would happily post a link here to the vendor and product, otherwise I can e-mail it privately.
11-21-2002, 09:40 PM
While anything is possible, I doubt there are many on-line sellers who are giving you knockoffs instead of the real thing, at least in the $200 category. They would be out of biz in a matter of days if this were the case.
You might try searching Google for the watch you want, and you might find many more websites selling, not just the Yahoo one.
I'd feel pretty confident.
11-21-2002, 10:49 PM
I've bought a bunch of watches (and scads of other things) via the 'net. However, I tend only to deal with well known merchants or the manufacturer's web commerce sites directly. For watches, I've bought Swiss Army, Fossil, Swatch and a couple of other brands direct from those companies' web stores. It's either that or Amazon.
11-22-2002, 06:44 AM
I would recommend stepping over to a watch board like this one (http://www.timezone.com) or this one (http://www.watchnet.com) and checking out what they have to say about various dealers.
There are several well-established dealers who you should be looking at. You might even find your timepiece "like new in box" from a vintage watch dealer.
My own two experiences with watches on the net were both good ones. I bought an Omega diver's watch from an outfit in NYC several years ago. My main complaint was that they took about five times as long as promised to actually deliver the watch, and the nice lady on the phone kept stringing me along "It's in our shipping and receiving department now... Your paperwork is right here on my desk..." and so on for a couple of weeks. It got to the point that I was ready to go for a pleasant day in the city and track her down. When I finally received my watch, I was quite pleased. The other watch was a vintage timepiece purchased from an individual who has quite a solid reputation in the watch selling area.
I think the biggest danger you face when buying on the Internet is the fact that the watches are usually gray-market goods. For example, if you buy an Omega from an unauthorized dealer, you get no warrenty (except their own scary warrenty). Worse still, many gray-market dealers attempt to hide their sources of watches by grinding off serial numbers. I would not be happy if I got a watch with skillful grinding marks where the serial number should be.
Marconi & Schmeese
11-22-2002, 08:06 AM
I would definitely like for you to email me so I can save you some heartache. I bought my dad a Submariner Rolex and he decided he wanted the stainless & gold one with a blue face. Well, this "reputable" dealer didn't have any in stock. It took him six months after several threats from our lawyer for him to refund our money. It was a nightmare.
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