Ebay expands authentication program to watches

Online retail giant Ebay has extended its authentication program to watches this week, in a move to limit the number of fake timepieces being sold on its platform, increasing consumer confidence in the items being sold.

Ebay Authentication - Ebay

Having first launched 'Ebay Authenticate' in 2017 for luxury handbags, the verification initiative will see luxury watch sellers opt in to have their goods certified as being genuine, in terms of branding, manufacturing and description.

Luxury products are approved by third party evaluators and are then marked with an “Authenticity Verified."  Shoppers can then browse the verified-only watches, as opposed to non-verified, a move aimed at boosting consumer trust, as well as increasing the prices sellers can charge.

"Ebay has the largest selection of luxury goods -- from rare and designer handbags to fine wristwatches -- and we know this community wants an added layer of trust and confidence when buying in these categories," said James Hendy, senior director of Ebay Authenticate.

"Since launching the eBay Authenticate service in the luxury handbag category, Ebay has seen that items with the "Authenticity Verified" label are more likely to sell as similar non-verified inventory." 

Some 7,000 watches from 30 luxury watch brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Audemars Piguet, Breitling and Panerai are available online now, sourcing from a mix of used, vintage and new timepieces offered by “top-rated Ebay sellers,” said Ebay.

Prices from each item range from $500 to $50,000. Ebay Authenticate is expected to hit 10,000 luxury watches in the coming weeks.

The service was expanded this month into several European markets, including the United Kingdom and Germany, the U.S. e-tailer said.

The expansion comes as the luxury resale market continues to explode with consignment platforms including The RealReal, ThredUp and Vestiare Collective, growing exponentially in terms of revenue and cash injections from investors.

More specifically, the market for used watches is some $5 billion a year, according to a Forbes report.

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