he least we can say about eBay is that the platform has multiplied initiatives recently to enhance its credentials in the luxury watch industry. One major development has been the launch of the Authenticity Guarantee service, a post-sale authentication process for luxury watches. First introduced to the US market in September 2020, this service has now been extended to the United Kingdom, for timepieces sold for £2,000 or more.
eBay houses one of the largest inventories of new, vintage and pre-owned contemporary and fine watches in the world. When a watch is sold, the seller ships it directly to the Authentication Centre for a comprehensive, multi-point inspection by UK authenticators, providing an extra layer of trust and confidence for shoppers.
The watches are fully vetted and verified by Stoll & Co., a company established in 1982. Its 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 inspection of the watches including the crown, bezel, dial, case, clasp/buckle, hands, end links and reference number. They also review any additional materials sent alongside, including the watches’ inner and outer boxes, as well as the pillow on which the watch is presented.
Buying and reselling 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. Last year on eBay UK, one watch was sold every 28 seconds. This latest announcement from eBay follows the success of the Authenticity Guarantee for sneakers in the UK earlier this year, under which new and used sneakers, introduced from popular brands sold on the marketplace for £100 or more are similarly vetted and verified by an independent team of authenticators.
Other recent initiatives from eBay include a presence at Art Basel Miami, as the fair returned to South Florida this year. eBay kicked off Art Basel by hosting a cocktail reception at the opening VIP evening on Tuesday, November 30, with a continued exhibition presence extending throughout the fair, which ended on December 4 2021. At the Istituto Marangoni School of Fashion in the heart of the Miami Design District, eBay partnered with contemporary artists to create unique works out of luxury goods, including IWC and Panerai timepieces, which were then auctioned for charity. All proceeds will go towards the Miami Fashion Foundation, which provides scholarships to students enrolling in Istituto Marangoni Miami.
Last but not least in this holiday season, when finding the perfect holiday gift is more difficult than ever, the marketplace unveiled three flash-retail, speakeasy-like shops that popped up for two days in Detroit, Houston and Miami, to showcase unique, rare and sold-out sneakers, watches, handbags and collectibles that shoppers have been searching for high and low. The shops are literally hard to find: eBay has been dropping hints for shoppers in each market - rewarding those who are able to uncover the shop location with the most coveted gifts. eBay’s ‘Hard to Find Luxury Shop’ opened in Miami on December 10-11, when luxury enthusiasts could shop for rare timepieces from Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Rolex and more.