eBay expands authentication program to luxury watches

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eBay has extended its authentication program for luxury goods to include watches. The service, which launched last year, already includes designer handbags and wallets.

There are currently around 7,000 authenticated watches for sale on eBay from brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Audemars Piguet, Breitling and Panerai. Prices range from $500 to over $50,000 and the selection includes new, pre-owned, and vintage items.

The watch authentication service uses third party experts to verify authenticity, list, sell, and ship the watches, in exchange for an unconfirmed cut of the sale price (the handbag service currently takes a 20% cut of the final sale price).

eBay Authenticate was launched in response to the growing consumer demand for luxury goods amid concerns about the number of forgeries and knock-offs being sold on the platform.

Other luxury authentication services including TheRealReal, Tradesy, ThredUp already exist for users selling on their own websites. There are also sites specialising in watch authentication including Crown & Caliber, Gray & Sons, WatchBox, and Amazon’s pre-owned watch selection certified by WatchFacts.

It’s hoped that increased sales of luxury watches will help to boost eBay’s profits, which have seen weak growth in recent years.

James Hendy, Senior Director of eBay Authenticate, said: “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. We’re adding third-party authentication to this inventory because we know the importance buyers place on trust for high-value purchases.”

The service is available now on eBay in the USA, UK, and Germany.