Buying watches online without using an Escrow service can be very stressful. Just imagine, you pay $10,000 for a Rolex Submariner and instead all you get is an empty box. I can’t imagine the anger you might feel. You trusted the seller, but he or she screwed you. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. This is why I always recommend that you “buy the seller” first, before the watch. That way, you limit the chances of getting screwed.
Let’s get back to the main topic. What is the best escrow service you can use to buy watches? From experience, there are several escrow services you can potentially use. Some of the luxury watch websites have an escrow service available to purchase watches, but you are still not guaranteed that the watch will be authentic.
Here are some of the escrow services you could potentially use.
The following fees are charged for transactions in the USA for the Standard
- $0 to $5,000 -> Fee 3.25% ($10 minimum)
- $5,000,01 to $25,000 -> Fee $162.50 +0.26% of amount over $5,000
- $25,000,01 + -> Fee .89%
The payment options for buyers in the USA are Wire Transfer, Money Order, Credit Cards (Amex, MasterCard, Visa) and PayPal.
When it’s time to disburse the money, there are additional fees you should be aware of.
- Wire Transfer (U.S.) costs $10 and takes 1 business day
- Wire/Bank Transfer (Outside U.S.) costs $20 and takes 3-5 business days
- Electronic Check (ACH) for U.S. only, is free and takes 3 business days.
Their escrow service works very well if you know which watch you would like to purchase, but the downside is that you will need to create an account. The cost is free to buyers, however, that’s why some of the watches are a bit overpriced compared to other watch marketplaces. When you are buying using the escrow service from Chrono24, buy only from dealers. Chrono24 has a guarantee where you can get your money back if the watch is fake or if there is a problem. The issue with this is that the guarantee does not apply to individual/private sellers. In other words, if you buy from an independent party, the Buyer Protection does not apply to the purchase and you are not protected from a potentially fake watch.
This is something to consider because dealers have to pay fees to list their watches, which makes the watches a bit more expensive compared to the prices of watches from individual sellers.
What is the best escrow service to use when purchasing luxury watches?
Here is what an ideal escrow service looks like for when you want to purchase a watch.
- FREE or reasonably priced
- Trusted sellers
- Payment waits until I receive the watch
- Have a professional inspect the watch
- Be informed about the progress
Understand that free escrow service is not free for the service provider, and there is a cost somewhere. If the seller has to pay for it, the price of the watch will be higher. I would like to have the option to pay a reasonable fee on my own, because if I choose not to use the escrow, I get a better deal on that watch I am buying.
As mentioned earlier, you want to buy the seller before you buy the watch. The escrow service should have certain procedures in place to make sure that the seller is trusted. I can’t imagine how the seller is trying to scam people if the escrow company is requiring information from them before they even start the process. The escrow service typically collects and verifies the following information:
- Photo ID
- Wire information (This should match their name, address and so on)
If the seller does not provide the required information, the process is stopped. This is a good way to discourage and eliminate fraudulent sellers who are trying to take advantage of people. Selling counterfeit goods is a federal offense, and having the information above, should help stop the criminals before they try to sell a watch.
When I pay for a watch, I want to make sure that the money is safe. What I mean is that the money is held in the escrow service until I receive the watch, and I am satisfied. I would not mind paying only by wire because I understand the risk the escrow company is taking when accepting different payment methods. Too many people know how to manipulate PayPal or dispute Credit Card payments.
Using an escrow service is nice, but additionally having someone inspect the watch before I receive it to make sure it’s an authentic timepiece is essential. Escrow and authentication service go hand in hand. I will gladly pay an extra fee for this service by keeping the money in the escrow account while the service provider inspects the watch to make sure it’s as advertised and authentic.
One thing I value about customer service is staying informed on the progress. If I pay for the watch, I want to know when I should expect to receive the watch, as well as what stage the watch currently is in. Is the watch en route to the Escrow provider or already coming to me?
This is the ideal escrow service layout to purchase luxury watches online. After evaluating escrow service companies and approaches, an approach like the one described would be ideal. It would help the seller and buyer close the deal and everyone will be happy.
The Biggest Challenge
The biggest challenge for luxury watch buyers is to know that the watch they are buying is authentic and is as advertised. It does not matter if the seller is a large jeweler or an individual who is selling watches on a watch forum. Some sellers are not truly describing the condition of the watch.
I’ve purchased hundreds of watches online, and sometimes, they are not as advertised. Unfortunately, that’s the fact when you are buying watches online. The best way to minimize the chance of not getting the watch you paid for is to use Escrow with Authentication Service.
Here’s the most ideal Escrow Service!
At Value Your Watch, I helped create the Escrow and Authentication service for our watch buyers. It’s created by a team of watch traders who know the ins and outs of buying and selling watches.
The description of the ideal escrow service to purchase luxury watches shares the details of our process. It was created to address all the concerns I had, as well as other people who are afraid to buy watches online.
When you are buying watches from people you don’t trust, and the price is just right for the timepiece you’ve always wanted, you need to know that your money is safe and that you get what you paid for. By allowing customers to choose if they should use the Escrow service or not, the watch sellers are free to have competitive pricing because they are not paying for that service.
Using an escrow service without authentication to help you get what you paid for does not help because there is a risk that you receive a watch, which is not as described. Yes, your money is safe, but the headache you get trying to get your money may not be worth it.
Instead, you should get the escrow service, which is created by watch traders who know the ins and outs of buying and selling watches. When you use the Escrow and Authentication service at Value Your Watch, you will be pleasantly surprised at how stress-free the process can be.