Seven Steps to Avoid Buying a Fake Watch
Luxury watches are popular and valuable, but there are dishonest vendors who market fakes as genuine. You can protect your investment by taking proper precautions.
We recommend the following:
1. Look for a reasonable offer.
A little research will tell you if a deal is too good to be true. The price with discounts, but real watches still have a price range that is predictable. If a watch looks like a real steal it may not be you who is stealing. (http://www.chrono24.com/ is a great site to do a manually compare)
2. Compare the product to known genuine items.
Many fakes come from sources that use the same few internal parts and then mark them with a variety of brand names. Unfamiliar buyers may be fooled, but even these watches will not match the legitimate items. Some watch collection’s change fees are usually minor. If the features you buy aren’t going to stay that colour long after you buy them.
Here are some links to popular brands where you can see trustworthy images for comparison:
- Audemars Piguet
- Michael Kors
- Raymond Weil
- Tag Heuer
- Ulysse Nardin
3. Check The Serial Numbers Thoroughly
Check markings, serial numbers, and other details. Makers of fakes often fail to get the details correct. The member may not match the manufacturer’s standard method.
Water-resistance ratings and markings may not match up to genuine watch markings. Even something such as text is in place and is not genuine.
Retouched watch dials? (photo courtesy of http://www.watchuseek.com)
Check the appearance of the crown, buttons, and watch face to be sure they match exactly the image available from the manufacturer. It isn’t cheap or easy to copy these details faithfully and fakes don’t come from high-cost manufacturing experts.
Rolex Crowns (Photo courtesy of http://rolexblog.blogspot.co.uk)
Some sources habitually spell things incorrectly, so read everything on the watch carefully. Find out what collectors and ails by visiting trustworthy blogs and forums such as these:
Chronocentric – Fake and Counterfeit Watches – This is an excellent and informative article on how to avoid getting burned when buying a watch.
TimeZone.com – Forums where watch enthusiasts offer expert advice on verifying authenticity and spotting fakes.
4. Buy only from a reputable source
This may seem obvious, but tales of woe often feature such obvious clues as a seller with it that you can verify through independent third-party ratings. It only takes a few minutes to know if the seller has a good name. Check sources like Amazon, eBay, PriceGrabber, and Yahoo ings. If someone bad buys a good business, the reputation over time. Be sure to do some general web searches on the seller’s name and website. A couple of bad reviews don’t make them scam artists, they brave plenty of bad press from unhappy customers that could serve as a warning to others.
5. Protect yourself during the purchase
Buy from a source that provides a warranty and accepts returns for a refund. Read the policies before you buy and make sure to check the length of time given to return an item and the restocking fee. Use a payment method that gives you recourse if there is a problem. Payment methods have different standards of proof and policies. Know them before your money leaves your hands.
Use a traceable and reliable delivery method and know how they handle loss or damage. You don’t line up at the local post office to fill out a claim form, then wait weeks while they do research. Have the watch delivered to you with a signature required allowing it to be dropped at your residence while you are at work.
6. Warranty and Refund
Check the watch carefully when it arrives. Make sure the packaging and documents match the manufacturer’s authentic materials and that you got it all. Resist tearing everything off and trying it on until you are sure things are right. Look the watch over carefully for any imperfections. Almost nobody manufactures stickers or tags and then discovers a problem.
7. Check the watch carefully when it arrives.
Bring the watch to an expert professional to be sized properly. If the finish is damaged by the handling key have the willingness or resources to replace your investment timepiece for the few bucks they charge to remove a link.
Cover image by @fakewatchbusta