What you should know before you buy a watch online

Everything you need to know about buying watches online.

ONLINE SHOPPING

The Internet is a wonderful thing. Open 24/7, a place where you can find anything you want any time you want it.

Including watches.

But that’s also a problem too. With the Internet, there are so many people and companies selling watches, it’s easy to get confused.

Unlike a brick and mortar retailer, dealing with people and companies around the world makes it harder to determine who is legit and who is not. With a regular retailer, all you have to do is visit the store to see its condition, what they have in the display cases and see who you are dealing with.

On the Internet, it’s faceless web pages that are all done so well that it’s very hard to distinguish the real from the illusion.

In fact, many websites selling watches are not authorized by the brands they are selling. They manage to get stock from around the world and offer it themselves. Sometimes, they don’t even have the watch you are looking for, but once you express interest, they’ll try to find it for you.

There are problems associated with buying from websites like this, and the first and most important is the warranty. Most watch companies offer at least a two-year warranty, but none of the companies will honor the warranty if the watch is purchased from an unauthorized retailer. The websites try to get around this by offering their own warranty, but there is no guarantee that they will still be in business if and when you need your watch serviced.

Also, it’s difficult to determine just from a website if the watches are real or fake, as anyone can grab pictures from, for example, Rolex’s site, so the pictures look just as good as everyone else’s.

So how can you avoid all of these pitfalls and potential problems?

Only buy from authorized retailers. If you find a price on the watch you love that appears too good to be true, chances are it is, and you should walk away from any deal that has you questioning.

Some watch brands don’t allow any Internet sales, so if you do see any of these watches being sold on the web, they are certainly not authorized. Other brands have authorized retailers who are allowed to sell on line, and this will clearly be stated on the retailers’ sites. If you have any questions about whether a seller is authorized, just visit the brand’s site – they all have complete listings of their authorized retailers.

Also, sometimes brands will sell directly off their own e-commerce site, so these watches will be 100% authentic and come with a full warranty.

Do yourself a favor and only deal with established companies and their authorized retailers on the web. You might pay a little bit more, but you will have peace of mind about your purchase, and you’ll be able to access all the support from the maker of your new timepiece.