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ebay rules discussion

Jeff Hess

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Need thoughts on this.... no eBay bashing... please... just polite discourse on pro's and cons. Ebay has a new thing coming out... ebay rules change. GET this. If you sell a vintage watch on ebay it will first be sent to a "third party authenticator" who has the right to give it a "light cleaning (by cloth, steam, or ultrasonic bath) " And get this number 2:"You acknowledge and agree that if the third party authenticator determines that an item is counterfeit, it will be confiscated." Thoughts?
 
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Adam Harris

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I did not know either of these things.
Can you point us to these eBay new rules.

FYI - if correct. I disagree with both - firstly vintage pieces should be left as is - light cleaning, ultrasonic - no way.
Confiscating - few could tell vintage counterfeit - does that cover 'marriage' watches, 'relumed dials' and/or Franken pieces

Ebay does not have a clue!
 

Jerry Treiman

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I think this is outrageous, and raises lots of questions.

How old is "vintage"? Who vets the "authenticator"? What if the buyer does not want any cleaning done, especially by an unknown 3rd party? What if the authenticator causes damage to the item? What if there is legitimate disagreement over what constitutes a counterfeit? How clear is the distinction between a counterfeit, a reproduction or a tribute piece? If the authenticator claims an item is counterfeit is the seller given an opportunity to retrieve the item to approach his/her source for redress? What if the buyer is knowledgeable and wants the item, even if considered a "fake"? What if an item is not counterfeit but just mis-identified? What if a nondescript item is recognized as a great rarity by the authenticator, i.e. not what was described; is that a violation? How much delay is permissible in re-conveying the item to the buyer? Who gets to keep a confiscated item?

These policies appear, to me, to violate the interests of the seller and the buyer. There are just too many issues for this to work well.
 

Hawk53

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Watches listed in the primary category of wristwatches (31387) and sold for $2,000 or more are eligible for Authenticity Guarantee.

For that kind of money I wouldn't be buying them from ebay.
 

Robert Stokes

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Jeff -- Thanks for locating the Authenticity Guarantee policy on Bay -- the only good news for me is that it only applies to watches that are priced at $2000 or up:

What items are eligible for Authenticity Guarantee?

Watches listed in the primary category of wristwatches (31387) and sold for $2,000 or more are eligible for Authenticity Guarantee.

Are vintage watches eligible for Authenticity Guarantee?

A vintage watch is eligible for the Authenticity Guarantee program, if all eligibility criteria are met.

However, this is "way overkill" to stop fraud. At minimum, eBay should make this Authenticity Guarantee optional -- caveat emptor !!!!
Fortunately, $2000 is way over my budget.....
 

Dave T

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Too bad the $2,000 limit wasn't mentioned early on in this thread. Took me five minutes of searching to get this answer before I found it here posted farther down! ;)
 
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Bruce Alexander

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Just a clock guy chiming in here. Counterfeiting must really be a problem if eBay is willing to provide this "service" with no explicit additional charge to either party. I agree that it should be optional and confiscation of alleged forgeries would make me think twice about their experts.

On the plus side, it should ensure accurate listings and could conceivably protect both buyers and sellers from foolishness.

Fortunately, it's pretty easy to see when clocks have been altered. I normally don't deal with many high-end examples so perhaps I'm just not in the 'zone' where it makes sense to fake something.

Interesting thread and always good to know what eBay's up to even if I'm not directly affected. Thanks Jeff. :thumb:
 

gatorcpa

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Like many things in life, this looks like a mixed bag.

The way I read this, the policy is mainly geared towards more modern pieces.

It remains to be seen how this policy is going to apply to older watches. There is no definition of what eBay means by the following, "Vintage watches which are verified as authentic by the third-party authentication partner that may contain replacement parts that are not from the original manufacturer if the original manufacturer no longer makes that part." I can understand how this will apply to a modern watch. I have no idea what it will mean to a relatively common 50-60 year old watch like an Omega Constellation or Rolex Oyster Perpetual. Parts for these watches (especially wear-out parts like seals, crowns and crystals) might be available directly from a manufacturer if one is an authorized repair shop, but are unavailable to mere mortals like us.

I can see how this policy can benefit sellers in some cases where a buyer wants to return, but has broken this supposed "security tag".

It is not clear whether this guarantee is voluntary or mandatory. In any case, it looks like a seller can get out of it by using the word "customized" somewhere in the listing. "Items specified as “Customized” are not eligible for authentication. Customized is defined as original brand parts that have been replaced with non-brand parts or parts not original to the model or era, or components that are modified from the original design." If your listing contains a disclaimer on customization, it might be exempt regardless of age or price.

eBay has been trying to attract more corporate business for a long time to compete with Amazon. They could care less about the "vest pocket" dealer or picker sellers.

Just my view on the matter,
gatorcpa
 
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Dick C

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Why is Ebay doing this? I would take a guess that they are having to deal with too many guaranteed returns because the description doesn't match the actual item. The following is from the Ebay site:

"If the buyer wants to return an item to you, your options for responding depend on why they want to send it back. If the item is damaged, faulty, or doesn’t match the listing description, they’re covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee, and you’ll have to refund them or replace the item, even if you don’t offer returns. If they’ve changed their mind, your options depend on your return policy."
 

Bruce Alexander

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they are having to deal with too many guaranteed returns
The Seller is footing that bill. Regardless of one's return/no return policy, if the Buyer claims that the item is not as described (including changes due to original shipping damage) they can force a return with full refund of the purchase price, and all shipping charges (if the Seller doesn't challenge the Buyer's assertions). If the item is relatively inexpensive, the Seller will likely issue the refund and tell the Buyer to just keep it rather than risk having to pay return shipping or an argument/negative feedback.

The only thing eBay is out of is their percentage of the sale and some administrative costs. They'll still come out ahead because of their "guarantee". They are willing to pay 50% of the return shipping if you agree to free returns. There are significant costs and risks to Sellers on eBay. If a buyer dings the seller due to something totally beyond his or her control, they'll probably eat a loss even if they are able to turn around and sell the item again. On the other hand, they do give a Seller access to a global marketplace. I'm not bashing them...take it or leave it. The choice is always yours.

I agree that they seem to want to be more competitive and the market seems to be getting used to "Free Shipping". Sorry, there's no such thing but it does put a lot of pressure on any profit margin. Acquisition, restoration, listing, packaging, shipping, fees...minimum wage would be a welcome change. Amazon is cutting out the middle man and cutting out 3rd Party Shippers. eBay can't cut out their Sellers. They can squeeze them though. :eek:

I think the $2,000 floor has everything to do with covering the costs of the program while still turning a profit. A $1,900 counterfeit watch would still be a very significant financial hit to most of us.

I think it would be interesting to know more about their "experts".
 
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Jeff Hess

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Why is Ebay doing this? I would take a guess that they are having to deal with too many guaranteed returns because the description doesn't match the actual item. The following is from the Ebay site:

"If the buyer wants to return an item to you, your options for responding depend on why they want to send it back. If the item is damaged, faulty, or doesn’t match the listing description, they’re covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee, and you’ll have to refund them or replace the item, even if you don’t offer returns. If they’ve changed their mind, your options depend on your return policy."

In this case.... it might help. Buyer/Gamers/Scammers often say "not a described to get a partial refund... it is just a cottage industry. "Sir, you mentioned the scratch on the dial and you had a picture of it but it looks much worse than I thought. We can consider this a closed matter if you refund me 300 dollars". you say no, send it back and they tell ebay "not a described" or couterfiet in hopes of getting some leverage.

Jeff
 

Jeff Hess

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I think it would be interesting to know more about their "experts".

me too! This is going to be fun! And interesting!

Oh, and they do realize that giving a watch a "bath in an ultrasonic" is not good for watch right? They know that moisture is an enemy of watches right? (or do they)
 

Dr. Jon

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As i read this the program is optional. I do not see any requirement that a watch priced at over $2000 has to take this service.

It seems to be the seller option. If this is correct I believe it can benefit buyer and seller. Buyers get a third party authentication. This can be important for Rolex who will not service a watch with third party parts. It offers the seller protection against buy and switch or mess up and return.

I am not happy about the "light cleaning" and question who they get to authenticate. A lot depends on how well the program goes.

I recently has an item shipped by eBay shipping from the UK.
1) It was not necessary. Royal mail would have been cheaper and faster but it was term of sale so I went with it
2) Initial tracking information was confusing,
3) It went on a very strange route
4) It spent 7 days in US customs.

Perhaps the option is useful from nations with poor postal service.

I am not impressed with Ebay operation on this and suspect authentication will be similarly inept.
 

bruce linde

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'if eligible'.... it's a service they're trying to sell.... optional.
 

Jeff Hess

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'if eligible'.... it's a service they're trying to sell.... optional.
hmmm.. Do not think so. We were told by them that it is not optional and they do not charge for it. EVery wrist that sells for 2k or more WILL go to the authenticators. There will be no charge. This is what they told us verbally. We checked with another major seller yesterday who thought like you did and they called their TSAM and were told by their TSAM also (as ours said) "not optional" and no charge.

Jeff
 

geno55

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Could be a push by the big watch Co's to try to stop Counterfeit watches selling online, it states that counterfeits will be confiscated. Ebay states there is no charge for this, there is no free lunch. Now hows that for a conspiracy theory. Geno
 

Jeff Hess

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Geno, anothert take is that by going through and authenticator, we ship directly to them. PErhaps ebay will not even allow us to know who the buyer is?
 

bruce linde

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I just went back and reread everything. It seems like if your watch item is over $2000 in value you must guarantee its authenticity and run it through their program.

Authenticity disclaimer policy | eBay

I can’t see this leading to anything except lawsuits and loss of revenue for eBay when people stop selling their watches there
 
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bruce linde

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by the way… I found discussions of this program going back to September 2018. I’m also curious as to who these experts are, what happens if they damage an item while doing their light cleaning, what qualifies them, the legality of confiscation, etc.
 

Jeff Hess

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by the way… I found discussions of this program going back to September 2018. I’m also curious as to who these experts are, what happens if they damage an item while doing their light cleaning, what qualifies them, the legality of confiscation, etc.

Ebay set us with a meeting with that guy.... 2 years ago. To be nice, I will say, to be charitable, he was a bit "over his head". A pleasant guy, amiable fellow. but WAY over his head. We asked him rudimentary questions about vintage. He was confused. He later was replaced or wuit. now this deal. We shall see.
 

Dick C

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Stop selling if Ebay implements this. They will recant after they get sued because the authenticator goofs up a good item.
 

Tom McIntyre

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Someone must be paying for this. The major brands may be underwriting it.

It reminds me of the Tmen raiding an early IWJG show with Rolex specialists and confiscating fakes. They actually took a couple of dealers into custody. A little later they gave Dick Z. 6 months at the Spa in PA for importing cheap Rolex knockoffs.

Rolex must have a significant budget for this kind of brand protection.
 

Bruce Alexander

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I think that eBay needs to provide more transparency. That's especially true if the process is not optional. Who are their experts with such wide-ranging, final-say authority on authenticity? They better be darn good at their jobs and I wouldn't expect someone like that to work for peanuts. eBay will take a minimum of $200 off the top (eBay PayPal Fee Calculator | Calculate your eBay/PayPal Profits). They will still be turning a sufficient profit from a minimum $200 fee on the transaction.
 

Jeff Hess

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Someone must be paying for this. The major brands may be underwriting it.

It reminds me of the Tmen raiding an early IWJG show with Rolex specialists and confiscating fakes. They actually took a couple of dealers into custody. A little later they gave Dick Z. 6 months at the Spa in PA for importing cheap Rolex knockoffs.

Rolex must have a significant budget for this kind of brand protection.

Parenthetically, when that happened the other guy who got arrested that day sued me for mentioning the fact that he got sued... I mentioned it on social media group and he sued me. My attorneys worked with Rolexes attorneys on that one.
 

Jeff Hess

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Someone must be paying for this. The major brands may be underwriting it.

It reminds me of the Tmen raiding an early IWJG show with Rolex specialists and confiscating fakes. They actually took a couple of dealers into custody. A little later they gave Dick Z. 6 months at the Spa in PA for importing cheap Rolex knockoffs.

Rolex must have a significant budget for this kind of brand protection.
and btw, it was an nawcc show, not an iwjg show.
 

Jeff Hess

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Here is a passage in the disclaimer that is unsettling. "If the item’s authenticity cannot be verified ... the item is returned to the seller and a refund is issued.". So if the third party authenticator partner does not know that Rolex made braclets in ARgentina and Mexico or does not know that Rolex had a separate agreement with Rolex of Canada where they made gold filled watches and watches with rhinestones in them etc and cannot really verify it, they P*ss off the seller and the buyer for wasting their time not allowing the sale to go through?
 

penjunky

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If I read this right, ebay has you send your watch to a third party, and this guy decides he can't authenticate it before he cleans it, then clean it the way described, no doubt ruining the watch, sends it on to the buyer and if not authentic the buyer sends it back for a refund, BUT, if decided it is authentic after he cleaned it, sends it to the buyer, the buyer sees the watch don't perform or look right, contacts ebay, thus destroying an honest seller.

On the other hand, say the guy say's it's authentic, and the watch does run somewhat after the buyer gets it, the buyer tells ebay it's okay, the seller get's his money, then over a short time the dial starts peeling apart, the watch stops performing like it should, what's the buyer supposed to do then? The laws of weight and measure would never equal out this way.

If ebay goes ahead and does it like they are describing, then the big red truck has left the firehouse and it ain't coming back. Ebay should know to seek a professional cause a professional would know everything about the authentication process and would never do anything to damage the watch to begin with.

An alternative option—(if in fact ebay is going to stand behind the cost of authentication like they say) make it clear to the seller and highly recommend to the buyer that the buyer has the option to seek a professional of their choosing, or one highly recommended. If authentic, everything goes smooth, if not, the buyer returns it to ebay, ebay refunds the buyers money, holds the watch and the seller cannot get it back before first depositing the cost of return shipping to and from the professional and to the buyer. If it is authentic, the buyer's wouldn't want to return anyway because they wouldn't have paid that much if they didn't want it to begin with. Ebay decides if they want to go the confiscated route

Just my two cents worth.

Roger
 
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Clint Geller

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Geno, anothert take is that by going through and authenticator, we ship directly to them. PErhaps ebay will not even allow us to know who the buyer is?
That's a great point, Jeff. If the item is "authenticated" by eBay's third party, that could be the first step towards eBay preparing to argue that seller reputations or feedback ratings are no longer important, so there is no longer any reason for the buyer to know who the seller is. And that would be huge for eBay, well worth the cost to them of the authentication service. Ebay probably loses a lot of profits to buyers and sellers taking their transactions off line. Sellers can place buy-it-now listings with deliberately unrealistic prices in the hope that a savvy buyer will contact them off line and save them the eBay and PayPal fees. And of course, as it works now, once the first sale between two parties goes through Ebay's system, they are then connected, so they don't need eBay anymore for the second, third, fourth and n'th sales between them. Conversely, once eBay severs this direct buyer-seller connection, they can maintain complete control indefinitely! During a pandemic, when face-to-face buyer-seller encounters are that much harder, it is the ideal time for eBay to roll out this change.
 
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Nookster

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Question, what is considered vintage? Is there an opt out per watch option? Say you buy a vintage Hamilton K-475 but the movement is a Hamilton 64A and it needs a 690 and you have the correct movement, can you still buy it?

Who will do the authenticity? Rolex for Rolex, Omega for Omega, Patek for Patek?

I would assume Rolex is behind this, as in the beginning of Ebay, Rolex tried everything to stop Rolex being sold on their site.

What happens when a jewelers cased watch comes up? Say it's a ladies Hamilton incased in diamonds and platinum. We know it's not made by Hamilton, so is it then considered fake?

There is cost associated with doing this, is it ebay, the seller or the buyer?
 
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Dick C

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What am I missing? Someone lists a watch that is eligible and it sells. In order to sell it must be paid for. So if one uses Paypal they store a shipping address.

Will the PayPal address be the one they have on file or will it be the one provided by Ebay. PayPal is a separate company now, so might they be in collusion with EBay if it is the latter?

If the item is lost, damage, stolen, etc. who is liable?

Who is the largest repair shop? Are they able to authenticate watches from all over the world?

Ebay is losing it.
 
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KVRPGE

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Is this April 1? Good old eBay has found another way to rip us off!!
 

hyperhad

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I foresee lots of "regular-quality" watches selling for $1,999.99!

From the site:
... top models from luxury watch brands (e.g., Rolex Submariner, Omega Seamaster, Breitling Navitimer) are also eligible regardless of the auction starting price. Do they have a complete list of "top models" from "luxury brands"?
 

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Unless Clint is correct in their motive to create "Sellers Anonymous" their list will include all their sponsoring makers for this effort because that is where the money is coming from.

If they also go to no sales tax and free delivery they will almost catch up with some of the on-line scheduled auctions. They would need to move their operations to New Hampshire to avoid the sales tax. Of course sellers could also just ship their merchandise to those same auction sites.
 

KVRPGE

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Unless Clint is correct in their motive to create "Sellers Anonymous" their list will include all their sponsoring makers for this effort because that is where the money is coming from.

If they also go to no sales tax and free delivery they will almost catch up with some of the on-line scheduled auctions. They would need to move their operations to New Hampshire to avoid the sales tax. Of course sellers could also just ship their merchandise to those same auction sites.
Do you realize that you may have antagonized eBay the almighty ?
 

Jeff Hess

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Looks like all is well. We now know the authenticator and he is without doubt one of the most stand-up bona fide genuine experts on the planet. Not sure quite why eBay said watches would be put in an ultrasonic. this man would not do this. EVER. As to the "confiscation" aspect, I am still waiting to see what the deal is on that one.

Jeff
 
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Hawk53

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"Looks like all is well. We now know the authenticator and he is without doubt one of the most stand-up bona fide genuine experts on the planet"

and that would be:???::???::???::???::???::???::???::???:?
 

everydaycats

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If true then the "authenticators" are going to be very busy. NO WAY I want anyone polishing or ultrasonic 'ing a watch—that's just nuts. I stopped long ago buying anything over $75 on eBay because of the obvious rampant fraud so this will not impact me. Just take a look at the fake Seiko's coming out of India that sell for under $50. I always suggest to anyone NEVER buy a watch on eBay unless you first consult someone that can spot an obvious fake from a picture.
 

Jim DuBois

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I can't imagine any scenario where this will work. Not all experts agree, I have known some true experts who from time to time make mistakes. Also, shipping an item twice to complete a transaction seems to double the opportunity to become lost or damaged. Then there is the concept of cleaning the movement and polishing the case by the "expert?" If I had a $10,000 watch it would not be sold in that fashion.

I think my watch is mint. The expert says it is excellent but not mint. What are the repercussions and what are my options? Or I think it to be a $10,000 watch and the expert knows it is a $100,000 watch. What does he do there? His obligations to the buyer and the seller are? The rules posted so far are worse than nebulous and may protect fleabay but further than that? And a few tests in a court of law? A house of cards, not likely to be with us for long.
 

Jeff Hess

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ok, "appears' that the press releasse from ebay may not have been sanctioned by the authenticar. the authenticator is known by all of us an stand up guy. not sure I can share it yet... stay tuned until tomorrow.. '
 

Jeff Hess

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I can't imagine any scenario where this will work. Not all experts agree, I have known some true experts who from time to time make mistakes. Also, shipping an item twice to complete a transaction seems to double the opportunity to become lost or damaged. Then there is the concept of cleaning the movement and polishing the case by the "expert?" If I had a $10,000 watch it would not be sold in that fashion.

I think my watch is mint. The expert says it is excellent but not mint. What are the repercussions and what are my options? Or I think it to be a $10,000 watch and the expert knows it is a $100,000 watch. What does he do there? His obligations to the buyer and the seller are? The rules posted so far are worse than nebulous and may protect fleabay but further than that? And a few tests in a court of law? A house of cards, not likely to be with us for long.
i think the idea was, largely, a terrific one. Seller fraud and buyer fraud could be very well be decreased if done right. Here is my take: It was a great idea, but "rolled out" badly. Typical transaction for seller goes like this: Seller sells a watch. buyer gets it. Buyer makes up claim as it being "not as described". Buyer asks for "partial discount" or he will report to ebay. Seller says send it back. Buyer says "don;t want to sell it back just want a discount. Buyer says "we disclosed the problem. Seller says yes but it was worse than I thought. Buyer returns item. Ebay's sales stats get diluted. Buyer gets a mark on his record. Seller resells and people think there is something wrong with it.

With this plan, it goes to authenticator first. He notes watch is fine and dandy. Buyer is protected by scam sellers and seller is protected by scam buyers. Authenticator just needs to determine if watch is "As described"

The problem was that some mid-level doof at ebay garbled and or just fugged up (can I say that) the roll out language with this whole "give it an ultrasonic bath" language (stupid) and confiscation garbage. (they cannot do that0.

They have backed away from this language now.

jeff

they authenticator just has to confirm it was as described
 

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I just got this email from ebay

We’re introducing Authenticity Guarantee to protect sellers of luxury wristwatches sold domestically for $2,000 or more with verified returns.
Your listings are exposed to 174 million active buyers. With Authenticity Guarantee you can sell luxury watches with peace of mind and buyers can shop with confidence.

When a luxury watch sells with the “Authenticity Guarantee” badge, the seller will ship their item to our authentication partner for verification of condition and authenticity.
Following verification, the authentication partner will ship the watch to the buyer. eBay covers all costs in the authentication process including two-day secure delivery from the authentication partner to the buyer.

If a buyer initiates a return of an inspected watch, they will be required to send it to our authentication partner who will confirm that it's in the same condition in which it was sold.
Our authentication partner will then return the watch to you. eBay covers all return shipping costs.

Item eligibility

Watches listed in the wristwatches category and sold for $2,000 or more are eligible for Authenticity Guarantee.

Smart watches, watch parts, and accessories are not eligible for Authenticity Guarantee. Items specified as “Customized” are not eligible for authentication.
Customized is defined as original brand parts that have been replaced with non-brand parts or parts not original to the model or era, or components that are
modified from the original design. Local pickup-only listings are not eligible for Authenticity Guarantee.

If your item is eligible for authentication, an Authenticity Guarantee badge will automatically appear on the item listing.

When you sell the luxury watch domestically for more than $2,000, your order details will reflect the coverage and our authentication partner’s
ship-to address will appear in place of the buyer’s address. You’ll receive email updates from eBay throughout the verification process.

How Authenticity Guarantee works

When you sell a luxury watch covered by Authenticity Guarantee

1. You list your luxury watch. If your item qualifies for Authenticity Guarantee, it will automatically be given program badging. Your item will show an
estimated delivery date including 2 days at the authenticator and 2 days shipping to the customer.
2. Ship your luxury watch to our authenticator. When your item sells, your order will automatically update with our authentication partner's address.
Expedited shipping with insurance is recommended when shipping to the authenticator.
3. Your luxury watch is inspected. Our authentication partner will check the item against the listing description, verify each part of the item, and then
ship it to the buyer with a unique authentication card.
4. Your luxury watch is delivered. Your item is given additional premium packaging and sent to the customer via 2-day shipping with signature required.

If a buyer returns a luxury watch covered by Authenticity Guarantee

1. The buyer ships your luxury watch to our authentication partner. The buyer is required to send the item to our authentication partner and will be provided with a free return label.
2. Item verification. Our authentication partner will inspect and evaluate your item’s condition. You are protected if the item is damaged or altered upon return.
3. The luxury watch is shipped to you. Our authentication partner will send the item to you via 2-day shipping with signature required. All return shipping costs are covered by eBay.

For full program details and eligibility requirements, learn more here.
 

Jim Haney

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Sep 21, 2002
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Thank God it is for wrist watches only.. What a bunch of BS... I don't see how they will get away with it and Jeff H. Likes it:???:/
 
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