Monthly Archives: September 2013

Luxury Watches – Why You Should Buy Your Next One Online – Part Two

By Richard Stancik

As we covered in part one of this article series, many luxury watch manufacturers have rules prohibiting their authorized dealers from selling their products online. Is this rule fair and reasonable? As you may have guessed, the opinion of this author is that this rule is NOT fair. Why? Let’s consider a few reasons:
1) The internet — the future is now.
The internet has become a virtual world encompassing almost all aspects of life; after all, it is known as the “information superhighway” right? People use the internet for social networking, shopping, medical advice, car repair and home improvement info, and much much more. Without the internet, chances are that many, if not most of us would not even know what luxury watch manufacturers exist. What’s the point? When it comes to internet sales, many manufacturers need to “get with it.” By using authorized online dealers to sell their products, more people would be aware of those products. This leads to the next point:
2) Accessibility to the consumer.
Right now, if I want to shop for many luxury watches from an “authorized” dealer, I have to travel at least 50 miles from where I live and in order to shop some of the more exclusive brands, I’d have to travel some 230 miles to Chicago, Illinois. So, my choice is either to buy from an unauthorized source OR travel significant distance. Some may say,”if you’ve got the money to buy a luxury watch, travel is no big deal for you.” Okay, that may be true enough but what if the closest dealer still doesn’t have the watch you want? The internet can allow for much greater choices than one local dealer.
3) Fakes — fear vs. reality.
One of the reasons watch manufacturers say you shouldn’t buy online is because you might unintentionally buy a fake. The concept is that if you buy a watch costing thousands of dollars without seeing it first you might get taken. What’s the reality? Some fakes are so well made that you wouldn’t know by looking at it that it is a fake until an expert tells you so. The consumer’s only hope is to trust the manufacturer to direct direct him to a legitimate dealer and then trust the dealer to sell him a real watch. Why not do the same online?
4) Used market.
There is no authorized way for watch buyers to buy used watches and conversely for people to sell them. As a result, companies that deal in used watches are forced to warranty the products themselves. Consider the automobile market: if you buy a used car within the manufacturer’s warranty period, the manufacturer’s warranty still carries over to the new owner. Since cars cost tens of thousands of dollars, shouldn’t a watch costing thousands also have the same policy?
I hope that after considering these points, you’ll support the online watch dealers that have the watch you want to buy. In our next article, we’ll consider the perils of buying watches online. Thanks for reading!