eBay Expands Luxury Watch Authentication Expert Verification

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay is expanding options for authentication of watches, lowering the minimum price point...for a fee.

eBay's original Authenticity Guarantee Program for watches sets the qualifying price at $2,000+. That still holds and for now at least, there are no additional fees for authentication within that program.

However, eBay has now rolled out an add on option for "expert verification" for watches priced between $1,000-$2,000, at a cost of $80 plus tax.

Expert verification for watches | eBay.com

Additional protection for your purchase
Expert verification puts your $1,000-$2,000 watch through our Authenticity Guarantee process. Your watch and all accessories and packaging will be verified by independent experts to be authentic and as described in the listing. All for just $80.

Here's what it looks like on the listing page:

There are no brand limitations, this service is offered purely based on price point.

As with any new policy or program, I recommend checking out the full terms and conditions yourself, but here are a couple highlights from the FAQ sections.

Buyer FAQs

How does expert verification work?
On qualifying wristwatches priced between $1,000-$1,999.99, you will see an additional service available on the item page for expert verification. When you add the expert verification service to your purchase, the seller will send the item directly to an authentication center where the item will undergo a multi-point inspection by expert authenticators before it is shipped to you safely via two-day signature-required delivery.

Will I be charged for expert verification services?
Yes, the cost to add expert verification on qualifying items between $1,000-$1,999.99 is $80 plus applicable taxes applied at checkout per item.

What items are “eligible” for expert verification?
Currently, watches listed in the primary category of wristwatches and sold for $1,000-$1,999.99 USD are eligible for the add-on expert verification service.

Smart watches, watch parts, and accessories are not eligible for expert verification. Items specified as customized will not be eligible. Listings that offer only local pickup or items shipped to P.O. Boxes will not be eligible for expert verification. Any item purchased using an offline payment method will not be eligible for expert verification.

Only items purchased on eBay.com are eligible for expert verification. Items that are listed on eBay.com from sellers located in Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, South Korea and Italy for delivery to a buyer located within the US are eligible for expert verification - check back for additional countries to be added. However, items that ship to a buyer address outside the continental U.S. are not eligible for the service.

Can I return items purchased with expert verification?
Buyers can return an item if the Seller accepts returns, as stated in the listing, and the return takes place within the Seller’s return window. If the Seller does not accept returns or the return is submitted outside the return window, this will be considered final sale and cannot be returned.

Are verified items protected by the eBay Money Back Guarantee?
For items going through expert verification, eBay Money Back Guarantee covers items returned within the seller’s return window and satisfies the eMBG eligibility requirements.

Seller FAQs

Will I be charged for expert verification?
Sellers are not charged for expert verification services; buyers have the option to purchase the expert verification service for the cost of $80 plus applicable taxes applied at checkout.

What if I list my watch for auction for less than $1,000, but the final amount surpasses the $1,000 threshold?
Your item will be eligible for expert verification if the final sale price surpasses $1,000 but does not surpass $1,999.99 as long as the buyer chooses to add the service upon checkout. Items that sell for over $2,000 will no longer qualify, and will be automatically eligible for eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee at no cost to the buyer or seller.

Can I offer combined shipping?
Expert verification items will not be eligible for combined shipping promotions since each verified item is split into a separate order.

How does the return process work with expert verification?
If you choose to offer returns, when a buyer decides to return a watch, they will be instructed to send it back to the authentication partner.

Within 2 business days of receiving the item, the authenticator will check to verify that the returned item matches the authenticity and condition in which it was originally sent to the buyer. The security tag must remain attached to the item and untampered to be eligible for a return.

If the watch passes the authenticity and condition inspection, it will be returned to the seller. Otherwise, the watch will be sent back to the buyer. The shipping label is covered by eBay at no cost to the buyer or seller. If fraud is detected, eBay will work with authorities to take appropriate action.

What is the return process for international purchases?
The item will go through the same return process as a domestic order with the exception that the seller may be liable to pay duties and taxes upon the return of the watch.

Why was my item confiscated?
If counterfeit goods are discovered, they may be confiscated and ebay will work with the proper authorities as needed.

What will happen if my item is damaged or lost while in the possession of the third-party authenticator?
In the unlikely event your item is lost or damaged while in the possession of the third party authenticator, eBay will cover such loss or damage of the item.

What will happen if my item is damaged or lost in transit when the authenticator ships it to the buyer?
In the unlikely event your item is lost or damaged, please notify eBay Customer Support.

What do you think of eBay's new expert verification service? Would you pay $80 plus tax to verify a $1,000 watch? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!