Some of the most popular items advertised on sites like ebay and Craigslist are jewelry and watches. Because these items generally have high sticker prices for first-time owners, buying used watches and jewelry online can be a significant cost savings – especially if your tastes are for luxury brands. Because of the high value attached to used watches and jewelry, it behooves any buyer or seller to seek out financial protections when selling through auction sites or online classifieds.
Secure Your Funds
Buying watches and jewelry online can save you lots of cash, but that doesn’t mean that used luxury items are cheap. Even used items can easily have price tags equivalent to older used cars. So, if you’re not able to see the auction item in person how can you guarantee your not getting a raw deal? Online escrow services are a great way to help mitigate risk for both the buyer AND seller. Sellers know that the funds are good as the money is verified upfront and held with a neutral third party. Buyers are secured knowing that they’ll have proof of shipping, or the item will have already arrived before funds are released to the seller.
Ship It Properly
Most traditional shipping companies like UPS or Fedex will only insure packages up to a certain dollar amount – generally in the neighborhood of $1,000. USPS will allow you to purchase extra coverage for up to $5,000. If multiple items are being shipped to the same address, it may be smart to separate the items into two or three packages to avoid a potential catastrophic loss. Also avoid using any labeling that blatantly calls attention to the fact that there is jewelry inside the package. For additional security, be sure to ship via certified mail or any type of shipping that requires a signature for the package to be delivered.
Get It Appraised
While everyone wants to believe the best in people, it never hurts to get a second opinion. Requesting a 24-48 period to have items inspected before processing payment can be a life saver if you suspect you may be a victim of product fraud. Also be sure to ask for any prior appraisal information that the seller may be able to provide. If no such paperwork exists it should raise a red flag regardless of the item’s price point. Ultimately, building in time for an inspection puts the buyer’s mind at ease and shows that the seller stands behind their statements. Should the item be returned for one reason or another, it’s also important for sellers to have the item re-appraised. It’s not an uncommon scam to have buyers return and item only to have swapped out the genuine gemstone or watch with a fake.
When it comes right down to it, you should trust your gut. If the price of an item seems too good to be true, it often times is exactly that. For additional tips, check out some of our other posts on buying and selling safely online, and how to protect yourself from online scams.