Buying a luxury watch is a big deal. Whether it’s your first purchase or your fifth, every piece has a special significance for its owner. As the world becomes ever more digital, savvy consumers are increasingly going online to make this all-important purchase. Berry’s is proud to be a front-runner in this space. We are working closely with our brand partners to make more and more of our watches available for purchase online. Not all online watch sales are created equal though. There’s still a lot of misinformation out there and it’s easy to get caught in a bad deal. To help you avoid these potential pitfalls, we’ve put together our 5 tips for buying a luxury watch online
1. Do Your Research
The first step to protecting yourself when buying online is informing yourself. There is a wealth of information available, both online and offline. Start building an overview of the watch you’re interested in. What drives its value? How widely available is it? Look at who’s selling the watch (more on that below). Does the deal seem too good to be true? Hint: it probably is. If available, look at the reviews of other buyers. Did they have a positive experience? Would they recommend the online store to others?
Where possible, try to find out what you should look for to verify the authenticity of your watch once it arrives. This especially applies to vintage/ used timepieces, where original parts may have been replaced with inferior, non-genuine ones. Besides the internet, numerous books have been written that extensively cover major models over several decades.
If you’re still not sure, come into a Berry’s boutique and speak to one our specialists about the brand or model that’s caught your attention. See it in person and experience what it feels like in your hands and on your wrist.
View the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 41mm Blue/White Dial Automatic Chronograph watch here.
2. Always Buy From An Authorised Representative
Now that you’ve done some preliminary research on Google, you’ve discovered that there are a lot of online luxury watch retailers. The vast majority of these however are not authorised representatives of the brands they offer. To protect yourself when buying a new watch online you should only deal with a seller that has been certified by the brand. That way you can have absolute confidence that the product your buying is authentic. You can also be sure that the description of the product is accurate and that the team behind the screen is receiving regular training and support from the brand.
You can also be confident that you will receive the full brand warranty, and that it will be honoured. Mechanical watches have numerous moving parts. These are prone to wear over time, and occasionally even damage. In these situations, a warranty can be the difference between a major headache and a seamless experience.
View the Omega Seamaster Railmaster 40mm Black Dial Men’s Bracelet watch here.
3. Look For Brick-And-Mortar Back-Up
Buying from an authorised dealer is a must. If you really want peace of mind though, look for online platforms that also have an actual physical store location. While this may not be a key consideration at the time of purchase, it can make all the difference post-sale. The satisfaction that comes from online shopping convenience can quickly sour the moment the package arrives. Perhaps the courier wasn’t as gentle as they should have been, or the watch wasn’t packaged correctly in the first place. Whatever the reason, receiving a damaged or faulty product is always a disappointing experience. When it comes to such an expensive and sentimental purchase, that negative feeling is magnified a thousand-fold.
Returning items for repair or service can also prove an ordeal when there is no physical shop to go to. You may have to first get approval to return, remove the strap, wrap the case, fill out a report, mail the package and pay for all subsequent postage. Having a store to go into can make resolving issues as simple as dropping the watch in and waiting for a call when it’s ready to collect. Plus, you can rest assured that the work is being carried out under warranty either by the brand itself or certified representatives of the brand.
View the Breitling Chronomat Colt 44mm Volcano Black Dial Men’s Automatic watch here.
4. Read The Fine Print
These days, most luxury watch brands offer at least two or three different collections (generally more), each of which comprises multiple models. Certain models can have countless editions, along with variants within the single edition. Sometimes the differences are subtle or may only refer to the case size. For this reason, it’s important to read the product description closely. Look for credible sites that list full product details including reference numbers and dimensions. That way you can ensure you are buying exactly the model you intend to.
Likewise, make sure you understand what you are agreeing to when you commit to making the purchase. What’s the process for returns or warranty claims? Is there a restocking fee? Are you liable for any additional taxes? Where does the watch need to be sent for services and repairs, and who pays for shipping? These details are easily overlooked in the excitement of making the purchase but can become costly later on.
View the IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince” here.
5. Ask Questions
If you still have some questions before making this all-important purchase online, by all means ask them. Not only will this help inform your decision, it’s also a great way to discern if the seller really knows their product. Having absolute peace of mind will allow you to really enjoy the experience of owning your new luxury watch. Berry’s is proud to be able offer that peace of mind on all the luxury watches we sell online. Try us out today. You will love our extensive range, professionalism and customer-first focus.