Timepiece

Chrono24 watch listings are not always what they seem

VShrono24.com is a platform for reselling watches, both new and used, and like eBay, the site also serves as a benchmark for consumers, retailers and wholesalers to use to determine a fair market price.

Similar to sites like Cars.com or Autotrader.com, you can get a good estimate of the market price for specific watch models, with a scale large enough to be very useful. That’s the good side, but there’s also a bad side, and I’d say that’s more of a problem with watches than with cars.

There are many cheating scenarios on Chrono24.com and ebay.com.

Some of the ads may be for a watch that is not actually available and when the unsuspecting consumer buys the watch, then the dealer rushes to acquire the watch to profit from it without ever holding the inventory. It’s a bit like drop-shipping. It’s a very bad way to sell luxury watches, but there’s probably no way to stop it, so beware.

Other advertisements may be online only to increase the perception of high prices of a watch model which may not reach the prices listed. This tactic pushes the benchmark index up without necessarily reflecting actual prices. On eBay, there is at least a way to look at actual selling prices, and that of course shows a more realistic picture of what selling prices really are, not just listing prices.

One of the worst tactics, which can also combine the two aforementioned techniques, is to use images of a non-factory produced watch, purporting to be their own, to make it look like they have the actual watch in stock when ‘they’re just making it look like they do, and if you’re buying through the listing, they’ll probably do one of three things: 1- source the watch after the sale is made, 2- get your money back through a irreversible transfer, because they have earned you trust with a realistic picture of the watch, then never send you the watch 3- or never send you a fake watch that replicates the real thing. (To avoid this you can use the Chrono24s Escrow service, pay with a credit card or pay with Paypal – all of which have protections in place if a retailer fails to send the watch, if they send a fake watch or if it significantly misrepresents the model or condition of the watch.)

These are just a few scenarios and with the secondary (unauthorized) reseller Movement over time of New York, Professional Watches can say unequivocally that this dealer did not take these images of a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196, we know that because we took these images at Patek Philippe headquarters in New York in 2014, and you can see the pictures in our original article.

Chrono24 is said to have 40 staff members dedicated to researching these misleading listings, and if true, it’s proof that no major platform will likely ever be able to control this issue. How could Chrono24 know that this reseller is using images that he did not take? At the very least, since they have such a great team to prevent this sort of thing, they should delete the list and warn Movement over time stop using images that mislead consumers.