RAPAPORT… eBay has introduced an escrow service for purchases of expensive watches, aiming to enhance consumer trust in high-end digital shopping.
The option allows buyers and sellers an “added convenience” via a “trusted” third party, Escrow.com, which holds funds until the transaction is complete, eBay said Monday. The online marketplace will not charge processing fees on transactions, and has set the minimum eligible price for luxury watches at $10,000. Almost 8 million listings from the likes of Rolex and Omega appeared on the e-tail site last year.
“We are changing the way people buy and sell luxury items on eBay,” said Tirath Kamdar, general manager of eBay’s luxury unit. “When it comes to high-value watches and other significant purchases, consumers expect additional assurances.”
eBay has sold more than 7,000 luxury watches priced at more than $10,000 since launching its Authenticity Guarantee last year, it said. Almost 80,000 new, pre-owned and vintage watches, including those from some of the biggest brands in the world, are currently marked with the guarantee badge on eBay.com.
As part of the purchasing process, Escrow.com will release the funds to the seller “once the item is received in the condition described in the listing and terms of the transaction agreement are met to the satisfaction of both parties.”
The buyer will have up to seven days to inspect and examine the watch before accepting the item.
Image: High-end luxury watches. (eBay)