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  1. Mike H

    Mike H Dec 1, 2019

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    Looking at a watch on Chrono24 from a private seller overseas.
    The website does not offer buyer protection from private sellers.
    Photos and provenance all seem legit. I’m curious if anyone has experience with private sales on Chrono24.
    Any advise out there?
    Thanks so much.
     
  2. Dan S

    Dan S Dec 1, 2019

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    I think there is some protection via the escrow service but it’s not foolproof. I suggest using the search feature since I recall a few threads on this topic.

    My advice would be to do the same amount of due diligence on the seller as you would do in any private sale. C24 might be a backstop, but you really want to avoid any problems to begin with.
     
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  3. X350 XJR

    X350 XJR Vintage Omega Aficionado Dec 1, 2019

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    Funding your payment using a credit card either via PayPal or directly adds some from of protection, otherwise only spend what you can afford to lose.
     
  4. Shabbaz

    Shabbaz Dec 1, 2019

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    I'm a private seller on chrono. I dont like ebay as a selling platform. I always sell my watches through chrono escrow. But I'm not sure what kind of protection they give you as a buyer when a watch is redialed, etc. With PayPal you have better protection than chrono escrow I assume. So do your due dilligence. And you can always propose to buy a watch with PayPal outside chrono. Although it's against the rules of chrono of course. They want their fee. And that's fair because they give you a platform to advertise the watch.
     
  5. imagwai

    imagwai Dec 1, 2019

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    I've sold on Chrono24 as a private individual. I signed up to use their Escrow service. Registration required me to enter banking details, upload photo ID and go through a check. After that, I was able to offer buyers the Escrow service on sales. If your private seller offers this, then typically the money won't be released to them until you confirm to Chrono24 that you've received the watch.
     
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  6. TimeODanaos

    TimeODanaos Dec 1, 2019

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    Welcome, Mike. I am so glad you posted this, it proves you are as human as the rest of us. I am a very keen advocate of the escrow system, indeed I am sometimes accused of being some kind of untrusting "bad sport" for insisting on it, and it does sometimes limit my opportunities when I can't make it F2F. It never ceases to amaze me how intelligent and practical people (me included) seem to simply lose their everyday compass for trouble as soon as a stranger offers them a beautiful watch - as opposed, say, to a second-hand car or a makeover for their real estate.
    Escrow solves the problem, 100%, of either buyer or seller running off without delivering their side of the bargain. But... (and I'm sure you felt that coming) - it does not, and usually cannot, solve the different problem of the false, or contested, or erroneous description of the goods. Chrono are, I feel, a little to blame with their rather optimistic talk of "buyer protection". If, say, you bought Omega and you unwrap Rolex, you will notice immediately and you can contact Chrono to freeze or return your payment. Same goes for other glaring issues. Local consumer legislation differs, but I have to say that atm Brits do probably benefit from being in the same legal space as their Euro-buddies, same as with airlines and cellphones.
    The two things that Chrono escrow cannot do - 1. stop payment three weeks later, after a visit to your watchmaker has revealed the bad news on the inside, and 2. adjudicate subjective issues about e.g. condition or "rare" ness where it is not clear who is right.
    All that being so, what a good lawyer will say is 1. Always buy from someone who can be physically found if the need arises, and preferably within a jurisdiction that actually works properly 2. Always buy from someone who has something to lose if they screw you over - either a physical location that can be attached in a judgment, or a reputation that can be wrecked with bad publicity. Yes, watch dealing is an industry in which an awful lot of people do great business without those key attributes. Some of them do it legitimately and well. But some don't.
    Sorry to go on like this to a fellow adult, my apologies - only you can decide where you draw your own lines. Personally, I would be looking to meet the individual unless there were other protections in place. It's only a watch, remember, and there are lots of other ones coming along!
    My 2c!
    Hope it goes well. :thumbsup:
     
  7. mmpass

    mmpass Dec 1, 2019

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    I recently purchased a vintage Tudor from a private seller on Chrono24. I mistakenly thought the protection extended to private sales (stupid). Had some concerns about the authenticity of the movement based upon an invoice from the seller's jeweler regarding routine repair of the watch.
    Anyway, I held the payment while I had the watch looked at by a local watch shop. I was able to converse with the seller who was nervous about the delay.
    The seller indicted to me that he would take the watch back if it was not authentic as advertised. In reality, he could have just waited it out.
    It worked out (watch was legit), but I am not sure I would go private again without more certainty about the seller.
    As an amateur watch enthusiast the ONE thing I am learning from this site and others is that buying vintage watches carries so many risks.

    Going thru the various threads detailing the experiences of watch enthusiasts much more knowledgeable than me is a sobering education.
    You are swimming in deep waters trying to secure a vintage 1950's UG chronograph from an international seller.....
     
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  8. Mike H

    Mike H Dec 1, 2019

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    All great advise. Thanks to everyone for at the very least getting me to pump the brakes a little, step back and take a breath. Yeah, I’m a bit excited. My understanding is that the trusted checkout feature on C24 allows for free escrow service with “Trusted Checkout.” With private sellers there is no “Buyer Protection” ie 14 day return policy.
    I’m in the US and seller is in Romania, so unfortunately a meeting is not possible.
    I think I just may proceed. I will keep you posted.

    Thanks again
     
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  9. Mike H

    Mike H Dec 1, 2019

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    How were you able to withhold the payment?
     
  10. mmpass

    mmpass Dec 1, 2019

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    There is actually a RELEASE payment option button to press once you receive and confirm the watch is delivered as listed.
    I think to allow time to move through the postal service?
     
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  11. befobe

    befobe Dec 2, 2019

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    I sold and bought 4 or 5 watches on ch24, from pro, from private sellers, using the escrow service. Happy for now...
    But for vintage and/or expensive ones, I fully agree with previous OF members, I feel it's a little bit risky, because I have no experience in the claim process, when you receive a not conform product.
    If anyone knows, it could be interesting to explain.

    (By the way, "escroc", in French, means crook and sounds exactly like escrow... :eek:)
     
    Mike H likes this.
  12. bgrisso

    bgrisso Dec 2, 2019

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    I've bought a few on c24 from private and it worked out. I would hope you are covered in the event of an obvious issue like non delivery, loss, major damage. But as others have said if you start getting into an arguement over a redial, relume, mvmt service issue, etc..........I could see problems. The OP never disclosed he was looking at a 50s UG, not sure if that info came from a PM, but if that's correct info you could always run it by the UG subforum here for a vetting.
     
    Mike H likes this.
  13. omegaman

    omegaman Dec 2, 2019

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    How about seing it from a private sellers perspective. Let's say you are selling a valuable watch via the bay offering PayPal or via c24 offering escrow... and the buyer states he hasn't received what he bought but instead just a cheap chinese copy. So Paypal/ Escrow is freezing the payment... what are your chances as a private seller to get your money? How can you prove you sent a genuine watch and not a replica?
     
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  14. TimeODanaos

    TimeODanaos Dec 2, 2019

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    Totally fair point. If the OP were selling to (say) Ruritania instead of buying, would he still feel the same?
     
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  15. Albe100

    Albe100 Dec 2, 2019

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    I've also recently sold a watch via Chrono as a private seller using the escrow service. It leaves the seller quite exposed if the buyer makes a false claim. So I was quite nervous with this transaction.
    But like any other watch purchase, do some homework. Ask them if they have visibility on any watch related forums, references and request more photos as well.
    In the end, I had a nice exchange with the buyer during the whole process, which also helped put things at ease. We discussed collections, exchanged instagram and some references as well.

    Good luck with the purchase if you decide to pull the trigger.
     
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  16. watchyouwant

    watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Dec 2, 2019

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    the whole story is even worse for sellers....... sending expensive watches all over the planet to the next crook , deal with a chargeback from paypal, get your watch back without valuable, changed and swaped parts by the crook...... you can never proof that to ebay. they send the money back after you received your watch back. if the crook fiddles with the maximal allowed timline from paypal/ebay and sends your watch back at the last possible minute and it turns out, you get a fake vietnamese rolex back for your genuine Rolex, the crook might be able to keep your genuine Rolex and gets his money refunded by paypal as well. they just want to settle disputes and they settle in favour of the buyer. that is their business model; security for the buyer...... there are some sticky experiences out there. be careful with paypal as a seller ! we do not accept paypal on ebay sales anymore , unless the buyer talks to us before the auction ends. kind regards. achim
     
    Edited Dec 2, 2019
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  17. Mike H

    Mike H Dec 2, 2019

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  18. imagwai

    imagwai Dec 3, 2019

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    I dont understand this post. Thought we were talking about Chrono24 anyway, not eBay and Paypal.
     
  19. TimeODanaos

    TimeODanaos Dec 3, 2019

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    Mike H likes this.
  20. imagwai

    imagwai Dec 3, 2019

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    Mike H and TimeODanaos like this.