Financially Savvy People Buy Pre-Owned

Attention you financially savvy consumers out there! Did you know that, today, the US spends nearly $13 billion per year on used goods? What’s more is, can you imagine the billions of dollars on top of that that we, as a nation of consumers, are saving by purchasing pre-owned?

eRelyx Photo Shoot with model Jen Welsh at Alton Lane: Luxury Watches, Used Watches, Pre-Owned Watches, Boston Retail, Bespoke Clothier, Menswear, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Rolex, Breitling, Watches

All those watches? You betcha she bought ‘em used!

So how exactly should you determine what’s worth buying at retail, and where is your penny better spent purchasing pre-owned?  Yahoo! Finance breaks it down for us in their  list of the “Top 5 Things to Never Buy New,” and, of course, (this is an eRelyx.com blog, after all) luxury watches made the cut-

“Jewelry- Although it may be rich in sentimental value, fine jewelry can lose as much as 10% of its purchase price in the first year of ownership, partly due to hefty markups. Watches depreciate more slowly, at about 5% per year. So if you’re looking for new bauble to add to your jewelry collection, you’ll get a bigger bang for your buck at estate sales, pawnshops and online retailers.”

To see what else made the list, check out the full article on Yahoo! Finance today- or click here! Also, for more financial wisdom, be sure to read our other blog posts on shopping for used luxury watches:

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Another reason to be careful when buying a luxury watch on eBay

We’ve all heard the eBay horror stories when it comes to buying luxury watches.  Buyers end up with a fake watch.  Buyers end up with nothing.  Those are extreme cases – hopefully those horror stories are few and far between.  A much more prevalent problem on eBay is the exaggeration of a watch’s condition.

Take, for example, this recent listing.  This Cartier Roadster is described as “Perfect Condition…Flawless!”  Is it just us, or is the back of that watch scratched up and pitted?  Maybe the watch is in excellent condition.  But perfect?!?!

Fortunately there are pictures.  The savvy buyer will see the pictures and take everything the seller claims with a grain of salt!

Cartier Roadster, eBay, Is it safe to buy on eBay, can I trust ebay, luxury watchesCartier Roadster, eBay, Is it safe to buy on eBay, can I trust ebay, luxury watches

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Ben Affleck’s Rolex in Argo

Have you seen Ben Affleck’s new movie, Argo? Did you notice that Ben Affleck’s character was wearing a Rolex? And did you notice that the Rolex has a new-style glidelock bracelet? (It’s very noticeable when Affleck’s character takes off his wedding ring). Whoops. The movie was set in the 70s. The glidelock bracelet wasn’t introduced until much later.

Rolex, Deepsea, Glidelock bracelet, Argo, Ben Affleck

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Make a Statement with your Watch – 1:Face Watch from Mirza Minds

Why do you wear a watch?  To tell time?  To make a fashion statement?  To make people take notice?  Well what about doing all of those things while supporting a fantastic cause?  Now you can.

Mirza Minds, a Chicago-based company, recently introduced the 1:Face Watch.  A watch that “empowers YOU to create change in the world.”

1:Face Watch, Mirza Minds, indiegogo

Check out this link to support their cause: 1:Face Watch.

From the company:

The 1:Face Watch empowers YOU to create change in the World.

How: Each color watch represents a different cause and has a particular metric tied to it. When you buy a watch, this metric is carried out by our supporting charities.

For example, when you buy 1 white watch, our supporting charity One Day’s Wages provides food supplements to 16 children in the Horn of Africa.

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eBay: Seller Beware

You’ve heard us talk about the potential pitfalls of eBay many times.  eBay is an AMAZING business.  We’re big fans.  However, there are way too many issues when it comes to buying and selling high-priced luxury items.

Of course everyone knows about the horror stories when buying an expensive watch – the watch shows up broken, the watch isn’t authentic, the condition of the watch was overstated in the listing, etc.

There are horror stories on the seller side as well.  Last week we blogged about a legitimate seller dealing with a buyer who claimed that the product she bought was fake.  At that point, it just becomes the seller’s word against the buyer’s word.  eBay really isn’t set up to be an effective “judge.”

And now he’s another potential scam to watch out for.  We are selling a Tag Heuer watch on eBay.  Over the past 36 hours, we have gotten then exact same question about the watch – and we’re not talking about a generic question like, “How old is the watch?”  It’s a very specific question:

“Hello seller i would like to know if this item is still in the same condition as posted? U can ship this item for overseas? How much shipping cost via US Postal Service Express Mail (EMS) for internationally?? I await to hear from you.
Thanks and I hope to do business with you soon.”

Sure, doesn’t seem too harmful as a standalone question.  But when you get the same exact question about the same watch, it makes you wonder.  So what do I think is going on?

My guess is that the a completely innocent individual’s eBay account has been stolen.  OR, scam artists have purchased eBay accounts from legitimate individuals who have a strong track record on eBay.  Then they try to get sellers to ship expensive products overseas using USPS Express Mail.  Why so specific about the shipping?  Because they know that the USPS doesn’t necessarily get signatures when they deliver in foreign countries – the USPS does not handle the package from end to end.  They essentially drop it off with the local postal service when they get to the border.  It’s anyone’s guess if the local carrier will get a signature.  And if there’s no signature, then the buyer can claim that he/she never got the item.  They’ll probably keep the watch AND get a refund from eBay since there is no proof of delivery.

I asked the buyer if they would be open to having the product shipped via Federal Express.  I will share the response, if any.

Again, eBay is great for DVDs, random nicknacks, and other low-priced items.  But there are just too many risks when it comes to high-priced luxury products.

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Seller Beware eBay

The long labor day weekend last weekend meant I finally had the chance to soak up some much needed sunshine poolside and engage in some leisure reading. Whilst catching up on the last two weeks of posts from the blog-o-sphere, an article from Blushing Noir- one of my favorite beauty blogs I follow- titled,  ”My Recent Experience with eBay- A Cautionary Tale,” caught my attention. The post recounts this blogger’s experience with injustice as a seller on eBay, and was at once shocking, disappointing and also, I felt, an important experience to share- [to read the full story, click here].

So often we recount the horror stories of buyers being scammed on eBay, but the reality is, sellers are just as much at risk, if not more so, for being scammed. Once considered to be a reliable space online to buy and sell legitimate designer goods- eBay has expanded into a space where both buyers and sellers are wary of purchasing and posting their high-end wares for sale.

This may explain why we see so many of these smaller, niche, marketplaces for luxury wares now cropping up online. Sites like Klury.com, TheRealReal.com and, (you guessed it)- eRelyx.com offer consignment services for everything from a pair of Chanel Sunglasses, to a Rolex Watch. But more importantly, these start-ups seek to restore consumer faith in the online marketplace. By standing in the middle of each transaction, they are able to give not only buyers, but also sellers, the security and comfort of knowing each item for sale is authentic, and each sale is genuine.

get-real-eRelyx-online-marketplace-for-authentic-pre-owned-luxury-watches

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eRelyx Friday Favorites

1. Boo the dog. This furry little pup has over 4.6 million facebook fans, his own book of adorably-funny quips and a collection of Gund stuffed animal dogs in his likeness. Plus, just look at him! Need we explain more?

boo-the-dog

2. Summer Sports- From Wimbledon to The Olympics, nothing beats the heat like watching the world’s top athletes sweat it out for victory (from the comfort of our air conditioned couch;))

3. Ball & Buck- Another Boston-based start-up, Ball & Buck is quality, handcrafted Menswear that shows a commitment to selling only goods made in the good ol’ US of A. The clothes reflect a uniquely rugged yet polished sensibility that’s somewhere between Northeast prep-school-conservative and the Wild Wild West’s John Wayne.  Shop online or visit the brand’s newly re-opened boutique on Boston’s chic Newbury st.

4. Everything Nautical- With the Fourth of July just around the corner, we’re feeling this vibe that’s one part American spirit, and another part preppy-New Englander. We think our St. James striped marine sweater would look especially festive paired with a limited edition Pepsi bezel Rolex GMT Master-II.

5. Watermelon- This sweet summer fruit is popping up in everything from smoothies ,to saladsto alcoholic beverages- send that watermelon basil mojito our way!  (It’s Friday!)

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Making the Connection Between Watches and Cars

AAA car study, cost of car ownership, depreciation

Watches and cars share several characteristics – they are functional, they can be status symbols, they can turn heads, and they depreciate.

Yep.  I said it.  They depreciate.  Sorry to be Debbie (Denny?) Downer.

AAA recently released a study indicating that “after three years, most [cars] have 60% of their original value.“  Yikes.

Let’s say that you buy a brand new car for $20,000.  After three years, the car will be worth $12,000.  So you just paid $8,000 to drive that car.  That doesn’t include insurance, gas, toll, or fuzzy dice.  Is it worth is?  Unless you’re Warren Buffet or Mark Zuckerberg, probably not.

What’s wrong with a pre-owned car?  Not much, if you ask us.  The basic technology in cars doesn’t change THAT quickly.  And the quality of the ride and the interior won’t deteriorate THAT much.

The argument for buying pre-owned is even stronger for watches.  How much do you think watch technology has changed over the past 100 years?  And after a $200-$600 service, a three year old watch will look and run as good as new. Would you rather have a brand new Cartier Roadster for $6900?  Or a three year old Cartier Roadster for $4500 (or less)?

We think the answer is obvious…especially for watches.  Let someone else take the hit on depreciation!!!

Click here to read the entire AAA study on the cost of car ownership.

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This or That: The Used Luxury Watch and The Flash Sale Site

We love flash sales. That little surge of joy that runs through us just around lunch time when our inbox is flooded with the day’s daily sale email. In fact, I can’t even bear the thought of paying full price for a pair of designer jeans anymore because I just know in a week I’ll get the Gilt Groupe alert that they can be mine for 40% less than I saw them for on Newbury St.

However, we’ve noticed lately that sites like Gilt, Beyond the Rack and Rue La La have been hosting curated sales of one-of-a-kind vintage & pre-owned luxury goods. From Chanel & Louis Vuitton handbags to couture fashions from boutiques like What Goes Around Comes Around to, of course, watches from the more notable brands like Cartier & Rolex… So how does the flash sale model measure up when it comes to the pre-owned luxury watch market?

Well, you guessed it, the answer is- not well. Yesterday, our beloved Rue La La launched an exclusive Cartier & Rolex pre-owned watch sale. In terms of breadth of inventory- the sale was certainly impressive. We panned pages and pages of Tanks, Roadsters, and Datejusts- all appearing to be in impeccable condition…

Rue-La-La-Cartier-Rolex-Watch-Sale-4_26_12

But what wasn’t impressive was the pricing. $6000 for a Pre-Owned Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner? Seemed a bit outrageous- especially when you considered there was no indication of box or papers with the watch and the Final Sale / No Returns policy in small print.

Theirs:

Rolex-Submariner-for-sale-on-Ruelala-preowned-watches

What would that same stainless steel Rolex Submariner watch, pre-owned, in like new condition, go for on eRelyx? Well, we currently have one listed here for $5390. And that includes original box and a 3-day window for returns.

Ours:

We’re certainly not trying to hate on RueLaLa (we are huge fans) and we adore them for their amazing prices on apparel and accessories from our fave contemporary designers- but we do think its worth shopping around for a better deal when it comes to making that pre-owned luxury watch purchase online.

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U-Boat Claims that “99% of Watches Sold on the Web Are Counterfeit”

U-Boat, U-Boat watches, counterfeit watches, advertising

WOW! That’s a bold claim.  Click here to be brought to the U-Boat website. (I assume that this is the real U-Boat website and not a counterfeit).

Look, I don’t have any evidence to disprove U-Boat’s claim. But does U-Boat have any evidence to support it? Did they randomly buy 100 watches from online retailers and determine that 99 of them were counterfeit?  I sent an email asking for their supporting evidence and will share the response as soon as I get it.

We all know that there are some unsavory watch dealers out there. But to claim that “99% of watches sold on the web are counterfeit” seems like an inappropriate, unsubstantiated scare tactic. And are they talking about ALL watches? Or just U-Boat watches?  And are they only talking about watches being marketed, priced, and sold as genuine?  Because there are certainly some sites that don’t hesitate to claim that they’re selling replicas.  It’s tough to know exactly what U-Boat means.  Their statement is very broad.  However, I assume that they mean that 99% of U-Boat watches that are marketed and sold on the web as genuine U-Boat watches are actually counterfeit.  Again, this is my assumption.

U-Boat’s statement could be true, but it doesn’t pass the sniff test for me.  There are some VERY large online retailers selling U-Boat watches. Take, for example, Amazon.com. I would bet good money that Amazon isn’t selling counterfeit watches. Is Amazon part of the 1%?

U-Boat, U-Boat watches, counterfeit watches, advertising

U-Boat, U-Boat watches, counterfeit watches, advertising

Take another large online retailer – Overstock.com. They sell U-Boat watches. Does U-Boat believe that these watches are counterfeit? Or are they part of the 1%?

U-Boat, U-Boat watches, counterfeit watches, advertising

And how about Ashford.com?

U-Boat, U-Boat watches, counterfeit watches, advertising

And World of Watches?

U-Boat, U-Boat watches, counterfeit watches, advertising

I believe that all of those retailers mentioned above are selling genuine U-Boat watches.  And there are probably other large, reputable, online retailers selling genuine U-Boat watches.  It makes it tough for me to believe U-Boat’s claim that “99% of Watches Sold on the Web Are Counterfeit” is actually true. But, I’m a numbers guy – show me the data or the study and I’ll believe it.

U-Boat does have a point though – watch counterfeiting is a huge business. Before you buy any luxury watch online, do your research on the seller. Buy the seller first, the watch second.

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