Grey market and buying online

2244 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CometHunter
I've been reading some of the posts prior to joining and just needed to ask for help.

I would much rather spend my money locally, in this case at a local AD - locally for me would be a half a day trip.

However, buying online makes the possibility of owning a watch more of a reality due to the price differential between online and an AD locally.

In researching online stores I have been finding great reviews from folks, except if something goes wrong. For example, "authentic watches" has great reviews, but they do not seem to live up to the standards outlined on their website when it comes to dealing with customer service if a problem develops with the watch. I have found similar results with other online stores.

One review even stated that the watch they bought was a fake, another stated a watch was grey market, and yet another that the serial numbers were taken off.

This begs the following questions:

1) Are fakes a normal thing to receive when dealing with these big online stores?

2) I assume grey market is normal for online. I take this to mean that the same watch is sold over-seas as in the US, but you do not get a US warranty. Is this a correct assumption that oversea markets get the same quality watches sold in the US?

3) I also assume that the highend watches are of great quality, like Omega.
Do watch companies dump their stock that did not pass their inhouse quality inspection onto the online stores, and hence that is a reason they can sell them so cheaply?

4) Since finding online sources for store reviews is so readily available, why is discussing the pros/cons of various on-line stores on forums seem so taboo? Names are often deleted or omitted.

5) Given question 4 above, would not maintaining a list of great shops to frequent and a list to bad shops to avoid go a long way to cleaning up the industry?
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I just found a great watch I have been wanting locally at an AD. So before buying I went online and did some research on prices, etc. I also called a couple other local ADs and got prices there. What I found was that the internet dealer wanted $2500+ more than the local dealers, so it was a no-brainer.

But, if the internet dealer had been less that my local AD, then it comes down to price, warranty, peace of mind, etc.

I bought my wife a Bertolucci watch a few years ago, and the crystal cracked while it was in our jewelry drawer (not from hitting anything). The AD sent it back to be fixed, and within 2 weeks of getting it back, the same thing happened again. This time the AD said that they would just take it back and refund our money. We ended up buying a different watch from them, but had we bought that watch over the internet, we would have been stuck with it.
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