Buying a luxury watch can be a memorable experience as well as a daunting task, considering the hours spent behind choosing the right one for yourself. But sometimes the effort is worth it, because believe it or not, the Indian luxury watch market has an alarming number of fake, smuggled or refurbished watches doing the rounds.
This has flourished, somewhat because of ignorance on the part of customers who’re often looking for a sweet bargain and end up buying watches from unauthorized retailers, and partially because some retailers offer “too good to be true” discounts. Little do the customers realise that they’re going to be cheated.
How can you save yourself? Well, here are 5 tips you should keep in mind the next time you break the bank to buy your dream watch.
Tip 1: Buy your watch from a transparent retailer
Sure, it is essential to buy a watch from an authorized retailer, but there have been repeated instances of fake watches being found at authorized shops too. Fake watches can be a menace when you travel abroad – customs officials do random checks for the origin of an expensive looking watch and if you don’t have sufficient paperwork, you can get into trouble.
Choose a retailer that complies with all the rules, issues a bill against your identity (PAN Card) and sells you the watch with all necessary paperwork, warranty cards, etc.
Tip 2: Test their knowledge
If you want to test a watch retailer before allowing them to sell you something that expensive, do a bit of research before going to the store. You’ll be surprised how little some salespeople know about the watch they’re offering you. Question them about the origin, the movement and complications; it helps to be well informed. And if your queries aren’t being answered clearly or confidently, it might be a good idea to seek expert advice from an established retailer.
Tip 3: Dedicated service centres
This is another good way to tell whether a retailer really cares about its customers. Only a handful of retailers in India have dedicated service centres that are certified to service your precious watch, with technicians trained by the major luxury brands. Having a dedicated after-sales team that looks into grievances is a must. Do ask for them before purchasing your watch.
Tip 4: Discounts
Sure, nobody minds a good discount, but bear in mind that every luxury brand only allows discounts up to a particular level to customers, not just in India, but across the globe. Now you might say the best deal is when you get the highest discount, but the irony of this situation is that it’s a better deal for the retailer. If you’re getting a discount which is “too good to be true”, it’s very likely that a fake or refurbished product is being passed on to you. And the difference isn’t much either. Avoid the exuberant discounts and enjoy the peace of mind of having bought a risk-free luxury watch.
“An individual’s watch is a sign of taste, of where he or she is in life, and that is something that should never be ‘faked’”
Tip 5: Insurance & Value Added Services
Once you invest in luxury, you want to be looked after. Pick a retailer that adds value to your purchase with services like insurance against theft and damages, which go a long way in ensuring that your watch remains safe not just for years, but throughout generations. Value-added services like a loyalty program just add to the fact that the watch has been bought from a trusted retailer. Not all can offer them!
“It pays to be well informed today. So take your time before buying a new timepiece, don’t just buy a watch impulsively because of the brand or exuberant discounts. Of course, this will require a bit more time and effort, but it will be worth it”, says Yashovardhan Saboo, CEO of Ethos Watch Boutiques.
Ethos is India’s largest and most trusted luxury watch retailer that deals only in 100% genuine luxury watches.