WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

I am seeking some honest advice about a situation I am encountering with an Ebay transaction.

I purchased a Tag Heuer watch, basic Automatic with 2824-2. The seller is had a no return policy and provided some images of the piece as certain angles.

Upon receiving the piece, I noticed that the serial number has been removed, and deliberately so (not in a manner where it rubbed off due to age and some areas are still visible). He did have a picture of the back but at an angle in where the serial number on an older piece may be not clearly visible.

I contacted the seller and have made every attempt to be amicable and resolve things in good faith. The sellers stance is that since it is a "no return" auction and he provided pics of the timepiece, he has no obligation to process a return.

My point of view, is that he should have disclosed that the serial number had been removed from the timepiece. Regardless of obligation, would it not make sense for him to take it back and refund me. I was the only bidder on the item and it is relatively low-cost piece. I hate to leave him a negative feedback, but he just does not seem to care that this bothers me and in no way is interested in researching a amicable resolution.

I payed with Paypal by the way.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have and please feel free to tell me if you feel I am over-reacting about the removal of serial number.

Thanks Folks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,860 Posts
I would contact Paypal and advise them of the situation, you have buyer protection in place and it could be that the timepiece may not be authentic. In any event the item was not proper described... I have had a similar issue and I was advised to return the timepiece with tracking and signature confirmation, and forward all of my information to paypal. The fact that the seller does not have a return policy is not an issue as far as paypal is concerned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
No returns doesn't mean much on eBay anymore. You can file a dispute as an item significantly not as described, and say that he should have noted that the serial number was removed. Be prepared to provide documentation, but you would likely win. Just figure out if it's worth it....
 
  • Like
Reactions: RotaryRider

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,402 Posts
I don't think he mislead you in anyway imo.I am sure he thought the serial numbers were not that big of a deal,hell lots of watches come without serial numbers.If it was that big of a deal to you,you should have asked.If you do file a complaint with ebay,you can say the watch came with poop on the dial,and you will win the dispute.I really don't think ebay even reads the sellers counter points anyway,and sides with the buyer 99.9999% of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,448 Posts
No personal experience, but I have read from others that some grey market resellers rub off the serial numbers. It is possible that this eBay seller bought the watch like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I don't think he mislead you in anyway imo.I am sure he thought the serial numbers were not that big of a deal,hell lots of watches come without serial numbers.If it was that big of a deal to you,you should have asked.If you do file a complaint with ebay,you can say the watch came with poop on the dial,and you will win the dispute.I really don't think ebay even reads the sellers counter points anyway,and sides with the buyer 99.9999% of the time.
I would be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt if his main operation wasn't selling watches, including other Tag Heuers. It's one thing if a timepiece is not manufactured with a serial number and another of the numbers are intentionally removed.

But okay, let's say it was a misunderstanding. Why not take it back. I was the only bidder on the auction so it is not as if I caused him to miss an opportunity with another buyer.

Additionally, I think it is just as much his responsibility to disclose the information as it is mine to ask. I am being accountable and offering to pay for all shipping, etc. He however feels that his no returns policy absolves him of any recourse.

I honestly feel bad for leaving negative feedback and have made every effort to allow him to help himself (because I know that EBay will likely find in my favor). But if he does not have enough forethought to understand the consequences, what can I do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I don't think he mislead you in anyway imo.I am sure he thought the serial numbers were not that big of a deal,hell lots of watches come without serial numbers.If it was that big of a deal to you,you should have asked.If you do file a complaint with ebay,you can say the watch came with poop on the dial,and you will win the dispute.I really don't think ebay even reads the sellers counter points anyway,and sides with the buyer 99.9999% of the time.
I would be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt if his main operation wasn't selling watches, including other Tag Heuers. It's one thing if a timepiece is not manufactured with a serial number and another of the numbers are intentionally removed.

But okay, let's say it was a misunderstanding. Why not take it back. I was the only bidder on the auction so it is not as if I caused him to miss an opportunity with another buyer.

Additionally, I think it is just as much his responsibility to disclose the information as it is mine to ask. I am being accountable and offering to pay for all shipping, etc. He however feels that his no returns policy absolves him of any recourse.

I honestly feel bad for leaving negative feedback and have made every effort to allow him to help himself (because I know that EBay will likely find in my favor). But if he does not have enough forethought to understand the consequences, what can I do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Paypal will help you with that try take a lot of photos too. I bought a lot of products of eBay and got the bad product many time too bad I couldn't return it because the return shipping is too costly :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
There's nothing wrong with leaving honest feedback, so don't worry about that. You can file a claim, but you may not get anywhere given that a removed serial number doesn't necessarily mean there is an issue with the watch. Years ago it was common for gray market sellers to remove serial numbers so they did not reveal the identity of their sources. I would feel very similar in the same situation, so I hope that whatever choice you make, it turns out satisfactory in the end. I also hope you got a great deal on the watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,711 Posts
If he won't budge, open a dispute with paypal.

Tell them, to you, as a collector, you will not accept any watch without a serial #, or with it rubbed off, because it tells you that it's a probable fake.

Unless you want to put out the cash to get it checked, get a refund. You'll find another one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,462 Posts
"Item is not as described." That's all it takes for a full refund through eBay/PayPal, and the seller's return policy is irrelevant. If the auction indicates that the item is in excellent shape, or indicates that it is not but fails to list the removed serial number while listing the defects, then you're fine. A missing serial number is a cosmetic defect, and those have to be noted if the description otherwise claims that the item is undamaged. A missing serial number diminishes the re-sale value of a watch, and therefore is something that must be noted in an auction.

That said, do you really care? As noted, it's common for grey-market sellers to remove serial numbers so that the product batch cannot be traced to the source that introduced it to the grey market (which is often a violation of AD requirements). If the watch is otherwise fine and as described, I don't really see why it's worth worrying about.

But, again, a filed-off serial number is a change to the watch's condition, and an auction that describes the watch as in good shape without noting that change is inaccurately describing the item. You can get your refund if you want, whether the seller approves or not.

There's a lesson here about "buying the seller before you buy the watch." A no-return policy and pics that don't show every angle are probably why you were the only bidder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
I have to side with the seller on this. If you knew he had a no return policy and still chose to buy it, it's on you.

Hi Guys,

I am seeking some honest advice about a situation I am encountering with an Ebay transaction.

I purchased a Tag Heuer watch, basic Automatic with 2824-2. The seller is had a no return policy and provided some images of the piece as certain angles.

Upon receiving the piece, I noticed that the serial number has been removed, and deliberately so (not in a manner where it rubbed off due to age and some areas are still visible). He did have a picture of the back but at an angle in where the serial number on an older piece may be not clearly visible.

I contacted the seller and have made every attempt to be amicable and resolve things in good faith. The sellers stance is that since it is a "no return" auction and he provided pics of the timepiece, he has no obligation to process a return.

My point of view, is that he should have disclosed that the serial number had been removed from the timepiece. Regardless of obligation, would it not make sense for him to take it back and refund me. I was the only bidder on the item and it is relatively low-cost piece. I hate to leave him a negative feedback, but he just does not seem to care that this bothers me and in no way is interested in researching a amicable resolution.

I payed with Paypal by the way.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have and please feel free to tell me if you feel I am over-reacting about the removal of serial number.

Thanks Folks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,560 Posts
I will agree with the others that said yeah it may not have a serial number, but does it really matter? I bought an Omega Seamaster on Ashford.com years ago. The watch was brand new, authentic, and perfect in every way, but the serial numbers were removed. This used to be a common practice for grays, which was plainly disclosed. I knew it would not have serial number and I did not care. And when I sold it a few years later on ebay, I clearly stated the serial numbers were removed, but it sold for top dollar anyway.

Once the watch is off warranty, it doesn't really matter if the serial number is missing. If you do decide to sent it to the manufacturer for service, they don't care either, as long as you're a paying customer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
I sell on ebay all the time (actually I have 2600+ positive feedback; never had even 1 negative) - when I list an item with "no returns accepted," it's not because I'm being dishonest.... it's because I don't want the thing back that I sold you, and if you decided to buy it, it is now your problem.

This is why I find it difficult to sell things lately, on ebay and on the private watch forums. People automatically assume that I *should* accept something back if they're not happy with it, even if it is described properly... when in reality they *should not* have bought it if they didn't want it.

no return policy is only there for honest sellers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for your feedback.

Obviously, I feel somewhat conflicted about the situation. I feel that I paid a fair market price for the timepiece and would have made a different decision on buying/pricing had I known that the serial had been removed. It may not be a big deal in the big picture, but I feel that it does effect the value of the piece. Meaning, that if I tried to sell it on WUS, the missing serial number would concern a number of potential buyers.

With that said, I am not sure that at this point I am more concerned about the timepiece or the seller's attitude. I guess that when I sell something on Ebay, which I have actively done for 12 years, I really want the buyer to be happy with it---thus I always offer a return policy. If the seller just wants to get rid of something and not see it again, that is totally fine-but be forthright in the listing and let buyers make the decision on what they are willing to pay for the timepiece based on its true attributes.

At this point, I have not left negative feedback, because I do not feel good about negatively impacting the seller's operation, but I am honestly unhappy with the transaction---and truthfully it is due more to the seller's stance on the matter than the timepiece itself.

Thanks again guys for your advice, it is much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I have to side with the seller on this. If you knew he had a no return policy and still chose to buy it, it's on you.
I was aware of the no return policy, but I was also aware of the Ebay buyer protection policy. I have no issue with the "no return" policy--- but it would have been nice if the seller had mentioned that the serial was removed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,160 Posts
I sell on ebay all the time (actually I have 2600+ positive feedback; never had even 1 negative) - when I list an item with "no returns accepted," it's not because I'm being dishonest.... it's because I don't want the thing back that I sold you, and if you decided to buy it, it is now your problem.

This is why I find it difficult to sell things lately, on ebay and on the private watch forums. People automatically assume that I *should* accept something back if they're not happy with it, even if it is described properly... when in reality they *should not* have bought it if they didn't want it.
I agree that, if you sell something with full disclosure, and sell it with a no return policy, then it's on the buyer if they're simply "not happy" with it. Buyer's remorse isn't a seller's problem, no matter how much a buyer might like.

However, if you sell something, and it is missing a feature otherwise normally present from the factory/vendor or has a defect, and don't disclose that up front, then you've not delivered, to the customer, what was advertised in the listing.

Some missing features may be negligible (missing case stickers, different box etc, for example).
Something like a serial number that has been intentionally removed can (and likely will) significantly impact the value of the item, at best. At worst, it might indicate a fake.

If the seller is ignorant, and it was an honest mistake, then that can be a tough call, though I think I'd side with the buyer. An honest seller shouldn't expect buyers to be responsible for their lack of due diligence.

One time, I had a seller sell me a counterfeit Seiko parts watch (advertised as genuine). He said he couldn't be responsible for every cheap watch he sold and had a no return policy. He said that eBay would side with him. Thankfully, they didn't.

Simply having a no return policy doesn't absolve a seller of their responsibility to accurately represent their items.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,462 Posts
Simply having a no return policy doesn't absolve a seller of their responsibility to accurately represent their items.
This. And, eBay's policies explicitly support that a "no return" policy means nothing for an item that is inaccurately described.

Consumer law in every Western nation makes it very clear that "no refunds" does not apply to purchases that are defective or misrepresented. A watch that comes out of a factory with a serial number is being misrepresented if the number has been removed and this isn't mentioned in an eBay auction. This is something that impacts the value of the watch.

So, personal opinions aside, both eBay and consumer law pretty explicitly provide that the seller has to accept the watch return here. If the seller will not do so, PayPal/eBay should make the refund process pretty painless -- they're pretty good about that. I imagine the seller will start to cooperate once he realizes that his two choices are to give a refund and get his watch back or to give a refund and not get his watch back. Or, I suppose, he could abandon his eBay and PayPal accounts and change his linked information, but even then PayPal/eBay just takes the loss and covers the refund, and then goes after the seller later.

But, Op, file a PayPal dispute immediately. "Item not as described. Serial number removed and not disclosed in auction" -- that's all it takes. I suspect the seller won't even let the process go through to completion, since he'll know that it's over the moment it starts.

If you care. You should be taking the purchase to a watchsmith for authentication (regardless of any of this) and if the smith says that the watch is real and running well, and if you otherwise like the watch and would have kept it, then it doesn't seem like an especially big deal to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,079 Posts
However, if you sell something, and it is missing a feature otherwise normally present from the factory/vendor or has a defect, and don't disclose that up front, then you've not delivered, to the customer, what was advertised in the listing.
A filed down serial number is a VERY big deal if it was not disclosed. Ignorance does not excuse the seller from making this right. Contact ebay and paypal and file disputes.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top