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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Catawiki is an auction site, specialised in various collectibles, including watches.

A month or so ago, I noticed an interesting vintage Longines V.H.P. The price was fine, however, as the time for bidding was running low, I did not have time to explore photos, provided by the seller, in detail, so I just quicky sent my offer, and won.
After winning the bid, but before paying, I examined photos more carefully and had some suspicions. I tried to get some insight here on WUS.

Longines Li V.H.P. identification, verification

At the same time, I sent photos to Longines museum, asking if the watch is authentic. And in a couple of days, I got my answer:

"It seems some transformation have probably been done after the watch has left the company.

Indeed, the serial number should be engraved on the case back. In addition, the reference 4839 identifies a wristwatch in plated gold, part of the Flagship collection, fitted with a Longines quartz movement, caliber 950. However, the movement in your timepiece is a Longines 276.2.

In addition, the dial of your watch is made for a Conquest V.H.P., caliber L276.

Therefore, we confirm the movement and dial of your watch are not born with this case.

Finally, please note the original movement L276.2 LI works with 3 V. It seems someone has modified the electric circuit to have 1.5 V. A circuit modification can affect the function or the consumption of a watc
h."

So, clearly, the auctioned watch is a frankenwatch. I informed Catawiki that the watch is not authentic, describing all issues with the watch, and informing them that as this was not disclosed by the seller, I will not pay for it. With that, I thought the case is closed. Well, I was wrong.

In a few days I got a reminder from Catawiki that I must pay. And if I don’t want the item, I still have to pay the 9% commission, or my Catawiki account will be blocked. So I again explained that the watch is not authentic.

A few days later, I got this:

»Kindly be informed that the proof provided is unfortunately not accepted, we will need clear proof from the brand, the full email you received with contact information.«

So I again repeated everything and added the whole e-mail that I received by Longines, with contact info and all.

A few days later, I got this:

«Additional information required
Since the expert has already assessed the item during the curation phase, is it possible for you to provide us with some additional information that explains why you feel the item is not authentic?«


So I again explained everything and again added the e-mail by Longines.

And a few days later:

“The experts have analysed your query about the authenticity of the watch and would like to kindly ask if you provide us with the evidence you have procured from Longines that shows that the item is inauthentic.”

I copied my previous response again, adding I will no longer response to any further inquiry.
Let's see if this time their "experts" will finaly realise the watch is a frankewatch.
 

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Sorry, this is on you. As a buyer, you must do your due dilligence to, at the very least, thoroughly review the provided photos of an item before purchasing. You didn't do your research, so what do you expect?
 

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Why do all that after you bought it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry, this is on you. As a buyer, you must do your due dilligence to, at the very least, thoroughly review the provided photos of an item before purchasing. You didn't do your research, so what do you expect?
No, it's not on me. The watch was not as described (there was no mention of a modified movement and the case not being original). You don't have always enough time to check everything before the auction ends. As per Catawiki's policy, it is possible to open a claim up to three days after the watch is delivered, and request a refund in case the item is not as described or it's a fake. I did that before the watch was sent, which should be preferable, as otherwise the seller would have to refund the shipping costs too.

 

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No, it's not on me. The watch was not as described (there was no mention of a modified movement and the case not being original). You don't have always enough time to check everything before the auction ends. As per Catawiki's policy, it is possible to open a claim up to three days after the watch is delivered, and request a refund in case the item is not as described or it's a fake. I did that before the watch was sent, which should be preferable, as otherwise the seller would have to refund the shipping costs too.

So you accept no responsibility for purchasing an item effectively sight unseen with full knowledge that watches are frequently modified and/or counterfeited?
 

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Sadly, Catawiki does not sell the world's smallest violin to go along with your story.

Sorry, in my view you should have done your research which I am sure you know. Sounds like you threw money at it before-by your own admission-doing some even very basic diligence that you would have otherwise done. Not necessarily contacting Longines, but I gather just looking at the photos would have been enough to set off a radar had you taken time to do so prior to committing purchase.

Some folks allow returns, some don't. A potential consequence is 9 percent commission, does not seem terrible especially given the wasted sellers time after your buyer remorse. Not sure it is a super expensive watch either, so is that percent a lot numerically to get your back up about anyway? I assume you maybe paid a few hundred, if so the commission is what like around 30 bucks? You either choose to pay it or not.

Maybe I missed it, but saw a link to an old forum post but not the actual listing. Was it explicitly misrepresented by the seller, or instead well photographed and narrated just not what you wanted it to be? There is a big difference, obviously. If explicitly misrepresented, I think you are correct to have an issue and not pay.

No disrespect to you, just presenting my view based on the information available of the situation. While your post might give one side of insight to others using that site in a similar situation, responses from others also provide some objectivity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So you accept no responsibility for purchasing an item effectively sight unseen with full knowledge that watches are frequently modified and/or counterfeited?
Why would I accept any responsibility? I did check the watch in the time officially allowed for me to do so (up to three days after delivery), got an official confirmation by the manufacturer that the watch is not authentic, and informed the auction house why I will not pay for it.
 

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I have to say buying without doing your research is dangerous .I have done it with ebay not for a watch but a tool i needed Saw it with only a few mins left bid for it won it and then realised it would not fit Had to pay to send it back lesson learned
 

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Why would I accept any responsibility? I did check the watch in the time officially allowed for me to do so (up to three days after delivery), got an official confirmation by the manufacturer that the watch is not authentic, and informed the auction house why I will not pay for it.
You failed to even really attempt to verify that the item was as-described prior to agreeing to purchase it. I agree that the seller/auction site should make that right if it wasn't accurately described, but you still have a degree of responsibility to verify the correctness of a watch via included pictures.

I personally prefer vintage Seikos, and there are tons of modified, incorrect, or overly polished examples on the market. I've learned to be careful and selective in who I purchase from and doing full diligence to understand what I'm purchasing. I learned this by getting burned a few times, and maybe this should be your lesson to learn the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You failed to even really attempt to verify that the item was as-described prior to agreeing to purchase it. I agree that the seller/auction site should make that right if it wasn't accurately described, but you still have a degree of responsibility to verify the correctness of a watch via included pictures.

I personally prefer vintage Seikos, and there are tons of modified, incorrect, or overly polished examples on the market. I've learned to be careful and selective in who I purchase from and doing full diligence to understand what I'm purchasing. I learned this by getting burned a few times, and maybe this should be your lesson to learn the same.
What lesson? I am fully aware of the situation on the vintage watches' market. That is the reason I checked about the authenticity at the very source, Longines.

I don't relly care if my Catawiki account will be blocked at the end, as I can always open another one, if needed. I'm just writing this to inform other (potential) users of Catawiki that it is difficult, or tedious, to prove to Catawiki "experts" the item is not as described or is a fake. I sent them all information, including the e-mail by Longines, three times, and they keep asking me the same questions.
 

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Hey kudos to Longines for giving that kind of info back on just some auction pics though.
 

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I think the OP is doing the right thing. I recently got a watch in auction, and a full refund since the sapphire crystal cracked in shipping - the auction pics had no cracked crystal. I do not know if the seller put in wrong pics or it really was a damage in transit. But I showed them the pics before and after to make my case.
In fact, if the OP got the information from Longines after getting the delivery, but within 3 days, his stand should have been the same. This is the only way to let these auction sites know that someone is sleeping on the job there, it should be part of due diligence or they refund and go out of business.
Survival of the smartest.
 
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