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What seems like a bargain can turn out to be expensiveCaution when buying a watch in the internet!

The internet has developed into the central marketplace for both new and used watches over the last few years. Online trading in brand watches is booming, but at the same time, security doubts are growing amongst potential buyers. Menacing dangers abound; for example, deception with fake watches, copies or watches that have simply been cobbled together are, according to current studies, the greatest barrier to an online watch purchase for most internet users. And this constantly increasing market volume draws in not only serious suppliers, but more and more swindlers. A security-conscious attitude on the part of buyers and sellers can put a stop to this online swindling, preventing much damage.

The highest risk in security terms for internet watch purchase is with prepayment. As a rule, neither the identity of the supplier nor his credit standing is checked on the internet, or whether a watch really exists for purchase. For this reason, buyers should on no account make advance payments, in particular not by means of cash transfer. These services should be used exclusively to send money to known and trustworthy people, and never to instigate financial transactions with strangers. Dubious sellers often fraudulently abuse the trust of the prospective customer with fake documentation. If the money is transferred by means of cash transfer, the swindler receives the money at his bank, while he gives the sender's name, the country of origin and the expected amount and identifies himself with excellently counterfeited documentation. In these cases the money is lost forever - and the purchased watch will never arrive.

One should also view prospective bargains with healthy scepticism. Nobody would voluntarily sell their watches under value. These bargains most probably concern counterfeit models or an attempt to sell a stolen or inferior watch, or even an attempt to obtain personal data. For this reason, watch buyers should acquaint themselves with the real market value of the watch in question, and, if required, take the watch to a skilled person who has the ability to find possible hidden defects. It is also important to check all documentation thoroughly and to conclude a written bill of sale.

This is what you should look out for when buying a watch!

These are important guidelines that should be adhered to when purchasing a watch via the internet:

• Select your seller carefully! As a private buyer, find out about your business partner, or the supplier of the watch. Be careful if you spot that addresses are incomplete, or that contain only post office boxes and/or high cost telephone numbers. If a phone number is provided, make a test call.

• With commercial traders, pay attention to so-called supplier transparency. Check first as to whether the supplier's name, the name of the enterprise, and the name of the managing director are all given, as well as the complete address.

• In particular, check such offers thoroughly if you are required to make an advance payment. Require additional information regarding the product, customer service or terms of delivery. The treatment of your inquiry will provide you with a first impression as to how serious the supplier is.

• Inform yourself using the internet sites of consumer protection groups, private associations, special discussion forums and computer magazines as to the risks involved.

• Pay attention to your right of return. According to the regulations for distance contracts, a bill of sale which was agreed with a commercial trader can be cancelled by the consumer within two weeks or the product can be returned.

• The two-week term begins after the instructions regarding cancellation rights has been received by the consumer, or on receipt of the product, otherwise the term is extended for six months.

• Check the online business' payment options. Payment by invoice, bank transfer or bank debit should take precedent over options such as credit card payment or cash on delivery.

• Find out about add-on costs. Traders from non-EU countries are only required to inform the customer regarding add-on costs such as tax or customs charges, but not as to how high these may be in reality. Only precise details regarding postal charges are mandatory.

• Pay attention to technical security: Suppliers should enable a coded data transfer. Mostly this occurs with the "SSL" encoding procedure. This can be observed in the "s" behind http:// in the address line of the browser and other visual hints that a secure connection with the supplier exists.

Should damages occur in spite of all your efforts, report the circumstances to the police immediately! Keep all of the evidence and documentation safe and keep a list of all of the names of the individuals at the trader's with whom you have spoken.

An index of responsible traders can be found here:

The Highest Security for Watch Buyers at TrustedWatch

TrustedWatch place their emphasis strictly on security, control and prevention in the marketplace in order to offer a secure and serious sphere for watch buyers worldwide. Every supplier is thoroughly checked before they are included in the list of sellers, and the watches on offer from every supplier are regularly monitored by TrustedWatch. To minimise risks and abuse of the system, it is not possible to purchase watches directly from private sellers. It is only with the use of these costly quality control methods that criminals attempting to supply dubious watches can be deterred, creating a guaranteed and secure market. But these are costs that are always worthwhile in the interest of serious buyers and sellers!