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Caution with online watch auctionsOnline auction risks: AUCTIONATA auctions off luxury watches live

Online auctions have become a standard practice thanks to Ebay. In the meantime, many other auction portals have appeared on the internet, some of which have as wide a range as Ebay, some of which specialise in a certain product. With the live auctioning off of luxury watches, AUCTIONATA, the Austrian start-up enterprise, is currently starting off along this road, promising "the first real-time auction of luxury watches on the internet.“

However, are luxury watches really suitable for such auctions, and where do the risks lie for the buyer? Basically, every purchase on the internet requires caution and vigilance, whilst also seeking the best protection from any problems that may arise.

Here are the most important tips, so that the participation in online auctions, and the supposed bargain contained therein, does not lead to complete disaster.

1. Make sure that you use a secure, coded connection with the website. Though this does not have to be the case when you access the website, it should be a definite requirement as soon as you intend to transmit confidential information regarding, for example, credit card data or buying a luxury watch at an auction in which a binding agreement is valid at the click of a mouse.
2. Choose a sure password which consists of a combination of at least six to eight characters (letters, figures and special characters), or of several short words, without blank spaces. Do not use your own name, the name of your partner or pet, your birthday, a part of your e-mail address, or other personal information which a third party could easily find out. Badly selected passwords can easily open access to your account for swindlers and open the door to abusers. Never transmit your password to third parties.
3. Product descriptions of watches you are interested in should be read with great care, and you should draw comparisons with regular prices. If there is anything you do not understand, it is advisable that you contact the seller.
4. Find out about the regular price of the luxury watch. Take extra care with luxury watches which the supplier is selling for a price which is well under the standard retail price. If it is not stolen goods it could also be a grey import with which the guarantee could be limited or accessories could be missing.
5. Check whether the auctioneers include your right of withdrawal or your right of return terms. With serious auctioneers this is a matter of course; however, unfortunately there are a lot of dodgy dealers around regarding this point in particular.
6. Many watches offered by online auctioneers are neither inexpensive nor cheap. As a rule, there are buyer's charges, such as highest bidder fees and auctioneer commissions, which can raise the price of the watch quite considerably.
7. Keep the other additional costs in mind. Sometimes fees, commissions, as well as postage costs and forwarding expenses are mentioned in the article description in a round about way. Because after the auction it's too late to make good the mistakes you may have made. Therefore, before a purchase, examine exactly which additional costs are being demanded by the seller and ask any questions you may have before the auction.
8. Use secure methods of payment. For the buyer, cash on delivery payment is the most secure variety. If the seller does not offer this, an approved trust service should be used in the case of more highly valued watches. This guarantees that the money is transferred to the seller once the watch really arrives, and is in a flawless condition.

And don’t forget:
1. Those who participate in commercial auctions can insist on their standard guarantee rights. In the case of a defective product, customers can demand a repair or a replacement. If the repair fails twice, one can demand a discount or return the product and demand that the purchase price be refunded.
2. Not every watch is a bargain just because they are being put up on offer in an online auction house!

Just like in the real world: There’s no such thing as 100% safety. To avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent activities, you’ll need a good deal of common sense and an adequate degree of caution!