One could assume eBay and Rolex have little in common outside of the fact that they’re both retailers.
The former is famous for selling everything under the sun—mostly secondhand products, from fishing rods to Ugg boots—while the latter is the reigning superstar of the luxury watch world.
But eBay sells luxury, too, and the secondhand marketplace has always boasted a large selection of pre-owned Rolex timepieces. (Incidentally, eBay sells a pre-owned watch every five seconds—not all are high-end, but it’s still an impressive statistic.)
Now the peer-to-peer retail platform is tightening its bonds with the iconic watchmaker.
EBay announced that it will host two unique sales featuring rare and vintage Rolex watches. The first will be a series of 10-day auctions featuring nine rare Rolex timepieces, and the second is a sale (live now on eBay) featuring thousands of pre-owned Rolexes, all offered for at least 10 percent off through Nov. 4.
At press time, there were 4,707 pre-owned and vintage Rolexes up for sale in the 10-percent-off event. Dealers participating in the sale include New York City’s Chronostore, which is offering a $24,749 Rolex Datejust Masterpiece 80315 Pearlmaster Rose Gold MOP Diamond Ladies watch, among hundreds of other models; and BeckerTime, a father-son pre-owned outfit that ranks as eBay’s top Rolex retailer.
An undisclosed percentage of the timepieces have passed through eBay’s recently launched Authenticate program, which hand-checks luxury goods for authenticity. In this case, the watches were authenticated by third-party watch experts and sourced through top-rated eBay sellers.
The Authenticate program was presumably launched at least in part as a response to the rapid rise of secondhand luxury site TheRealReal.
The digital-first fashion, jewelry, and accessories website has siphoned off luxury buyers and sellers from eBay, Etsy, and other secondhand retailers in the past few years with its easy-to-shop interface, home pickups—and an aura of exclusivity that it’s cultivated in part through brick-and-mortar valuation offices and a chic store in Los Angeles.