Luxury Web Site Links Shoppers to Authorized Retailers

The founders of a new Web site say they are trying to transform the luxury jewelry and watch industry and make online luxury shopping safer.

The Web site, ViaLuxe, was officially launched in early December. The Web site is dedicated to helping consumers find, research, and purchase the finest in authorized watch and jewelry brands, say former Yahoo startup executives Lawrence Kosick and Ned Taylor.

The key feature of the Web site is the connection it makes between shoppers and the retailers who are authorized to sell luxury brands. Currently, after users find the product they want, they then are taken to directory listing of authorized retailers in their area where they can go to buy the product.

High net worth consumers are already familiar with purchasing luxury products like cars and vacations online. More that 50 percent of U.S. luxury consumers start their “research and/or purchase process” using the internet, according to the founders. When luxury consumers begin their searches at major portals, usually more than 70 percent of the search results are non-authorized, counterfeit, or gray market sellers.

The site is also a community for luxury enthusiasts, offering catalogs, product specifications, blogs, reviews, and other rich content for more than 60 luxury watch and jewelry brands. The site showcases more than 50,000 branded luxury items and has more than 4,000 authorized retailers listed.

In a few weeks the company said it will start a “ViaLuxe Concierge Service,” which will enable consumers to get immediate advice and help from a ViaLuxe watch/jewelry expert via phone, email, or live chat. ViaLuxe is slated to add an e-commerce platform within the next few months.

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