buying from overseas:
BUY THE SELLER. don't merely trust what the photos and words convey to you... a good seller will do his/her best to right a wrong deal as his/her reputation is more important than making a little bit of money from selling you one watch.
don't be afraid of creating an account and asking on popular overseas forum whether a seller is a good guy - the community tries to help buyers and good sellers.
don't hesitate to ask for more photographs either. a motivated seller would be happy to do so, but don't don't go overboard. when you've decided you want it, DO TELL THE BUYER THAT "yes, i'll take it!"
before sending any money, make sure the following is figured out...
1) what is the return policy? eg, how will you return a Rolex watch to a US-based seller? how long is the inspection period? what is covered/not covered? (eg, unconditional return or return only if misrepresented)
2) who pays for what? eg, who pays for shipping (both ways) in the eventuality of a return? who pays how much of banking fee/paypal fee/insurance? split fees?
note: if you are making an international wire, using internet banking to do so is cheaper than queuing up at the branch and filling out a form.
3) what will happen if the item does not reach you? eg, who's responsible for the loss? (usually the buyer) and how long before a refund is initiated? is this a full refund or exclusive of other costs like banking and shipping? what if it is held by customs beyond a reasonable amount of time?
4) how soon before item ships? this is not a common problem for singapore -> US bank accounts as the funds clear fully within a few days. but sometimes the funds are withheld for a variety of reasons, including reasons which are not caused by you/singapore. 5 days after transfer is a safe period.
sending a scan/screenshot of the completed transfer form is helpful to ensure the banking details are correct.
make sure the item has not been damaged during the course of delivery. your recourse should be available from the above.
make sure the case back has been adequately tightened - dealers usually open it for inspection in preparation for sale and some times they don't tighten it enough for a variety of reasons. if you're sending it for verification after arrival in singapore, this shouldn't be a big problem.
make sure your name, phone number and address has been conveyed a few times to the seller - and that they're always correct. i've had watches sent to a wrong address before, and thankfully they never accepted the package although i scheduled it for redelivery at least 5 times. in such an event, ask for proof of delivery from the seller. if it's a seller you don't know, ask them to take a picture of the package with your address and a scan of the airway bill - they both contain your address.
For clarity, the address format for the US seller should be:
House/Blk number & Street name
Apartment/Unit number (if applicable)
BLOCK 123 TOA PAYOH STREET 1000
88 LUCKY STRIKE AVENUE
finally, if a deal doesn't work out the way you want to despite doing all the "right things" - reach out to the community again in a gentlemanly fashion (ie, don't TYPE IN ANGER - SINGAPOER STYLE!). if you are not in the wrong, the community will rally around you and put pressure on the seller to right the wrong.
if you take a loss, chalk it up as a lesson learned if you can't right the wrong. at the end of the day, make sure you know this is a hobby, so take it easy and enjoy it for all it is - good and bad. don't pop arteries over it...
p/s: please don't ask the seller to make a fraudulent declaration - it will be YOUR responsibility if there's trouble.
Last edited by taxico; 07-11-12 at 12:41 PM.
“Watches, no matter how much they cost, are better at telling time than making a person happy.” - Thomas J. Stanley