DETAILS COUNT. It’s why you care if the rotating ceramic bezel on that dive watch is bidirectional or not. Or why the brilliant-cut white diamond on that platinum ring must have a clarity of at least VS2. Or why that vintage handbag’s signature leather clochette has to be the original. For seasoned collectors or first-time buyers alike, the minutiae matters.

The most important element of all? Authenticity. Whether it’s a grail watch, an eternity ring, or a vintage clutch, you’ll want to be certain it’s the genuine article. And that’s where eBay comes in.

Buying or selling, eBay UK’s Authenticity Guarantee programme provides users with something you can’t put a price on: trust. The programme vets and verifies eligible luxury items to allow people to sell and purchase with complete confidence at no additional cost to the buyer or seller.

This encompasses luxury watches (with a sale price in excess of £1,500), fine jewellery (£500+) and handbags (£500+). The programme, which is available for sneakers too, is key to combating counterfeits and removing buyer doubt.

But how does it work in practice?

eBay UK’s Authenticity Guarantee programme provides users with something you can’t put a price on: trust

The process

Once you’ve tracked down that special item on eBay, keep your eye out for the little blue verification tick alongside the words ‘Authenticity Guarantee’ on the listing.

This means the item is eligible. When the purchase is made, the seller ships the item to eBay’s Authentication Centre for a comprehensive, multi-point inspection by expert authenticators.

The authenticator confirms that the item is consistent with its listing title, description, and images; studies the quality of materials and serialisation; and inspects the item’s individual details looking for any telltale signs.

Once authenticity has been confirmed, an authentication card embedded with NFC chip or QR code technology, gives it a digital pedigree. This not only provides peace of mind for buyers but also preempts a luxury item’s (potential) extended lifecycle for resellers.

For sellers who choose to offer returns, eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee programme ensures the exact item initially sold is returned to the seller. Returns are shipped back via the authentication centre, where the third-party authenticators verify each item and its condition before returning it to the seller.

Luxury watches

Luxury watches on wrists

eBay UK houses one of the largest inventories of new, vintage and pre-owned fine watches in the world. As searches for the most sought-after watch brands such as Rolex, Omega and Patek Philippe continue to grow, so does the pre-loved watch market.

In 2021, eBay teamed up with Stoll & Co – an independent team of authenticators – to launch its Authenticity Guarantee programme for watches worth £1,500 or more. Stoll & Co’s team has a combined experience exceeding 100 years in the industry, and will examine every watch that comes into the Authentication Centre.

They’ll check everything from the bracelet to the bezel, the case to the crown, making it easier to purchase a timepiece with confidence.

Luxury handbags

Luxury handbags

The secondhand luxury handbag market has also been growing exponentially, and shows no signs of slowing down. From classic icons to trending silhouettes, the marketplace is blossoming; searches for the Gucci Horsebit and Bottega Veneta Cassette alone grew by nearly 70% by June last year.

eBay UK offers its Authenticity Guarantee service for handbags over the sale price of £500. The team of expert authenticators will study every detail – stitching, zippers, logo, labels, you name it – to ensure that each bag is the real deal and in the condition the buyer is expecting.

This is a game changer for the resale luxury market, increasing transparency and confidence for buyers while providing sellers with a white-glove service.

Fine jewellery

Fine jewellery

Jewellery has always been a popular category on eBay, with the demand for new and pre-loved pieces only increasing.

Top-selling jewellery brands in 2023 on eBay UK included Tiffany, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Timeless collections such as Cartier Love were among the top-sellers.

And so it’s fitting that eBay has expanded its Authenticity Guarantee programme to vet and verify fine jewellery – both branded and unbranded – sold for over £500.

To do this, eBay has collaborated with the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) to perform a multi-point inspection for customers in the US and UK.

With 90 years of expertise, the GIA has unparalleled knowledge in this sector ensuring buyers can shop and sell with complete confidence. Its experts will verify the metal type and purity, as well as any gemstones’ cut, clarity, colour and carats.

Of course, feeling confident about your transaction is only part of the appeal of shopping with eBay UK. Perhaps just as important is conscience: buying or selling on the pre-loved market is undeniably a more sustainable way to shop.

Just like the Authenticity Guarantee, there’s no doubt about it. 

See more about the eBay UK Authenticity Guarantee at Authenticity Guarantee is independent from, and not associated with, any brands sold on eBay. Authenticity Guarantee is eligible for all watch brands, and selected handbag and jewellery brands.