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Tuesday, February 7th
Buying a luxury watch online? Be sure to visit Watch Shopping. The company is fairly tight-lipped about its background as one of the newest online wristwatch retailers in our review, but initial signs are positive.
No Citizen Corsos, but 12 Rolex Explorers
How did this store do with the two watches we used as a comparison across all of the stores we evaluated? There were no Corso watches by Citizen in Watch Shopping's inventory, but we found 12 listings for Rolex Explorer and Explorer II. Only two of the 12 were out of stock, and the remaining in-stock watches were a mix of new and pre-owned.
50+ brands to choose from
Outside of our two sample watches and brands, Watch Shopping has a better-than-average inventory, with nearly 5,000 watches for men and women. Brands include everything from Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe to Victorinox and Seiko, with about 50 makers in total. There are lots of ways to see what's available here, from shopping by brand or gender to what's best-selling or on sale. Each watch has a detailed description and specs, and Watch Shopping adds a helpful Q&A section where you can ask for more info or see what other prospective shoppers have wanted to know.
Competitive pricing on luxury brands
Customers say that the prices here are really competitive, and our research indicates that as well. For instance, we found the Omega Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial Chronograph 40mm Automatic (black dial, steel) for $3,299. That was a 31% savings over the MSRP, and anywhere from $30 to $150 less than what we saw at rival watch stores.
We're not big fans of the high-pressure sales approach, so it was a little off-putting to get a pop-up here that would give us $20 off and free shipping in exchange for our email address - but only if we did it within 30 minutes. Why not just let us sign up for your email newsletter and do away with the time bomb?
Stingy return policies
The return policy at Watch Shopping isn't going to impress you either. You've only got 14 days from when your watch was shipped. You'll pay restocking fees on any returns less than $4,000, and 10%^ on orders over $4,000. Plus, no watches valued under $500 can be returned for any reason.
The warranty coverage here is a little better. Many brands come with a manufacturer's warranty (two years on Breitling, Cartier, Chanel; one year on Casio, Citizen, Seiko; five years on Rolex); on the watches that don't, Watch Shopping offers an in-house warranty ranging from 1-5 years, depending on the brand. You'll also get a 1-year in-house warranty when you buy a pre-owned watch.
Good initial feedback from customers and the BBB
Watch Shopping hasn't been around for a long time. In fact, their listing with the Better Business Bureau showed them as in operation for just four years at the time of this review (and the retailer's site doesn't even tell customers that much). That's why we were a little surprised to see that this watch store has an "A+" rating and accreditation, almost no complaints, and nearly 900 five-star reviews. Great watches at amazing prices, fast shipping, and helpful customer service seem to be the norm when buying from Watch Shopping.
Off to a solid start, but more info please
We hesitate to give Watch Shopping one of our highest ratings: the company doesn't disclose enough about itself for us to feel confident in its background or longevity, especially since it's so new on the market. We're encouraged by the positive ratings and reviews we've seen, including the top rating from the BBB, and we hope to see that continue in the future. We'll be glad to bump this watch store up in our rankings once they have been around longer, and preferably start to tell customers more about who they are.
That question is almost more easily answered by where you should not shop: the mall or jewelry store! You might be drawn in by a beautiful timepiece prominently displayed in the window, but do you really want the sales pressure or higher prices once you walk through the door? We don't either.
Your best bet is an online watch store. Whether you're looking for the next luxury wristwatch to add to your collection or something classic-yet-affordable, you won't find a better selection at any brick-and-mortar store near you. Why browse a few dozen options from a handful of brands and be limited to the retailer's business hours, when you can see thousands of styles and brands whenever you get the whim to shop?
But wait. What if the watch doesn't fit? Or I don't like it when it arrives? Usually not a problem. Watch stores have already anticipated your concerns, and you'll usually have a generous return window if you need a refund or want to make an exchange. A few retailers even allow you to wear the watch for several weeks before you make your decision - as long as it's still in good condition, without a lot of wear and tear, of course.
Which watch store should get your attention? There are lots of options, and many of them would be a perfectly good choice for your new time-keeper. Here are a few ways you can narrow down the options:
To help you find the right timepiece for that someone special (or yourself!), TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular online watch stores. From everyday wear to black-tie occasions, the perfect watch is out there. Ready to start shopping?
Select any 2 Watch Stores to compare them head to head