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Authentic Tag Heuer from Amazon? Buyer Beware!
on August 2, 2011
I just purchased a Tag Heuer Men's CAN 1011BA0821 Aquaracer Blue Dial Watch from Amazon over the weekend. Amazon used reseller "Perfect Timing". I did extensive search on vendor, amazon, tag heuer searches for this watch, warranty problems, etc. and felt comfortable ordering through Amazon. I was very surprised today when I received my watch shipped from Perfect Timing in Brooklyn New York to find out the watch DID NOT ship with an authenticity certification card from Tag Heuer called "International Guarantee" card.
Nowhere on the site, in vendor ratings, etc. was this easily discoverable. My take is Amazon is hiding this fact in their very cleverly worded warrantee paragraph. I also discovered once I issued a statement to the vendor and amazon that amazingly a new model was for sale directly from Amazon for $265 less than I paid from Perfect Timing....it seemed to happen almost instantaneously with my posting.....very curious indeed! I have taught customer service at Harvard Business School and at Babson College and for corporate executive education programs. I have always been a fan of Amazon.
But this experience I found misleading and a bit shady by Amazon. I also then decided I might return my watch to the Perfect Timing vendor...only to then discover that there would be an 8% restocking fee to do so....even on a perfectly Brand New watch not even taken out of the case it ships in! Then I did a little math...how is it that Amazon almost immediately after my purchase offers one (1) and ONLY (1) watch for sale....ostensibly directly from Amazon.....for $1,425.....if you divide the $265 difference in half...wait...could it be that Amazon and Perfect Timing are in business and when a purchase is made by the reseller, Perfect Timing.....a watch is then provided to Amazon for their direct sale at a 15% discount off reseller's original price? And, of course.....if one googles watches by price....Amazon always ends up lower?.......Could it be that there is a business arrangement between Amazon and Perfect Timing....to "incentivize" reseller such that with every sale the provide an additional watch to Amazon for sale direct.......and....if anyone should catch this electronically.....to then zap the 8% restocking fee....probably a back ended way to have some profit by reseller should someone catch the pricing anomaly and then try to return the higher priced item....hmmm....let us see how this case study evolves in the coming customer service discussions with both Amazon and reseller Perfect Timing.....should be interesting fodder for future student case discussions on online retailing and customer service/business models......
All-in-all......I believe the watch I purchased from reseller is an authentic Tag Heuer but will be doing more research in order to figure this out. One thing I do now know for sure is that the Tag Heuer International Warranty is voided and though the buyer saves a few hundred dollars off retail...if you want International Warranty and authentic Tag service from authorized dealers and repair facilities you will need the International Guarantee Card.
BUYER BEWARE and a bit of a disappointment on how Amazon apparently disguises these facts through the hours of searches I conducted on this in various ways both on their site and via Google searches!