A company called Worthy has launched a new online auction platform that’s solely focused people who want to buy and sell pre-owned luxury goods.
How Worthy Works
There are many online auction sites, and all offer their buyers and sellers different benefits. Worthy’s approach to bringing buyers and sellers together is unique in a few ways. Here are the basics.
Worthy’s sellers are people who have coins, precious metals, loose gemstones, jewelry, and branded watches they no longer wish to keep. Because Worthy accepts only a narrow range of items, sellers don’t create their own listings. Instead, they tell the company what they have to offer, after which an initial estimate is provided as long as the item being offered for sale is something Worthy believes to be sellable.
If the seller agrees with the estimate, he or she packages the item up and sends it to Worthy via pre-paid FedEx. When the item arrives at Worthy’s headquarters, it is cleaned and given a full appraisal. Afterward, a company employee writes a description of the item, professional close-up photographs are taken, and the item is listed on the Worthy auction site for 24 hours.
Not just anyone can buy items on Worthy. Instead, the company pre-qualifies its buyers, who it says are mostly wholesalers, professional jewelers, and collectors. Buyers tell Worthy what they are interested in purchasing, and when these items become available, interested buyers are notified before the auction begins. Once the auction starts, buyers have 24 hours to compete. Buyers may not back out after placing their bids.
Sellers are notified of the pending sale after the auction comes to an end. They are given the option to accept or decline the winning bid. If the bid is accepted, the buyer pays Worthy. After deducting a nominal fee, Worthy transfers funds received from the sale into the seller’s bank account. If the seller does not want to accept the highest bid, Worthy sends the item back.
Although all items Worthy puts up for auction are certified, buyers are occasionally dissatisfied. In the event a buyer wants to return an item, there is a returns process in which the company provides the buyer with a refund. The original seller gets to keep the proceeds from the sale, and Worthy eats the cost of the return.
Worthy’s creator calls his new business venture a “win-win” for buyers and sellers, noting the differences between this platform and other common venues for resale luxury goods. So far, both buyers and sellers are reporting positive experiences with the site. We think the strategy is an interesting one that just might work. Time will tell.