Nordstrom Flash-Sale Site Sued Over Vintage Rolex Sales

TechnologyApr 07, 2016

Nordstrom Flash-Sale Site Sued Over Vintage Rolex Sales

A consumer in California is suing HauteLook, claiming it is misleading consumers regarding the quality and value of the “authentic” vintage Rolex watches it sometimes sells.

Los Angeles-- A consumer in California is suing HauteLook, claiming it is misleading consumers regarding the quality and value of the “authentic” vintage Rolex watches being offered on the flash-sale site, court papers show.

Los Angeles resident Vahdat Aghdasy filed suit against HauteLook and parent company Nordstrom Inc. on March 17 in California federal court, charging the retailers with fraud; unfair, fraudulent and unlawful business acts and practices; and misleading, deceptive and untrue advertising.

Aghdasy claims that he purchased a watch purported to be an “authentic” vintage Rolex from HauteLook in October 2015 and thought he was getting a watch that looked the same as the picture on the website but was being sold for 50 to 75 percent off the retail price.

The plaintiff also believed he was getting a Rolex shipped by Rolex because one of HauteLook’s “key selling points” is its claims that its merchandise is “100 percent authentic and comes direct from the brands,” court papers state. While the company does have a disclaimer stating that this might not be the case with the watches its sells, that disclaimer is “in small print and difficult to locate.”

What Aghdasy received instead, according to the lawsuit, was “an inferior Rolex-packaged watch, which contained many non-Rolex parts” and was “damaged and in poor condition, (and) did not conform to the photograph in HauteLook’s solicitation.”

The watch is worth “substantially” less than advertised and is accompanied by a “certified appraisal” from a company called SwissWatchAppraisers that the lawsuit alleges is not an appraisal of the actual watch Aghdasy received but, rather, an appraisal of what that watch would be worth if it was an authentic Rolex.

The suit even goes so far as to claim that SwissWatchAppraisers was a company “formed, organized, sponsored, funded and/or aided” by HauteLook and Nordstrom “for the express purpose of providing fraudulent appraisals.”  

It noted that there’s no contact information for SwissWatchAppraisers on the appraisal itself, and the number listed on what appears to be the company’s website is disconnected, a fact confirmed Wednesday by National Jeweler

National Jeweler also was able to locate an email address on the SwissWatchAppraisers website. An email sent to that address Wednesday evening went unreturned overnight.

Nordstrom did not respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

Aghdasy’s suit is being pursued as a class action in U.S. District Court for the Central

District of California on behalf of all U.S. citizens who purchased vintage Rolex watches from HauteLook in the four years prior to the lawsuit’s filing date.

Rolex did not respond to request for comment when asked if it plans to take any legal action in the case. An online search of court records in both U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and federal court in New York, where Rolex U.S.A. is based, did not turn up any lawsuits filed by Rolex against Nordstrom.

In the legal notices section of its website, the well-known luxury watch brand states that genuine Rolex products are sold through official Rolex retailers only and that it cannot ensure the authenticity of watches sold online.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

MajorsNov 29, 2021
Here’s a Peek at David Yurman’s Holiday Windows

It’s a wintry wonderland in New York City.

SurveysNov 29, 2021
Survey: Jewelry, Watch Purchases Are Up in 2021

Here’s what else Provoke Insights found in its latest consumer study.

FinancialsNov 29, 2021
WatchBox Secures $165M in Expansion Funding

The pre-owned luxury watch platform also welcomed new members to its board.

Brought to you by
Train Your Staff Today with Interactive eLearning

Join the prestigious brands, industry organizations and sellers using IGI’s educational services.

GradingNov 29, 2021
BIJC, GIA to Offer Distance Learning Scholarships

They will cover the cost of earning a GIA Graduate Gemologist diploma for two students.

Weekly QuizNov 23, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Nov. 22-26, 2021.
Take the Quiz
MajorsNov 24, 2021
Here Are This Year’s Black Friday Jewelry, Watch Deals

From Amazon to Zales, several retailers have deals lined up for the shopping holiday.

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Former JCK Associate Publisher Donna Borrelli Dies

The longtime industry veteran had a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

Brought to you by
3 Tips For Entering the Estate Market

Generate foot traffic and expand your jewelry expertise by adding an estate assortment to your store in partnership with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Samuel B Has Now Donated More Than 1M Meals to Feeding America

The company donates 10 meals to the nonprofit for every piece of jewelry it sells.