The SA is supposed to remove all hardware coverings before wrapping and giving to the customer. They are instructed to do this. Eluxury is an exception to this rule, 99% of the time the hardware is covered. Perhaps Eluxury leaves it on, because it could be a return or exchange. In the boutique, most customers buying usually keep their purchase.
Another thing with e-lux, they send it through mail. In order to avoid scuffs during the sometimes harsh treatment of the postal system, it's safer to keep it on.
What exactly are these "scratches and scuffs"? Could you please post pictures?
I've never received any scartched items from the store at all. However, little tiny scratches may appear over time, sometimes quickly depending on how you use the item. Even flaking and tarnishing does happen over time.