Discounts from Rolex Authorized Dealers

4:11 PM

Do Rolex Authorized Dealers offer discounts? Are they allowed to offer discounts or charge more than the suggested retail price put forth by the watchmaker? I come across these questions on Rolex forums all the time and am always curious to read different people's experiences with dealer discounts. As with most topics relating to Rolex watches, there isn't one concrete answer to any of these questions and experiences vary based on several factors, all listed below in an attempt to shed some light on this issue.

Two Tone Rolex Yacht-Master II Model (photo: Rolex/Kyle Myburgh)
First and foremost, while Rolex Authorized Dealers are prohibited from advertising discounts on their timepieces, they are not legally bound to any price set forth by the watchmaker. Now, if you are wondering if Rolex dealers offer discounts, I think it's safe to assume that you are either a first time buyer or new to watch collecting to some extent. I point this out because your relationship with your dealer is a contributing factor to what sort of discount you can expect to receive from them. If you are a valued customer, you can and should ask for a better price than the first one the sales rep throws out. This applies to all but the current 'it' watches, like the ceramic stainless steel Daytona, that are hard for them to keep in stock and fetch a premium. However, if it is your first time walking into the dealer, you have to rely on your charm and negotiation skills to work down the price.

The model you choose usually dictates how much of a discount you can expect from any dealer, even one that you frequent. Generally speaking, Rolex's stainless steel sports models are the hardest to get at a discounted price simply because they are always in demand as there is a larger market for timepieces priced under $10,000 US. With precious metal configurations, you have a better chance of receiving a discount as they are priced higher and usually not as in demand as their stainless steel counterparts. However, this also depends on the dealer. If you walk into an AD in New York City while on vacation and expect them to offer you a discount, you may be disappointed.

To put yourself in the best negotiating position when purchasing a Rolex, you should think of it no differently than walking into a auto dealership and working down the price of a car. Go in after doing research on pricing, both suggested retail price and resale value. This will let you know how much room you have to negotiate and where to set your initial offer. Do not present your offer as an ultimatum, but as a budget that you would like to adhere to for this purchase. The idea is to create a long-term relationship that will allow you to continue to receive discounts in the future. In my experience, candor and politeness go a long way with salespeople, especially when you are willing to work with them to get a good price on your item without taking away too much of their commission.

The best way to ensure that you get the best prices and service from your dealer is to nurture the relationship over time. If they sell jewelry or other items that you may be interested, give them your business so that when it comes time for you to negotiate the price of your grail watch, you have a leg to stand on. Many dealers have private events and will even bump you up on a list for a hard to find watch if you are a VIP. However, if you are looking for a deeply discounted Rolex watch, you may want to check out the gray market and leave the dealers for those who want to sip beverages and attend events with the sales reps, owners and other valued customers.

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