12 Top Tips to Beat the Rolex Waiting Lists
If you’ve been searching for a steel sports Rolex model, you may have heard about the extraordinary waiting lists. Take for example, the Rolex GMT Master II “Batman” 126710 BLNR or “Pepsi” 126710 BLRO models. Many authorised dealers (AD) have waiting lists in excess of 8 years on these models. Some dealers have even closed the waiting lists altogether.
If you’re wondering why you would want a steel sports Rolex model, then I can tell you that you can quite easily make 70% or more return on these watches (the moment you walk out the store). If you’re lucky enough to get a steel Daytona (like the “Panda” 116500 WSO, for example), you may even make double what you paid.
So, if you want to increase your chances of buying a Rolex, please continue reading.
1) Get to know your sales reps
What matters the most is who you know. You’ve heard of this advice before, I’m sure. Go to your local AD and check out who the sales reps are, perhaps check out who the top sales rep is and befriend them. Have a chat with them, drink coffee with them and let them get to know you a bit better. When something comes into store, make sure they remember your face and your name as much as possible. Give the sales rep your mobile number if you can. Even better, get their direct number, a mobile number is ideal. Send them a WhatsApp or SMS message from time to time.
2) NEVER tell them you are buying a watch to sell it!
This should go without saying, but the dealers do not like hearing how many watches you’ve sold and they definitely don’t want to hear that you’re planning a purchase to sell it later on. They are trying to avoid people like this and their ideal customer is a Rolex collector. Tell them you’re buying watches for enjoyment and investment purposes. Tell them you leave the watches in a safe. If you’ve bought a watch from them in the past, wear that watch when you go in. Make sure they know you’re keeping these watches. Don't even insinuate you are even thinking of selling.
3) Ask questions about their business patterns
Don’t ask too many questions, but ask about things like when they get their stock in, what stock they got last time, when was the last time they got a particular piece in etc. You can use this information to time your next move. If you know they usually get pieces in on the second Saturday each month, then you’ll know to ring on that day, or at least around that time.
4) Be polite and respectful
Don’t adopt a typical customer’s mindset and expect to be treated like royalty. Be polite and respectful. Treat the staff like human beings. Don’t try to impress them with your watch knowledge (it’ll probably just put them off you). Don’t try to show off your money or act like a snob. Remember, it is a seller’s market – you have to respect them, and they have to like you. Try and make friends with these people.
5) Put your money where your mouth is
Money talks, right? Show them you’re serious about purchasing a watch from them. If it’s an early deposit they want, then put one down. Perhaps buy some other products from the store and show you’re not just a talker. Remember, these sales reps get people coming in all the time trying to buy these watches. A lot of them are timewasters. Don’t be timewaster!
6) Open an account with them
You have to spend money to make money. The salespeople or the manager generally likes to see a purchase history before releasing any nice pieces. Purchase the odd piece of jewellery here and there, or maybe buy another watch you like on the shelf. Don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money, but at the same time, the desirable pieces will not come for free. Not sure if you realise this, but you are in a competition with other buyers to be selected. A typical AD has plenty of customers who spend £100,000+ every year with them. Make sure your manager can track your history on their systems. Give them your details so everything can be traced. It is just more evidence that you’re not a timewaster. It also shows that you’re not just in the market to flip watches, which brings me to my next point.
7) Dress to impress
First impressions count. You don’t have to go in sporting a £5000 designer suit, but at the same time, don’t go into your Rolex AD (the first time) with your painting overalls on either. Wear something nice, and ensure it looks like you’ve put some effort into the appointment. You’re trying to advertise yourself here.
8) Be persistent
It’s simple probability, really. The more you make the effort to go into your AD, the more chances you will have of hitting the jackpot. The sales reps will see your enthusiasm and again, this will give you a chance to get to know them better. Try going in maybe once a week or once a fortnight. It’s a seller’s market right now (especially for Rolex steel sports models), so do your best to convince the sales reps to think of you when they have something to sell.
9) Be specific on what you want
There are two reasons for this. One reason - if you can’t even define what you want e.g. a model code or a particular size/bracelet/dial colour/bezel etc, it will just show that you might be a timewaster. Present yourself as a decisive person.
The other reason - if you say you’re after ANY steel sports model, you’ll just come across as a watch flipper, trying to make a bit of quick cash. That’s a no, no, for sure.
Go to the dealer, spend a good hour there if you can. Try on a few models and ask to take some wrist shots to help you decide. Put in the necessary work and finally, conclude with your sales rep on the specific pieces that you like.
10) Try your luck with a few ADs
To be honest, this could work in your favour or it might not. Some people recommend this strategy and some people don’t. The reason is, you’ll have to put more work in and you’ll have to put the advice above into action at each one of these stores.
So, if you’re going to try your luck with many stores, make sure they’re at least quite local to you. Make sure you don’t spread yourself too thinly - you want QUALITY relationships with these dealers too. 2 or 3 ADs will be more than enough.
11) Look like you know what you're doing
Make sure you AT LEAST know how to handle a luxury mechanical watch. Ensure you know how an automatic watch works e.g. how to wind it, how to set the date/time etc. When you set the time, only move the hands forwards (never backwards). When you place the watch down, make sure you place it to avoid scratches e.g. on the crown to minimise points of contact. Someone who knows watches will recognise this and know you're not new to the watch game.
12) Be patient
Employing all of these points will not guarantee you’re going to get the Rolex model you want. Remember, it is a seller’s market and there is a lot of competition among buyers. Many other people are using the same strategies as you. However, the longer you persist, the more chances you’ll have. Don’t expect to apply this advice and hit the jackpot in 3 months. It may take a year of hard work, it may take longer. Ultimately, the ADs are not in control of what Rolex sends them every month. So, don’t get angry with them. Manage your expectations.
If you’re REALLY desperate, then you could always buy from a grey market dealer (not recommended). You will pay a massive premium for this. If the AD is keeping you waiting for over a year, perhaps tell them you are thinking of buying used because your patience is running out. This might add a bit of urgency to the matter and you might just get lucky. Monitor their response – if they are trying to convince you not to buy used, then they are still interested in your custom. If they don’t seem too bothered, then you know your chances are still quite low and it may be time to move on.
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The points made in this article are merely opinions of WatchVIP and in no way intended to be strict rules for your spending choices. Please seek professional advice should you need assistance with your finances.