Discounts

There are a few things in this industry that are just plain broken.  To me, one of the most glaring examples is the system of selling watches at negotiated discounts.  Recently in a Facebook group there was a discussion about an Audemars Piguet model that, to my knowledge, has not even been delivered yet.  Multiple people - not dealers - were offering to get the piece at 30% off.  Obviously this is broken. Of course, like anyone else, when I buy a watch I want to buy it as cheaply as possible.  However, the current system is bad for everyone.  The only other product I can think of that people pay different amounts for the exact same item is cars, and that is hardly an industry to be copied.

It is bad for brands as they completely lose control of their market.  It is bad for retailers as they are always dealing with unhappy clients and ground-down margins.  And it is also bad for customers.  If watches were sold at their retail price like most other goods, they would be much easier to buy and they would retain their value much better in the short run.

Of course, the solution is not easy.  All three parties: brands, retailers, and customers, are complicit in the state of things today.  There is no doubt in my mind though that this cannot continue forever.  At some point, I do believe that a watch will cost what it costs and no one will even think about negotiating.  And we will all be better off.