From a post about Rolex scalping and watches being status symbols for the investment class:
Visit any authorized dealer today and you will find almost nothing to buy. The display cases are literally empty. There are a few undesirable models sitting around – smooth bezel Datejusts and the like – but you aren’t finding any watch that one would have considered even the least bit desirable just two or three years ago.
To discover the true price of a new Daytona, head over to Chrono24 – the most popular online watch market – and search “116500LN.” You’ll find more than 100 models to choose from, most of which are “new/unworn” and offered directly by jewelry stores. The price ranges from $32,500-$40,000, or roughly three times the official Rolex list price.
How did all of these new watches end up in the hands of non-authorized jewelry stores? Authorized dealers are forbidden from selling units at any price other than $13,150. Are they just handing out spectacular deals to their competition for nothing in return? Of course not. Either directly or indirectly, deals are being cut, money is changing hands, and watches are flowing from Rolex through authorized dealers and onto Chrono24 before any retail buyers can even see them.
It is almost farcical to walk into an authorized Rolex dealer today.