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tonyfsu21

Rolex Shopping Eastern/Western Carrib Routes

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Anyone have a positive experience in any East West Carribean routes shopping for Rolex specifically? I normally purchase from authorized dealers in the US but im curious if anyone has received any good deals at the Carribean Authorized dealers? Any discounts on higher end 30k+ models specifically?

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Tony, 

 

We have had many discussions about buying anything, with the exception of liquor, in the Caribbean. You will find it is a shot in the dark. Almost everyone on here recommends buying local with a jeweler you know. Don't buy from the ship.

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I figured since the purchase will be made at an authorized Rolex dealer in carribean there wouldn't be concern. I am wondering if anyone has received better discounts if any on Rolex in carribean?

While I do not have direct experience, I would shop around at home and then go on your cruise and shop around there to see if prices are better.  

 

The key is to be an informed consumer.  With this approach, you have nothing to lose (other than time, I suppose).

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I would not make a Rolex purchase on a cruise. I'm sorry but I just don't see the benefit of doing that. I'm sure I can find the watch online at a better deal online and purchase online from a dealer or use the online price to get a matching local deal. Also do you really want to pay the import duties on a 30K purchase, or not declare it and risk losing the watch? You will be carrying the box and paper home with you right?

 

If you do make a large purchase absolutely pay with your credit card so you have some protection.  If they offer you a really big discount based upon cash run back to the ship. 

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@ Todd- I don't need the box, just the watch. I would pay with Amex platinum and put it on my wrist. I wouldn't buy a gold Rolex submariner off the internet, I prefer face to face with an authorized dealer. Again, I'm not concerned about authenticity as I would only buy from one of Rolex's noted authorized dealers. I have been quoted $30,000 + 6% tax in US. Hoping for a similar discount, tax free and game time decision on declaring. Watch MSRP $34,500.

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@ Todd- I don't need the box, just the watch. I would pay with Amex platinum and put it on my wrist. I wouldn't buy a gold Rolex submariner off the internet, I prefer face to face with an authorized dealer. Again, I'm not concerned about authenticity as I would only buy from one of Rolex's noted authorized dealers. I have been quoted $30,000 + 6% tax in US. Hoping for a similar discount, tax free and game time decision on declaring. Watch MSRP $34,500.

 Sure someone  can just put the watch on and then lie to US Customs and enter the country not declaring the watch. And in most cases no issues or problems thousands of people coming off a cruise ship so they don't check to close. But if  they are detected with a $ 34,500 watch that they paid $30,000 dollars for and on the customs formed lied about it they could have very big problems. If the watch is declare, the duty will be about 10%, if  not declare they can confiscate the watch, or required that it be send through a import broker, and very large fines. 

 

I'm not judging you here it is your money, and your choice. I am just pointing out the other side a $4000 dollar savings could be gone and  lots of problems. Also for  the watch to be registered the paperwork is needed, and since it is coming from a authorized dealer customs just needs to run the serial number. If customs opens a investigation they can find out exactly how much someone charged on a credit card.  I have several friends who worked for US Customs, do not think for one minute these officers are stupid, they can spot a new watch, and know within a few minutes when a person is being dishonest, and then they throw the book at that person.

 

Again Tony, I'm not saying or implying that you would do anything wrong. I am just pointing out the other side of things for people reading these posts. In any case you will have a great watch, purchase on the cruise or not I'm sure it will be a wonderful cruise.

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@ Todd. I will most likely pay the duty on the watch provided I can get enough of a discount to offset. It's strange that more people have not chimed in on this. I don't think it makes a difference which Rolex model someone purchases and I really wanted to gauge impressions people had with the carribean authorized dealers. It makes little sense to purchase the same watch in the US when you can buy in the carribean tax free.

@floatme: other than Chinatown I can't imagine a worse place to purchase a Rolex than the Pawn Stars store in LV. They mark up prices just because they are on TV. The stainless sub is $8700 brand new from Authorized dealer.

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Last Summer I bought a Submariner from the Authorized Rolex dealer in St. Marteen (French side).  It was $9,000 in the States and I paid $7,600.  I charged to my credit card in US $ (no fees).  I reported the watch on the customs paper and the agent didn't even looked at it.  I saved $1,400 and I was very happy. 

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I have wanted to post this story for a long time to all the RCBlog readers here; mainly as an FYI. Perhaps this might apply to a large $ jewelry purchase???

 

 

Here's How A Drug Deal Can Go For Visitors Of St. Lucia

 

 

Let's say a person gets off the ship in good ol' Castries. And let's say they bump into a drug dealer and buy some weed. This person likes the sample of what he has bought, exchanges some pleasantries with the dealer including "my name is John and I'm on the Jewel of the Seas, I have to be back on board at 5 pm." The drug dealer replies "OK Mon', we have the best weed here in St Lucia I can sell you some more to take home if you like. Like buying Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, John buys a pound or two to bring back home; his only concern being how to get it past the Royal Caribbean security. Doing that, particularly in the chaos of an hour before the ship leaves port; has got to be quite easy.

 

A successful hook up? Not so fast.....

 

The drug dealer; after taking John's cash and making a profit; talks to the local police. Perhaps in exchange immunity or perhaps for $, he squeals that he sold John on the Jewel of the Seas a couple pounds of weed a short while ago.

 

The country of St Lucia has no resources and no desire to capture/ prosecute a drug using tourist. If they did there would be no room in there jails for the natives. So what do they do?

 

The St Lucia police make a phone call to US or British customs. (Really, it's a phone call). It is not inconceivable that there might be some money for information exchanged at some point, but I am not sure of that. But if I were a betting man....

 

So.....US customs is waiting for "John and a couple pounds of weed" upon disembarkation when he arrives in San Juan. Now, they have no idea what John looks like. But that's where the dogs enter the story....

 

While we are all waiting in line to get through customs so we can catch those flights at the airport; the beagles are working and looking for "John with two pounds of weed." The Customs officials seem to be taking their time.

 

The beagles and their keen noses are trained to sit when they smell dope. They don't go ape shit crazy. There's no barking. Just a calm "sit". They are sure to get a confirmation from a couple different animals. Certainly that area is under video surveillance and really being observed by more Customs people behind the curtains than you think are really there.

 

So if you are going through Customs and you see the dogs working, it is very possible that they are looking for a guy named John who was really set-up and game over long before he ever realized it. John, his wife, and all their luggage are politely asked to step into the office when they reach the customs desk. Then that process through customs for the rest of us goes lickedy split.....

 

 

 

My wife and I have seen this happen couple times in our cruising history. 

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Personally, I think the purchase is too big to bother buying it on a cruise.  This is something that you'll have, potentially, for a lifetime; thus, the amount saved on a per year cost will be minimal and you will have to be extremely careful to ensure that you're not buying a stolen or a counterfeit watch.  My best advice would to go to the Rolex website and look for authorized dealers in the ports you'll be visiting.  Buying from any other source would be risky in my opinion.  You might also look online and/or look at previously owned watches to find a good deal.

 

I may simply be risk adverse, but it wouldn't be worth the risk to me to save a few bucks. 

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Doc- I am totally lost on the drug dealer reference above your post but, ok. I want to point out that the carribean authorized Rolex dealers are just as legit as the authorized dealers in the states. I'm an educated buyer who has purchased more than 10 Rolex watches (just not from authorized dealers in carribean). I would not be foolish enough to spend 30k on a watch from a street peddler and I'm hoping nobody on this thread would either. With that being said I have seen my share of tourists buying "Cuban cigars" from the street vendors in Cozumel... Not smart & NOT Cuban cigars.

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Ahh ok, got it Bobroo. Now that u mention it I bought my wife a Cartier love bracelet on a cruise awhile back and the sales lady did curiously ask what ship we were on. I asked her why she needed to know and she responded "marketing". I told her the wrong ship since there were 6 in port. I bet they tip off the customs agents somehow. Interesting.

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Doc- I am totally lost on the drug dealer reference above your post but, ok. I want to point out that the carribean authorized Rolex dealers are just as legit as the authorized dealers in the states. I'm an educated buyer who has purchased more than 10 Rolex watches (just not from authorized dealers in carribean). I would not be foolish enough to spend 30k on a watch from a street peddler and I'm hoping nobody on this thread would either. With that being said I have seen my share of tourists buying "Cuban cigars" from the street vendors in Cozumel... Not smart & NOT Cuban cigars.

I can speak for the previous poster, but I think that they were implying that the shop owner might relay the sale to Customs so that they know to look for the Rolex.

 

If you're going to an authorized retailer, than I think you're golden.  I didn't notice that reference in your post.  I was fearful that you were just looking for a cheap deal, and that's where people get suckered.  I think some people also let their guard down on vacation as they see the purchase as a souvenir.

 

Now the real question is, if you've bought more the 10 Rolex watches, why do you need another <jk>. ;)

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It also comes down to declaring the watch and then paying the duties and fees. And while some people maybe can bring in a watch without declaring, the same can be said for bringing  five tons of Cocaine into the the country, it has been done without detection before but also people are in jail for being caught. The link below talks about a couple of these cases and how US customs handles these things.

 

https://beckertime.com/blog/to-declare-declare-your-rolex/

 

Here is part of what is said.

 

"So you are on your way back from a great trip and are not sure whether to claim your newly purchased Rolex for duty.  You purchased one Rolex watch which you are hand carrying, so you have Rolex U.S.A’s blessing, but when presented the green customs card on the plane or ship, the question usually comes up as to what to do.  If caught smuggling a Rolex past customs, you can be fined six times the duty of the watch, or the price of the watch itself.  Additionally, if you going through customs just coming off a plane/train from a vacation destination, the customs agents know what to look for when scanning luggage as well as wrists. Even though Customs Agents reportedly look for illegal drugs being smuggled, other items such as high priced watches or diamonds stand out when standing in the customs line. "

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The drug dealing reference and potentially purchasing something big dollar and then perhaps not declaring it to avoid taxes; the circumstances are very similar and the reason I've told the drug dealing story.

 

Let me tell another quick one involving buying a Rolex:

 

A few years ago while in port in Cozumel my wife and I wondered into the official Rolex dealer there. The name escapes me but they are also the Cartier dealer and it's on the way to La Choza (a fantastic restaurant in town).  I was told there was a "promotion by the country of Mexico that for large purchases over a certain dollar amount (and may have been jewelry specific IDK) that the the country of Mexico would send a rebate check of some 8% of the purchase amount once you got home." The sales person said it takes a couple weeks but the check would indeed arrive.

 

Guess you'd better declare your purchase when you buy under this circumstance, huh?

 

 

So yeah, even though you may shop at a well known, authorized retailer in a third world country that does not have the appearance to care; I don't think you become immune from paying taxes.

 

In full disclosure I have looked and looked at Rolex and Panarai watches when we travel but I have never pulled the trigger.....yet.

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UltraJewels^^^^^. I actually took advantage of the promotion a few years back when I purchased a nice Breitling wristwatch. I really had little confidence in actually receiving a check from the MX government but sure enough it arrived and it was good.

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Somebody that is not me (for real... I don't have that kind of disposable income) buys watches and expensive jewelry (yellow diamonds) while on cruises.  Once they had a time during the last night where you could go and declare your purchases.  He showed up and the agents were all drinking a couple beers and looked at him like he was crazy for actually showing up.  Other times they have declared it while getting off the ship and the agents told him he should have just worn it on his wrist.  

 

Do what you're comfortable with.  I agree with not having the box.  I also wouldn't count on anything to be shipped to you.  This person usually requires a larger band, and they promise they would send it or extra links, and it never happens.  So get exactly what you want while you're there.  

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