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#1246736 - 08/10/09 01:09 PM Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500)
It Netian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 2
Hi,
I'm looking around for a piano, and saw the following ads for refurbished yamaha U3.

Year built range: 1975 - 1986
Price range: $2,700 - $3,500 US dollar.
Refurbished year: 2009.

These are the so called 'gray market'.

I was wondering if it is a good idea to buy those. Please help. Your opinions are highly appreciated.

For details of the ads:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/msg/1313835283.html

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#1246862 - 08/10/09 05:12 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: It Netian]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
These prices are too high for such old pianos. These pianos are not completely refurbished.
They have been cleaned up and barely restored for a fast sell.
The reason why I said the prices are too high; is because they go for closer to 60% to 70% of the cost of a New piano by the same manufacturer or similar.
I don't see anybody paying near 50% of the new cost for a 20 to 30 years old Toyota car or brand name furniture. Why would you do that with a piano?
A truly rebuilt Steinway can be worth 80% of the cost of a new one; but not a Yamaha or Kawai.
If the pianos are in good shape after you had a technician checked the piano, I will said $2000 is not a fantastic deal but fair/reasonable and worth it.
On the other hand there are so many other GREAT pianos, besides Kawai or Yamaha which are sold new for $3500. Zero worries, new technology and design. Besides that they come with manufacturer's warranty; instead of a comfort warranty from some obscure dealer on craigslist.
Best Regards,


Edited by Kurtmen (08/10/09 05:21 PM)
_________________________
San Mateo Piano
Purveyors of:
Kawai, Wilh. Steinberg.
Kawai Digital Piano, Pianodisc.
<a href="http://sanmateopiano.com" style="color:#FF0505;font-size:10px;font-family:Times New Roman;text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" >http://sanmateopiano.com</a>

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#1246866 - 08/10/09 05:25 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: Kurtmen]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
These prices are too high for such old pianos. These pianos are not completely refurbished.
They have been cleaned up and barely restored for a fast sell.
The reason why I said the prices are too high; is because they go for closer to 60% to 70% of the cost of a New piano by the same manufacturer or similar.
I don't see anybody paying not even 50% of the new cost for 20 to 30 years old Toyota car or brand name furniture.
A truly rebuilt Steinway can be worth 80% of the cost of a new one; but not a Yamaha or Kawai.
If the pianos are in good shape after you had a technician checked the piano, I will said $2000 to $2500 is not a fantastic deal but reasonable and worth it.
On the other hand there are so many other GREAT pianos, esides Kawai or Yamaha which are sold new for $3500. Zero worries, new technology and design. Besides that they come with manufacturers warranty; instead of a comfort warranty from some obscure dealer on craigslist.


Kurtmen, I think you may be way off here.

Some grey market pianos ARE completely refurbished with new pins, strings, hammers and more. While it is true that some grey market pianos are as you describe, many are not.

Also, your pricing scenario is way off as well. The prices you suggest ($2000-$2500) are less than the wholesale price w/freight of grey market pianos. As a dealership, you should know the costs of these instruments, so I must conclude that your intent is to mislead.

I know that you compete agaist greys, but that doesn't justify your response.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1246878 - 08/10/09 05:54 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Steve is completely justified.
You know our market and how much people are paying for U1 and U3 around here. Why buy the used piano when for a couple or few thousand more, you can buy a new one and keep it for the next twenty years.
On the other hand for $3500 you can buy a new 48" by many of the other makers and perhaps serve the purpose better.
Including some models built by SMC.
Don't you think?

Honestly. I've never heard of a full rebuilt on Yamahas that are sold FOR $2700 to $3500 to the public.
Since You are very certain: PLEASE ENLIGHT US AND TELL US THE NAME OF THE FACTORY WHERE THESE "2009 FACTORY REBUILT PIANOS" HAVE BEEN RE-DONE. AND THE NAME U.S. DISTRIBUTOR.



Edited by Kurtmen (08/10/09 06:30 PM)
_________________________
San Mateo Piano
Purveyors of:
Kawai, Wilh. Steinberg.
Kawai Digital Piano, Pianodisc.
<a href="http://sanmateopiano.com" style="color:#FF0505;font-size:10px;font-family:Times New Roman;text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" >http://sanmateopiano.com</a>

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#1246908 - 08/10/09 06:57 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: Kurtmen]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Who said a "full rebuilt on Yamahas that are sold FOR $2700 to $3500 to the public"?

You said "These pianos are not completely refurbished. They have been cleaned up and barely restored for a fast sell".

In my experience the amount and quality of work done on grey market piano varies considerably. How do you know that the pianos being referred to by the OP are as you describe?
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1246958 - 08/10/09 09:03 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
It Netian,

Please use the search function on this forum for "Gray Market" and "Grey Market". You will read a variety of opinions on this vast body of product available in most markets.

There is much issue with the term "refurbished". There is no standard definition in the industry. It can be a little as a good dustin' and cleanin', and as much as new strings and hammers. I have been exposed to hundreds of Gray Market pianos over the years in a variety of settings. In my experience, most are all original parts with cabinets and brass polished to look new and hammers filed to look new.

I can guarantee that you will not be finding a U3 with new hammers and strings for $2700. That's for sure.
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#1246967 - 08/10/09 09:26 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: Marty Flinn]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: Marty Flinn

I can guarantee that you will not be finding a U3 with new hammers and strings for $2700. That's for sure.


I couldn't agree more.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1246968 - 08/10/09 09:26 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: Steve Cohen]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Steve my point is that I doubted those pianos advertised on that *particular craigslist ad* have more than just a cleaned up and a light restoring job.
However since you took an opposite position to mine and you said that my opinion is some how misleading.

I want you to clarify and tell us about the source of the pianos. They claimed that they are Factory Refurbished.
Again:
Who is the factory? and Distributor?

IMO without any additional information it is safer for the consumer to look at different options and be skeptical. If the pianos are checked by an independent tech and they are in good shape, then by industry standards a 20% discount to the asking price is reasonable, since they have been offered by a dealer and not an individual.
I think my advise is prudent and reasonable.
Unless you can providing him with information that will guarantee to him/her that this is a safe purchase and a good deal.


Edited by Kurtmen (08/10/09 09:47 PM)
_________________________
San Mateo Piano
Purveyors of:
Kawai, Wilh. Steinberg.
Kawai Digital Piano, Pianodisc.
<a href="http://sanmateopiano.com" style="color:#FF0505;font-size:10px;font-family:Times New Roman;text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" >http://sanmateopiano.com</a>

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#1247489 - 08/11/09 08:12 PM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: Kurtmen]
It Netian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 2
Thank you all. Your reply educated me a lot about the gray market pianos.

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#1247704 - 08/12/09 02:28 AM Re: Refurbished Yamaha U3 (1975-1986: $2,700-$3,500) [Re: It Netian]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Actually most gray market pianos in the states are minimally refurbished wherever and sold via the many Japanese wholesale and trade co.

There are operations that actually do a more comprehensive R&R refurbishment/restoration on these Yamaha and Kawais.
They are usually the REALLY OLD ones whereas the company acquired them for very little yen or $0 and could actually do a production restoration type operation on these ancient artifacts and still make $. I never cared for the ones I've seen. Oh well.they do exist!
So...in conclusion one could actually acquire a restored 40 year old U3G for $2700 wholesale if thats what you want. wink


Edited by pianobroker (08/12/09 02:30 AM)
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