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#127283 - 09/05/03 03:12 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
bcarey Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 3378
Loc: North Carolina
 Quote:
we should do it through teaching those who come here how to shop, not where to shop.
Luke's Dad,

I think this hits the nail squarely on it's head. I agree with the rest of your comments also.

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#127284 - 09/05/03 06:00 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
My experience parallels LukesDad. I agree with him.

There are simply too many shoppers with unreasonable expectations.

I often get shoppers who tell me at the time of purchase that they want a new, perfect piano. I tell them, tongue in cheek, that I've been in this business for 40+ years and have NEVER seen a perfect piano. Until G-d grows the perfect tree and some factory hires only perfect worker, there is no such thing.

The should expect a fine instrument with no significant flaws. But even at $40,000 there is no "perfect".
_________________________
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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#127285 - 09/05/03 06:01 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
pianodevo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 836
Lately I've spent a lot of time reading the "Town Hall" section on the well-known Edmunds.com car site -- there are separate sections for each car manufacturer, intelligently arranged.

The problem of fake posts is real: for example, reading the postings for two different Acura cars, I noticed an identical post! [Same fairly memorable wording castigating aspersions on another manufacturer.]

Nevertheless, taken as a whole I found the town hall boards ***invaluable***. As an example, one manufacturer's car I was seriously considering had just too many complaints about faulty transmissions ... so I won't buy that car.

While I learned that EVERY type of car has its problems, some issues are less serious: brake dust on the wheels of a new car I can handle ;\)

I am IN FAVOR of the idea presented by Rick Clark. I prefer text postings (as you can see on the innumerable car boards in Edmunds, that's how they do it, as far as I have read these boards).

It's just "caveat emptor" -- potential buyers can read our posts on dealers across the US (and elsewhere?), and decide for themselves about the merit of the information.

Don't put a lot of structure, etc. on this. Just let folks give their experiences. Fake or dealer-inspired posts cannot be prevented, but that shouldn't stop us from making our knowledge available to others.
_________________________
pianodevo

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#127286 - 09/05/03 07:10 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
pianodevo: From your post, you state that the part of the Town Hall you found to be the most helpful was the discussions of the various makes and models of the cars and their pros and cons. We already have that here. You can find discussions for just about every model of piano made, along with comments as far as their quality, sound, touch etc.... A lot of these posts are by people that own these instruments themselves, or work with them everyday. On the other hand, you didn't mention whether or not there were any sections dedicated to reviews of the car dealers themselves. My guess is that there isn't any, because if there were, you would probably be scared of going to any dealer because of the negatives that would have been listed. There would be many negative posts for each dealership, and few positive. The reason is because people are quick to condemn if they feel they got poor service, and want to advertise it to the world. Those that feel they got good service, often don't think to commend the dealership where they got good service. As a result, when you go to buy your Acura, you are going to have to decide for yourself whether or not you want to deal with any particular dealership. The best we can do to help consumers is give them an expectation of what kind of service is poor, what is expected, and what is exemplary service. Then let them decide whether the service they are receiving is acceptable or not.
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#127287 - 09/05/03 08:43 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
bcarey Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 3378
Loc: North Carolina
Once again, Luke's Dad hits the nail on its head. \:\) It's not complicated, unless you/we make it so.

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#127288 - 09/05/03 09:14 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Originally posted by JohnC:
 Quote:
Bernard, I've always wondered about those book reviews. They always seem so well written that I sometimes wonder if the review is a fabrication of someone affiliated with the book business. Your thoughts? [/QB]
Hello, JohnC! Long time no speak! Nice to see you around--last I remember you were having some physical problems to attend to (can't remember, was it your thumb? or your back?). How are things going?

I actually saw a book review at Amazon once that was written by an acquaintance of mine! Nice surprise.

The way I use the reviews is this way: If there is a mix of plus or minus reviews, I figure the book is worth a try. If the reviews are all or mostly all negative I have second thoughts. If most are positive, I feel pretty assured. I don't think 1 or 2 reviews in themselves would sway me much.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#127289 - 09/06/03 10:09 AM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
 Quote:
Originally posted by bcarey:
Once again, Luke's Dad hits the nail on its head. \:\) [/b]
I just wish I could have hit the nail on the head this many times when I was putting together baby furniture, my thumbs still sore, see !
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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#127290 - 09/06/03 04:08 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
pianodevo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 836
Luke's Dad wrote:

you didn't mention whether or not there were any sections [on edmunds.com car boards] dedicated to reviews of the car dealers themselves. My guess is that there isn't any, because if there were, you would probably be scared of going to any dealer because of the negatives that would have been listed. There would be many negative posts for each dealership, and few positive. The reason is because people are quick to condemn if they feel they got poor service, and want to advertise it to the world... [/b]

Luke's Dad, to clarify:

Within the threads about cars on edmunds.com, there are in fact MANY mentions of specific dealerships (and even in some cases, of salesmen at those stores). [The thread rules on edmunds usually allow mention of dealerships and salespersons' names, but no phone #s or email addresses.]

I have read about dealerships one should stay away from *as well as* dealerships which posters strongly recommend. Posters give reasons for their recommendations pro and con.

Naturally, there are relatively few dealerships reviewed compared to the total nationally. Still, the information is extremely helpful. As an example, there is a TX dealer mentioned who gives very good prices even with the $800 delivery fee, and delivers nationally. One can order from him or, at the least, ask a local dealer to match that price.

Luke's Dad also wrote: Those that feel they got good service, often don't think to commend the dealership where they got good service. [/b]

All too true (sigh. Across the board. Students very rarely write letters of commendation for good teachers, but the department head hears about all sorts of student-perceived problems.

Luke's Dad further commented: The best we can do to help consumers is give them an expectation of what kind of service is poor, what is expected, and what is exemplary service. Then let them decide whether the service they are receiving is acceptable or not[/b]

I certainly agree that the forum should (and has) done these things ... but *I think we can and should do more:* establishing a sort of database of reviews of dealers -- good and bad and inbetween -- would IMO be really beneficial to many, including of course the 'good' dealers.

If I were in the market for a piano, it would be invaluable to read the dealer reviews in such a database, and direct my store shopping accordingly. With so many shoppers now looking regionally and nationally, the dealer database has even more potential value.

Granted that there might be some abuse/false posts/unfairness -- still, Luke's Dad, I feel the good would considerably outweigh the harm.

And to clarify, I like reading your posts on various threads and mostly find myself in agreement. This reply isn't meant to be argumentative! \:\)
_________________________
pianodevo

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#127291 - 09/06/03 04:38 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
I just wanted to say that as a technician, I am just as subject to being unfairly judged by consumers as dealers are.

The example of the consumer who didn't understand their Boston grand piano was $24,000 not $2400 is a great example of a bad consumer judgement.

All piano tuners have their equivalent stories-- like people who refuse to agree to the repair work that is needed, but then will complain that the once-every-ten-years $75 tuning they got did not make their piano play and sound perfect, and boy is that tuner terrible....

This is why it's important to make these discussions anecdotal and free, rather than a grading system or similar. If the $2400 Boston grand lady had complained here about the dealer she would most likely be laughed out of the place and the dealer would gain sympathy points and probably commendations for their patience in the face of an idiotic consumer.

As long as the format is open and not just a ratings form to fill out, I think a dealer has little to fear from unfair consumers. People can see when they are being unfair. Dealers would also be able to rebut or present their side.

If Frank isn't too spooked at this point, that is.

Regards,

Rick Clark
_________________________
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

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#127292 - 09/06/03 04:43 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Ed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/01
Posts: 931
Loc: Pensacola, FL
I have a feeling that Frank doesn't "spook" very easily.

Always appreciate your comments, Rick.
\:\)
_________________________
Ed
Neurodoc
My (very dated) Web Site

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#127293 - 09/06/03 05:04 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
yonnermark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 491
Loc: UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Cohen:
I'm not so sure about this idea. In many cases it would post just one persons opinion of a store which might not reflect accurately their day-to-day operation.
[/b]
Thats not hard to get around. You can hide ALL comments UNTIL over 10 opinions have been posted. That way you know you are getting a broad-ish spectrum of opinions.

mark

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#127294 - 09/09/03 03:00 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Rich D. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1218
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
I cast my vote for a piano comsumer reviews
category. I would also encourage less structure not more in it's makeup. To me the focus should be on the pianos themselves. How do they play and sound? Are they well prepped and how is the atmosphere of the store itself (friendly, low key vs. hard sell). Do they let you play the piano without bothering you? I would also recommend staying away from listing specific piano prices at these stores since IMHO in most cases these are not the prices that a potential consumer will end up paying.
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

"Life is like a piano....what you get out of it depends on how you play it"
Anonymous


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#127295 - 09/09/03 03:22 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Briguy65 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 284
Loc: So California
I don't know if this has been posted before, but another forum i visit has a good guy/bad guy section, where people post up threads of their experiences with vendors, both public and private. People are welcome to post replies and you can have a dialogue. I'm sure this can be considered kosher and not subject to people trying to censor the threads.

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#127296 - 09/09/03 03:32 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by yonnermark:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Cohen:
I'm not so sure about this idea. In many cases it would post just one persons opinion of a store which might not reflect accurately their day-to-day operation.
[/b]
Thats not hard to get around. You can hide ALL comments UNTIL over 10 opinions have been posted. That way you know you are getting a broad-ish spectrum of opinions.

mark [/b]
That is not a bad alternative.
_________________________
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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#127297 - 09/09/03 03:52 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Mike Parke Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 154
Loc: Columbus, OH
I still think that you need to have the ability for long term posters to comment and/or ask questions. It's not that difficult to come up with 10 or more internet IDs and post however many good or bad comments you feel are necessary to get your point of view across. Just as in this forum, the interaction with the regular crew is IMHO essential to keep any semblance of fairness.

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#127298 - 09/10/03 12:09 AM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
 Quote:
Hello, JohnC! Long time no speak! Nice to see you around--last I remember you were having some physical problems to attend to (can't remember, was it your thumb? or your back?). How are things going?
Bernard, thanks for asking. The back has been a problem most of the year until about a month ago. It's feeling pretty good now. Also had some numbness in the last two fingers of the hand (Cubital tunnel syndrom). That too is slowly getting better. Getting older can be bad for your health!
_________________________
There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.

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#127299 - 09/16/03 07:03 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Piano World Offline


Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5528
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (originally N...
Luke's Dad pointed out this thread to me.

I like the idea of teaching people what to look for in a dealer, questions to ask, policies to read, etc.

We are less likely to get into trouble this way (although I'm sure I can count on you to find another way).

Between Larry's book and our forums, the pianos themselves are well covered, but dealers have hardly been addressed at all.

Let's start gathering the questions, important points, etc. Once we think we have a fairly comprehensive list I will create a special page for it and link it in the "Other Resources" section on the right.
I can also link it from the FAQ areas.

Ok folks, balls in your court...
What are our recommendations and caveats?
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#127300 - 09/17/03 06:49 PM Re: "Consumer Reviews of Piano Stores" section?
Luke's Dad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 1426
Loc: Mid Atlantic
Hmm, maybe we should start a seperate thread for this.
_________________________
Purveyor of Yamaha, Petrof, Pearl River, and Kohler & Campbell pianos.

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