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#1347298 - 01/11/10 11:38 PM How do you negotiate the price?
World_Piano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 8

I've seen many people in this forum, who say that they talked with salespeople, and brought the price down.

The problem is that I do not know how to do this.

So far, all the salespeople I've met have suggested the price (which is not much lower than the msrp). They insist that it is already a "discounted price" from the msrp, and they cannot lower it more (when I know that it can still go down). All the dealers in my neighborhood seem to have the same price, so I cannot visit another dealer.

I am not used to fight over the price, and maybe I am not strong-hearted enough to push it further.

I don't know how to play this game. I know that salespeople are having a hard time lately, and I am willing to pay a reasonable price. But they think I am a fool (well I kind of look like an easy game), and simply ask too much.

Any advice?

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#1347313 - 01/11/10 11:59 PM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: World_Piano]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239

This is some advice that I like: pevawi's advice

Here is the original version of pevawi's shopping:
advice from a few years ago on budget and bargaining

#1347463 - 01/12/10 08:22 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: guest1013]
joeydonuts Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 96
If your in northern ohio, I can meet you and do it for you. I am a born haggler. Friends call me to do the bidding for them and I almost ALWAYS save 10-20% off the price. I even save in Best Buy. ;-) Its about having confidence that you know something they are hiding and the ability to walk away.

#1347480 - 01/12/10 08:51 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: joeydonuts]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
WHY are you trying to haggle the price down, may I ask?

Maybe what they offered IS the best they can do!

What piano do you think you deserve a lower price on? And did you ask about their services? Prep, aftercare? Do not count in taxes, delivery etc. No tunings are really free, and one at home is customary, but you could suggest maybe the need for a Damp Chaser (search archives here) or a lamp.

Remember that everyone that has posted a price does not include what the dealer's prep is like, nor the age of the piano, nor if it is something the dealer is desiring to get off the floor (a dud??? paying lease on???) etc.

When you are ready to give them the check, you could politely ask for the above, or give them a reasonable offer. They either CAN or they CANNOT. It is as easy as that.

(BTW, I did not haggle)

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1347506 - 01/12/10 09:30 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: lilylady]
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1464
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Unless a business is a monopoly, your best weapon is the competetion. If you "fall in love" with a particular instrument then you are at a disadvantgage. Best to have an alternative.

Eg: "I really like this Accord, but I can get a similar Camry for $1K less..."

As an aside, most of us posting on PW are consumers, and we tend to help each other out against the "big bad retailers" who are trying to rip off the unenlightened. But in reality, I don't know any of you from Adam, but I do know and like the business from which I purchased my piano. I want him to do well and I imagine we all don't want our local retailers to fold the tent either.
So the question should be does retailer X provide fair prices and good after sale service?
Estonia L190 #7004
Casio PX 310
Yamaha NP 30

#1347519 - 01/12/10 09:45 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Stanza]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10819
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
A great starting point is to go to Piano Buyer Model & Pricing Guide. READ THE INTRODUCTION!

It will provide you with the most up-to-date information on actual selling price ranges for any model.
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.

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

#1347552 - 01/12/10 10:39 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 18115
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, World Piano. smile The first (and often later) prices you hear from salespersons are rarely the best "real" price. To get the best price in negotiations, you need to communicate that you are ready to purchase the piano that day if you and the dealer can come to mutually acceptable terms. Having your checkbook in hand while you are doing this helps. Making a concrete offer helps, too: "I can pay $xxxx for this piano. Will you accept that offer?"

Simply walking in, playing a bit on one piano, and then saying "how much is it?" will not yield the best price. I'm not saying that's what you were doing, just that I couldn't tell from your post exactly how far you were in your search and what the nature of your conversations with the dealer were.

To get the lowest price, you also have to be willing to walk away. Let's say you make your offer, or ask for a lower price, and the dealer says "no, this is the best price." If it's not a price you're happy with, just tell him or her with a smile, "Thanks; I think I'll keep looking, then. Here's my number if you decide later that you can sell it for the price I offered." If you and the dealer aren't too far apart, you may well get such a phone call a day or two later.

Of course, this strategy is predicated on the assumption that you haven't fallen in Piano Love and would not be heartbroken to leave the store without a purchase agreement in hand. wink If you really would be distressed to miss out on the piano, it sounds to me like you ought to pay the best price volunteered by the dealer.

p.s. Needless to say, if you do say something like "I'll buy the piano if you will take $xxxx," or "I can offer you $xxxx for the piano," you need to honor that. It would not be cool to then say "okay, that's great, but I want to look around more first."
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#1347563 - 01/12/10 10:50 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Monica K.]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10770
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Lilylady
WHY are you trying to haggle the price down, may I ask?

Maybe what they offered IS the best they can do!

He's just playing the odds, LL. Playing the odds.


Steve's advice is good. Examine the guide and that will give you a reasonable range of discounts to expect. On many pianos 30% off of Fine's list price is doable (as long as it's not a Steinway).

Be prepared to name your price and to walk out. If they do not get back in touch with you then you exceeded their willingness to discount. If not, you'll hear back from them. Depersonalize things! If they are not willing to come down below a certain number, this is not a black mark on you or on them. It's a business deal. And as Stanza notes, if you have fallen 'in love' you're in trouble. That emotion can be seen a mile away.

#1347586 - 01/12/10 11:15 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Piano*Dad]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 21947
Loc: New York City
I don't think there's that much risk walking away from a piano. Chances are it will be there in a few days or the dealership will get a very similar sounding one soon. You can also ask to put a refundable deposit down if you're not sure about the piano or the dealer's final price offered. Many dealers will hold a piano for a week becasue they realize buying one is a big decision.

#1347724 - 01/12/10 01:59 PM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: pianoloverus]
Crow Wing Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 35
World Piano,
What a store offers as a price may be the best they can do, and at the same time a lower offer from you may be the best you can do. The transaction is just a trade. It’s not personal, as others have noted, and the transaction price isn’t earned by either side. I agree tunings are not free, and neither are prep and after-sale service. They’re bundled into the price and are cost items to the seller, but framed as free to the buyer. I’m thinking if each store offers a tuning as part of the sale, then that item is a wash, assuming tuning from one store is equivalent to tuning from another. Not sure if tunings are in fact equivalent, but I assume it. Prep and after-sale service vary, so a variable value should be put on them by the buyer. I suppose you’d have to rely on reputation and word of mouth to evaluate these last two items. Hard to quantify prep and service, but you have to put a dollar value on it. To put a ceiling price on it, for example, you might estimate what a highly qualified tech would charge to both prep and fix after-sale the worst possible problem that you’d estimate could occur on this model of piano. I suggest these items are worth less than $2,000 but more than $5. Create a little model in your head, and say: OK, prep & service from this dealer is worth $x to me. There isn’t a correct answer to this valuation. Each buyer will value it differently.

If it’s OK for the store to offer an initial higher price and then come down (if they want), then it’s equally OK for a buyer to offer an initial lower price and then come up (if desired). Both sides in the transaction are equal. If the buyer must always make a reasonable offer, then the seller must always quote a reasonable price. Frankly, this isn’t how the marketplace necessarily works, but if an ideal is being suggested, it applies to both sides. Having said this, I think the negotiating advice in this thread is solid. I’d read Monica’s post carefully. Clear and practical. “…fallen in Piano Love..” (great expression). If you see a piano you just have to have, and your thinking becomes emotional, wait a week. If after a week, you still have to have that piano regardless of price, wait another week. Be cold when you buy.

(BTW: I didn’t haggle on the price of the piano I bought either. The initial price offered was competitive with other piano prices I had seen over a period of time and seemed like the going rate in my estimation, so I signed the papers.)

#1347752 - 01/12/10 02:30 PM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Crow Wing]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10819
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Good post Crow Wing.
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.

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

#1347912 - 01/12/10 05:26 PM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Steve Cohen]
why_cant_I_play Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 34
Loc: USA - East Coast
I recently went thru this, after a few months of looking I had narrowed it down to two pianos, I walked into the dealer (who at this point probably thought another day of just wasting his time) and I said here is the best offer I have for you for either of these two, which one can you make work?

He said its hard but if you will put $$ down today I will offer you #1.

Point is there probably is room, however you need to know what your limit is and if thats fair i.e. an 80% of MSRP is just not right, in my case it was retiring model and I think abt 40% off bc I knew based on research it was about right.

You should have an idea on the # offer it, and trust me if they can they will make it happen. I dont think you should go in thinking what is the absolute lowest to the penny, cause chances are it still wont be the "lowest".

#1347988 - 01/12/10 07:09 PM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: why_cant_I_play]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
The "fait au complet" or "line in the sand" tactic of droping an absolute price offer on a salesperson along with a business card and walking out has never been a favorite of mine. I don't respond well to attitude no matter which side of the table I am on. In todays market, no smart salesperson or manager is going to let a buyer walk with a doable offer on the table.

I would suggest a more likely successful option of presenting your offer, waiting for a rejection. If the rejection comes, asking if there is some "middle ground", between their lowest price presented and your offer. "Just what is the ownership willing to do for a cash buyer today?"
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.

#1348094 - 01/12/10 09:48 PM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Marty Flinn]
Stearman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 63
Loc: Montana, USA
The art of negotiation is...well...an art. I feel your first step is to let the salesman know that you’re going to buy a piano...from someone. That someone can be him. Now you have to realize that the salesman is a pro when it comes to negotiation. He does it all day long; you might do it once or twice a year at most. At this point, I feel that you should know that there are basically two general types of stores. Ones that put out the discounted price on the piano, and those that doesn’t. I called about a piano and almost dropped the phone when he told me the price. Let’s just say the MSRP started with a 7 and his quoted price stared with a 3. If I want a piano from this guy, I will ask how much, and pay that price without arguing. The second store wants to bargain. For example, my local store has a Yamaha C1 with a discslavor (SP?) and the price on the sticker is over 50K. So you need to determine which store you’re in.

If you want some general advice about negotiating a deal, don't meet in the middle. For example: If I 50 and you said 30, I would not say 40 or the middle. You want to be the guy who does not give an inch and wait for the other guy to break. For example: I say 50 and you say 30, and I say 50, you say 30 again. Eventually I will come down. If I come down 5, you don't go up 5. You only go up 1. In other words, I go 50, you 30, I go 45, and you go 31. If I go to 40, you go to 32. Eventually I will not go any more and will feel that I have lost a deal. When I start to balk hard, your price is too low and you should raise your price up to just below mine and grab your coat to leave. If I don't bite, no big deal. You now know the price you have to pay and just leave and think about it. Maybe you get a call, maybe you don't. But at least you have negotiated the best you can do.

There is one more negotiation tactic that is really hard to pull off, but sometimes works. It entails you to never having to suggest a price. You simply ask how much and then they tell you. Look interested, and then start to lose interest. When the price comes down, look interested and then lose interest again after a few (5 or so) minutes. Just keep saying that it is more than you want to spend. When they ask you how much you want to spend, just say not that much. I was in Africa looking at a nice rug. The price started at $800, and ended at $132 and I never told the guy how much I thought the rug was worth. He just kept dropping the price when he felt I was going to walk away (I had a shopping bag that I kept picking up and setting down). An easy way to show your losing interest is to grab you coat or put your car keys in your hand. Basic body signals that you are thinking about walking (search for articles on how to buy a used car as this might help).

Just remember you have to be serious about buying the piano, and you have to be reasonable about what you expect to get it for.

#1348387 - 01/13/10 07:40 AM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Stearman]
Rickster Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 10840
Loc: Georgia, USA
This may not be a factor, but I had a piano dealer tell me that if it is near the end of the month he may decide to do a little better on price. They have to pay the bills too, meet payroll and buy food themselves.

Of course, his new Mercedes sedan sitting in the parking lot was probably paid for. grin

Take care,

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#1348689 - 01/13/10 03:28 PM Re: How do you negotiate the price? [Re: Rickster]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4462
Loc: Jersey Shore
I think the best way to feel comfortable on an offer is too find some historical low pricing (average) of the piano you want and also know the piano discount based on the Fine book and go from there...

Say you want piano X and its full retail is 30k and then say the Fine book says 25-30% off that price (21k to 22.5k) and then through research you find people getting deals in the 20k range. You then have a idea where your goal price should be located.

Don't forget to try to work in 0% financing, free delivery, a discount of a Damp Chaser, and a nice bench to close the deal.


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