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#138680 - 11/02/05 09:51 AM Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
UWPCastB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Southeast
We were at a yamaha dealer the other day, with a very nice, low-pressure salesman who was reasonable (in my opinion) in his response to the "grey market" piano issue - He told me that US Yamaha has won lawsuits this summer against two grey markent piano importers. I've tried googleing around around & I can't find anything.

Has anyone heard anything about this?


Can someone please explain the "grading" that the importers give on these grey market pianos - as they come into the US in the containers? Is reasonable or allowed for a buyer to ask to see the orginial grade it was given before it was "rebuilt" or "refinished" by the store selling it?

Thanks!

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#138681 - 11/02/05 11:07 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
On what legal grounds would they have prevailed in a lawsuit?
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#138682 - 11/02/05 11:26 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
UWPCastB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Southeast
I think it had to do with the importers saying they were rebuilt with Yamaha parts....and the parts are yamaha, that these are esssentially yamaha cases with "foreign parts".... But his collegue insinuiated this was going to slow down the number of gray markets coming in....
I just wondered if it was true.

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#138683 - 11/02/05 01:16 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1695
Loc: Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by UWPCastB:
I think it had to do with the importers saying they were rebuilt with Yamaha parts....and the parts are yamaha, that these are esssentially yamaha cases with "foreign parts".... But his collegue insinuiated this was going to slow down the number of gray markets coming in....
I just wondered if it was true. [/b]
Boy, does that sound like a heavy load of you know what. Gray-market Yamahas do not have "foreign" parts--at least none that I've seen.

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#138684 - 11/02/05 01:43 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Clark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 36
Just because a salesman is coming across as nice and low pressure doesn't mean he's not lying like a dog. Sounds like you met a real sleaze.

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#138685 - 11/02/05 01:57 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
UWPCastB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Southeast
Maybe I'm just gulible but I honestly think these salesmen (also the S-P slimy trick question) believe what they are saying.....and don't feel it's lying? So I'm just trying to find the truth somewhere in the middle. But I may need to stop asking questions!


I'm a very research/information oriented person, and ask a lot of questions. But I'm also very impressionable at first and will ask/listen just to gather information to process later. My husband just cares how the piano feels/sounds. I'm honestly not a good enough player to be able to decide, so my job in info gathering to help the decision.


The Yamaha's gray's are at our lower price point consideration (we have two price points to decide from and THEN the pianos choose) and I'm trying to decide whether or not to rule the grays out.
Thanks for the feedback as always!

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#138686 - 11/02/05 02:16 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Christopher P. Smith Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 1306
Loc: Timonium, MD
FWI, I am a Yamaha dealer and have NOT heard of any such lawsuit.
_________________________
Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
Associate Member of PTG
Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area

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#138687 - 11/03/05 11:05 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
UWPCastB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Southeast
Thanks Christopher, that seems very strange indeed. The guy called us again last night and said he would set aside the documentation they were sent by Yamaha.....he said Yamaha always sends them the that kind of info.

But after they tune the pianos and we come back in to play them, he said I can bring home a copy of the info and "check it". Lucky me! ;-)

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#138688 - 11/04/05 10:01 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
mjg100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 181
I bumped this up. Waiting on UWPCastB to post reply.

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#138689 - 11/04/05 10:34 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Christopher P. Smith Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 1306
Loc: Timonium, MD
Maybe you could mail me a copy of "the info"
_________________________
Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
Associate Member of PTG
Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area

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#138690 - 11/05/05 07:26 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
UWPCastB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Southeast
I'll update as soon as we get back to that store. The salesman works there part time (mostly evenings). But he said he copied them and put it aside. The first priority today is to play our favorite pinaos again (at our higher price point & at the nice dealerships) I hope its fun! :-)

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#138691 - 11/05/05 10:09 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10346
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I got my ear really close to the industry and I haven't heard of this alloeged legal action.
_________________________
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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#138692 - 11/05/05 10:17 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
maestro99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 46
Loc: Cambridge Ontario
Hello I am one of those "gray market importers", just so you know this is really a non-issue. I wholesale to Dealers and I have at least 4 Yamaha dealers that buy used from me. Basically how does a Yamaha dealer say not to buy a yamaha, so they came up with this big story 8 years ago that has come back to bite them in the butt. If you press a Yamaha dealer you can basically make them look foolish, they tell you that it is "Critical that your piano be manufactured for the country of destination", if that Yamaha dealer has a Samick on the floor or any other Chinese piano ask them if those pianos are made for the "North American Climate", most of them are so brainwashed they will have to tell you yes because they contradict themselves which I have seen, then call the rep for that brand and they will tell you they are sequential made. Also what is a North American Climate, if you put a new Yamaha in Winnipeg or Alaska with -45c degree weather with no dampchaser or humidifier in the house you will have loose tuning pins in 5 years. No one else in the world claims to make a piano ie their destination, so feel confident to buy used, just remember though that I can import a used yamaha with problems if I want for cheap, but I only bring in A grade pianos so get a technician to check out to make sure the guy is honest! Hope this helps
_________________________
Play a piano then make your decision. Every salesman will tell you how bad everyone elses piano is, so hands on is the only way to go

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#138693 - 11/05/05 11:19 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
mjg100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 181
maestro99, You would probably be interested in reading the "Seasoning of pianos" thread at the bottom of page 3. I think that you would find it interesting.

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#138694 - 11/05/05 01:37 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
maestro99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 46
Loc: Cambridge Ontario
i know all about seasoning...think about it, look at the piano atlas, when yamaha makes a piano in michigan their is a "M" and when it is in the Indonesia factory they have a "T" in front...So IF they had pianos for each CLIMATE dont you think they would lable pianos differently???? They don't and the Yamaha dealers that buy my used product know the truth. You put a piano in Winnipeg in winter with no humidifier I don't care who you are you have a problem very shortly. You want to learn more about soundboards call Andre Bulduc who I see every three months who makes soundboards for alot of companies including mason and hamilin and he will fill you in what is truth and what is propaganda!
_________________________
Play a piano then make your decision. Every salesman will tell you how bad everyone elses piano is, so hands on is the only way to go

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#138695 - 11/05/05 01:39 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
maestro99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 46
Loc: Cambridge Ontario
By the way Andre Bulduc is in montreal, and everyone knows he is famous for his soundboards so if you talk to him he is the one who can teach you!
_________________________
Play a piano then make your decision. Every salesman will tell you how bad everyone elses piano is, so hands on is the only way to go

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#138696 - 11/05/05 02:50 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
mjg100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 181
Maestro99, You have it backwards. I am not a seasoning for destination supporter. Read some of my posts on the thread i referenced.

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#138697 - 11/05/05 08:36 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
UWPCastB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Southeast
Update - So the salesman gave me something - after he disappeared w/ the boss into an office... I'm not sure what to post.... I don't want to get anyone in trouble so I'm going to be somewhat vague. But it doesn't look like a "lawsuit", and it doesn't seem to be specific to pianos.

But it is a letter an adminstrator at "Music Marketing Group". Which talks about a settlement agreement from December of 2004 (stemming from a complaint made to the US International Trade Commission, ITC) - where under a certain agreement, a list of internet websites are not allowed to deliver Yamaha products into the US.

It's confusing b/c many of the websites are guitar websites (I didn't realize yamaha is worried about gray market guitars) ;-) Anyways - I think this is a red herring, and the dealer was trying to warn me away from gray markets pianos by streching the truth somewhat.

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#138698 - 11/05/05 10:28 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
mjg100 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 181
Do you think that you should consider buying a piano from this guy?

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#138699 - 11/05/05 11:16 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
MahlerAdagio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/05
Posts: 510
 Quote:
Originally posted by UWPCastB:
It's confusing b/c many of the websites are guitar websites (I didn't realize yamaha is worried about gray market guitars) ;-) Anyways - I think this is a red herring, and the dealer was trying to warn me away from gray markets pianos by streching the truth somewhat. [/b]
Somewhat??!! Stretching??!! Naaahhhh!!!

I guess we could also say that hurricane Katrina just caused a little bit of puddle on New Orleans, don't know what all the big fuss was about.

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#138700 - 11/06/05 07:26 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hi,

About gray marked Yamahas, seasoned sound boards and pin blocks and all that . . .

I bought my first Yamaha in 1967 for 750 dollars. This was long before anyone ever heard of the concept of making pianos for certain climates, and the "gray market." Yamaha was new on the market, untested, everyone said "beware," it won't hold a tune, and "what do the Japanese know about making pianos anway, for cripe's sake?"

Still, 750 dollars! We bought it.

The soundboard never cracked. The pinblock held the pins firmly. It held a tune beautifully. This piano has been in Minnesota for all of these years. Humid summers, dry winters, humid summers, dry winters. 37 cycles of humid summers, dry winters. We didn't always have damp chasers, a relatively new invention. We just did our best with room humidifiers--and our best wasn't necessarily vey good. This piano has survived three dogs, any namber of cats, and several wives. It has been a beautiful piano, and I have played it every day for nearly 37 years.

But one problem did come up: about 10 years ago the soft pedal developed a squeek. When the tuner came the next time, he removed the baseboard, located the squeek in less than 10 seconds, squirted a dry lubricant at it--and that took care of the squeek.

About 6 months ago I replaced my little Yamaha with a smallish grand--a Yamaha C2. Who wouldn't buy another Yamaha with my experience? I love my new Yamaha, but I can't bear to sell my older one. I love it, too.

So here's my take on the gray market, law suits, and all that talk . . .

Yamahas are too good. The older ones compete with the new ones, and bring down the price. So the American marketers, perhaps in collusion with the Japanese marketers (marketers as opposed to the manufacturer, who is totally first class), have resorted to scaring people about "gray market" pianos to keep the price up of the new Yamahas. It's just capitalism. That's the way it works.

I know, I know, I know. Also sorts of people have a friend who has a friend, and he said (fill in the blanks) and my technician said this about that (fill in the blansk),and a salesman told me (fill in the blanks),and so on and so on. All hearsay, I say.

And so when I hear two or three people credibly tell me of their own horrible "first person" experience with gray market yamahas, I'll begin to take it seriously.

In the meantime, I'll just remember my 1967 Yamaha that developed a squeek in the soft pedal 10 years ago.

Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#138701 - 11/07/05 11:07 AM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
I'm confused about grey-market Yamahas and how Yamaha is losing money from them?

I don't get it. The grey-market piano used to be a brand new Yamaha, correct? Yamaha sold it to somebody at one time, correct? Sounds like they made money if I am insinuating correctly.

How does Yamaha lose money from the grey-market scourge?

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#138702 - 11/07/05 12:46 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17701
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rockitman:

How does Yamaha lose money from the grey-market scourge? [/b]
Because people buy a cheaper grey-market piano on the after-market rather than a brand new more expensive Yamaha from a Yamaha dealer. I suspect it's a lot like book publishers who gnash their teeth when they see all those used books for sale on amazon.

I suspect there are some customers who want a Yamaha, and only a Yamaha would do, but they'd gladly take the cheaper grey market one if they could get it.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#138703 - 11/07/05 01:32 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
That means that all grey-market Yamahas are in fact, used pianos?
Again, what's all the fuss? At one time Yamaha sold this piano to somebody brand new and made their money. I guess I still don't get it.

Every brand has used pianos on the market competing with their own new stock. Is it the fact that a grey market Yamaha can be bought for a much much cheaper price than a regular used Yamaha?

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#138704 - 11/07/05 03:30 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
Rockitman:
> Every brand has used pianos on the market competing with their own new stock. Is it the fact that a grey market Yamaha can be bought for a much much cheaper price than a regular used Yamaha?

I know next to nothing about the piano industry, but since when has that stopped anyone expressing an opinion here? \:\) .

I work in an industry where there is a thriving grey market, and I would suspect that the piano 'grey' market works/worked in a similar way. It is after all a similar product (reasonable high unit value, technological/mechanically complex, high value placed on warranty and after-sales service, etc). Grey market items are not "used" "graded" "repaired factory rejects" or any other bollocks that an approved distributor may try to tell you. These products were made in the same factory as the 'genuine' ones, but somehow fell out of the approved route to market, i.e. were bought (at distributor prices, or sometimes even below) by non-approved buyers, and then sold on, often back into the manufacturer-approved supply chain. So HTF does this happen? I hear you ask...

Well, in our industry it often happens because many manufacturers treat their regional distribution network offices as separate cost-centres, in a feeble attempt to ascertain if they are actually worth their salt. Next down the ladder are mostly private (i.e. not manufacturer-owned) dealer companies, which buy from these distribution centres and who then market/sell to the end-users and lower-rung dealers. This is where it can all go pear-shaped because these are manufacturer's direct clients and it is their money that keeps the factory open.

Occasionally a new middle-tier company will pop up, with no engineering back-up and few overheads, that will be able to sell to end-users and lower-rung dealers at a considerable cheaper price than the traditional full-service dealers. In these cases, customer satisfaction will usually rule the day and such companies will either fold, or be forced to add value and invest in the capabilities to do so, thus losing their edge and have to play on a level field.

Anyway, back to distribution channels: It is these middle dealers/distributors who can exploit the different pricing/availability from the varying cost centres around the world. E.g. many Singapore/HK/Russia cost centres are quite happy to sell into Western Europe, as it makes their sales figures look good. They would also ask the dealer to pay up front, so the deal has got to be really quite good for said dealer to forego his usual credit terms with his local cost centre.

Meanwhile the Western European distribution centre kicks up a fuss and starts talking about "inferior grey market product" flooding their market. This is complete rubbish, as the item comes in the same cardboard box that it left the factory is Japan, or wherever, as the same item procured through the official channels. Naturally, in due time, the source of the gear will be discovered, that cost centre will have its knuckles rapped, or the "injured" cost centre will have to align their prices to remain competitive. Or sometimes both.

HTH,

- Michael B
- who played a Grotrian 192 today. Nice!
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#138705 - 11/07/05 06:31 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10346
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by UWPCastB:
Update - So the salesman gave me something - after he disappeared w/ the boss into an office... I'm not sure what to post.... I don't want to get anyone in trouble so I'm going to be somewhat vague. But it doesn't look like a "lawsuit", and it doesn't seem to be specific to pianos.

But it is a letter an adminstrator at "Music Marketing Group". Which talks about a settlement agreement from December of 2004 (stemming from a complaint made to the US International Trade Commission, ITC) - where under a certain agreement, a list of internet websites are not allowed to deliver Yamaha products into the US.

It's confusing b/c many of the websites are guitar websites (I didn't realize yamaha is worried about gray market guitars) ;-) Anyways - I think this is a red herring, and the dealer was trying to warn me away from gray markets pianos by streching the truth somewhat. [/b]
I am familiar with this case and it has NOTHING to do with used or grey market pianos. It was filed to control the distribution of NEW Yamaha instruments (mainly portable keyboards, pro gear, and M/I/Combo products). It prohibited anyone other than Yamaha from importing new Yamaha products for re-sale.

Yamaha successfully asserted their right to control the distribution of their new products. Wholesalers in Europe, for example, may not sell into the USA for resale.
_________________________
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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#138706 - 11/07/05 08:07 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
tomasino Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/24/05
Posts: 2039
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hi Rockitman

The Yamaha distributorship in the USA--the Yamaha Corporation of America--and the Yamaha manufacturer, are different entities. They may operate with the same motivation, profit, but their situations are entirely different, and they operate independently.

You're 100% correct, the Yamaha manufacturer gets a certain amount of money at the point of sale to the distributor, and never makes another dime on that piano.

But the importer of Yamahas into the USA to whom the piano was sold--the Yamaha Corporation of America--is very much threatened by the gray market. They have already payed the manufacturer a given amount of money, and the existence of the gray market drives down the profit margin of the sale to the final consumer. And so it is very much in their interest to question the quality of gray market pianos. Therefore, they have created all of this gray market fuss--implying a different manufacturing standard for pianos going to different climates.

I think I understand this, and I think my explanation above is clear. The trick is to make a distinction between the importer of Yamahas, and the manufacturer of Yamahas. They are not the same thing.

Best
Tomasino
_________________________
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10


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#138707 - 11/07/05 08:47 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
UWPCastB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Southeast
I'm a bit peeved by this whole thing - obviously the usual "stay away from the gray markent pianos" spiel wasn't working on us so they invented this stuff (along with new Bechsteins are made in Asia).

Steve Cohen, I'm glad you are familiar with this case. What a joke - it makes sense because most of the websites on the memo were guitar websites And for the life of me I couldn't figure out how the "seasoning for climate" would affect a guitar!!

I'm shocked that this dealer hasn't come up on the PW boards (I've searched on his name and store - and he has like 6 stores!) because we've been to two of his stores and at both stores were fed total yarns and BS.

If anything, these tactics have pushed me closer to considering a gray market piano. Clearly they don't have much of a leg to stand on if they are making this stuff up. Either way, I definitely would never consider buying anything from this dealer!

But as to whether their gray market pianos have cost them business in the US - their tactics have cost them my business! Don't LIE to the consumer - why not give them Larry Fine's or Kendall Ross Bean's articles, plus some info from Yamaha USA & present both sides and then let the buyer make an educated decision!

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#138708 - 11/08/05 02:44 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
BassMasterK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 78
Loc: Portland, Oregon
 Quote:
Originally posted by UWPCastB:

But as to whether their gray market pianos have cost them business in the US - their tactics have cost them my business! Don't LIE to the consumer - why not give them Larry Fine's or Kendall Ross Bean's articles, plus some info from Yamaha USA & present both sides and then let the buyer make an educated decision! [/b]
Because if they do that, they know that most people will opt for the $4,000ish gray market piano that they don't make a penny off of instead of a full priced new piano. Their problem is that they have a country of people (Japan) who treat their instruments well, and refuse to buy used goods. This leaves a huge glut of (generally speaking) well conditioned used instruments that can be exported and sold for cheap. They need something to scare prospective buyers into shying away from getting a good deal on a used instrument so they will buy a new one from one of their retailers.

When I was getting my latest piano, a Yamaha U3, I went to about every piano store in my area trying out literally hundreds of pianos. The U3 was in the lead when I walked into our local Yamaha dealer. I told him what I was considering and he started to tell me the horror stories of "gray market" pianos. Things like "some of these pianos get shipped in and you open the top up and there is mold, mildew and slime all over these things...they are in terrible shape" to stories of soundboards cracking to piano's needing to be completely rebuilt here in the states by cheap laborers who know nothing about pianos (I found this one to be very interesting as all of the gray market pianos I opened up had Yamaha parts inside. Considering you are not supposed to be able to get Yamaha replacement parts for gray market pianos I thought that odd). The list went on and on. I asked the gentleman if Yamaha forbid him to sell gray market Yamaha's and he said "no, we don't sell them because we care about our customers and we won't sell a product we won't stand behind".

Fast forward twenty minutes of me trying out pianos (with him in tow) and I end up on a floor with a bunch of used pianos. There was a nice large upright Kawaii that had a very nice sound. I liked it almost as much as the U3. I looked at the price tag and it was around $4200. I said "wow! that's not a bad price...why so cheap?" He paused before saying "oh...it's a gray market Kawaii"

That's right, they won't stand behind a gray market Yamaha because they care about their customers but they are willing to stand behind a gray market Kawaii? Needless to say I didn't buy from them. Yamaha needs to get it through their heads that the glut of lightly used Japanese piano has created a used market here and that it is here to stay. Not supplying parts or using scare tactics and outright lies to try to keep people from buying them isn't working, and doesn't endear them to anyone.

My piano...it wasn't rebuilt. It has all it's original parts. It didn't smell moldy or mildewy. It isn't cracking. It isn't falling apart. It wasn't pieced together by ill skilled laborers. And if Yamaha had had a different practice, I might have bought it from them, and they might have made a modest profit off of me. Instead they didn't get my business nor will they in the foreseeable future when I can upgrade to a grand.

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#138709 - 11/08/05 04:06 PM Re: Did yamaha win a lawsuit against gray market importers?
Paul Y Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 1083
Loc: Nashua, NH
BassMasterK,

It's hard to argue with the points you've made, especially the Kawai grey market piano! Two different stories, eh?

Just a couple of point in your post to clarify if I may. The grey market Yamaha pianos ALL have Yamaha parts because they were all built by Yamaha. The story about Yamaha not offering replacement parts for them in the US is true. But they all arrive with the original factory-installed parts.

You made a comment about "the glut of 'lighty-used' Yamaha pianos".... I don't think we can used the words, "lighty-used" when we speak of grey market Yamaha pianos. The reason they were traded-in back in Japan was because for the most part, they had served their purpose, were getting "tired" and needed top be replaced. That is why they were traded-in in the first place.

Some of these pianos even come in from Universities and schools where music is mandatory in their school systems. Those are the ones usually graded C, D or even E.

Mold: when the dealer receives a shipment of grey market pianos, they usually enter the service department for some cleaning-up and cabinet polishing. Rarely have I encountered a "moldy, mosture-laden" Yamaha piano. I agree, this dealer is trying to scare his customers.

Some of the grey market piano retailers even spout about them being "factory refurbished". Perhaps that is why you expected to see non-Yamaha parts inside the pianos. But Yamaha does not enter the "refurbishing" or "rebuilding" business! Never has, never will!

But you do make lots of valid points! My company chooses NOT to sell grey market pianos, purely because it COULD impact our new Yamaha piano sales. We don't use similar tactics as you mentioned. Consequently, while we only lose a few sales per year to grey market inventory, it doesn't severly impact our company. But, for sure, we don't try to scare our clients!
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