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#1645153 - 03/21/11 11:11 AM Trying in store, buying online
jscomposer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 537
Loc: The Boogie Down
Since another thread veered off topic...

Wouldn't the issue be solved by implementing state tax on online orders? That's the only real reason people try in store and then buy online, especially with expensive gear--you don't have to pay taxes.

Plus, it'd help plug some state budget deficits. wink

But then, the online retailers would probably bitch that they've lost a huge advantage.

Now someone said, "Isn't it worth something to be able to test out gear before buying?" Yes, but not an extra $200 on a high end keyboard.
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#1645169 - 03/21/11 11:41 AM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: jscomposer]
CyberGene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 723
Loc: Sofia, Bulgaria
Well, then online stores wouldn't offer their low prices because of the tax and they will eventually die. And that's wrong because online store are a great convenience and actually the only choice for people on a budget.

Why not leave it to the natural selection? If retail stores die because of online stores, then that's it. That's the choice of the mass. Manufacturers usually have enough profits to afford having showrooms where you can test their production and then order online.
_________________________
http://www.myspace.com/evgenykumanov
Current DP: Kawai ES7
Previous DP-s: Kawai MP6, Kawai CA63, Roland RD-700SX, Roland FP-5, Yamaha P90, Korg SP-200, Casio CDP-100

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#1645207 - 03/21/11 12:46 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: jscomposer]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3094
Loc: Oregon
If manufacturers were prepared to invest in at least one company-owned showroom per state - one that stocked all their current range but did not sell directly to the customer - then this would solve a lot of problems. Such a showroom would have a list of all authorized dealers in the state, and it would be up to the individual then whether to use an online or local store.

I bet a lot more people would purchase from the local store for the convenience and service offered. It would also reduce the inventory requirement for the local store, making them more competitive. Online stores would also see a reduction in returns, and the currently less visible manufacturers, like Kawai, should experience an uptick in sales due to the fact that most potential purchasers would now be able to try their products.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1645221 - 03/21/11 01:07 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: voxpops]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: voxpops
If manufacturers were prepared to invest in at least one company-owned showroom per state - one that stocked all their current range but did not sell directly to the customer - then this would solve a lot of problems. Such a showroom would have a list of all authorized dealers in the state, and it would be up to the individual then whether to use an online or local store.

I bet a lot more people would purchase from the local store for the convenience and service offered. It would also reduce the inventory requirement for the local store, making them more competitive. Online stores would also see a reduction in returns, and the currently less visible manufacturers, like Kawai, should experience an uptick in sales due to the fact that most potential purchasers would now be able to try their products.



I am pretty sure that even big Yamaha would not have deep enough pockets to open 50 company owned display stores, let alone smaller Roland and much smaller Kawai.

It is the nature of the digital piano business that 80% of unit sales are of the lower end units and more than 80% of these sales are to first time buyers. If you look how typical consumers are buying digital pianos, then we are certainly the exception to the rule here on pianoworld. If you talk to dealers that actually are successful and make a material portion of their bread and butter from the sale of digitals then a couple of characteristics come forward:

- many sales are quick and even impulse sales; if the customer can take the piano with them right now or the store can deliver at the end of the day, the sale can take place very quickly. The central showrooms would be catering to a minority of the market and assuming that they want to spend hours in a car to try out one brand;

- having more than one brand and at least three different quality price levels (but not too much more than that) gives consumers a way to narrow their choice without overwhelming them. A company one brand only store -- that doesn't allow cash and carry in order not to have conflict with existing dealers -- would not provide this ability to comparison shop and audition.

- finally if the local store no longer had any of the instruments out for audition, it would not make much sense or provide opportunity for them to develop product knowledge on them either. Why would they invest in an inventory to keep them in stock and then not unbox at least one for display but instead ask people to take a day free to drive to the other side of the state. What exactly is the added value of the dealer then to the consumer?

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#1645226 - 03/21/11 01:13 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: theJourney]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3094
Loc: Oregon
Good points, theJourney. I hadn't taken into account the impulse purchases and the comparison shopping - don't hire me as marketing director!
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1645256 - 03/21/11 01:52 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: CyberGene]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: CyberGene

Why not leave it to the natural selection? If retail stores die because of online stores, then that's it. That's the choice of the mass. Manufacturers usually have enough profits to afford having showrooms where you can test their production and then order online.


The big local stores here offer the beat any price by 10% of the difference. They even have computers in the store to check on-line prices. Many times people will walk in with a web page printout. They are trying to make it so the on-line stores no longer have a price advantage and of course they can offer more personal service.

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#1645262 - 03/21/11 01:59 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: ChrisA]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3094
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: CyberGene

Why not leave it to the natural selection? If retail stores die because of online stores, then that's it. That's the choice of the mass. Manufacturers usually have enough profits to afford having showrooms where you can test their production and then order online.


The big local stores here offer the beat any price by 10% of the difference. They even have computers in the store to check on-line prices. Many times people will walk in with a web page printout. They are trying to make it so the on-line stores no longer have a price advantage and of course they can offer more personal service.


I have to confess I find the local GC such a depressing experience I prefer to order online so as not to have to talk to someone who doesn't know their a$$ from their elbow.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

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#1645265 - 03/21/11 02:05 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: jscomposer]
KDog Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/23/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
For many years now, the Mom and Pop store has been going the way of the dinosaur. There is not much that we can do to stop it at this point. This is sad, but true. There are few of these stores in my area that sell DPs and APs, charging premiums of up to 30% over what I can get online or at big box stores. This goes way beyond a simple tax issue. Even when a shipping line item is added at these stores (which, given my location, I would expect to pay), they are double what I get from online vendors. These are good people and I feel their pain but is there really any service they can offer me that makes these high premiums worth my business?

The other type of "local" store is the big box retail store. Do I have any loyalty to them? No. They are competing directly with the online retailers and rely on sales volume to do so. The conveniences of purchasing from them instead of online are obvious but I always compare their prices and offerings with online vendors before purchasing.

And...if the manufacturers want to get their pianos in the local showrooms then they should work with them to get them there. The "company-owned showroom" idea is a nice idea for the consumer but is exactly what the local stores don't want. If I did a tour of these showrooms over a few days, presumably I come away knowing exactly what I wanted. The local store becomes an order taker at that point which is exactly what the online retailers are. It makes the situation even worse.

The only way for the Mom and Pop stores to compete is to offer merchandise for the same price as online/box stores and sell enough other services to make a profit. Music lessons, repair, used instruments and trade-ins, delivery, setup and follow up. These are all areas where the local store will win.

Ken

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#1645288 - 03/21/11 02:46 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: ChrisA]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: CyberGene

Why not leave it to the natural selection? If retail stores die because of online stores, then that's it. That's the choice of the mass. Manufacturers usually have enough profits to afford having showrooms where you can test their production and then order online.


The big local stores here offer the beat any price by 10% of the difference. They even have computers in the store to check on-line prices. Many times people will walk in with a web page printout. They are trying to make it so the on-line stores no longer have a price advantage and of course they can offer more personal service.


It would be a good idea to use your own smartphone to check the web. If you use the web access or the print outs at Best Buy, for example, they automatically have it refer to the local store prices while you think you are looking at public web prices. Very tricky. Don't believe your own eyes unless you really know what you are looking at.

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#1645291 - 03/21/11 02:50 PM Re: Trying in store, buying online [Re: KDog]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Ken Doggett
The only way for the Mom and Pop stores to compete is to offer merchandise for the same price as online/box stores and sell enough other services to make a profit. Music lessons, repair, used instruments and trade-ins, delivery, setup and follow up. These are all areas where the local store will win.


Several brands in Europe such as Yamaha demand that no one advertise below a standard price, whether store or web. This has given more breathing room to the Mom and Pops. However, if there is a central showroom or theyy don't have the financial wherewithall or volume to even have demo models or to have product in stock, then there is absolutely zero value provided by them. You can't audition, you can't get good advice, you can't get immediate delivery, you can't get a fair price...remind me again why we should lament these marginal players disappearing from the competitive landscape?

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