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#1780435 - 10/31/11 11:20 AM Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing?
Robert California Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 7
Hi. I've been shopping for my first piano (played for a long time just never owned my own) and have narrowed down my choices to a few pianos. One of those models is a Kawai K-8. I have tried to do my pricing research using Piano Buyer and Blue Book of Pianos. Larry Fine says the K-8 has a Maximum Sales Price of $16,390 and says it would be hard to get more than 30% off this (which would be at $11,500). The Blue Book says it is generally selling for about $12,400.

I went to my local Kawai dealer, and out of chute, he quotes me a price of $10,700, which is about 35% off Larry's MSP. I figure if the guy is starting at $10,700 it will likely end up even lower. I don't need to take the guys last dime (I am a firm believer that service is as important as the price), but I don't want to leave money on the table.

So, any idea why a dealer would start that cheap (or maybe that's not really cheap) and how do you negotiate when you already think it's a pretty good deal?

Thanks for any advice.

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#1780442 - 10/31/11 11:32 AM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20463
Loc: New York City
Unless you think there might be something wrong with the piano, the price is very good.

I think you have to realize that, to the best of my knowledge, the Piano Buyer does not and clearly could not factor in things like economic climate into their SMP or discount range. Also, the discount range from SMP suggested by Fine is not exactly the same for all makes. (I have no idea whether Kawai tends to be on the higher end of the discount range).



Edited by pianoloverus (10/31/11 11:35 AM)

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#1780454 - 10/31/11 11:47 AM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
Jonathan Alford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 372
Loc: Colorado
I was in a similar situation on a different piano. If possible try to get a few offers from dealers. I thought that if each dealer's offers were around the same price I then could negotiate some. I also took into account that I wanted the dealer to make a fair profit due to the fact that if I needed their help on an issue with my piano (hopefully not) they would be more than willing to work with me. If I "took their last dollar" on the deal I think they would be less inclined to go the extra mile.

I was not a total price shopper but did not want to get taken advantage of either.


Edited by Jonathan Alford (10/31/11 11:48 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#1780456 - 10/31/11 11:53 AM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
Welcome to the forum, Robert.

I think you may have just found a dealer who doesn't like haggling any more than I do and goes straight to his price. Or maybe he's had that K-8 on the floor a little too long. Either way, the K-8 is pretty impressive and that's a pretty good deal. If it's the piano for you, see if you can get free delivery and maybe an in-home tuning and be very happy.

Charles

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#1780491 - 10/31/11 12:53 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3167
Loc: western Wisconsin
Perhaps focus on tweaking the feel or sound of the instrument to the 'nth' degree, if you like this one best (assuming there's anything about it you want adjusted). Does the piano come with an adjustable bench, or does the provided bench work well with your playing posture?

I've found many dealers in this economy that are willing to quote a "take it or leave it" low price. I generally prefer that to spending time negotiating endlessly.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

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#1780497 - 10/31/11 01:02 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
Robert California Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 7
Thanks everyone for the great advice!

So, it sounds like a decent deal (given that the piano isn't somehow damaged). Unfortunately, this is the only Kawai dealer in close proximity... so it will be hard to play one off another... but I am looking at a few different brands at other dealers, which may give me some leverage.

Anyhow, I appreciate the thoughts. I'll see if I can get a little more off the price, and if not, then go for free delivery and an in-home tuning.

I'll report back, in case it's useful to anyone else.

Thanks again.

-Robert

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#1780502 - 10/31/11 01:06 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: terminaldegree]
Robert California Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 7
Terminal-

That's actually a great idea. There was a K-3 at the same dealer that had recently been tuned/serviced that I played and absolutely loved the touch.

I would gladly give up a few hundred $$ for that feel.

Very good idea! Thanks!

-Robert

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#1780523 - 10/31/11 01:47 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
If this is older stock, then the dealer was able to get it for less before Kawai raised prices. You are also probably the first one with the money to seriously to consider a K-8 since gawd-knows-when grin.

Make an serious and honest offer. Be ready to buy. For the most part, dealers are just cool folks who love music.

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#1780583 - 10/31/11 03:20 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: gnuboi]
Robert California Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 7
Very funny Gnuobi. laugh

Doesn't everyone work a second job for a couple of years to get their dream piano... or should I say the largest piano that the wife will allow them to fit into their dining room?


Edited by Robert California (10/31/11 03:21 PM)
Edit Reason: Punctuation

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#1780594 - 10/31/11 03:41 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
Swarth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 448
Loc: SF Bay Area Ca.
Originally Posted By: Robert California
Very funny Gnuobi. laugh

Doesn't everyone work a second job for a couple of years to get their dream piano... or should I say the largest piano that the wife will allow them to fit into their dining room?


Ouch, I told the wife we could fit a bigger piano in the dining room! She just rolls her eyes, so I know I still have a chance at the 7+ footer! I saw a K-8 not long ago that was very nice and I had a hard time believing the "sale" price. Respected dealer and a good guy too.
_________________________
Quid est veritas et mendacium, cum orbis terrarum.

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#1780862 - 10/31/11 11:39 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
christineka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 343
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: Robert California
Very funny Gnuobi. laugh

Doesn't everyone work a second job for a couple of years to get their dream piano... or should I say the largest piano that the wife will allow them to fit into their dining room?


You mean "non-piano-playing spouse". My issue is a husband. He seems to think we should have a couch in the living room. We could fit a grand if it weren't for that couch.
_________________________
Christine *mom* to
4 daughters, 2 sons
*1912 Lindman Player-Piano*

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#1780887 - 11/01/11 01:08 AM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
Dave B Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2166
Loc: Philadelphia area

According to the Kawai web site, the K-8 comes with an adjustable bench. The price you quoted seems to be reasonable. I would expect the delivery to be included in the quoted price, and I would expect the piano to be properly prepped (tuned and regulated) before delivery. It is not too much to ask that the piano be prepped so you can play it before you finalize the deal.

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#1780999 - 11/01/11 09:14 AM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: christineka]
Robert California Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: christineka
You mean "non-piano-playing spouse". My issue is a husband. He seems to think we should have a couch in the living room. We could fit a grand if it weren't for that couch.


I definitely didn't mean to single out wives as the only ir(rational) ones. grin

I tried to convince mine that we only used our formal dining table twice a year, so it would make a lot more sense to just replace it with a grand that could played every day.

Naturally, that logic went over so well that I'm now getting an upright that will tuck in the corner.

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#1781088 - 11/01/11 12:14 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4282
Loc: North Carolina
When spouse says "it's either my wishes or the piano" ... the answer is THE PIANO!

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#1782438 - 11/03/11 03:04 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
Robert California Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/11
Posts: 7
I just wanted to thank everyone again for their help getting a fair deal on the K-8 (woohoo, I finally have a piano -- well arriving soon). Your suggestions really helped make sure all my bases were covered. The knowledge and confidence that it gave me made this a great experience!!

In case someone else is in a similar situation...Here is how the process worked. The dealer's cash price for the K-8 was $10,700 when I first inquired (if you can, paying cash will save $$). I had also been looking at a Boston upright that is more equivalent to a K-5, but I would have happily gone down that route as well (I liked the action better on the Boston but the K-8 sounded better to me). I made sure the dealer knew I was looking at the Boston. I let them know that I understood that the Boston was made by Kawai, and that the K-8 was probably considered "better" by many but that I was just as happy going down the Boston route (which I was). I also had inquired about how long the piano had been on the floor -- just in case it had been there for a while. Their log of when it arrived and prepped showed it had been on the floor for a couple of months (so not too long).

At that point I hadn't haggled with the Boston dealer to get their best price. They had led with their $11,500 "special" but I thought I could probably eventually get it under $10K. I didn't want to be the guy playing one company to get a better deal from another, so I went with my own research and guessed.

The Kawai dealer called back with a price of $9900 with free delivery, tuning before it left, and an additional tuning during the first year (this piano also comes with an adjustable bench, so I didn't need to bargain for that).

I had told myself that if they came in under $10K, I would go ahead (I think having a price in your head ahead of time helps). So, I accepted the offer. It will be delivered in a few days!!

If you are in the situation and like to haggle you could probably do a little better. I figure that I got nearly 40% off of Larry Fine's MSP (which is probably about right for an upper end vertical) and my dealer probably made a few thousand... which keeps him around as well. People have to eat.

All in all a great experience! Thanks again!

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#1782441 - 11/03/11 03:15 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 939
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Congratulations! I am sure you will have years of enjoyment.
_________________________
Russell I. Kassman
R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
Berkeley, CA

FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

SF Area Dealer: Steingraeber•Grotrian•Sauter•Estonia•Kayserburg•Baldwin•Brodmann•Ritmüller
www.rkassman.com
russell@rkassman.com
510.558.0765

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#1782486 - 11/03/11 04:34 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
Plowboy Online   content

2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2591
Loc: SoCal
A very nice piano, AND a good deal. What's not to like? Congratulations.
_________________________
Gary

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#1782615 - 11/03/11 07:21 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
ChasT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Georgia
Wow! You got a great piano for an equally great price. Congratulations.

Charles

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#1782637 - 11/03/11 07:54 PM Re: Negotiating When it Seems too Cheap... What Am I Missing? [Re: Robert California]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Awesome piano and deal! It's got the grand music desk, sound openings, duplex scale, NeoTex keytops... nice smile.

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