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#1932365 - 07/25/12 05:44 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Norbert]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
...And dealer stupidity to make this for consumers a "guessing game"...

At no time has it been more important to have right product, right pricing and right customer service.


Worth repeating.

And in regards to a comment up thread, a salesman once told me I was bothering the tuner. Any guesses as to where I did not buy a piano?
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1932370 - 07/25/12 06:00 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 789
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
free en·ter·prise
Noun:
An economic system in which private business operates in competition and largely free of state control.
grin
_________________________
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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#1932371 - 07/25/12 06:02 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 612
Loc: NY and NC
Before retiring, I taught middle school students. While we teachers were certified to teach all of the subjects, each person had special strengths and math was mine so I often taught 4 or 5 math classes. Almost every time the best students happened to be involved in some form of music program, or took dance or art classes, or some other expressive area. I always supported our school's art and music programs as being equally as important as math, language arts, social studies, science, and so on. Unfortunately, my daughter, who is a music teacher at high school level, has had to move from one school district to another several times as she has lost her position due to budget cuts to the music programs. The art programs are in the same fix. It seems like the prevailing opinion is that only the "basics" need preserving at all costs. I am distressed that school boards and even parents do not realize that we need to educate the complete child. I believe this same attitude may help explain the lessening interest in the arts in our country while more and more in China, Japan, and most of Europe music and the arts are considered essential to the education and success of children. The parents of my children at school were of a fairly international mix. The Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Israeli, and Indian parents almost always had their children studying piano, violin, cello, or dance, as well as a regular band instrument and chorus. Not so much the American-born parents.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#1932375 - 07/25/12 06:22 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Norbert]
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 56
Loc: Sacramento, Ca
Norbert, I understand the economics part. I'm trying to sell my piano now and obviously I want as much as I can get and the potential buyer will want the lowest price possible; I get that. I think from the consumer's point of view, we are just tired of the game. I don't know the answer to this, but perhaps the piano industry could benefit from the model Carmax uses; one price and no haggling. Just a thought.
_________________________
2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist

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#1932425 - 07/25/12 09:28 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: master88er]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
Originally Posted By: master88er
free en·ter·prise
Noun:
An economic system in which private business operates in competition and largely free of state control.
grin


Spoken like a true snake oil salesman. Way to make yourself look bad. At least there's one dealer for us all to avoid at all costs.

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#1932445 - 07/25/12 10:27 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8068
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
Spoken like a true snake oil salesman. Way to make yourself look bad. At least there's one dealer for us all to avoid at all costs.

I would hate to see this thread locked... Let’s keep our comments and conversation civil, as much as possible. No need to resort to name calling. We can debate and disagree till the cows come home, as long as we respect each other.

Piano dealers, like Master88er (Russell I. Kassman)
, are private business people and run their business the way they see fit, whether we agree with them or not. If we don't, we don't have to do business with them. That is how free enterprise works, for better or worse.

Russell is a respected member of this forum and does not deserve to be called a snake oil salesman.

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

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#1932446 - 07/25/12 10:28 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Rickster]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
Sorry about that. Won't happen again.

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#1932461 - 07/25/12 11:07 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 292
Loc: CA
I just bought a piano. I visited a lot of piano stores, including Russell's. All the dealers were good, some were great. None of them struck me as sleazy. Ultimately I bought a piano at a price that I could afford, and felt fair. If it had felt unfair, I would have just walked. May be I got lucky, but I can't relate to this sentiment in this thread.

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#1932465 - 07/25/12 11:31 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
What do you have to say about the evidence from Fine's Piano Buyer? I don't know if we can generalize from your single data point.

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#1932482 - 07/26/12 12:43 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 292
Loc: CA
The MSRPs are being set by the manufacturers, not by the dealers. If the manufacturers set a pricing structure that allows a wide range of discounting, we can't blame the dealers for that.

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#1932536 - 07/26/12 06:16 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
In these days, whatever one buys new will lose a very significant part of the purchase price almost immediately after purchase because there are not many potential buyers after the initial sale.

I don't think many people plan on selling after purchasing but there are too many "what ifs" in this economy. Needing a root canal, breaking one's arm, etc. and most people do not have tens of thousands on reserve to cover those things. So when times are tight they sell what they don't absolutely need.

Selling lightly used instruments is like flushing thousands of dollars down the toilet.

So I think it boils down to this: to whom do I wish to give several thousand dollars? Also: Am I in a financial position where I can absorb such a hit?

I have a very modest instrument but I think I paid far too much for it. A huge part of what I paid was dealer profit. I knew that other people were purchasing this same instrument at significantly lower prices. There were a lot of other reasons why I decided to go for it that had nothing to do with that particular instrument but in retrospect it was a mistake. At the time my income was very scant and that several $K that is gone forever made up an enormous part of my take-home pay. It was a huge financial hit.

I'd hate to see the piano go to only the top 2% of income earners but that seems to be where the market is heading.

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#1932575 - 07/26/12 09:02 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: dsch]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1474
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: dsch
In these days, whatever one buys new will lose a very significant part of the purchase price almost immediately after purchase because there are not many potential buyers after the initial sale.

I don't think many people plan on selling after purchasing but there are too many "what ifs" in this economy. Needing a root canal, breaking one's arm, etc. and most people do not have tens of thousands on reserve to cover those things. So when times are tight they sell what they don't absolutely need.

Selling lightly used instruments is like flushing thousands of dollars down the toilet.

So I think it boils down to this: to whom do I wish to give several thousand dollars? Also: Am I in a financial position where I can absorb such a hit?

I have a very modest instrument but I think I paid far too much for it. A huge part of what I paid was dealer profit. I knew that other people were purchasing this same instrument at significantly lower prices. There were a lot of other reasons why I decided to go for it that had nothing to do with that particular instrument but in retrospect it was a mistake. At the time my income was very scant and that several $K that is gone forever made up an enormous part of my take-home pay. It was a huge financial hit.

I'd hate to see the piano go to only the top 2% of income earners but that seems to be where the market is heading.



One can now purchase a very nice grand piano for roughly $15k.

The top 2% of income earners in this country earn over $250,000 per year. So you think someone who earns, say $150k per year cannot afford a new piano?

Is that what you're saying?

If so - why do I see so many new $60k cars on the road?

Your logic escapes me. Sorry.

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#1932594 - 07/26/12 09:44 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Chopinlover49]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
Before retiring, I taught middle school students. While we teachers were certified to teach all of the subjects, each person had special strengths and math was mine so I often taught 4 or 5 math classes. Almost every time the best students happened to be involved in some form of music program, or took dance or art classes, or some other expressive area.


Chopinlover49,

Since all of this is related to the decline of piano sales we are not running too far off topic. There are many factors, and this is one of them. Any discussion regarding the decline of piano sales has to include social aspects as well as financial ones.

I am not, nor ever was, an educator but I have known many over the years and they all have made similar statements based on years of observation and experience. I have seen my own niece blossom into a very accomplished and popular young lady partly because she was involved with music since she was in 1st grade. As she graduated high school just this last spring, she was also handed an associates degree. She starts college in the fall with only two years ahead of her... a substantial savings for her parents, much to their delight. (her area has a wonderful program whereby high school students can complete the work necessary for a two year associates degree by graduation). She, herself, gives a lot of credit for her success to her interest in music and the arts.

One problem is that often we have politicians running the school boards and not experienced educators. They make "uninformed decisions" and that is the kindest thing I can say about them. The other part of the equation, as you point out, is that parents themselves don't grasp the importance of the Arts.

It seems we just don't get it...

As they say, "if you're not lead dog, the view is always the same". We better smarten up, and quickly, because we're already getting the high beams flashed at us as others want to pass.

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#1932601 - 07/26/12 09:54 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10340
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
What do you have to say about the evidence from Fine's Piano Buyer? I don't know if we can generalize from your single data point.


First, it seems rather hypocritical to doubt the practice of generalizing from a single data point that argues against you position, while generalizing the supposed Larry Fine data point and applying it to the entire industry.

Further, I am Larry's authorized spokesperson here. I am also one of his closest friends, a contributing editor to Piano Buyer and his business partner in the Local Market Offers program.

I can assure you that Larry has, as a rule, a great deal of respect for piano retailers. As he and I interact with hundreds of dealers throughout North America it is our experience that most are ethical, hard working entreprenuers, deserving of respect and admiration.

You are new here. You are not an industry professional and lack a broad and wide experience in the industry. Yet you and others use anecdotal information to judge our industry's practices, particularly the pricing issues.

As to those issues, it is my position that there is no other pricing structure that would be legal, serve the wants and needs of piano shoppers, and provide the necessary flexibility needs by piano retailers in order stay in business. The current situation was not conceived by a bunch of snake-oil salesman, but rather evolved, being guided by well-educated, well-intentioned entreprenuers who have broad and deep experience in this industry over many years.

If there was a better model that really worked for all parties, with the admitted flaws in the current pricing model, we would surely have moved in that direction.
_________________________
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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#1932604 - 07/26/12 09:58 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: rlinkt]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: rlinkt
I just bought a piano. I visited a lot of piano stores, including Russell's. All the dealers were good, some were great. None of them struck me as sleazy. Ultimately I bought a piano at a price that I could afford, and felt fair. If it had felt unfair, I would have just walked. May be I got lucky, but I can't relate to this sentiment in this thread.


The potential customer, as you say, can always walk away. I think rlinkt, that sometimes people forget that simple fact.

Today, with all the tools available to us via the internet and other sources there is no excuse for getting taken advantage of by a piano dealer or any merchant for that matter. As with all major purchases, ya gotta do your homework if you expect to get a good deal. People who get "good deals" usually work at it a bit.

As Sy Simms (a clothing retailer who used to advertise a lot of TV back in the day) used to say... "an educated consumer is our best customer".



Edited by Cmajor (07/26/12 09:59 AM)

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#1932607 - 07/26/12 10:00 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
So I guess Larry was somehow mis-speaking when he wrote that it's possible for two people to pay different prices, sometimes to the amount of 50%, when buying the same piano from the same dealer on the same day? I appreciate that dealers are fine, upstanding, ethical businesspeople. That is what makes this quote all the more remarkable. Is it incorrect? If not, can you explain in a few sentences why such a situation is to be desired, and not resisted?

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#1932612 - 07/26/12 10:07 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
I was just in a piano store yesterday. All the uprights and grands had prices on them, clearly marked. If you're saying that, if I were to walk in and pay the dealer the price marked, I would be an "uneducated consumer" who "had not done his homework", well, what does this say about these marked prices? Are you saying, in effect, hey buddy, if you walked in and paid what the dealer asked for the piano, you deserve to get fleeced?

I think that the price should be clearly marked. I also think that the amount the dealer paid for this piano should also be clearly marked, and verifiable. Not because dealers don't deserve their markups; they're entitled to the same markups that other businesses can achieve. However, we're talking about "car-sized" purchases here. When I buy a $20 shirt, then find it on sale somewhere else for $15, that's a "lesson-learned." When I find out I've spent $10k or $15k more than the piano was worth, that's devastating. If your only answer to that is, well, you shouldn't have taken the dealer at his word, you should have haggled like in a Middle-Eastern souk, well, I just think that the industry has a bad business model.

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#1932614 - 07/26/12 10:12 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
SirHuddlestonFudd,

In sales they call the easy sells a "laydown". They are usually people who dislike confrontation immensely and just accept whatever they are told because it is the easy way to end the transaction as quickly as possible. It takes a bit of effort and research to get a "good deal" so that is why some get one and others don't. No free lunch. "Laydowns" almost always pay more for the same product, it is their fate.

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#1932618 - 07/26/12 10:19 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1474
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
I was just in a piano store yesterday. All the uprights and grands had prices on them, clearly marked. If you're saying that, if I were to walk in and pay the dealer the price marked, I would be an "uneducated consumer" who "had not done his homework", well, what does this say about these marked prices? Are you saying, in effect, hey buddy, if you walked in and paid what the dealer asked for the piano, you deserve to get fleeced?

I think that the price should be clearly marked. I also think that the amount the dealer paid for this piano should also be clearly marked, and verifiable. Not because dealers don't deserve their markups; they're entitled to the same markups that other businesses can achieve. However, we're talking about "car-sized" purchases here. When I buy a $20 shirt, then find it on sale somewhere else for $15, that's a "lesson-learned." When I find out I've spent $10k or $15k more than the piano was worth, that's devastating. If your only answer to that is, well, you shouldn't have taken the dealer at his word, you should have haggled like in a Middle-Eastern souk, well, I just think that the industry has a bad business model.


Wow - that is a truly bizarre comment in my opinion. What other retail establishments post their costs for customers to inspect?? Furniture stores? Supermarkets? Clothing stores? Jewelry stores - heaven forbid! What is the store's cost on that $15k Rolex watch I wonder?? I hardly think so.

And your comment about their being entitled to the same markups as any other business is quite generous. Nordstrom's sells polo shirts for $90 that cost them $15 or less.

So you dealers out there - go for it!

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#1932620 - 07/26/12 10:23 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
I was just in a piano store yesterday. All the uprights and grands had prices on them, clearly marked. If you're saying that, if I were to walk in and pay the dealer the price marked, I would be an "uneducated consumer" who "had not done his homework", well, what does this say about these marked prices? Are you saying, in effect, hey buddy, if you walked in and paid what the dealer asked for the piano, you deserve to get fleeced?



There is where the homework comes in... perhaps the prices are good, perhaps not. Just because they post them does not guarantee they are competitive. It is very likely that they consider the posted prices as a jumping off point for negotiations, but, perhaps not. That is why you have to do some legwork prior to entering the dealership. Yes, if you just accepted the price as "good" or "fair" without any prior research you would be an uneducated consumer as far as price goes. You may be a piano expert but we are talking price.

I am not saying anyone deserves to get "fleeced" and in a perfect world we would not have to concern ourselves with that, but it is far from a perfect world. However, as previously stated, the "good deals" usually go to those who put a bit of effort into research and negotiation. Again, no free lunch.

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#1932621 - 07/26/12 10:25 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10340
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
So I guess Larry was somehow mis-speaking when he wrote that it's possible for two people to pay different prices, sometimes to the amount of 50%, when buying the same piano from the same dealer on the same day? I appreciate that dealers are fine, upstanding, ethical businesspeople. That is what makes this quote all the more remarkable. Is it incorrect? If not, can you explain in a few sentences why such a situation is to be desired, and not resisted?


Yes, if he said that he was either mis-speaking or mistaken.

As to posting the wholesale cost of pianos, that simply wouldn't work and here's a few factors in support:

The average margin is about 40% leading to a 2-3% net (ROI). That means that, in your scenario, on an avergae deal the shopper would see that a $10,000 selling price grossed the dealer $4000. Most shoppers knowing little about the costs of doing business would incorrectly judge that as being excessive.

With the possible exception of the auto industry (and really not even there) are actual wholesale prices marked. If your simplistic "solution" was fealsibly, why wouldn't we see wholesale costs posted on jewelry, ATVs, appliances, etc.?
_________________________
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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#1932622 - 07/26/12 10:28 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10340
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
BTW, there IS a means for a shopper to determine if a price is reasonable. Piano Buyer.
_________________________
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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#1932626 - 07/26/12 10:30 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
Well, I'm sure glad I spent time on this forum before going shopping. I was WAAAY off in terms of how to go about buying a piano.

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#1932630 - 07/26/12 10:34 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
SirHuddlestonFudd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/12
Posts: 96
Loc: Cambridge, MA
Here's a question though: I've noticed that the price for digital pianos is much lower online than in stores. Makes sense, less overhead, etc. Does one negotiate the price of a DP (I know, I know, it's not a piano, it's just that they're selling them next to the real pianos) the same as an acoustic?

(That said, I'm asking all this not because I want a DP, but because I want an acoustic, in case anybody wanted to educate me on that point.)

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#1932638 - 07/26/12 10:57 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: SirHuddlestonFudd]
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 681
Loc: Westford, MA
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
So I guess Larry was somehow mis-speaking when he wrote that it's possible for two people to pay different prices, sometimes to the amount of 50%, when buying the same piano from the same dealer on the same day? I appreciate that dealers are fine, upstanding, ethical businesspeople. That is what makes this quote all the more remarkable. Is it incorrect? If not, can you explain in a few sentences why such a situation is to be desired, and not resisted?

Firstly, the 50% part here is somewhat ambiguous. Did one person pay 50% less than the other, or did one pay 50% more than the other? It does make a difference.

Irrespective of that, the business model for pianos is not much different than that for anything else. The price for anything is negotiable. Now, most people would not want to take the time or trouble to negotiate pricing at the supermarket, so it rarely happens. When the possible savings get high enough many/most people will negotiate. How well they do it determines the final price. As mentioned above, there are people who are averse to negotiating, and there people that do not have the time to negotiate. These people may pay MSRP for a product, or sometimes even more.

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#1932640 - 07/26/12 11:00 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rusty Fortysome Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/11
Posts: 194
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
... the piano business is second only to the car business in the opacity of the information the buyer is presented with. Prices are far more fungible than they should be. Maybe one reason acoustics are in decline is that digital piano prices are not veiled in secrecy, and the dealers don't engage in as much disinformation about them as about the acoustics....


This post show a lack of understanding of the piano industry.

You might read http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post909088.

It is lengthy, but eventually paints a good picture of the challenges of pricing in the piano industry.


Hm. So someone points out the reality of the situation, his first-hand observations, and a piano dealer tells him he is wrong.

Why did so many shops close up, recently?

Honestly, the acoustic piano industry is stuck in an olden model of sales. It ostracizes people more than it encourages them because of the price and sales-dance. With so few dealers around in this time, I am amazed that there is still a veiled price-point.

In the days of pianos being common luxury items displaying the status and culture of a person/family, pianos could be sold like cars. Those days are gone. The sales side of the equation will have to change with the world around it, or it will further hurt the industry.
_________________________
Currently working on/memorizing...
"It's You" from Robotech
"He's A Pirate"
"Crazy Bone Rag"
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#1932643 - 07/26/12 11:05 AM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Steve Cohen]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10340
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I just spoke to Larry.

He said that at one time in his history he relied heavily on piano technicians for his thinking as opposed to also considering the realities of dealers and manufacturers. Gaining a greater understanding of the dealer perspective was a major reason that he hired me as a consultant several years ago to help develope Piano Buyer.

he no longer thinks it true.
_________________________
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
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#1932695 - 07/26/12 12:23 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Rusty Fortysome]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Rusty Fortysome
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Originally Posted By: SirHuddlestonFudd
... the piano business is second only to the car business in the opacity of the information the buyer is presented with. Prices are far more fungible than they should be. Maybe one reason acoustics are in decline is that digital piano prices are not veiled in secrecy, and the dealers don't engage in as much disinformation about them as about the acoustics....


This post show a lack of understanding of the piano industry.

You might read http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post909088.

It is lengthy, but eventually paints a good picture of the challenges of pricing in the piano industry.


Hm. So someone points out the reality of the situation, his first-hand observations, and a piano dealer tells him he is wrong.

Why did so many shops close up, recently?

Honestly, the acoustic piano industry is stuck in an olden model of sales. It ostracizes people more than it encourages them because of the price and sales-dance. With so few dealers around in this time, I am amazed that there is still a veiled price-point.

In the days of pianos being common luxury items displaying the status and culture of a person/family, pianos could be sold like cars. Those days are gone. The sales side of the equation will have to change with the world around it, or it will further hurt the industry.
There have been many threads at PW on pricing in the piano industry. They clearly explain why acoustic pianos cannot be priced like cars, toasters, or even digital pianos. The huge number of variables that go into the price of an acoustic piano is also explained in The Piano Buyer.

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#1932816 - 07/26/12 05:50 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: Furtwangler]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
The top 2% of income earners in this country earn over $250,000 per year. So you think someone who earns, say $150k per year cannot afford a new piano?


For individuals, it's about half of that. And yes, those are about the only people who can get tier 1 or tier 2 new, comfortably.

Where I work (about 2000 people) only the provost and the president are in the over $100K range. I don't know anyone personally who can truly afford a tier 1 piano.

[If so - why do I see so many new $60k cars on the road?]

They are almost always leased. I think it's very risky but that's my opinion.

[Your logic escapes me. Sorry.]

You must be living in an area where incomes are bloated. I don't. Almost everyone I know and work with (STEM professionals with MS or Ph.D) is in the $20K-$60K range.

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#1932826 - 07/26/12 06:31 PM Re: Here's an Eye-Opener [Re: pianoloverus]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2173
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
There have been many threads at PW on pricing in the piano industry. They clearly explain why acoustic pianos cannot be priced like cars, toasters, or even digital pianos. The huge number of variables that go into the price of an acoustic piano is also explained in The Piano Buyer.


Then why can Steinway do it?
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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