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#1942068 - 08/13/12 04:31 PM RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance
Ken Elias Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 2
Loc: California
Hi,all:
I'm in quite a quandary. Forgive the length of my story, which I think is important to tell before asking a few questions...

After twenty years of struggling with a Samick SG-172, during which in the past five years I replaced the hammers, did a bunch of regulation, and added a TouchRail to lighten the touch, I find that after playing some really good pianos lately I'm ready to move on. I don't regret all the effort I put into it, as I learned a lot. And now I tune and regulate pianos for a local summer music camp on a volunteer basis. I've gotten good feedback on my work from the pianists, so I conclude that while I'm not a certified tech, my skills are getting good.

About two years ago I played a Kawai RX-2 at Benjamin Kim's in Garden Grove, CA. It was exquisite.. He offered me an excellent deal, thousands less than I saw the same Piano in San Diego at a dealer there. Still, it was a lot of money to me, and I just wasn't able to do it. I was truly sad leaving his fine establishment.

Now I've got the fever again. And I'm looking on eBay for Kawai RX-2s.. I find a couple of them. I'm looking at one that is about ten years old, the price is $9,000. It seems fantastic. But then I come to find out that it doesn't have the Millenium III action, which is what I was looking for. The dealer says that touch is all done during the regulation. But my experience, such as it is, tells me that there are limits to what regulation can do for touch weight. And I've even seen comments on this forum that the Kawais sometimes have a heavy touch. So, I'm concerned I will a get a piano that's not right for me.

The dealer would prefer to not use the eBay system, and wants me to send a full pre-payment before he ships the piano. I'm really nervous about that, and after seeing on this forum an idea from someone about using escrow.com, I think, well there's a solution that would address my concern. But the dealer says he doesn't want to bother with that.
Frankly, he seems like a very reputable person, very good-hearted. Aren't the scams mostly craigslist type things, not real live dealers? Perhaps this is nothing to be concerned about.

Many folks on here suggest that you should always play the instrument you intend to buy. It's hard to do that from the Central Valley of California, where pianos are few and far between.

Well, thanks for listening to my story, and I appreciate any suggestions about how to proceed.

Sincerely,
Ken Elias
Three Rivers, CA

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#1942074 - 08/13/12 04:40 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
If a dealer lists on eBay and then tries to back out and sell the piano privately, he has violated the TOS at eBay. That is dishonest and I wouldn't trust this dealer. I also question why any dealer who wants to sell a piano wouldn't want to "bother."

From what you wrote, the "he seems like a very reputable person" is not how he is presenting himself.

Visit some real-live, respected dealers and you will then know what you are getting.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1942132 - 08/13/12 06:05 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10529
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
If you'll tell us the dealer's name the pros here can PM you about the dealer's reputation.

Feel free to Pm me. I know or know of a good percentage of piano dealer in North America.


Edited by Steve Cohen (08/13/12 06:06 PM)
_________________________
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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#1942152 - 08/13/12 06:51 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
A 4 hour drive each way is not so far for peace of mind.
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#1942361 - 08/14/12 03:58 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
allthumbs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 115
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Ken Elias
Hi,all:
The dealer would prefer to not use the eBay system, and wants me to send a full pre-payment before he ships the piano. I'm really nervous about that, and after seeing on this forum an idea from someone about using escrow.com, I think, well there's a solution that would address my concern. But the dealer says he doesn't want to bother with that.
Frankly, he seems like a very reputable person, very good-hearted. Aren't the scams mostly craigslist type things, not real live dealers? Perhaps this is nothing to be concerned about.

>
>
>

Well, thanks for listening to my story, and I appreciate any suggestions about how to proceed.

Sincerely,
Ken Elias
Three Rivers, CA


Stay away froma transaction like that! You need an independent third party to handle any money/purchase item exchange in order to protect your investment.

Anyone who is reputable would not have a problem using an escrow service.

Regards,

allthumbs
_________________________
Sauter Delta (185cm) polished ebony 'Lucy'
Serial # 118 562

Single Malts Forever!

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#1942367 - 08/14/12 04:13 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
spanishbuddha Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2474
Loc: UK
Irrespective of the nature of the transaction, I think it's a mistake to spend that sort of money on a piano without trying it first. One RX2 is not the same as another RX2. This applies to all.

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#1942423 - 08/14/12 08:02 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Back when I was piano shopping, I too considered purchasing long-distance, without actually seeing or playing the piano in person. When your budget only allows for pre-owned, and there are no pre-owned pianos available locally, this is an option.

The RX2 is a popular model. I suppose if you can get the piano at a good price, and you end up not liking the tone or touch, you could possibly re-sell it and recoup your investment. (However, pianos are much harder to sell than they are to buy smile )

As far as trusting the dealer enough to send them thousands of dollars for a piano you haven’t seen, there are risks involved. I’d PM Steve Cohen with the name of the dealer and see what he has to say. He usually charges for his advice and when you can get it for free, that’s a good deal!

Good luck, and keep us informed.

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

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#1942459 - 08/14/12 09:51 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7305
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Ken Elias
Hi,all:


The dealer would prefer to not use the eBay system, and wants me to send a full pre-payment before he ships the piano. I'm really nervous about that, and after seeing on this forum an idea from someone about using escrow.com, I think, well there's a solution that would address my concern. But the dealer says he doesn't want to bother with that.
Frankly, he seems like a very reputable person, very good-hearted. Aren't the scams mostly craigslist type things, not real live dealers? Perhaps this is nothing to be concerned about.



Ken,

Many reputable piano retailers in CA use eBay to place listings, but prefer to complete any transaction generated outside eBay. There's an obvious reason. EBay listings provide inexpensive exposure because listing fees are cheap. Selling fees, on the other hand, can take quite a chunk of the proceeds. EBay is aware of the practice. It's common with a lot of expensive merchandise advertised on eBay, but eBay likes listings and listing fees.

It would be a mistake to conclude that this retailer is somehow dishonest based on his preference for not completing the transaction through eBay. However, the seller's solution of you paying in full up front does not protect your interests even if in his honest estimation the piano is in A-1 condition. That's a judgment you really need to make for yourself, especially after living 20 years with a piano that came up short.

The best solution is the one already suggested by BoseEric. After twenty years of waiting, you should not let a four-hour drive be na obstacle to complete satisfaction.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1942468 - 08/14/12 10:12 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...I've even seen comments on this forum that the Kawais sometimes have a heavy touch. So, I'm concerned I will a get a piano that's not right for me..."

I don't doubt that some people think that. If you're talking about an MIII action, it is far less likely. I would describe my RX as having a medium touch, which I find nicely controllable, and which is just right for me, as I dislike either a very light touch or a very heavy one (and an uneven one worst of all). There are a number of regulation issues which can enter into whether an action is sluggish, or too heavy (and you're right, that only so much can be done--- or reasonably done--- if a piano has a touch that is much too heavy; you are better off getting a piano whose touch and tone you like in the first place).

But even for good pianos, when we're speaking of used instruments, condition is everything. If you read through some of the back numbers on this site about pianos with problems that people are selling, it's enough to give you a permanent wave. So I would advise you, do not buy a piano long-distance based on the name alone. You must audition it and examine it in person to know if it is right for you, and in no case would I buy a used piano which has not been inspected for condition by a qualified technician, independent of the seller and paid for by you alone.

It is customary, though not done in every case, to place a deposit on an instrument and pay the balance in full on delivery. I have no opinion about the seller you mentioned; some will not let a piano out the door without full payment. But hey, if you liked the deal at Kim's, and the treatment you received there, why not give them a chance at the business this time? I don't know them personally, but they are well-regarded; I have read quite a few posts from customers of theirs who said good things about them, and none who have complained.

No one can blame you for shopping for the best you can find within your means--- I think it is admirable. I don't necessarily think that "what some people say" is a good guide, though. I would be a lot more confident when we hear what you say, once you've checked it out for yourself.

If there were only a Carfax for used pianos! Maybe in some more enlightened day and time.

"It was in a fire, so we're selling it." "It was in our beach house, so we're selling it." "By the pool..." "In a bar..." "Pound it though we might, it just wasn't loud enough for our church..." "Now that the hurricane flooded the vacation house..." "The movers dropped it off the truck and we returned it..." "Once the exterminator left, we decided to just sell the nasty thing..." "It has a noise that no tuner can fix..." "I took Gyro's advice, and now I realize it was a BAD mistake, so I'm selling..."
_________________________
Clef


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#1942508 - 08/14/12 11:39 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 160
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
If the eBay listing says the purchase is protected by the eBay buyer protection program, but the transaction is carried outside eBay and ends up not getting that advertised coverage, is that not dishonest? Seems a little sketchy to me.
_________________________
Schimmel 130T

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#1942605 - 08/14/12 02:33 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Elkayem]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
I had a VERY BAD experience this way with (of all things) a digital keyboard earlier this year. I wanted to try a Nord Stage 2 and ordered one from an ebay seller. I didn't notice that the shipping address ebay had on file was an old one so I called to change it. Seller said sure - cancelled the ebay sale, ran a second transaction.

As it happened I really didn't like the Nord. He gave me an RMA so I sent it back two days later and that's where my troubles begain. I ultimately had to get my credit-card company involved and quite honestly I'm still not sure it's 100% resolved.

For something like a piano I think eBay is a pretty poor way to buy, particularly for a mass-produced instrument like the RX-2. Take the trip. Oh and move out of the sticks! smile

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#1942614 - 08/14/12 03:01 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Nailgun Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/30/11
Posts: 7
Ken, I went to Kim's last sat and was shocked at how nice they are and they made me a deal I could not pass up. The RX2 is being worked on right now so it's ready to deliver. I saw a very nice used RX2 on the floor. The price seemed like a deal to me.
My girl played it, I will ask her about the touch and post what she thinks. She like them with a moderate touch.

Phone call: She said it had a moderate touch but she thought the new one felt better...
Take a drive, well worth the trip.
Good luck.


Edited by Nailgun (08/14/12 03:10 PM)
_________________________
Gibson LP, Lyle w465, Ovation,
Suzuki Dig.
Kawai RX2 Blak

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#1942700 - 08/14/12 05:35 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Nailgun]
Annitenth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 472
Loc: Texas
I first saw my piano on eBay. After contacting the agent, I went to try out the piano, had it inspected by a technician, and the deal was concluded outside of eBay.
_________________________
Anne
B�sendorfer 225
Technics PCM Digital Ensemble PR307

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#1942711 - 08/14/12 06:02 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Well now I understand why I see so many pianos for sale on eBay but almost no successfully completed auctions.

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#1942737 - 08/14/12 06:45 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2772
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Most dealers do not find ebay viable for pianos. Mainstream, affordable pianos like an RX-2 can easily be sold locally or regionally. If it is such a good deal from a dealer, why wouldn't someone local snatch it up?

Rare or expensive used pianos or lesser known brands often benefit from wider advertising and exposure online. I find our effective limit on a good quality mainstream piano is about 300 miles. I know of some dealers who can make such sales nationwide, but many times, I think they are filling gaps between major markets that the local dealers are missing. For rare, high end, there is almost no limit on distance - which makes sense.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1942752 - 08/14/12 07:13 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: PianoWorksATL]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7305
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
Most dealers do not find ebay viable for pianos. Mainstream, affordable pianos like an RX-2 can easily be sold locally or regionally.


Hi Sam,

What do you mean exactly by 'viable' -- completing a transaction through the eBay channel or getting greater exposure for their inventory than what they'd get from their own web site?

I've seen RX and Yamaha C used pianos on many SoCal retailer eBay listings (including some from the aforementioned and recommended Kawai dealer). I've also seen cases where a dealer lists and re-lists his entire used inventory.

In terms of local, regional, or national, one of the eBay sorting options for the viewer is to view the pianos in order of distance from his zip code with the exact mileage cited in the listing. It's the only option I've ever used. Personally, I would not want to be tempted by a perilous long-distance purchase.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1942756 - 08/14/12 07:24 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Like Annitenth, I first saw both grand pianos I've owned on eBay... contacted the seller to get info; the auction ended (with no sale) and afterward I went to look at the piano and made the deal.

The first one was only about 40 miles away. The Yamaha C7 was about 150 miles away, and well worth the trip.

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

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#1942763 - 08/14/12 07:32 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Rickster]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
The important thing is that the transaction occured after the auction ended. Then the sale is totally appropriate. I find it unethical for a seller to use marketing through eBay, arrange a sale outside of the auction, and then cancel the auction before the scheduled ending. Just because it is common practice doesn't make it right.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1942768 - 08/14/12 07:39 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2772
Loc: Atlanta, GA
That's a good point. ebay takes a big chunk of the transactions completed there that would represent anywhere from half to nearly all of the margin on a used piano. I think your user experience reflects your interest...pianos of a general nature available for you to try. Many people use it to try and comparison shop the whole world to see if they are getting a "good deal." I don't know which way is more searched. With cars, I know the local option is very important.

We explored ebay and after a while, I lost comfort with it based on the listings people might view as comparable as well as the reality that we'd have to take the sales offline to be viable. I've only talked to a couple of dealers that viewed ebay positively for big ticket items like pianos.

I designed our own sight to give more of what I wanted but I realize it doesn't have the same visibility as ebay.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1942778 - 08/14/12 08:08 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Sam, I agree, it is how the seller uses eBay. If it draws people to a brick and mortar store to shop, great. That's marketing. If SSN #XXXX is on an eBay auction, it should not be pulled from the auction to avoid the eBay transaction charges.

Here's a hypothetical situation (not directed at Sam, just in general). Joe sees a Yammy, on eBay, with a start price of $3,000 and is now up to $3,350. Joe goes to the store to play the piano to see if he likes it and wants to bid on it. The salesman says "If you buy it right now, I'll sell it to ya for $2,825." Joe asks, "But what about the $3,350 bid?" "Doesn't matter, I'll just cancel the auction." is the reply.

Is that ethical or is it yet another example of the sleezy salesman?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1942869 - 08/14/12 10:16 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Minnesota Marty]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
eBay might have policies regarding cancelling auctions; if a bid is binding, so should the seller's offer.

But if it were Craigslist, then it's all business and nothin' personal!

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#1942971 - 08/15/12 02:07 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: PianoWorksATL]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7305
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL
That's a good point. ebay takes a big chunk of the transactions completed there that would represent anywhere from half to nearly all of the margin on a used piano. I think your user experience reflects your interest...pianos of a general nature available for you to try. Many people use it to try and comparison shop the whole world to see if they are getting a "good deal." I don't know which way is more searched. With cars, I know the local option is very important.


Thanks Sam. You have pegged my interest correctly. It's basically to see what's available locally that's out of the ordinary. I recall a local retailer offering a new Estonia 190 with the Faz board on eBay for a flat price of 49k. He attracted interest even here in the piano forum. He did not expect to sell at that price. In this case, overpricing was part of his glamour strategy rather than the typical something-for-nothing tease of an eBay 99 cent auction. As it tuned out, he sold that piano at more than 40% less than the eBay price in a conventional transaction, and I would guess he still made his margin. The bonus??...... he got some people into the store who liked Estonia pianos, and he had other Estonias in stock.

Admittedly though, there are other SoCal shops that would not consider advertising on eBay because they feel it would hurt their image. They don't want to seem like clearance centers desperate for a sale.

Quote:
We explored ebay and after a while, I lost comfort with it based on the listings people might view as comparable as well as the reality that we'd have to take the sales offline to be viable. I've only talked to a couple of dealers that viewed ebay positively for big ticket items like pianos.

I designed our own site to give more of what I wanted but I realize it doesn't have the same visibility as ebay.


When you placed those eBay listings, did you include your business name, location, and telephone number in the listing? Did you go with flat "Buy it now" prices?



Minn Mary,

It's obvious that this sort of transaction does not meet your personal ethical standards. You've posted that twice.

However, there is nothing in the op's description to indicate that this particular piano is a legitimate auction item. The OP quotes a flat price of 9k, not a fluid price with a last bid of 9k. In point of fact, almost no brick and mortar retailer who uses eBay for exposure risks going with the auction format unless he either...

1) sets a high minimum bid which is just about the price he wants for it (thus protecting his margin)

2) sets a low entry bid with a hidden reserve to obscure what he really wants for it (thus teasing the naive bargain-hunter's interest while still protecting his margin)

Despite your personal scruples about what is ethical, the interests of the buyer are best served by seeing and playing the piano. He will sacrifice eBay's money back if not satisfied scheme, but he will have a better understanding of what it is he is about to buy and who it is who it is he is about to buy it from.

The process by which eBay arranges refunds is sticky and takes time. It goes through a dispute resolution process in which both sides agree that eBay's determination will be binding. I don't think that serves the needs of buyers or sellers of expensive merchandise that can be subject to very varied subjective opinions of quality. To me it would seem silly for a prospective buyer to insist on buying through the eBay channel at the cost of buying sight unseen.

Actually, even when an eBay dispute is as simple as non-delivery of the item, getting a transaction refunded through eBay is slow and frustrating. I know. I've been there. In any transaction involving a buyer, a seller, and eBay, I'd be more worried about the buyer or seller being shortchanged, not eBay.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1942987 - 08/15/12 03:13 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Turandot,

The piano was listed on eBay and whether it was a "Buy it Now" or an auction is irrelevant. I am not talking about the rules and agreements concerning transactions through eBay. I am very familiar with eBay and use it all the time. Personally, I would never consider buying a piano through eBay. It is totally different than buying stuff for my model railroad.

What I cautioned, from the very start, is the integrity of the seller, or in this case a piano salesman/dealer.

Originally Posted By: Ken Elias
The dealer would prefer to not use the eBay system, and wants me to send a full pre-payment before he ships the piano. I'm really nervous about that, and after seeing on this forum an idea from someone about using escrow.com, I think, well there's a solution that would address my concern. But the dealer says he doesn't want to bother with that.
Frankly, he seems like a very reputable person, very good-hearted. Aren't the scams mostly craigslist type things, not real live dealers? Perhaps this is nothing to be concerned about.


That is an individual who is willing to disregard the contract agreement with eBay when listing any item for sale. To me it was an immediate red flag. That was my caution to Ken, the OP.

Thank you for your very detailed explanation of how eBay works. I am most often a "buyer" but also have considerable experience as a "seller." I know the ropes.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1943010 - 08/15/12 04:43 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
JPB RX2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Cambridge, UK
I've got a 1996 RX2 which I absolutely love. It does, though, have a rather heavier action than the new Millenium II action. I like it that way, and find it wonderfully controllable, but do beware that it does feel quite different to the Millenium II. It can be lightened (my tech knows that I like it just the way it is, so does not regulate it to be any lighter) but I still think you'd find its not quite the same as the Millenium II.

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#1943089 - 08/15/12 09:53 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Minnesota Marty]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7305
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
The important thing is that the transaction occured after the auction ended. Then the sale is totally appropriate.


Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

The piano was listed on eBay and whether it was a "Buy it Now" or an auction is irrelevant.


Appears to be a disconnect here. There's in nothing in the thread to suggest that the seller was cancelling a legitimate offer simply to get a higher price outside the eBay channel. There is nothing to suggest it was an auction item at all.

However, since your advice to the OP is to not buy an eBay piano sight unseen, I guess your ethical question is of minor importance. The advice to see what you're buying before you commit seems to be unanimous and in the OP's best interest.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1943092 - 08/15/12 10:02 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: turandot]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: turandot

Appears to be a disconnect here. There's in nothing in the thread to suggest that the seller was cancelling a legitimate offer simply to get a higher price outside the eBay channel. There is nothing to suggest it was an auction item at all.

However, since your advice to the OP is to not buy an eBay piano sight unseen, I guess your ethical question is of minor importance. The advice to see what you're buying before you commit seems to be unanimous and in the OP's best interest.


I'm not sure I agree with you on this. The OP said: "The dealer would prefer to not use the eBay system, and wants me to send a full pre-payment before he ships the piano." That's a strange way to phrase things if the auction had been concluded or if it were a non-auction item. My take on the matter is that the seller was using eBay to get a wide audience of shoppers for the piano, but did not want to have the transaction proceed through eBay, perhaps because he/she wanted to avoid the hefty cut that eBay takes, or wanted to avoid potential problems in the way that eBay is so heavily slanted in the buyer's favor in terms of complaints/returns.

Either way, it is a red flag, and the OP was right to be nervous.

Of course, imo, that red flag is nothing compared to the *ginormous* red flag of the seller wanting the full purchase price up front. That in and of itself would be enough for me to run in the opposite direction.
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#1943100 - 08/15/12 10:25 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Monica K.]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Thank you Monica.

Originally Posted By: Ken Elias
Now I've got the fever again. And I'm looking on eBay for Kawai RX-2s.. I find a couple of them. I'm looking at one that is about ten years old, the price is $9,000. ...

The dealer would prefer to not use the eBay system, and wants me to send a full pre-payment before he ships the piano. I'm really nervous about that, and after seeing on this forum an idea from someone about using escrow.com, I think, well there's a solution that would address my concern. But the dealer says he doesn't want to bother with that.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1943126 - 08/15/12 11:35 AM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
If the dealer is using the Ebay system but wants to cheat them out of their commission he is unethical and will probably cheat you as well. You will have absolutely no recourse since you would be a party to the deception.

Do yourself a huge favor and take a pass on this.

There are many used pianos out there. As long as you're forced to do a long distance deal why don't you contact Rick Jones Pianos. He seems to get a lot of good press on this forum and appears to have a stellar reputation.

http://rickjonespianos.com/homebody.htm

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#1943327 - 08/15/12 05:29 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Monica K.]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7305
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Monica K.


I'm not sure I agree with you on this.


I'm sure I would not agree with me if what you suggest is what I had posted. My response to the OP was that paying full price up front sight unseen left his interests unprotected and that he should not do it. My advice was quite clear. He has to look out for himself.

However, I cannot get worked up about a dealer listing a piano on eBay and then selling it privately in a store transaction. I know many dealerships that float eBay listings (not risky auctions) for the exposure. The folks that own those businesses are not dishonest. EBay for its part does not prevent retailers from listing their business, its address, and its telephone number in the listing. It also allows vendors to state in the listing that the merchandise might become unavailable if sold through another channel. EBay is interested in a steady revenue stream. Something is better than nothing.

If eBay permits the practice and retailers take advantage of it, that's simply the reality of the marketplace. If someone has her/his private scruples about it, then (s)he can avoid it.

I suppose that a retailer who lists his used inventory on eBay could place little signs on each used piano in the showroom that state "Sorry, this piano may only be purchased by eBay members", but if some retailer were to do that, there would be no reason for him to deal used pianos from a showroom at all.

The bottom line is that you feel the buyer should not complete the transaction in the way suggested to him. I feel the same way, as does everyone else who has replied. However, I would never rule out a retailer or accuse him of dishonesty because he uses eBay for exposure.

_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1943355 - 08/15/12 06:41 PM Re: RX-2 Purchase by Long Distance [Re: Ken Elias]
ERN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/15/12
Posts: 15
Loc: York, Pa.
I recently took a real leap of faith and purchased a Kawai KG-3 based on pictures and conversation with the dealer. In fact I traded a 25 year old Kohler that he accepted based on my pictures and conversation. The Kawai had been pretty much rebuild and my total outlay was $5000 cash plus the Kohler in trade. I love the piano and it all worked out for me, but I had no illusions that it was not a risk. Anyway, the terms were that I gave the delivery person a check on delivery. No cash changed hands until I actually had the piano in my home. Probably not the normal way to do it, but we both trusted the other person.

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