Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2003118 - 12/22/12 02:17 PM Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2192
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I think Pianist/Teachers should disclose when they are getting a commission for recommending purchase of a specific piano. I have nearly 40 years of experience as a technician/rebuilder and I have noticed some relatively prominent Teacher/Pianists seem to make it part of their business to generate piano sales through specific dealers. Some seem to rotate from one dealer to the other over the years so I suspect they try to raise the fee and get rejected so they move on to punish the previous dealer.
I have also been asked to provide a discount for my services in return for the Teacher sending me their students. I have even been expected to rebuild a prominent local pianists piano for free! You can guess my response to that! Ever since that Pianist has been bad mouthing me! (Even though he loves playing one of my rebuilds at a church he sometimes uses for events)
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

 

#2003127 - 12/22/12 02:48 PM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
MacDan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 91
Loc: Tampa, FL
Ed,

For what it's worth, I have a teacher who is highly certificated and educated in the discipline who will, upon request, assist their students with locating and purchase of a piano.

That being said, they express a preference for a particular local piano retailer, however, they do not do so in exclusivity, but because of their direct experience with said retailer.

There are several other retailers in the immediate area who seem to promote the "beautiful piece of furniture" aspect of pianos rather than the merits of the instrument, which I find rather interesting. The one my teacher suggests to start with is very low key and doesn't even advertise, as far as I know.

I would agree that a professional should disclose such an arrangement and allow the buyer to make their own decision. I would also suggest that anyone who is considering the purchase of a piano engage the assistance of a trusted piano technician in order to assure that the piano they are interested in is in good condition.

As for referrals and discounts, as a former businessperson myself I believe that referrals should be a function of direct experience with the business, and there should be no consideration involved. To do otherwise colors the opinion in my book.

I get nothing for it, nor do I expect anything from my technician, whom I have openly promoted to my piano owning friends, my teacher, and Angie's List. I do so because they have provided exemplary service to me. I think it is only fitting that I do so, as this is my way of thanking them for work well done. If they did anything less, I would not say anything derogatory, but would move on to another in the hope of locating someone who would meet or exceed my expectations.

When I am working with a supplier of goods and services and they start to speak ill of a competitor, it raises concerns about them on my part. I believe in most cases like this the entity in question is attempting to elevate themselves to me for fear that I might consider someone else. Definitely a bad business practice as far as I am concerned, and it makes me immediately question their integrity.

As I often say, "Karma's a b*tch", and while you might not be aware of it when it happens, the person bad-mouthing you will find their actions to come back to haunt them some day. People will recognize and reward integrity in the long run, and as I tell my children, it's not something someone can take away from you.

Dan

Top
#2003256 - 12/22/12 09:52 PM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"I think Pianist/Teachers should disclose when they are getting a commission for recommending purchase of a specific piano..."

I agree. A hidden agenda, a conflict of interest, secret kickbacks--- dynamite waiting to explode.

Besides, many teachers don't really know much about pianos, as such, and are hardly qualified to make recommendations.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#2003262 - 12/22/12 10:14 PM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1786
I absolutely agree that disclosure is absolutely essential to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. I would go further and say that piano teachers should not accept payment from dealers at all. I further believe that the piano student should pay his or her teacher for the teacher's time spent in the selection process. If you want an unbiased opinion, you should be the one to pay for it, not the salesperson. This is similar to the idea that the person seeking the advice of a piano technician should pay for it, and not the dealer about whose piano the advice is sought.

Top
#2003369 - 12/23/12 06:20 AM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Full agreement with Ed and others. But many piano teachers *are* getting kickback money from dealers, and many teachers and dealers think this is appropriate.

Even when I charge a student (or a nonstudent) a fee to be their piano sales consultant, I could still be taking money under the table from a dealer, and my client would be none the wiser.

Dan has put it so well, though, that this is about personal integrity.

Top
#2003418 - 12/23/12 08:54 AM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Here on Long Island, there is THAT problem, of course, but there is something much worse, from my perspective. There are technicians who, when hired to evaluate a particular instrument that a client is considering for purchase, will kill the sale by negatively evaluating the instrument, even if it is unwarranted. They typically do this for one of two reasons....both despicable. The first is to punish a particular dealer with whom they have had a disagreement. The second, even more insidious, is to then steer the client to a piano they are selling or have a financial interest in. Unfortunately, this is "business as usual" for these "professionals". The other thought I have on this is to wonder why people are asking their piano teachers to act as experts in piano evaluation? Some of the most ill maintained instruments I have ever had to work on have been owned by teachers, when logic would tell you they should be the ones most interested in keeping their instruments optimized. Also, any given piano that is being evaluated may be a "diamond in the rough", in which case teachers are rarely able to make that determination, whereas an honest, knowledgable technician would be able to enlighten the buyer on the piano's potential, and the additional cost involved.


Edited by CC2 and Chopin lover (12/23/12 11:08 AM)
_________________________
Piano Technician/Tuner

Top
#2003431 - 12/23/12 09:30 AM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Hi Ed!
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

Top
#2003491 - 12/23/12 12:25 PM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3474
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
I absolutely agree that disclosure is absolutely essential to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. I would go further and say that piano teachers should not accept payment from dealers at all. I further believe that the piano student should pay his or her teacher for the teacher's time spent in the selection process. If you want an unbiased opinion, you should be the one to pay for it, not the salesperson. This is similar to the idea that the person seeking the advice of a piano technician should pay for it, and not the dealer about whose piano the advice is sought.


Completely agree with this. You want the teacher or technician to be operating in your interest, not the dealer's, and can make this explicit by the payment arrangement.


Edited by sophial (12/23/12 12:26 PM)

Top
#2003509 - 12/23/12 01:32 PM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...I would go further and say that piano teachers should not accept payment from dealers at all. I further believe that the piano student should pay his or her teacher for the teacher's time spent in the selection process. If you want an unbiased opinion, you should be the one to pay for it, not the salesperson..."

Double bingo.

The story is the very same as it is for anyone wishing an evaluation before purchasing a used piano. Some think it's fine to have the seller pay (or to take the seller's tech's word), or to split the tech's fee with the seller. But, it's the old story, "No man can serve two masters."

It is, in truth, difficult to find a tech whom you know to be qualified and unbiased, especially for first-time-out buyers. Referrals and recommendations can help... but not everyone who recommends, knows. And, truth be told, not many shoppers are truly diligent.

A person who has found his or her way here, can ask on the Tuner/Tech forum, and may learn of someone locally, who is well-regarded. http://ptg.org is another resource. But all one can do is to increase his chances by shunning situations known to create divided loyalties, or which are--- on their face--- questionable ethically.

The examples mentioned are prizewinners--- in an "Exploding Cigar Contest." And I don't know that anyone can be too sure that the chump will be "none the wiser," at least, not for good.

Really, it's best just to not go there at all. As for shoppers: you can ask, before you start, who is paying for it and how much. It's worth a try.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#2003558 - 12/23/12 03:56 PM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1365
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
At the low end of new retail piano purchase, I'd say it's rare that a buyer will pay any outsider to evaluate a piano. Teacher or technician.

For more expensive pianos, however, or moreso for used instruments, of course it becomes somewhat more common. Obviously technicians are usually far more knowledgeable, but teachers are natural people for students to ask for initial advice, since the two parties already have a close rapport with each other.

It's very rare that a piano teacher would actually charge a student for such advice - so some of these teachers instead slip into the quiet, slippery world of referral fees from dealers. This goes on often. To my knowledge no one is getting rich at it, though.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (12/23/12 03:58 PM)

Top
#2004080 - 12/24/12 06:29 PM Re: Teacher/Pianist getting commission for recommending piano pu [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2192
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Many good comments so far, thanks for responding all.
When I worked as a steinway technician for the Local dealer, I would on occasion bring them piano buyers. I would get a small commission, but then I would provide the buyer a couple of extra free tuning/service calls.
I now sell some rebuilt grands as well as provide piano services to piano owners. When I get a call to evaluate a piano for purchase, I don't charge for inspection but I do ask in return that they look at what I have to offer. One local dealer will not let me inspect their pianos. I understand why they don't, but this sometimes works against the dealers interest because if I don't have the particular type of piano this person seeks, but the purchaser wants to use me for their technician, the dealer often loses because they won't buy without inspection from me. They trust me to be honest because they know me, my work and my reputation.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Staying in one position for too long - tension
by DeadPoets
2 minutes 17 seconds ago
Cleaning strings
by PhilipInChina
59 minutes 27 seconds ago
recording digital piano
by johan d
Today at 03:38 AM
Ambitious Jazz beginner
by Ruan
Today at 01:10 AM
Is this a real Steinway?
by chernobieff
Yesterday at 11:51 PM
Who's Online
64 registered (36251, anotherscott, andwi, 13 invisible), 1110 Guests and 15 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76610 Members
42 Forums
158409 Topics
2326278 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission