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#2131451 - 08/11/13 10:52 PM Dealer's choices of pianos
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14120
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Just returning from long trip, visiting a number of major dealers.

Time to bring some life back here again. ha

One thing I noticed is the curious, consistent but somewhat "odd" "combination of brands" commonly offered by dealers.

Here's the question:

How many Steinway dealers out there offer also such makes as Fazioli, C.Bechstein, Boesendorfer, Grotrian, Sauter and/or even Estonia?

If not, why not?

How many dealers for Japanese pianos offer not just some low grade Chinese pianos as cost alternative but also some of the better ones such a Brodmann, Ritmueller Hailun and Perzina?

Obviously no single Yamaha dealer offering Kawai, vice versa.
"Obvious" - but obvious "why"?

Is side-by-side comparison by shoppers actively and "preventatively" being discouraged by market?

"Too dangerous" for dealers for name brand products expected to sell by "brand name" only?

Just like car dealers - can one really blame them?

Now, don't ask me what else I found by visiting the various dealers on my trip. To be honest, nothing I didn't know before.

Start shooting.

Norbert grin


Edited by Norbert (08/12/13 01:51 AM)
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#2131455 - 08/11/13 11:04 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
The answer to the question and the motivation for the question(just pushing the same endlessly repeated agenda)are obvious. In fact, the post is just restating something Norbert has stated about a thousand times in the past but rephrasing it as a question.

Perhaps the shoe should be put on the other foot and one should ask something like:
Why don't some Sauter dealers stock other Tier 1 pianos or why don't some Estonia dealers stock some other Tier 2 pianos?



Edited by pianoloverus (08/12/13 07:07 AM)

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#2131465 - 08/11/13 11:36 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
beethoven986 Offline
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Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Steinway dealers are not allowed to carry other high end brands, as far as I know.
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#2131467 - 08/11/13 11:39 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Stephen Lacefield Offline
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Registered: 11/29/06
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Ellenburger here
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#2131479 - 08/12/13 12:25 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Stephen:

Pearl River and Hailun are mentioned in your signature but not in your website.

Have they recently been replaced by Ellenburgers?

Norbert wink
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#2131480 - 08/12/13 12:26 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7314
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Norbert, I suspect that part of the answer has to do with the depth of the piano market where each dealer is located. The scenario you suggest is not uncommon in Germany, but then, not only is the population concentrated, but piano studies are much more common than here in the Western Hemisphere. One of my favorite dealers, Oberlingers, located just NW of Mainz and Wiesbaden, carried many tier 1 brands, and had them on the floor side by side. They had (I put this in the past tense, because I haven't been there in 10 years) Steinways, Bechsteins, Bosendorfers, Schimmels, Sauters, Kawaii, Young Chang, and others who now slip my memory.
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#2131487 - 08/12/13 12:33 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Stephen Lacefield]
OperaTenor Offline
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Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2379
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Stephen Lacefield
Ellenburger here


The good jokes never die...
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#2131490 - 08/12/13 12:43 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
John:

Your experience with dealers in Germany is similar like mine, here's 3 examples of interesting diversity:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/grand_pianos.html

http://www.piano-fischer.de/musikinstrumente/marken.html

http://www.musik-klier.de/indexCat.asp?pg=250&c=klaviere

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (08/12/13 12:51 AM)
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#2131499 - 08/12/13 01:27 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Almaviva Offline
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Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 585
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Norbert,

Did your deliberately misspell "shooting"? "Schooting" sounds more German. grin

Your question CAN be construed as a subtle form of horn-blowing. However, I'm still new to this forum and am not yet a hardened cynic, thus I will give your the benefit of the doubt - this time! grin

With the exception of very small markets, Steinway insist that their dealers carry only Steinway piano lines. However, there is nothing to prevent a non-Steinway dealer from allowing their customers to audition used and rebuilt Steinways alongside their new Faziolis, Bechsteins, Estonias, etc.

Kawai and Yamaha do not require their franchisees to carry their brands exclusively, thus there are plenty of non-exclusive Kawai and Yamaha dealers. Some of these dealers carry some of the better Chinese/Korean pianos (Brodmann, Hailun, Weber, etc.) alongside Yamaha and Kawai models. There are even dealers that carry both Kawai and Yamaha digital pianos (e.g., Allegro Pianos). However, I do not have personal knowledge of a dealer that carries both Kawai and Yamaha new acoustic pianos. As you are a piano retailer, can YOU tell us why?

There are a few - very few - non-Steinway high-end dealers that carry one brand exclusively. Kasimoff Piano, the Bluthner dealer in Los Angeles, is the only example that I know of.

However, there are plenty of piano dealers that carry several performance-grade makes that directly compete with each other. Some prominent examples would be:

Allegro Pianos in NYC & Stamford, Connecticut (Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Estonia, August Forster, Steingraeber);

Faust Harrison Pianos in NYC & White Plains, NY (Bechstein, Mason & Hamlin, Schimmel, Yamaha CF);

Cunningham Piano in Philadelphia (Bosendorfer, Estonia, Schimmel, Charles Walter);

PianoCraft in Gaithersburg, MD (Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Steingraeber, Charles Walter);

Ruggero Pianos in Raleigh, NC (Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Estonia, Fazioli, Mason & Hamlin, Schimmel, Charles Walter);

PianoWorks in Atlanta (Bosendorfer, Estonia, Grotrian, Seiler);

EuroPianos in Naples, FL (Bechstein, Bosendorfer, August Forster, Sauter, Schimmel);

Collora Piano in Dallas, Texas (Bosendorfer, Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Schimmel, Charles Walter);

R. Kassman in Berkeley, California (Bechstein, Estonia, Grotrian, Sauter, Steingraeber); and

Showcase Pianos in Vancouver, BC (Fazioli, Bechstein and Grotrian).

Even you, Norbert, carry both Sauter and Estonia at Heritage Pianos in Surrey, BC.

Therefore, based on my own piano shopping experience, I would have to disagree with you - side-by-side comparison of competing brands DO occur. However, you will probably have to shop in metropolitan areas with populations of at least 1,500,000 in order to do so.





Edited by Almaviva (08/12/13 01:45 AM)

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#2131506 - 08/12/13 01:43 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Almaviva:

Point well taken, there are indeed many dealers with such con-current brands you mentioned.

However my question was more specifically aimed at Steinway dealers carrying other tier 1 or tier 2 pianos and Yamaha/Kawai dealers carrying some of the top Chinese makers.

Or "Korean" if it's helping things.. wink

I am asking specifically "Chinese" as several ones of them are thought to be particularly good alternatives on market today.

[Not asking anybody to buy what we have - nor care.]

Personally, we LOVE to have others on same floor, especially top name brands...

But why not the other way around?

So, any specific dealers you know actually doing it?

Thanks in advance.

Norbert thumb



Edited by Norbert (08/12/13 01:54 AM)
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#2131525 - 08/12/13 03:53 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Stephen Lacefield]
Rich Galassini Offline
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Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9143
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Stephen Lacefield
Ellenburger here


Where is Noona when we need her?
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#2131585 - 08/12/13 08:15 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Originally Posted By: Stephen Lacefield
Ellenburger here


The good jokes never die...


True. But this time squished into a patty and fried. Unless, it really exists.
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#2131592 - 08/12/13 08:35 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
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Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Almaviva

With the exception of very small markets, Steinway insist that their dealers carry only Steinway piano lines.

Though this is often stated, it is simply not the case. Schmitt Music, the store which I am most familiar, is the Steinway dealership and also carries other non-Steinway brands. They even have their own "house brand," the Lyrica, which is built by Pearl River and competes with Essex.

It is true, however, that they do not carry other "tier one" pianos that would compete with the Steinway name.
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#2131627 - 08/12/13 09:32 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 585
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Though this is often stated, it is simply not the case. Schmitt Music, the store which I am most familiar, is the Steinway dealership and also carries other non-Steinway brands.


Interesting, Marty. I was quoting a guy who works for Reifsnyder's Piano in Lancaster, Pa. He is a Steinway dealer, and he carries Charles Walter and Pearl River models. He told me that Steinway allows their dealers in small markets to carry non-Steinway brands.

Well, Minneapolis is hardly a small market, and Schmitt does carry non-Steinway pianos. Apparently this misconception is wide-spread within the piano industry itself.

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#2131632 - 08/12/13 09:46 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Almaviva Offline
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Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 585
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Norbert
So, any specific dealers you know actually doing it?

Thanks in advance.

Norbert thumb


Come to think of it, Norbert, there IS one dealer that I know of - Richmond Pianos in Richmond, Virginia. They carry Schimmel, Charles Walter, Kawai, Brodmann and Baldwin.

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#2131668 - 08/12/13 10:43 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2280
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Just returning from long trip, visiting a number of major dealers.

Time to bring some life back here again. ha

One thing I noticed is the curious, consistent but somewhat "odd" "combination of brands" commonly offered by dealers.

Here's the question:

How many Steinway dealers out there offer also such makes as Fazioli, C.Bechstein, Boesendorfer, Grotrian, Sauter and/or even Estonia?

If not, why not?

Why should they carry such over-priced, over-hyped brands when they already sell the world's finest piano?

Quote:
How many dealers for Japanese pianos offer not just some low grade Chinese pianos as cost alternative but also some of the better ones such a Brodmann, Ritmueller Hailun and Perzina?


Field's in Orange County is presently selling Hailun and Weber along with their Kawais and Steinways. That will change soon, though as they become a Steinway Gallery.

Quote:
Obviously no single Yamaha dealer offering Kawai, vice versa.
"Obvious" - but obvious "why"?


You should pay more attention to the market. SoCal Pianos in Ontario sells new Yamaha, Kawai, Mason and Hamlin, Bechstein/W. Hoffmann and Samick.

Quote:
Is side-by-side comparison by shoppers actively and "preventatively" being discouraged by market?


I doubt the market cares.

Quote:
"Too dangerous" for dealers for name brand products expected to sell by "brand name" only?

Just like car dealers - can one really blame them?

Now, don't ask me what else I found by visiting the various dealers on my trip. To be honest, nothing I didn't know before.

Start shooting.


Bang! smile
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#2131680 - 08/12/13 10:57 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
pogmoger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/13
Posts: 165
Loc: Norway
There is a dealer in Edinburgh, Scotland which I visited in around 2001 and they were official distributors for both Steinway and C.Bechstein at the time. They also had a load of Petrofs next to the Bostons. I don't know for how long this was the case, but they no longer sell new Steinways. I was there again recently, and they still have C.Bechstein and Grotrian - maybe other 'top tiers', but I wouldn't know because they keep them at the back of the store behind a rope and I wasn't allowed anywhere near them, because I was enquiring about cheaper rebuilds at the time. Actually the dealer unhelpfully didn't want me to touch any of his pianos, because he didn't currently have anything in my price range in stock. Very strange sales tactic...

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#2131689 - 08/12/13 11:12 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Plowboy]
pogmoger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/13
Posts: 165
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
Originally Posted By: Norbert

Here's the question:

How many Steinway dealers out there offer also such makes as Fazioli, C.Bechstein, Boesendorfer, Grotrian, Sauter and/or even Estonia?

If not, why not?

Why should they carry such over-priced, over-hyped brands when they already sell the world's finest piano?


The more often I hear Steinway referred to unequivocally as the 'world's finest piano' the more I'm put off buying one altogether. I'd rather take the time to really consider all options out there in order to find the perfect piano for me personally than just fall for marketing tricks and unquestionably buy a product without engaging my brain first. I wonder if the arrogance of some of the salespeople representing Steinway is in fact doing more harm than good.

I try to put these negative connotations of the Steinway brand aside when I'm trying out their pianos so that I can evaluate them purely on their attributes as musical instruments and not status symbols wink. They are of course excellent pianos, but my favourite so far is a Bosendorfer.

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#2131700 - 08/12/13 11:20 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
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Posts: 14120
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Almaviva:

Reifsnyder's Pianos doesn't seem to offer Walter grands,
only their uprigths. Grands is where the "action" is.

http://reifsnyders.com/newpianos.php

Socal pianos does not appear to be NEW Steinway dealer but lists both Yamaha and Kawai. Thinking this is great! thumb

http://www.socalpianos.com/ManufacturerList.aspx

Schmitt Music is Steinway dealer but does not seem to offer any other pianos from tiers 1-2-3

Common scenario?

http://www.schmittmusic.com/piano/products/grand/shop-grand-pianos.php

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (08/12/13 11:39 AM)
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#2131703 - 08/12/13 11:29 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2280
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: Norbert

Socal pianos does not appear to be Steinway dealer but lists both Yamaha and Kawai. Thinking this is great! thumb

http://www.socalpianos.com/ManufacturerList.aspx


They also carry Walter. They have three locations and the line up is a bit different at all three. The folks there are nice. They should tune their pianos more often though.

The San Marcos store also has a great sheet music collection.
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#2131718 - 08/12/13 11:48 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1752
Jacobs Music in Philadelphia sells Steinway, Yamaha and Samick.

I don't know whether this is unusual. From the above thread it sounds like it is. I wonder whether the change in Steinway's ownership will have an impact on this.

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#2131719 - 08/12/13 11:50 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14120
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Jacobs Music in Philadelphia sells Steinway, Yamaha and Samick.



It's a common combination.

What is *not* so common is Steinway PLUS Fazioli, C.Bechstein, Mason Hamlin, Bluethner, etc

Glad to learn of exceptions....

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (08/12/13 04:50 PM)
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#2131755 - 08/12/13 12:32 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: pogmoger]
Rockyr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 8
I agree. At the first Steinway shop I went to, the salesperson tried to get me to commit to a piano right away, lot of pressure, when it must have been obvious to him (knowing what I know now) that I hadn't done much research yet and didn't really know what I was doing. Second Steinway shop, when I told the salesperson I was considering a mason & Hamlin grand, he basically said that was fine if it was all I could afford, but that it was an inferior product and "if you want a Steinway, you buy a Steinway." Guess that's true if you're just shopping for a name. The pianos were lovely, but the sales tactics really turned me off.

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#2131773 - 08/12/13 01:05 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
pogmoger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/13
Posts: 165
Loc: Norway
I've found another UK dealer which is currently a Steinway dealer, but also advertises that they sell new C.Bechstein:

http://www.newpianosforsale.co.uk/piano-sales.htm

Not listed as an official supplier on Bechstein's website, though.

And here is the sales pitch: 'Steinway & Sons of course represents the pinnacle of piano making and when only the best new piano will do there is simply no alternative.'

Is that what they tell their customers who want to buy a Bechstein??

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#2131789 - 08/12/13 01:26 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I've found another UK dealer which is currently a Steinway dealer, but also advertises that they sell new C.Bechstein:



Don't forget in U.K. they sell HAMBURG Steinways.

Perhaps requiring a tad less trepidation from others?

Norbert confused


Edited by Norbert (08/12/13 04:52 PM)
_________________________
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2131972 - 08/12/13 06:37 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14120
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
deleted, sorry wrong thread..


Edited by Norbert (08/12/13 06:39 PM)
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2132061 - 08/12/13 10:57 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Chopinlover49 Offline
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Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 630
Loc: NY and NC
It seems to me that a lot of the finer piano stores can offer C. Bechstein, Bosie, Mason-Hamlin, Estonia, Schimmel, and possibly other top European brands, but usually Steinway only shows their Boston, Essex, and a few Chinese or Indonesian consumer brands plus the usual used pianos of all types. I think it is a Steinway policy.
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#2132102 - 08/13/13 03:25 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
michaelha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 788
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Almaviva:

Point well taken, there are indeed many dealers with such con-current brands you mentioned.

However my question was more specifically aimed at Steinway dealers carrying other tier 1 or tier 2 pianos and Yamaha/Kawai dealers carrying some of the top Chinese makers.

Or "Korean" if it's helping things.. wink

I am asking specifically "Chinese" as several ones of them are thought to be particularly good alternatives on market today.

[Not asking anybody to buy what we have - nor care.]

Personally, we LOVE to have others on same floor, especially top name brands...

But why not the other way around?

So, any specific dealers you know actually doing it?

Thanks in advance.

Norbert thumb



I think the piano makers are want to have their pianos represented in the major metros, some distance apart depending on population density, etc.... Not to different than how any other retailers plan their stores. And there aren't enough dealers in a metro or region so that each dealer can just represent one, so each dealer ends up with several brands.

Then from the dealer's perspective they probably need a variety of brands to make the volume they need and to provide a good selection to cover various customer preferences and budgets.

Well, apparently Steinway's model didn't work for Sherman Clay but their hope was that by selling re-branded Kawai's and Pearl Rivers they could provide the selection & various price points so their dealers could survive, but that didn't work. Seems like most people just bought a Kawai or Pearl River directly, maybe the same or better and less expensive.

Yamaha & Kawai are at pretty different price points than the Brodmann, Ritmuller's so not sure why that's confusing.
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#2132245 - 08/13/13 11:58 AM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
Orz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/13
Posts: 58
I visited a Yamaha dealer not long ago, the sales person told me that they offer the best price on Yamaha pianos in the area because they have bigger inventory. According to the sales person, the more piano you purchase from the manufacturer, the cheaper the wholesale price.

So I guess, maybe dealers choose to focus on one brand instead of many of them can gain an advantage in price competition.

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#2132262 - 08/13/13 12:52 PM Re: Dealer's choices of pianos [Re: Norbert]
michaelha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 788
Also re: Yamaha/Kawai dealers selling competitive Chinese pianos... Some here seem to believe the Chinese pianos are closing the quality/performance gap on Yamaha/Kawai, but there are probably still a lot of consumers that don't understand that yet and want the warm fuzzy feeling of owning a Yamaha/Kawai.

Similarly, some may argue that the handmade lines of Yamaha and Kawai are closing the gap on the high-end EU brands, but some consumers aren't convinced or just want the warm fuzzy feeling of a Fazioli.
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