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#2559262 - 07/28/16 02:58 AM extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it?
jasondee34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/16
Posts: 9
Hi, I got a "like-new" kawai mp7 piano from Sam Ash. I saved a bit of money over a new one, but am worried about longevity/reliability of the piano.

This is my first digital piano. Sam Ash has a 1yr parts+labor warranty with this used piano, but they offered an additional 3yrs for ~$245. It includes shipping both ways to the repair center and covers a lot, including wear/tear items.

Is it worth it? Are these Kawai digital pianos known for breaking down around the 4 yr mark? I don't plan on moving the piano much/gigging; it just sits in my apartment but I like the portability of stage pianos in case I move, etc. Thank you.

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#2559280 - 07/28/16 04:44 AM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4739
Loc: North Carolina
No. Extended warranties come at up to 90% profit for the seller. The offer of an extended warranty is an insult.

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#2559351 - 07/28/16 01:35 PM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
newer player Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/16
Posts: 64
Jason,

That is a nice piano!

I don't think the Sam Ash warranty is such a terrible deal and explain below. In the end it is an insurance policy and depends on how much risk you want to take.

One issues is default risk - if Sam Ash goes bankrupt, does the warranty dissolve?

If warranty is important for you, perhaps exchanging for a new piano might make sense (or not). Depends on price your used MP7, cost of insurance, cost of new MP7. I understand Kawai's warranty program was recently improved. I think the key factors to consider are labour, parts, shipping, time for repair. Current warranty terms follow:

http://www.kawaius.com/digital/dp_warranty.html

___________
Over the past few decades, I think extended warranty programs have been a great margin business for sellers and a bad deal for consumers. More recently, however, some warranty programs are worth rethinking. Particularly for autos and home appliances. Maybe for digital pianos.

There are a few factors:

1. Repair labour rates in the US have skyrocketed making repairs expensive (although government / press reports virtually no inflation I think we have all figured out that data is pretend)

2. Chinese production is relatively cheap, making initial purchase and replacement relatively inexpensive

3. Replacement parts, particularly proprietary electronics are very expensive

4. The general movement from mechanical goods to increasingly sophisticated electronic goods. As a general matter, mechanical goods have longer lifespans and are more amenable to repair.

As an example, we purchased appliances at Lowes; they offered a 5 year warranty for $100 per appliance. Cost of getting a repairman just to visit the house to look at a broken Bosch dishwasher is more than $100; plus expensive repair parts and actual repair labour. We've had a bunch of those dishwashers and they seem to need repairs every 4 years or so. The refrigerator is expensive so the warranty is an even better deal here.

Another example I read about is the Mercedes S600 flagship that cost $150,000 in 2007. Market value today is closer to $15,000. No demand for these tanks even though they look great and ride like a magic carpet. I understand the mechanicals are quite good (but not like older Mercedes' were). However, the sophisticated electronics are a time bomb going off and repairs are prohibitive.

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#2559448 - 07/28/16 10:56 PM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
jasondee34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/16
Posts: 9
thanks for your replies MacMacMac, and newer_player. I talked to others on a different website and they said these stage pianos should last a very very long time/ are very durable and said the warranty is a waste. I tend to agree with them as I get more input. But newer_player, have you had experience with kawai brand pianos and their durability? I see you linked Kawai's warranty-I know about it already but it's only 1 yr parts and labor which is the same as what Sam Ash gives me as included in their used gear sales. Kawai does have an extra 2 yrs for parts which is the only advantage of a new piano.

However I saved ~$400 vs the new. So with the extended warranty I still come out ahead by 400-245=$155 saved WITH a 4yr parts AND labor warranty, shipping included in warranty both ways.

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#2559485 - 07/29/16 04:02 AM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
drewrst Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/16
Posts: 59
Loc: Pennsylvania
Word to the wise culled from having done much reading in the digital/keyboard forum, the ideal time to get some feel for how long a DP might last without needing repairs, is at the shop/store AFTER having spent considerable time playing/testing as many functions & features as practical IE. prior to purchase/delivery. It stands to reason a floor model has already passed the faulty knob/button or other obvious dent, niggle, defects detection phase, however, MP7 is a lot of piano & firmware features, some of which may not have been used/tried on the floor. Does this dealer already have it upgraded to most recent firmware? Its not difficult to do but has it been done? The one year warranty you mentioned at least assures you have some recourse IF it takes you a while ..... weeks or months, to discover a particular function does not work the first time you try to use it.

With respect to MMM's advice, he's given great advice in the past on negotiating purchase price, upwards to 35 percent off new unit list/street price! Going by rough gauge that new DPs list twice cost (manufacturer's), an extended warranty marked up .90 may have some room to try negotiating something lower..... but since he did not suggest this it may imply there is little chance but cannot hurt to ask Sam Ash anyway.

Good luck.


Edited by drewrst (07/29/16 04:04 AM)
_________________________
- Kawai ES7b w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508

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#2559547 - 07/29/16 11:32 AM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: drewrst]
jasondee34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/16
Posts: 9
thanks drewrst, you have some great points. I will test it thoroughly and try to get a "feel" for how durable it is. Sam Ash is giving me a week or so leeway after receiving the unit to purchase the warranty so I'll decide then, and try to negotiate a bit lower to a get a better deal if I'm interested then.

Thanks again and have a nice day!

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#2559555 - 07/29/16 11:50 AM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
newer player Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/16
Posts: 64
Originally Posted By jasondee34
But newer_player, have you had experience with kawai brand pianos and their durabilisty?


I have a Kawai es100. In my opinion, it represents the best of Japanese industrial engineering: solid hardware and software integration with a nice user interface. High quality materials and professional assembly at a competitive price. Pride of craftsmanship is abundantly evident. And the action is really nice to play on.

Downsides with my es100 are that a couple of key click on occasion but not enough to bother me. There are just a few buttons so adjustments often require referencing the users manual. I would buy a Kawai again when it is time to upgrade.

The es100 has much more feel and soul than any $700 piano has the right to. Yamaha had an entry level classical guitar called the CG-100 that played out of its league much like the es100 does.

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#2559581 - 07/29/16 01:22 PM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3652
Take the $$$ for the extended warranty and put it in a separate bank account.

Do that with all (almost) extended warranty purchases. (check out Consumer reports for those things that you should have an extended warranty for)

You will have a lot of money left over after spending for repairs.

I teach out of a large music store, and it is a drop-off point for a repair guy who fixes amps, keyboards, mixers, anything electronic.

Whenever a digital piano comes back for the customer to pick up after he has fixed it, (usually there are one or two a week), I check out the paperwork. Almost never seen a repair over $200. Most are $125-$150. And these are usually older well-used boards owned by working musicians, (read: lots of moving, hard playing, etc. Some appear to be 8 or more years old. (His basic charge for fixing all digital pianos, including travel, is $125).

At the price the OP quoted for the warranty, one could run a board through the repair shop twice. (BTW, the repair guy warrants repairs for a year).

Food for thought

_________________________
Piano teacher and Blues and Boogie-Woogie pianist.

A Blues tune with my trio: https://www.box.com/s/43da5e4ca6432d021eb8

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#2559604 - 07/29/16 03:43 PM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
jasondee34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/16
Posts: 9
thanks for the input newer_player and rocket88. Great information. The more info the better, to use to make an overall decision. Yeah those repair prices seem reasonable, and you're right my keyboard will probably be hard to break down with the much-less moving around and use it's going to get. Good to know Kawai is a pretty solid reliable brand.

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#2559644 - 07/29/16 06:45 PM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
MacMacMac Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 4739
Loc: North Carolina
rocket88 is right. But he presents only half of the story.

The other half is: Your likelihood of needing a repair during the extended warranty period is small.

Take the cost of an average repair (he gives $150 to $200) and multiply it by the likelihood of a repair (make your own guess, but I'll say 10%) and you derive the value of that warranty: $15 to $20.

So don't buy that warranty for $245! Instead, go into business selling warranties to people whose fear exceeds their sense.

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#2559707 - 07/30/16 12:06 AM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
jasondee34 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/27/16
Posts: 9
That's math makes sense, never thought of it that way. Yes that is the value to the warranty company. I'll see if I can get him to give it to me for $10 then that'll be a bargain.. laugh laugh Thanks again for the input MacMacMac.

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#2559765 - 07/30/16 10:36 AM Re: extended warranty on used/like new stage piano worth it? [Re: jasondee34]
newer player Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/16
Posts: 64
Lots of good info here.

The value of good personal property insurance is really for catastrophic damages of expensive items that would be a major burden (e.g. your house burns down or your car is totaled).

So to take MacMacMac's example a step further, think about the probability of a very expensive repair and how much that might be.

For example, assume your Kawai fails and is unrepairable, so you need to purchase a new one at $2,000. Say the probability of that happening during three years is 2%, then the value of the catastrophic part of the policy would be around $40. (Who knows if 2% is right but you get the idea. Maybe someone can chime in on the catastrophic failure risk rate of a digital piano but I don't read about too many).

Sam Ash's insurance still looks a bit expensive. But, as an individual you might want to derisk a small probability, high cost event. Such as the scenario where you faced catastrophic risk and won't have the $2,000 to buy a new MP7. Or if you simply feel more comfortable reducing the catastrophic risk to an absolute minimum.

That said, the insurance likely does not fully derisk you for items such as: theft, dropping the piano down a flight of stairs, floods, tornadoes, blizzards, coffee spills, etc...

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