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#908673 - 03/09/03 08:38 AM What is a gray market piano???
Jason_dup2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 151
Loc: Maryland
This might be a stupid question but I have read the term in quite a few posts and was wondering exactly what it means? What makes a piano grey market?

#908674 - 03/09/03 11:46 AM Re: What is a gray market piano???
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA

The term is actually misapplied. A true grey market item is a new item sold in the U.S. in such a way that it bypasses the U.S. distribution network- thus there can be no warranty or other support, because you can't expect "Acme USA" to back up a product they did not sell or make a profit on.

However, the term as we usually read it here has been applied to used, not new, Japanese pianos that are legally bought in Japan and legitimately sold in the U.S. The term is really a "sour grapes" perjorative, as Yamaha in particular has found that these used pianos, available in great number and at attractive prices, have messed up their overall marketing plan and have cut significantly into their new piano sales. Thus they have been waging a propaganda war against them by using this language to imply they are somehow illegitimate or illegal, which they are not. They have also been making attempts to limit or deny repair/replacement parts for these pianos.


Rick Clark
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

#908675 - 03/09/03 03:54 PM Re: What is a gray market piano???
topdog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 245
Loc: San Jose
Rich...Good answer!

We sell a lot of Used Yamaha's/Kawai's/Young Chang's/Samick's or so called Gray Market pianos and usually have very few problems with them. They cost at least half of what new products go for and they are usually very clean when you buy selectively.

They have a price range, as well, and you can find levels of quality in used similar model pianos. You must be careful as to what you buy and from whom you buy. A good dealer will stand behind any product they may sell.

#908676 - 03/09/03 05:39 PM Re: What is a gray market piano???
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1384
Loc: Maine, U.S.
In Yamaha's propaganda against grey market pianos, I wonder if to dissuade they say, "If you buy a grey market C-Series grand, the bass will be even more woody, the treble even more brittle, and the tone decay even faster than one of our brand new models--if that's possible!"

#908677 - 03/09/03 06:00 PM Re: What is a gray market piano???
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14984
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Personally I believe that the whole 'grey market question' has been a complete fiasko for the name Yamaha.

Including the realistic "investment value" of [any] such piano should you decide to purchase this brand at all.

There is no other world class product on the market that has been embroiled in so much controversy and allegations of sorts WITHIN its very own product line.

And no matter what "the truth" of the whole thing is, it has created a controversy or at least a huge amount of consumer doubt which will and MUST linger around for years to come.

Meantime,many other manufacturers have come to improve their product lines today to such an extent that they can now offer a far more reliable [manufacturer's full warranty on the WHOLE piano!] -purchase experience for same cost..

.....BRAND NEW!!

And they certainly haven't stopped to bring out even better products - seemingly non-stop....

It's for every shopper to go out and find the many
'true bargains' available out there today....

["grey market"......or NOT[/b] !!]

norbert \:\)
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908

#908678 - 03/09/03 06:14 PM Re: What is a gray market piano???
Jason_dup2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 151
Loc: Maryland
So gray market is used, now why don't people just say that
I don't think the average consumer cares where the piano was orginally bought so long as the product is of good quality right now. If Yamaha is saying that gray market pianos are substandard then they are admitting to producing substandard pianos in a different market.

After living in Japan for four years, which is prior to me taking an interest in the piano, I can say that the Hondas in Japan are inferior to the Hondas in the USA. Why is this, I have no idea. Proably the same reason Fords in Europe are better than the Fords in the USA. Because they can simply get away with lower quality in the home market. That on top of the fact that we Americans demand that everything be less expensive but we also demand our wages to be higher, well there is only one thing that can suffer in light of that, quality.

I'm sorry, it seems as I have gone off on a tangent \:D Good thing it is only my opinion \:D :p

#908679 - 03/09/03 06:27 PM Re: What is a gray market piano???
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14984
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
I still have an older brochure by Yamaha which proudly states that " all woods for building the piano are dried down to 20%"

Perhaps this was o.k. for some oriental countries

Today - in Europe/North America every manufacturer knows that really 3-5 % is MINIMUM!

And I have no doubt that every Yamaha TODAY...
is built this way!

P.S. We all learn in life.....

Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908

#908680 - 03/10/03 03:53 PM Re: What is a gray market piano???
Venus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 17
Loc: Hong Kong
Talking about gray market, its been there for years and the products portfolio extended from electronic products such as TV, notebook , MP3 to branded LV, cosmetics, foodstuff...you name it, you got it. Backhome, those seller in gray market are very much orgranised they do provide warranty and after sale services, somehow not much less than what an authorised agent do,the repairer working for the original manufacturer work freelancely with that gray market supplier providing maintenance to their customer. For myself, i don't mind going for gray market products provided i will check out very carefully if the products are fully funtional in spite of change of geographical situation say some notebook computer from Japan cannot be used back home due to imcompatible os programming etc ending up it may require some finetuning that may cost much.....not knowing much in the case of a digital piano, can anyone tell what need to be attended to carefully ??


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