Would You Buy a Used Kennedy Center Piano?

Posted by: Andy Platt

Would You Buy a Used Kennedy Center Piano? - 12/07/10 09:05 AM

So my wife, who is having heartburn about my current piano budget, was eager to show me a mailing we got from the Kennedy Center. They have recently purchased some new pianos and are selling their existing ones - Essex, Boston & Steinway; no idea which models.

Of course they will be sold at discounted prices prior to offer to the general public, have been well maintained, etc., etc..

My initial thoughts are:

  • The initial discount is bogus. Nobody tries to sell at the lowest price first and then raise it. It will be standard pricing. Anyone care to offer an opinion on that?
  • However well maintained these pianos are, I'm not sure that I would want one from the Kennedy Center or any other concert hall venue. But perhaps that's a bad impression I have?


Really I'm not quite ready to start shopping for my piano and I'm just hoping to persuade my wife not to rush me on her hopes that I'll buy a cheaper used model instead of one I actually want!!
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Would You Buy a Used Kennedy Center Piano? - 12/07/10 09:30 AM

Andy,

You are a perceptive man. Everything you said in your post rings true to promotions like this one.

Here is what happens. A few pianos are usually loaned to the institution, A D for performances and a couple of other grands in studios would be typical. In return the venue becomes an "All Steinway Venue" ( or an all "Yamaha, Young Chang, etc.)... sometimes while never purchasing a piano.

At a given point many other pianos are moved in by hired movers, mailers are sent, sales people, tuners, and office/financing people are hired, advertising is paid for, etc.

These costs are tremendous - MUCH higher than normal costs - and they bank on the perception of the general public that there is a deal to be had. My advice is to do your homework. There is no guarantee of a deal and, in fact, people regularly overpay at promotions like this one.

If you do your homework and work out a time where you can have a little privacy, then the advantage is you may have MORE of each model available in one location, but that is not always the case either.

This type of promotion is not different from any other "off site sale", like a college sale.

I hope that helps,


Posted by: Gyro

Re: Would You Buy a Used Kennedy Center Piano? - 12/07/10 03:02 PM

I wouldn't bite on this. How do you know these are actually from Kennedy Cntr.? They might be collecting used pianos from all over and selling them under the Kennedy Cntr. name. Plus, they've likely been pounded to junk, wherever they're from. Pianos don't get better with age, new in the showroom is the best they'll ever be. Get a new Essex from a store. I've been impressed with them.
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Would You Buy a Used Kennedy Center Piano? - 12/07/10 03:38 PM

Rich wrote a very good post. These types of sales are designed to put the most pressure on the least informed customer. They can be quite effective and I'm sure for some who just want to get their piano shopping over as quickly as possible and move on, these types of hard ball promotions are actually a help.

On principle, I avoid this type of promotion when i am buying anything. I hate that high pressure feeling that they generate.