How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members?

Posted by: Nick Mauel

How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 06:11 PM

Greetings everyone,

I thought I would pass on what I just read on a dealer's site regarding 8 myths discussed here:

http://www.steinwayarizona.com/news/buying-a-used-steinway/

Quote:

MYTH #6:
Pianoworld.com is the best source for information about purchasing a piano.

Inevitably the search for piano information on the internet will lead to pianoworld.com. Pianoworld.com is dominated by a handful of technicians/salespeople who express their opinions as facts. These so-called experts apparently aren’t in such demand in their local market so they have enough time on their hands to make tens of thousands of posts. Many of these posts or advice reports are by people who don’t even exist—-they are fictitious. The ones that are real people rarely work for a Steinway dealership. In fact many of them haven’t worked on a Steinway & Sons in years and have never played a new Boston or Essex piano. They give advice on pianos they haven’t personally heard or played. The best source of information is your local piano dealer where you can physically hear and play a variety of pianos and talk face-to-face with an expert who values their reputation in the community they serve.


I liked the part I put in bold...

Your thoughts?

Thanks,

Nick
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 06:20 PM

Consider the source.

If you are ever in need of some good bulls__t, head for your nearest Steinway dealer.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 06:35 PM

Nick, you bring up a very good question... but quite frankly I do not agree with the “myth” statements you mentioned. I do not think that PW is dominated by a handful of professionals (technicians and salespeople) who have nothing else to do but hang out on PW and give biased advice all day long… there may be a few “fictitious” members here, (until they are found out and banned) but most members here, who are piano professionals, are legitimate in my view. And, I think they provide an invaluable service to our members and visitors.

Also, as I read your thread and took a look at the Steinway dealer web site you referenced, I thought about the one fictitious and deceitful member here that I recall, Piano Madam, who was actually a Steinway salesperson and turned out to have multiple forum names and personalities which were actually fictitious (who was permanently banned, by the way). I see a good bit of irony in that, based on the Steinway dealer “myths” … The pot calling the kettle black, maybe?

So, I still happen to think that Piano World is one of the best sources of piano advice and information on the internet or anywhere else…

Rick
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 06:38 PM

I pleased there are a few official Steinway folks that participate on occasion. However, I've noticed that the rare appearances of Steinway dealers are short-lived and tumultuous. I wonder if Steinway has ever suggested against dealer participation since I don't know of even one "regular" member.

Over on the Digital Forum, the rare appearances from manufacturers are embraced almost to the point of celebration. I wonder if that could be enjoyed here on a larger scale.

This is an invitation not just to Steinway but to any willing manufacturer: a confident, engaging voice explaining a manufacturer's point of view carries some risk but I think even more tremendous reward in a small industry like ours especially in an era when people expect to "shop" and "research" every purchase from their organic apples and "free-range" chicken to their "green" clothiers, safely-tested cosmetics and certainly pianos.

If that dealer has taken this position, they risk losing or turning away the current and next generation of buyers. Anybody here think the whole "internet" thing will just blow over our traditional industry?
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 06:44 PM

Rick I agree..I'd say everyone has an opinion regarding "new" pianos,like 57 flavors of ice cream..but if your in the market for a vintage/used..PW is a wealth of trusted info by
our tech members dept.. smile
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 07:07 PM

That Steinway sight is hard on the eyes to read, I think. More than one "myth" on that site, is just that, a myth in and of itself, written for a purpose no doubt, his own.

Older is not better? I think he is crying for piano sales... We have a 1920 Steinway D at my college that was completely rebuilt but for the sound board and bridges that is a fantastic grand! I like that one better than many of the newer pianos.

I tune the brands that he says that we do not tune and apparently, have never seen... He is sooooo full of himself and "it."

After reading what he says I, for one, would certainly not recommend that particular dealer for any reason whatsoever! He's shooting himself in the foot!

He's blowing smoke and full of baloney.
Posted by: Ed Foote

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 07:48 PM

Nick sez:
"The best source of information is your local piano dealer where you can physically hear and play a variety of pianos and talk face-to-face with an expert who values their reputation in the community they serve."

Hmm, the biggest problem I have with that is that dealers lie. There is such a vested interest in any of them that the buyer who simply believes what the dealer says is going to buy what that dealer sells.

However, when a potential customer goes to two or three dealers, they end up calling someone like me because they have become confused. I don't sell pianos, (well I have sold 16 rebuilt ones in 32 years), so I have no brand loyalty. I have no vested interest, I have no reason to lie. I do have a lot of experience watching pianos wear, few dealers do. I think a smarter customer is going to listen to techs rather than dealers. If you want to know the most dependable car, dishwasher, computer, piano, etc. talk to the mechanics, not the salepeople.

There are many others like this on PW, we are a de facto, peer-reviewed group, and though I often see postings that my experience differs from, by and large, the info you will see distilled here is going to be of more value than what a customer will get from virtually any dealership.

Now, if there was just some way for us to make money off this...
Regards,
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 08:04 PM

Ed,

In your post you stated "Nick sez: ..."

This is not true.

I simply quoted something that another source is publishing as 'myth'.

I support PianoWorld as a source of good information and agree with other posters here.

Thanks,

Nick

PS - only some dealers lie.

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Hmm, the biggest problem I have with that is that dealers lie.
Posted by: dsch

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 08:08 PM

I've received excellent advice from people on this forum (even more than one person in this thread) as well as from other dealers on the phone and in person.

I know that some dealers might be shifty but the ones I've encountered have been straightforward and I have no reason to be suspect. I wish I had the bucks to support them all, but in the end there will be only one purchase.

Thanks to all who have helped me! I wish you all continued success and I am grateful for this forum.

I have to say, though, in the end, despite the advice, the books, the research--there is no substitute for making a lot of road trips.

The ear, heart, and fingers are fickle and what we like and respond to coupled with what we can afford is really an individual thing.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: dsch
I've received excellent advice from people on this forum (even more than one person in this thread) as well as from other dealers on the phone and in person.

I know that some dealers might be shifty but the ones I've encountered have been straightforward and I have no reason to be suspect. I wish I had the bucks to support them all, but in the end there will be only one purchase.

Thanks to all who have helped me! I wish you all continued success and I am grateful for this forum.

I have to say, though, in the end, despite the advice, the books, the research--there is no substitute for making a lot of road trips.

The ear, heart, and fingers are fickle and what we like and respond to coupled with what we can afford is really an individual thing.


Best of luck dsch,
Your last two sentences are exactly correct.

You might pick up some good ideas/suggestions here on the forums, and from books and dealers, but in the end only you can make the decision.

Keep us posted.
Posted by: Rusty Fortysome

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 09:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel

MYTH #6:
Pianoworld.com is the best source for information about purchasing a piano.

Pianoworld.com is dominated by a handful of technicians/salespeople who express their opinions as facts....

RIGHT. And wrong. It is dominated by such, but it isn't completely so. This forum is called "pianoDEALERworld.com" for a reason.

However, there are lots of "normal" folks (mere consumers/players) on here. Learn to look at the sigs and see who is whom.

Quote:
In fact many of them haven’t worked on a Steinway & Sons in years and have never played a new Boston or Essex piano. They give advice on pianos they haven’t personally heard or played.

BULL. I'd bet most have played on Bostons and Essex and found out how AWFUL they are. If someone on here isn't saying that, they are probably a dealer, paid schill, or have one of the few amazing Boston/Essex pianos ever made. I've run across a few very well-paid schills for Steinway/Kawai on the boards.

Quote:

Your thoughts?


Use your head. If that dealer is saying that, I'd ignore him. LET THE PRODUCT SPEAK FOR ITSELF. Forget all the words: this is a world of sound and touch.
Posted by: RachOn

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/07/12 10:28 PM

That Arizona dealer's page sure supports the notion that Steinway believes their strongest competition is from used Steinways; and he's doing whatever he can to thwart it.
Posted by: backto_study_piano

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 12:04 AM

Myth busted. The worst information I received was from dealers and manufacturer's agents. They were highly defensive about their product, even when presented in a lacklustre manner - which, when paying $100,000+ shouldn't happen - and even insulting to critical critique. And one dealer used the same type of dishonest tricks as a used car salesman uses.

The best information was from PianoWorld Forums.

I would add that, due to manufacturer's interference on the forum, it is essential to be sure that the comments by posters has not been watered down or edited to please such manufacturers.
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 02:06 AM

Myth #9

Steinway AZ is a knowledgeable, reputable, ethical, and friendly dealer.
Posted by: James Scott

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 02:27 AM

Obviously they find each one of those "myths" a threat to their business and they need to, as RachOn said, "thwart" them. I do tend to believe each one of those "myths" (for the most part), but not because I'm stupid, as they seem to imply, or willing to take substandard and biased opinions from people on this web site who don't seem to know what they're talking about, but because I've been around and done my homework. In fact, I've found the information, suggestions, and opinions here to be among the most reliable of any place I've been.

Funny thing is that I know the people running that particular shop in Phoenix. They are nice enough, if you're looking for a Steinway, but don't dare mention anything else or they go on a rampage. I know that they're trying to sell a particular brand, but there's no need to trash everybody else. I know a guy who owns a shop that sells Kawai, M&H, Schimmel, and several other brands. Mostly new, but he does carry several used items of whatever brands. It wouldn't do him very good to talk smack about Steinway because he might get a used one in the next day.

I believe that Steinway makes good instruments but they seem to have an over inflated view of their own selfworth. It's one thing to be proud of yourself but there's no reason to disparage everyone else just because you can't take the competition. In my opinion, Steinway is WAY over priced for what you get. I can get a piano that's just as good from M&H or somebody for half the price.

I was at a little after hours seminar at their store not too long ago and I went thinking that it was going to be a good seminar on technical stuff but only turned out to be a sales pitch. They did this thing where STEINWAY was an anagram for a bunch of things and "I" stood for "Investment". Meaning that a Steinway will hold it's value for ever just about. However, their number one "myth", that older Steinways are better than new ones, seems to contradict their own sales pitch. If they're not then why the heck are they nearly as expensive as a new one? Hmm? Answer me that?
Posted by: James Scott

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 02:32 AM

I did forget to mention that they tend to close up shop every two or three years and then open up 6 months later somewhere else. They've been in like 5 different locations since I've started going there about 15 years ago. I've always found that a bit odd.
Posted by: carey

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 03:04 AM

Originally Posted By: James Scott
I did forget to mention that they tend to close up shop every two or three years and then open up 6 months later somewhere else. They've been in like 5 different locations since I've started going there about 15 years ago. I've always found that a bit odd.


James - My understanding is that Sherman Clay chose not to renew their five year lease for the showroom at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Acoma partially because the space was too large (expensive), the recession was in full swing, and they were having problems keeping managers. A few months later a new manager took over who opened a smaller store nearby while the current location in the same strip mall could be secured and renovated. The current and two previous locations were affiliated with Sherman Clay. I could be wrong, but I believe the other Scottsdale Road location from 15 years ago wasn't connected to Sherman Clay. My point is the the "they" you refer to weren't the same people over the years - so there is really nothing "odd" about it.
Posted by: carey

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 03:07 AM

Originally Posted By: James Scott
Funny thing is that I know the people running that particular shop in Phoenix. They are nice enough, if you're looking for a Steinway, but don't dare mention anything else or they go on a rampage. I know that they're trying to sell a particular brand, but there's no need to trash everybody else. I know a guy who owns a shop that sells Kawai, M&H, Schimmel, and several other brands. Mostly new, but he does carry several used items of whatever brands. It wouldn't do him very good to talk smack about Steinway because he might get a used one in the next day.


Small world - I know all those folks too !! grin
Posted by: wouter79

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 03:38 AM

Quote:
These so-called experts apparently aren’t in such demand in their local market so they have enough time on their hands to make tens of thousands of posts. Many of these posts or advice reports are by people who don’t even exist—-they are fictitious.


"people that do not exist", this is a Contradictio in terminis since people always exist? Maybe he is trying to say that there are posters that use other than their real names. But that's nothing new, right?

Quote:
Pianoworld.com is dominated by a handful of technicians/salespeople who express their opinions as facts


False for two reasons: There are plenty of dominant non-techs/salespeople here.

I guess he is entirely focused on steinway-related posts and ignores the rest of the world.

I believe the advice you get here is more objective and nuanced than the advice from this Steinway dealer.
Posted by: Ken Knapp

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 05:21 AM

This sounds similar to statements discussed in THIS TOPIC.
Posted by: TheSockPuppet

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 09:44 AM

What is a "Yamaha Products Manager?" Sound an awful lot like piano salesman to me.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 10:05 AM

Originally Posted By: thesockpuppet
What is a "Yamaha Products Manager?" Sound an awful lot like piano salesman to me.

Okay, sock… your comment is a sarcastic jab at Ken Knapp. You are treading on thin ice here… you haven’t been around much lately, but you come in here and attempt to discredit Ken in some way. Well, as we say here in the south, it ain’t gonna work…

Yes, Ken works in the piano/organ business… so what? I know of no one on this forum, or in real life who has more character and integrity than Ken Knapp…

Rick
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 12:03 PM

This is a strange, unsettling, thread. I guess I am not a real person according to the first post? I am not a tech, tuner, piano manufacturer, store owner, salesman, or whatever. Just a piano addict and I come to this site every day because it interests me a lot. I have some experience with Steinway, the pianos, and the stores. I like the pianos a lot, but I bought a Mason-Hamlin. Why? I liked it a lot and the prices on Steinways were impossible for me. It's really that simple. The local Steinway dealer was very nice and his pianos were great. Just too much money. I had to buy a used Mason-Hamlin to get into a price range I could live with, but a similar aged Steinway would have still been way over my budget. Not sure why Steinway doesn't give a little more discount. I truly believe the Mason-Hamlin is just as well built and maybe even better. I know Steinway believes itself to be in a higher league than other pianos and I think, if you are a manufacturer with a long history of research and design patents, you are expected to feel that way, but I imagine most top tier companies feel the same way. Bechstein, Bosie, etc. must feel they are the best at what they do, too. There is room in the world for lots of different brands. The accusations that PW is not made up of real people interested in sharing piano information is ridiculous. Any site may have a few phonies, but I have learned much reading the posts here and on the technicians threads, as well as tips on performing on the other forums. I think PW is a great service to the piano community.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 12:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
This is a strange, unsettling, thread. I guess I am not a real person according to the first post?
The first post quoted an article from a Steinway dealer's website. I don't think it's meant to be he the actual opinion of the person starting this thread. The majority of non dealer posters at PW don't use their real names so I wouldn't worry about not being a real person.

That being said I'm not sure about why the thread was started to begin with. I think it's obvious that most PW posters wouldn't agree with what was posted on the Steinway dealer's site. Since the thread was started by a dealer, it appears to me as if the thread is an example of one dealer starting a thread to bad mouth another dealer or company.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 12:50 PM

CL49,

Do you realize that the first posting, from Nick Mauel, was a quote from a Steinway dealership putting all of us at Piano World down? It was nothing more than truly embarrassing verbage from a dealer with a bad case of sour grapes. Obviously this site carries some weight, and notice, within the piano industry or that particular dealership wouldn't feel so compelled to lash out.

As a very proud owner of three Steinways, I do observe however, that "Steinway bashing" seems to be very much in fashion in this particular forum.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 12:52 PM

PLU - Seems we were typing at the same time.
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 01:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

As a very proud owner of three Steinways, I do observe however, that "Steinway bashing" seems to be very much in fashion in this particular forum.

Steinway as a company makes fine instruments and has much to be proud of. Where Steinway goes nuts is when it comes to their competition. When Steinway dismisses some of the oldest most respected brands in the world they lose credibility. For non-musicians that's okay, they know the Steinway name and nothing else. That's a testament to Steinway's marketing prowess. However, when pianists play other instruments they realize there're many fine brands out there and ultimately the bad mouthing reflects badly on the company that seems to do it the most, Steinway.

In this case all the Arizona Steinway dealer has accomplished is to advertise the Piano World site on his own web page. Anyone coming here from that site reading this thread would realize the folly of those words. I don't understand why some business people do that. In general I believe there's a lot of respect for Steinway here, after all they do make a great piano (just not always). What that dealer refers to as bashing is just observations of reality. Has Steinway addressed their QC problems from a few years ago? I believe so, but anyone shopping and playing instruments will realize that there are brands that offer far better value, but they're not Steinways.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 02:13 PM

Marty, I think the forum reflects the same opinion of Steinway as I hold personally. Steinway is a wonderful piano. Especially the model "D". Problems arise with their marketing tactics and with postings like the perfect example presented at the start of this thread.

As a regular visitor to Piano World, I find the statement offensive and feel it should be removed.
Posted by: woodog

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 02:18 PM

How good is the advice from PianoWorld members?

I get all my medical advice here. They are GREAT.

Forrest
Posted by: Guapo Gabacho

Hey Steinway dealer - 10/08/12 03:30 PM

A few people disagree with you:
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
... anyone shopping and playing instruments will realize that there are brands that offer far better value, but they're not Steinways.

Mr. Chandler,

Please explain what you mean by value? Is that based only on the cost of a new instrument?

Here is a direct comparison of two great builders, in the same size of 5'-7", both polished ebony, and based solely on the published MSRP and SMP. These are the only upper level builders who have a direct comparison. There are certainly other builders for comparison, but the sizes vary, so that becomes an apples to oranges comparison. I agree that some of those are better "cost value" and others are considerably more expensive.

Steinway & Sons - $65,700
Steingraeber & Sohne - $93,382

Which holds the greater "value?" That is a decision which can only be made by an individual pianist based on personal preferences.

Individual dealers aside, the "official" websites of Steinway and Steingraeber make no reference, by name, to any other builder. That holds true for all of the great manufacturers. Do they all proclaim their product to be the finest? Of course they do. They all market their pianos to their own advantage.

I consider your statement to be another blanket swipe against Steinway as is evidenced so often in the Piano Forum.
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
... anyone shopping and playing instruments will realize that there are brands that offer far better value, but they're not Steinways.

Mr. Chandler,

Please explain what you mean by value? Is that based only on the cost of a new instrument?

Here is a direct comparison of two great builders, in the same size of 5'-7", both polished ebony, and based solely on the published MSRP and SMP. These are the only upper level builders who have a direct comparison. There are certainly other builders for comparison, but the sizes vary, so that becomes an apples to oranges comparison. I agree that some of those are better "cost value" and others are considerably more expensive.

Steinway & Sons - $65,700
Steingraeber & Sohne - $93,382

Which holds the greater "value?" That is a decision which can only be made by an individual pianist based on personal preferences.

Individual dealers aside, the "official" websites of Steinway and Steingraeber make no reference, by name, to any other builder. That holds true for all of the great manufacturers. Do they all proclaim their product to be the finest? Of course they do. They all market their pianos to their own advantage.

I consider your statement to be another blanket swipe against Steinway as is evidenced so often in the Piano Forum.



Marty

The question really is, however - what is the actual selling price or "street" price of the pianos.

I have a good idea, and the differential is, shall we say, much smaller in actual fact than appears from the figures stated above.

And I can also tell you that, IMVHO - I would take the Steingraeber 100 times over a Steinway "M".

Absolutely no comparison - again IMHO.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 04:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
... anyone shopping and playing instruments will realize that there are brands that offer far better value, but they're not Steinways.

Mr. Chandler,

Please explain what you mean by value? Is that based only on the cost of a new instrument?

Here is a direct comparison of two great builders, in the same size of 5'-7", both polished ebony, and based solely on the published MSRP and SMP. These are the only upper level builders who have a direct comparison. There are certainly other builders for comparison, but the sizes vary, so that becomes an apples to oranges comparison. I agree that some of those are better "cost value" and others are considerably more expensive.

Steinway & Sons - $65,700
Steingraeber & Sohne - $93,382

Which holds the greater "value?" That is a decision which can only be made by an individual pianist based on personal preferences.

Individual dealers aside, the "official" websites of Steinway and Steingraeber make no reference, by name, to any other builder. That holds true for all of the great manufacturers. Do they all proclaim their product to be the finest? Of course they do. They all market their pianos to their own advantage.

I consider your statement to be another blanket swipe against Steinway as is evidenced so often in the Piano Forum.
There must be tens of thousands of posts at PW where people have expressed their opinion about different pianos and one part of the equation that has been discussed many times is value. How was Chandler's post different from any of those others posts?

Isn't it obvious that "value", for at least 99% of those using that word, is always related to price? Doesn't virtually everyone take it to mean how much you get for what you pay?

Finally, it's easy to make other comparisons with a Steinway M and when the pianos are a different size it's no harder to compare their value. For example a Mason BB has an SMP slightly less than a Steinway M and an actual selling price around 20K than a Steinway M.
Posted by: JimF

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 04:40 PM

My local Steinway dealer did exactly what my local Yamaha dealer and my local Kawai dealer did.....that is, he made every attempt to trash-talk the competition, with both innuendo and mis-statement of fact. Indeed, that was the case with all but a handful of the dealers (I should say the salesperson representing the store at that time) that I encountered during a six month multi-city, multi-state search.

After a while I was actually glad when the trash talking started, because then I could tune out and move on to a different seller. Why anyone whould want to do business with such people is beyond me.

In the end I believe the market will reward the honest straight shooters, and people like the quoted dealer in the OP will get just what they deserve....no customers.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 04:57 PM

I addressed Mr. Chandler directly about his specific usage.

The results were predictable. More sniping at Steinway and the countering of information stated by me based on published information. Absolutely nothing I said was disparaging of any other manufacturer or made in any comparison other than cost.

My pianos hold more value to me than do other brands and the values are not based on cost analysis. Do I respect and enjoy playing the great instruments of other builders? I most certainly do. What I don't do is dismiss them out of hand.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 05:40 PM

I need to jump in here, speaking as a representative of Piano Buyer.

Using MSRP and SMP to compare prices or values is a valid approach EXCEPT in the case of Steinway. As Larry points out, In most cases, discounts from the Suggested Maximum Price range from 10 to 30 percent... Important exception: Discounts on Steinway pianos generally range from 0 to 10 percent.
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall12/196.html

So the selling price of a Steinway pianos with the same SMP would be considerably higher. In fact, in the example Marty noted the two pianos might well sell at the same price.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 05:46 PM

Steve Cohen,

But, as I pointed out, Steingraeber has an SMP exactly the same as the MSRP. Does not the same logic apply as in Steinway? The dealer here doesn't offer much in the way of discounts on the Steingraebers as they do on the other brands they carry.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 08:36 PM

As far as I know, the only manufacturer that is able to maintain discounts of only 0%-10% off SMP is Steinway.
Posted by: James Scott

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 10:27 PM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: James Scott
I did forget to mention that they tend to close up shop every two or three years and then open up 6 months later somewhere else. They've been in like 5 different locations since I've started going there about 15 years ago. I've always found that a bit odd.


James - My understanding is that Sherman Clay chose not to renew their five year lease for the showroom at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Acoma partially because the space was too large (expensive), the recession was in full swing, and they were having problems keeping managers. A few months later a new manager took over who opened a smaller store nearby while the current location in the same strip mall could be secured and renovated. The current and two previous locations were affiliated with Sherman Clay. I could be wrong, but I believe the other Scottsdale Road location from 15 years ago wasn't connected to Sherman Clay. My point is the the "they" you refer to weren't the same people over the years - so there is really nothing "odd" about it.


Carey, you are probably right about all of this. I was wondering why they'd be doing that all of the time. Before they moved to their previous digs on Acoma they were in a shop on Chapparal (sp.), before that they were in a big round building somewhere in Phoenix, I don't remember where exactly. BTW, that big round building is where I got to play one of Horowitz's pianos for a few minutes. I don't recall if each time they were the same people or not. I'm still on their email list and have seen a few nice free concerts there at the shop. They also gave me a copy of "Note by Note: etc." on DVD. Like I said, they were nice people, just don't mention another brand in front of them.
Posted by: carey

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/08/12 11:50 PM

Originally Posted By: James Scott
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: James Scott
I did forget to mention that they tend to close up shop every two or three years and then open up 6 months later somewhere else. They've been in like 5 different locations since I've started going there about 15 years ago. I've always found that a bit odd.


James - My understanding is that Sherman Clay chose not to renew their five year lease for the showroom at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Acoma partially because the space was too large (expensive), the recession was in full swing, and they were having problems keeping managers. A few months later a new manager took over who opened a smaller store nearby while the current location in the same strip mall could be secured and renovated. The current and two previous locations were affiliated with Sherman Clay. I could be wrong, but I believe the other Scottsdale Road location from 15 years ago wasn't connected to Sherman Clay. My point is the the "they" you refer to weren't the same people over the years - so there is really nothing "odd" about it.


Carey, you are probably right about all of this. I was wondering why they'd be doing that all of the time. Before they moved to their previous digs on Acoma they were in a shop on Chapparal (sp.), before that they were in a big round building somewhere in Phoenix, I don't remember where exactly. BTW, that big round building is where I got to play one of Horowitz's pianos for a few minutes. I don't recall if each time they were the same people or not. I'm still on their email list and have seen a few nice free concerts there at the shop. They also gave me a copy of "Note by Note: etc." on DVD. Like I said, they were nice people, just don't mention another brand in front of them.


I'm on the e-mail list as well. And yes, they're nice people.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/09/12 12:15 AM

To the OP: I, sir, consider my own opinion to be paramount and above question from anyone. wink

Steve- I think you're right about Steinway SMP. To me, it seems they one of the only companies with that strong a brand recognition/perceived value that could get away with what you have described. I think of this like Ferrari or Lamborghini-- might not be the absolute best cars on the road, but the perceived brand value and recognition is high enough and their production limited enough that they do not need to discount their products in order to sell out the line.

"Steinway bashing" -- I think it should be important to distinguish objective discussions from subjective bashing. What some may consider the "bashing" of the Steinway brand may simply be an honest opinion about the state of their company/brand. I, for one, believe they make one of the greatest pianos on the market, but I am not blinded to the idea of being critical about their product or their company.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/09/12 10:54 AM

Isn't odd how some items have name value..Steinway,Rolex,Rolls Royce,..yet items that have
true monetary worth, gold ,silver, diamonds, are not helped by a "brand name"
pianos, watches, cars, only have a "percieved value"... smile
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/09/12 11:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
... anyone shopping and playing instruments will realize that there are brands that offer far better value, but they're not Steinways.

Mr. Chandler,

Please explain what you mean by value? Is that based only on the cost of a new instrument?

Here is a direct comparison of two great builders, in the same size of 5'-7", both polished ebony, and based solely on the published MSRP and SMP. These are the only upper level builders who have a direct comparison. There are certainly other builders for comparison, but the sizes vary, so that becomes an apples to oranges comparison. I agree that some of those are better "cost value" and others are considerably more expensive.

Steinway & Sons - $65,700
Steingraeber & Sohne - $93,382

Which holds the greater "value?" That is a decision which can only be made by an individual pianist based on personal preferences.

Individual dealers aside, the "official" websites of Steinway and Steingraeber make no reference, by name, to any other builder. That holds true for all of the great manufacturers. Do they all proclaim their product to be the finest? Of course they do. They all market their pianos to their own advantage.

I consider your statement to be another blanket swipe against Steinway as is evidenced so often in the Piano Forum.

Marty,

I was referring to the fact that when I bought my Estonia 190 I paid about $25K (5-6 years ago). I saw prices for a Steinway M of over $50K yet I considered the Estonia the better piano. For me the Estonia was a far better value.

My only mistake was projecting my personal experience as the experience of any decent pianist when shopping instruments. Based on what I've read on this forum since I joined more than a decade ago I don't feel that was unreasonable. I've played some wonderful Steinway pianos, but none of them was what I'd consider a bargain.
Posted by: Bobpickle

Re: Hey Steinway dealer - 10/10/12 04:43 AM

hah. A funny read, thanks for sharing
Posted by: Dara

Re: Hey Steinway dealer - 10/10/12 05:51 AM

How did the thread title switch all of a sudden to "Hey Steinway Dealer" ?
Posted by: carey

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/10/12 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler

I was referring to the fact that when I bought my Estonia 190 I paid about $25K (5-6 years ago). I saw prices for a Steinway M of over $50K yet I considered the Estonia the better piano. For me the Estonia was a far better value.

The $50K for the Steinway M breaks down as follows:

-- $25K for a good, well built little piano
-- $25K for the name on the fallboard

Steinways are wonderful pianos. I always enjoy trying them out at the store. But when I see a price tag of $54K and higher for a brand new S - and remember that the price keeps going up every year - I simply shake my head is disbelief.
Posted by: Rusty Fortysome

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/10/12 10:33 AM

Did anyone notice the unspoken myth?

Originally Posted By: Myth #9

ANY piano not purchased NEW from ARIZONA STEINWAY at TOP DOLLAR is poopie. People will laugh at you for having a piano from any other dealer.


Some bias might be had.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/10/12 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Rusty Fortysome
Did anyone notice the unspoken myth?

Originally Posted By: Myth #9

ANY piano not purchased NEW from ARIZONA STEINWAY at TOP DOLLAR is poopie. People will laugh at you for having a piano from any other dealer.


Some bias might be had.

I am particularly fond of the industry term, "poopie".
Posted by: Ori

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/10/12 11:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
I need to jump in here, speaking as a representative of Piano Buyer.

Using MSRP and SMP to compare prices or values is a valid approach EXCEPT in the case of Steinway. As Larry points out, In most cases, discounts from the Suggested Maximum Price range from 10 to 30 percent... Important exception: Discounts on Steinway pianos generally range from 0 to 10 percent.
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall12/196.html

So the selling price of a Steinway pianos with the same SMP would be considerably higher. In fact, in the example Marty noted the two pianos might well sell at the same price.



Steve,

First, forgive me for pointing out, but in spite of your statement above I doubt that you are 'speaking here as a representative of piano buyer'.

You may have done a good job in the advertizing department, but I'm sure that Larry Fine has a way of separating the advertizing department from the content...and here, my friend, we definitely deal with content.

Second, and the reason I decided to chime in here, is because somehow you seem to turn selling at higher than normal margins into a virtue.

Since the SMP is largely based on wholesale cost, if between two pianos of similar SMP one is offered at a 20% discount while the other at only 5% discount... it means that the latter is simply sold at a higher margin.

If one gets from the selling dealer a substantially better service, piano preparation or special care I can understand that it may be reflected in the price.

However, I don't think that there is an advantage to the service and preparation offered by Steinway dealers over many other quality dealers that are able to operate average industry margins.

And finally, if you decide to discount by only 5% at your dealership...you may find that your sales too can drop by 60% over a few short years!

Just something to think about.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/11/12 11:21 PM

How did we get this far off topic???
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/12/12 10:45 AM

So, the fact that Steinway is honest about their prices is a negative?
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/12/12 11:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Ori
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
I need to jump in here, speaking as a representative of Piano Buyer.

Using MSRP and SMP to compare prices or values is a valid approach EXCEPT in the case of Steinway. As Larry points out, In most cases, discounts from the Suggested Maximum Price range from 10 to 30 percent... Important exception: Discounts on Steinway pianos generally range from 0 to 10 percent.
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall12/196.html

So the selling price of a Steinway pianos with the same SMP would be considerably higher. In fact, in the example Marty noted the two pianos might well sell at the same price.
Second, and the reason I decided to chime in here, is because somehow you seem to turn selling at higher than normal margins into a virtue.
It seems to me all Steve did was explain that when using the SMP one should only expect a 0-10% discount for a Steinway compared to a larger discount from other makers. I see absolutely nothing in his statement that says this is good, bad , or anything in between.

He was explaining why the Steinway vs. Steingraeber actual selling prices could be far different from what one would expect if one incorrectly assumed that the typical selling prices would involve the same discount form SMP. In fact, as a Steingraeber dealer, I would have expected that his explanation would be welcomed by you because some readers of the PB don't read it's explanation of SMP very carefully and would wrongly assume that the selling price of the Steingraeber model mentioned, because of its higher SMP, would be much higher than the Steinway.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/12/12 11:43 AM

So, if someone came in and offered to buy a Steingraeber for the SMP the dealer would refuse the offer?
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/12/12 12:45 PM

Ori,

1st, Larry has authorized me to represent him and Piano Buyer contentually on Piano World and has posted that here many times.

That said, I agree with the points you make. I do not think that selling at a higher margin in a virtue. I also don't think that there is an advantage to the service and preparation offered by Steinway dealers over many other quality dealers that are able to operate average industry margins.

I would even go so far as to use you and others in the NYC market as examples... I have seen the way many NYC dealers prepare, and market their lines and find a consistently high-quality prep, and reasonable margins within your market.
Posted by: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 12:50 PM

I am not sure how honest Steinway is about the prices on their pianos, from the discounting perspective anyway. Where I am, the Steinway dealership regularly puts on sale the piano that never goes on sale. I agree that the discount is not at the same percentage as many other brands, but the idea that Steinways are not discounted and never go on sale is not in my opinion in accord with the facts.

This is not important, however, at least in my view. What is important is what piano one loves and whether one can afford it. All the discounting in the world would not have persuaded me to buy a piano I did not love, nor would all the chatter about investment value or anything else have convinced me to hand over the money for a piano unless it called out to me as a piano first and foremost.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 01:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Plowboy
So, if someone came in and offered to buy a Steingraeber for the SMP the dealer would refuse the offer?


With Steingraeber, like Steinway, the SMP = MSRP. So, unless there is a waiting list for a particular model, they would take the offer. At the dealership here, the actual selling price is not lowered by as large of a percentage as there would be on other brands. From discussions with other high end sellers, this seems to be the case with all of the very upper level, "elite name," instruments.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 02:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
I am not sure how honest Steinway is about the prices on their pianos, from the discounting perspective anyway. Where I am, the Steinway dealership regularly puts on sale the piano that never goes on sale. I agree that the discount is not at the same percentage as many other brands, but the idea that Steinways are not discounted and never go on sale is not in my opinion in accord with the facts.
The PB gives the discount range for Steinway a 0-10%.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 02:20 PM

Quote:
What is important is what piano one loves and whether one can afford it. All the discounting in the world would not have persuaded me to buy a piano I did not love, nor would all the chatter about investment value or anything else have convinced me to hand over the money for a piano unless it called out to me as a piano first and foremost.


+ 1

Norbert thumb
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 02:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Plowboy
So, the fact that Steinway is honest about their prices is a negative?
Not sure what you mean here.

If you mean there is less or no bargaining room, I don't think that necessarily implies honesty. It just means that customers at Steinway can't expect bargaining to get them a far as for dealers of other makes. If you mean that Steinway doesn't give inflated MSRP then I would agree with you, although the Piano Buyer/Piano Book has been around for so long that many people probably realize by now that MSRP is irrelevant. If Steinway was being very upfront about their prices, they might say that they have a bigger markup from dealer cost than most other makes.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If Steinway was being very upfront about their prices, they might say that they have a bigger markup from dealer cost than most other makes.

Upon what do you base this statement? Are you privy to Steinway documentation concerning the per unit/invoice cost to their dealers?
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 06:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If Steinway was being very upfront about their prices, they might say that they have a bigger markup from dealer cost than most other makes.

Upon what do you base this statement? Are you privy to Steinway documentation concerning the per unit/invoice cost to their dealers?
By dealer markup I meant, perhaps imprecisely(?), selling price as percent of dealer cost. Just reading the PB gives that conclusion. If the SMP is calculated based on a standard formula markup from the dealer's wholesale cost and Steinway sells its pianos for a smaller discount from SMP, then I think my conclusion would follow. It's already been mentioned a few times on this thread by other posters.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/13/12 08:33 PM

PLU,

I ask exactly the same question again. How do you arrive at your supposition/conjecture that Steinway is not "being very upfront" about their prices? No one has ever stated that is the case. Are you trying to say that Steinway is lying about being an expensive piano? Are you trying to contend that their instruments are sold at deep discount based on SMP?

Read and comprehend what you write and don't spout mere conjecture for the sake of ill-informed verbage.
Posted by: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 12:03 AM

I just think it's funny that someone feels the need to steer potential customers away from this site. If anything it shows how much power all of us people who don't exist are percieved to have. Don't go to pianoworld, they will confuse you with ideas and personal experiences and opinions that may interfere with your ability to walk to the nearest seller of pianos in a zombie-like state and mutter "I'll have a number three, super-size it, hold the benches."
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 06:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
PLU,

I ask exactly the same question again. How do you arrive at your supposition/conjecture that Steinway is not "being very upfront" about their prices? No one has ever stated that is the case. Are you trying to say that Steinway is lying about being an expensive piano? Are you trying to contend that their instruments are sold at deep discount based on SMP?

I don't think you understood my post and/or don't understand the concept of SMP.

For example, both I and other posters on this thread said the opposite of what you said I was "trying to contend". We said the discount from SMP was small(not deep). It's also clear from my posts and other posts that Steinway is an expensive piano. Their SMP is high and they typically sell for little markdown from the SMP. Everyone on the planet knows Steinway is expensive.

I think the phrase "Steinway is lying about being an expensive piano" makes no sense in any context, and I certainly didn't say it. Does that mean they'll be really cheap if you just ask them for a lower price?

The PB and Ori and I said the Steinway markup from wholesale cost was higher than most or perhaps all other makers. That is what I think Steinway is not being very upfront about.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 08:33 AM

PLU,

I asked you two direct questions about a statement that you made as the summation of a response you made to another poster. It was not in reference to SMP at all. To help you with your memory, I shall re-post our exchange.

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
[quote=pianoloverus]If Steinway was being very upfront about their prices, they might say that they have a bigger markup from dealer cost than most other makes.

Upon what do you base this statement? Are you privy to Steinway documentation concerning the per unit/invoice cost to their dealers?


You have yet to answer my questions to you directly. Your summation contains very strong implications of how Steinway conducts its business practices.

Please answer my questions without dodging them. Is your 'if/then' statement based on conjecture or fact? Nothing more, nothing less.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 09:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
I just think it's funny that someone feels the need to steer potential customers away from this site. If anything it shows how much power all of us people who don't exist are percieved to have. Don't go to pianoworld, they will confuse you with ideas and personal experiences and opinions that may interfere with your ability to walk to the nearest seller of pianos in a zombie-like state and mutter "I'll have a number three, super-size it, hold the benches."


Thanks for making such a good point!

And thanks for attempting to help get this thread back on topic...
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
PLU,

I asked you two direct questions about a statement that you made as the summation of a response you made to another poster. It was not in reference to SMP at all. To help you with your memory, I shall re-post our exchange.

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
[quote=pianoloverus]If Steinway was being very upfront about their prices, they might say that they have a bigger markup from dealer cost than most other makes.

Upon what do you base this statement? Are you privy to Steinway documentation concerning the per unit/invoice cost to their dealers?


You have yet to answer my questions to you directly. Your summation contains very strong implications of how Steinway conducts its business practices.

Please answer my questions without dodging them. Is your 'if/then' statement based on conjecture or fact? Nothing more, nothing less.
I have answered your question several times. There is no way to make it any clearer. Why would I have to be privy to a Steinway dealer's cost if their cost relative to other makes is available in the PB using the SMP? That's the whole idea and point of the SMP. Until I have any evidence to the contrary, I assume the PB figures are quite accurate. Fine has been publishing them for over 20 years.

Do you agree or disagree that Steinway's markup from wholesale is higher than most or all makers?

Do you agree or disagree that this conclusion follows from the Piano Buyer and has also been stated by two dealers on this thread?

Do you think that Steinway tells this upfront to their customers? Unless your answer to this question is "yes", then what are you disagreeing with?

Of course, Steinway is not the only maker who doesn't volunteer everything about pricing to potential customers. And I assume this is the case in almost every industry. For example, the whole idea of having a MSRP when the MSRP is much higher than the SMP could be called deceptive. All I did was repeat what has been said countless times before at PW and in the PB.

If the above is not clear, then there is nothing more I can say to make it clear.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 10:22 AM

PLU,

Now I understand you completely. You have no basis for your statement, you have no direct access to that information, and are merely parroting what other have stated based upon their opinion.

There is no way that I can answer your questions as I don't have access to the facts on which to construct direct and accurate answers. I won't answer based on my conjecture or my assumptions. That would be fruitless.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 10:58 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
PLU,

Now I understand you completely. You have no basis for your statement, you have no direct access to that information, and are merely parroting what other have stated based upon their opinion.

There is no way that I can answer your questions as I don't have access to the facts on which to construct direct and accurate answers. I won't answer based on my conjecture or my assumptions. That would be fruitless.
Of course I have a basis which is the Piano Buyer, Piano Book, and Supplement to the Piano Book which have been around for more than 20 years. If you disagree with any of the figures you should contact Larry Fine. I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume his figures are quite accurate, and what you call "parroting" I would call just repeating information that's generally accepted in the piano industry.

Fine's figures aren't "opinion". That word applies to something subjective like piano tone. They may not be perfect, and I think he says somewhere in the PB that occasionally he doesn't find the dealer wholesale costs as given to him by industry people to be completely reliable. I certainly think the figures a generally correct.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 05:48 PM

Plover may not be privvy to the actual dealer cost on Steinways, but I (and many others) are.

Plover's conclusion in correct. However, Sieinway is under no obligation, actual or ethical, to broadcast that information.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 09:58 PM

Steve,

My question to PLU was asking if he has direct access to the Steinway information for the basis of his conclusion. He has yet to admit that he does not. I believe that Steinway has every right to conduct their business practices however they choose and I never intimated that they are anything other than ethical. It was he who intimated that they are not being honest in the way they present their pricing structure. He basically accused Steinway of lying to the buying public. I asked on what he based that conclusion.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 10:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Steve,

My question to PLU was asking if he has direct access to the Steinway information for the basis of his conclusion. He has yet to admit that he does not.{/quote]I've said several times in this thread that my conclusions were based on the methodolgy and figures in the PB which I thought was correct. Steve has verified that I was correct in my understanding of the PB and that their figures are based on figures available to industry professionals.

I never said I had direct access to Steinway wholesale pricing information. I said several times I was using the Pb figures. The wholesale dealer prices are available only to industry professionals. Since you know I don't fall in that category your endlessly repeated question was pointless.

Of course, if you were trying to say that the PB figures are not based on valid information that's another story. You said something to the effect you would have to personally verify figures to base any conclusions on them. I said I trusted the PB figures. It turns out I was correct that the figure were correct. The figures were not "opinion".

[quote=Minnesota Marty] It was he who intimated that they are not being honest in the way they present their pricing structure. He basically accused Steinway of lying to the buying public. I asked on what he based that conclusion.
No, I said they were not being upfront ...meaning, as I specifically said, not telling the public about their pricing mechanism...upfront meaning open and direct about how their selling prices compare to most makers in terms of their margin. Anyone one who has read any of the Supplements to the Piano Book or Piano Buyer would have reached he same conclusion.

This is not the same as lying to the public. Lying is when someone gives out false information. Neither Steinway nor any other maker is obliged to reveal their pricing methodology. I specifically said many other makers were not upfront either because of their use of inflated MSRP. This was not attack on one specific maker or an accusation that any maker was lying.

Every time you asked questions I gave the same answer(basically the same as in this post) and I was correct each time. The figures that you characterized a "opinion" were correct and my conclusions based on those figures were correct.

The conclusions were nothing new. They have been obvious to anyone who read the PB or earlier versions of the PB going back decades.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 10:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Steve,

My question to PLU was asking if he has direct access to the Steinway information for the basis of
his conclusion. He has yet to admit that he does not.
I've said several times in this thread that my conclusions were based on the methodolgy and figures in the PB and I thought the PB was correct in both those areas. Steve has verified that I was correct in my understanding of the PB and that their figures are based on figures available to industry professionals.

I never said I had direct access to Steinway wholesale pricing information. I said several times I was using the PB figures. The wholesale dealer prices are available only to industry professionals. Since you know I don't fall into that category your endlessly repeated question was pointless.

If you were trying to suggest that the PB figures are not based on valid information that's another story. You said something to the effect you would have to personally verify figures to base any conclusions on them. I said I trusted the PB figures. It turns out I was correct that the figure were correct. The figures were not "opinion".

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
It was he who intimated that they are not being honest in the way they present their pricing structure. He basically accused Steinway of lying to the buying public. I asked on what he based that conclusion.

No, I said they were not being upfront ...meaning, as I specifically said, not telling the public about their pricing mechanism...upfront meaning open and direct about how their selling prices compare to most makers in terms of their margin. Anyone one who has read any of the Supplements to the Piano Book or Piano Buyer would have reached he same conclusion as I did unless they think that Steinway announces to their customers "Our discount from SMP is less than other dealers."

This is not the same as lying to the public. Lying is when someone gives out false information. Neither Steinway nor any other maker is obliged to reveal their pricing methodology. I never said Steinway gives out false information. I did specifically say that many other makers were IMO not upfront either(because of their use of an inflated and arbitrary MSRP). My comments were not confined to one specific maker or an accusation that any maker was lying.

Every time you asked questions I gave the same answer(basically the same as in this post) and I was correct each time. The figures that you characterized as "opinion" were correct and my conclusions based on those figures were correct. I had more faith in the PB figures than you apparently did.

The conclusions I gave were nothing new. They have been obvious to anyone who read the PB or earlier versions of the PB going back several decades. I was retelling a very old story.
Posted by: Nick Mauel

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/14/12 11:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel
Originally Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine
I just think it's funny that someone feels the need to steer potential customers away from this site. If anything it shows how much power all of us people who don't exist are percieved to have. Don't go to pianoworld, they will confuse you with ideas and personal experiences and opinions that may interfere with your ability to walk to the nearest seller of pianos in a zombie-like state and mutter "I'll have a number three, super-size it, hold the benches."


Thanks for making such a good point!

And thanks for attempting to help get this thread back on topic...



I just wanted to post this again.

Topic please?
Posted by: turandot

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/15/12 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Nick Mauel


I just wanted to post this again.

Topic please?



I don't know Nick. I guess you wouldn't want this thread to be Exhibit A in proving that the advice here is good, but when it comes right down to specific questions from people who appear here genuninely looking for advice, my take is that the advice given is generally sound.

Understand that pianos deteriorate over time.

Get an inspection of a used piano,

Verify the claimed date of manufacture of used pianos.

Understand that "rebuilt" is a very vague term. Investigate accordingly.

Play a bunch of pianos before selling out for one.

If you're not a player, bring one along when shopping.

Understand the pricing game and exercise your right to negotiate.

Realize that acoustics and digitals are different animals with different strengths and weaknesses.

These are pretty standard cautions given here and I don't think they can be faulted. Maybe regular readers get tired of reading them, bu they're valuable cautions IMO.

Even the retailers here are pretty circumspect when it comes to giving specific answers to specific requests for advice. Maybe it's only because the glare of the public spotlight is different from the privacy of the showroom, but that's irrelevant to the genuine novice buyer.

Now, when someone comes on here asking "which piano should I buy?", the advice provided is likely to be less useful, but that goes to the impossibility of the question.

Surely you have your own opinion. Do you want to share it?
Posted by: Scott McBain

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/15/12 01:02 PM

It is expected and respected that Turandot would have the last word...rightfully so and again spot on.

Oops...I guess I have the last word.

Sorry
Posted by: Del

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/16/12 07:10 AM

Originally Posted By: James Scott
I was at a little after hours seminar at their store not too long ago and I went thinking that it was going to be a good seminar on technical stuff but only turned out to be a sales pitch.

Caution! Semi-commercial spiel coming up...

Speaking of seminars in Phoenix...I'll be putting on a (mostly) technical session at the Phoenix Young Chang/Weber dealer in conjunction with the local PTG chapter on November 5th. I'll be going through the design process and features of the new YC/Weber pianos. This will be a technical session for tuners and technicians but shouldn't be difficult for the reasonably knowledgeable amateur to follow.

I'm sure visitors will be welcomed. You'll have to track down the name of the dealer to get the time and location. I'm in China at the moment and have limited access to that kind of information. (Besides, all I have to do is arrive at the airport on time; Larry Fresch--YC's DSM--and crew handle the rest.)

ddf
Posted by: carey

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/16/12 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: James Scott
I was at a little after hours seminar at their store not too long ago and I went thinking that it was going to be a good seminar on technical stuff but only turned out to be a sales pitch.

Caution! Semi-commercial spiel coming up...

Speaking of seminars in Phoenix...I'll be putting on a (mostly) technical session at the Phoenix Young Chang/Weber dealer in conjunction with the local PTG chapter on November 5th. I'll be going through the design process and features of the new YC/Weber pianos. This will be a technical session for tuners and technicians but shouldn't be difficult for the reasonably knowledgeable amateur to follow.

I'm sure visitors will be welcomed. You'll have to track down the name of the dealer to get the time and location. I'm in China at the moment and have limited access to that kind of information. (Besides, all I have to do is arrive at the airport on time; Larry Fresch--YC's DSM--and crew handle the rest.)

ddf

Wow - that's great !! I'll definitely try to attend if I don't have a schedule conflict.
Posted by: Del

Re: How Good is the Advice From PianoWorld Members? - 10/17/12 07:50 AM

Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Del
Caution! Semi-commercial spiel coming up...

Speaking of seminars in Phoenix...I'll be putting on a (mostly) technical session at the Phoenix Young Chang/Weber dealer in conjunction with the local PTG chapter on November 5th. I'll be going through the design process and features of the new YC/Weber pianos. This will be a technical session for tuners and technicians but shouldn't be difficult for the reasonably knowledgeable amateur to follow.

I'm sure visitors will be welcomed. You'll have to track down the name of the dealer to get the time and location. I'm in China at the moment and have limited access to that kind of information. (Besides, all I have to do is arrive at the airport on time; Larry Fresch--YC's DSM--and crew handle the rest.)

ddf

Wow - that's great !! I'll definitely try to attend if I don't have a schedule conflict.

The rest of the information is:

The store is AZ Piano
Jason Sipe
4134 E. Wood St.
Phoenix, Ca. 85040
602-437-8445
info@azpiano.com

It starts at 7 pm and goes until about 9 pm or until I get tired of talking.

I'll probably put this information under its own heading later. Any and all Piano Forum members are welcome. Hope you can make it.

ddf