Piano Buyer / Larry Fine

Posted by: frog97

Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/12/12 04:48 PM

Anyone walked into a piano store for this first time carrying Piano buyer or anything from Larry Fine etc.
What was the reaction, did it help to negotiate?
Any interesting conversations?
Regards,
Posted by: Deerwood Dad

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/12/12 04:55 PM

I did when I was looking at Bostons and Kawais, and the people who were trying to tell me that Boston's were more like Steinways than Kawais quality-wise (even when I told them I thought both Bostons and Kawais were terrific) were dismissive of Larry. They also didn't like the way their Essex and Christifori lines were dissed by Larry. Other dealers were happy I was taking time to educate myself. Best wishes on your search, and by all means, take your time.
Posted by: bbuckis

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/12/12 05:46 PM

I once mentioned the Piano Buyer publication at my local Yamaha dealer.
The sales person laughed and said, "That's written by a piano technician.
What does he know. "
Posted by: Symon Says

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/12/12 06:30 PM

I based my offer to the dealer on Larry's SMP minus an additional 15% (as a starting point) which ended up upsetting him somewhat. Apparently it was a low offer based on market conditions but we got past it and worked out a deal. Its definitely a tool in your toolbox, despite what your dealer may think.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/12/12 06:37 PM

We prominantly display and often lend out copies of Piano Buyer.

Our website states on several pages that we adhere the the price ranges denoted in Piano Buyer.
Posted by: Chopinlover49

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/12/12 10:25 PM

A very important piano dealer in our area has a copy prominently displayed and allows all who visit the store to look at it. I don't think it hurts his bottom line at all. He carries Bechsteins, Bosendoerfers, Faziolis, Mason-Hamlins, Schimmels, Estonias, and even rebuilt and used Steinways and other top brands. When shopping, I have never brought a copy with me, but I have read and re-read it many times and learned a lot. It certainly didn't hurt when I was shopping for my piano.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 07:41 AM

We also display and make copies of Piano Buyer available to our customers, and have since the very first Piano Book came out in 1989 (??).

Independent information is never a bad thing when making a decision on something as important as a piano.

Originally Posted By: bbuckis
I once mentioned the Piano Buyer publication at my local Yamaha dealer.
The sales person laughed and said, "That's written by a piano technician.
What does he know. "


First, the book is not, and never has been, written in a vacuum. This is not just Mr. Fine's personal opinion (unless he states that particular observation is, in fact, his personal opinion).

I would be more inclined to say, "He is a salesperson. What does HE know?" smile

*(No offense meant to the many well informed and well educated salespeople here on this forum)
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 09:29 AM

Do any piano stores offer "A&D Piano Buyer" or "The Piano Book" for sale in the store? Having the books available for purchase could be very helpful to those who are in the market for a piano or a digital.

After all, not all shoppers visit Piano World before shopping and have the opportunity to learn that the books are even available.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 09:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Do any piano stores offer "A&D Piano Buyer" or "The Piano Book" for sale in the store? Having the books available for purchase could be very helpful to those who are in the market for a piano or a digital.

After all, not all shoppers visit Piano World before shopping and have the opportunity to learn that the books are even available.


Since Piano Buyer is available free online, very few dealers stock it for sale. The Piano Book, while still available, much of its content is rather dated.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 10:01 AM

Steve,

I agree with what you say, however, how do shoppers learn about the books or the fact that they are available online? PB certainly doesn't have the same visibility as "Consumer Reports." I don't think that I'm alone in preferring a printed volume for self-education and research before making a major purchase.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 10:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Steve,

I agree with what you say, however, how do shoppers learn about the books or the fact that they are available online? PB certainly doesn't have the same visibility as "Consumer Reports." I don't think that I'm alone in preferring a printed volume for self-education and research before making a major purchase.


Even though I have no financial interest, far be it from me to discourage anyone from ordering the print edition (at www.pianobuyer.com). wink

Most shoppers find out about PianoBuyer through organic search results from the major search engines, or right here on the Piano Forum. It is also recommended on the website of many technicians (including the PTG), dealers and teachers.
Posted by: Guapo Gabacho

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 12:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
The Piano Book, while still available, much of its content is rather dated.


It isn't outdated for those shopping the used market.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 06:15 PM

Like all good books, Piano Buyer is highly informative but can also sometimes transpire to confuse.

All the books in the world don't replace the discovery of a product's innate nature such as a musical instrument.

It is something shoppers for such item will have to discover themselves just as most shoppers in Europe and other countries have always done.

A 'book' also doesn't take into consideration professional ethics of local brand representation, the companies behind it.

Nor does it things like the quality of the business one happens to be dealing with.

These intangibles are sometimes as much or even more important the the product itself.

The problem is that many buyers often don't play themselves and have a reluctance to make decisions for themselves.

Instead they rely on certain others, be this a teacher, a friend, neighbor or "book".

In this regard Piano Buyer is certainly a valuable resource but IMHO it is as easy making a "mistake" or at least not "the optimal purchase" - than without it.

It is often the irony of arming oneself with all kinds of knowledge - especially concerning such things as musical instruments - that in the end 'decisions' are and remain a largely personal thing.

Not really totally different from many other big ticket shopping items in life.

Just seemingly a bit more difficult perhaps...

Norbert
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
A 'book' also doesn't take into consideration professional ethics of local brand representation, the companies behind it or things like the quality of business one happens to be dealing with.
Of course it doesn't. That has nothing to do with the purpose of the book.

Originally Posted By: Norbert
The problem is that many buyers often don't play themselves and have a reluctance to make decision for themselves. Instead they rely on certain others, be this a teacher, a friend, neighbor or "book".
Which is a 100% reasonable thing to do. And reasonable people will continue doing it.



Posted by: Norbert

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 06:29 PM

Quote:
Of course it doesn't. That has nothing to do with the purpose of the book.


Exactly.

A buyer's concern goes beyond that - it concerns "real life" situations.

Quote:
Which is a 100% reasonable thing to do. And reasonable people will continue doing it.


It may be *reasonable* but not necessary fruitful or productive.

5 different opinions don't exactly make achieving one's own any easier.

My basic point is anybody can buy whatever they like or is recommended by whatever source.

For those who don't play or are not personally tuned into tone and touch of an instrument, none of it makes much difference.

For those who "do" - it's just about everything.

Norbert
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 11:17 PM

Originally Posted By: bbuckis
I once mentioned the Piano Buyer publication at my local Yamaha dealer.
The sales person laughed and said, "That's written by a piano technician.
What does he know. "

ha

Among other things about that, Larry is actually a fine pianist.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/13/12 11:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Do any piano stores offer "A&D Piano Buyer" or "The Piano Book" for sale in the store? Having the books available for purchase could be very helpful to those who are in the market for a piano or a digital.

After all, not all shoppers visit Piano World before shopping and have the opportunity to learn that the books are even available.


Ah, perhaps not.

But nearly six million of them did last year (and that's unique visitors, not "hits" or "page views").
I don't know too many print publications that can claim six million readers :-)

In fact I don't know too many (or any other) online piano sites that can legitimately claim anywhere near as many visitors.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, just pretty proud of what PW has become.

Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/14/12 07:24 AM

As well you should be, Frank!

Thanks for all you do for this wonderful community.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/14/12 08:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Of course it doesn't. That has nothing to do with the purpose of the book.


Exactly.

A buyer's concern goes beyond that - it concerns "real life" situations.
Your original post made it sound like not including a discussion of the quality of the dealer was something missing from the book and this is not the case.

Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Which is a 100% reasonable thing to do. And reasonable people will continue doing it.


It may be *reasonable* but not necessary fruitful or productive. 5 different opinions don't exactly make achieving one's own any easier.For those who don't play or are not personally tuned into tone and touch of an instrument, none of it makes much difference.
No approach is guaranteed to be fruitful.

Those who don't play or play only a little or who are not extremely familiar with the different possibilities of tone/touch still want to make an informed decision. They do not want to be dissatisfied later on when they may become more able to evaluate tone and touch. That's why they often ask for help at Piano World or consult the Piano Buyer or those who they think are knowledgeable. The PB in particular offer a degree of objectivity very hard to find in a showroom.

It's absolutely reasonable to do this and it is, in fact, a very good idea to proceed this way.
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/14/12 05:11 PM

One of the OP's questions was:

Quote:
did it help to negotiate?


Before you start you need to know what you want to negotiate.

If it simply means price negotiation (in the U.S.) the book will certainly help as it gives a good initial orientation into the piano market and the pricing structure (or rather the lack of it).

However this is far from what is 'pinao buying' about.

The book will not elp you acquiring or negotiating the paino that is best for you because theis book or any other written or electronic resource lacks indeed:

Quote:
A 'book' also doesn't take into consideration professional ethics of local brand representation, the companies behind it.

Nor does it things like the quality of the business one happens to be dealing with.


And
Quote:
These intangibles are sometimes as much or even more important the the product itself.
, yes indeed.

It has been quite a while I posted my adagio here on this forum:

'the biggest challenge in the whole buying process is putting toghether a shortlist of brands and dealers you would like to do business with because of whet they stand for'

E.g. there are a few brands I would not buy because of the questionable ethics and there are dealer I would never buy from whatever brand they might represent.

Should there ever be a publication that
Quote:
a discussion of the quality of the dealer
I would be the first one to buy a copy. However I am afraid there will never be such a resource of information.
Yhis is something you will have to find out for yourself - unfortunately sometimes experience yourself.

schwammerl.
Posted by: manyhands

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/15/12 09:04 PM

the book was most helpful in my search for a used piano.
I learned about construction and wide variety of mfg.. No need to take it to the dealer but it served as a basis for my evaluation check list and helped narrow the brands I wanted to play. Thank you Mr Fine and consultants.!
Posted by: frog97

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/16/12 04:17 PM

I went home for lunch and my wife gave me the mail, the PW books I ordered where there. I can’t wait to dive into them and start reading, I bought on old hard copy and a new supplement to the book for 2012.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/16/12 05:50 PM

Originally Posted By: schwammerl
One of the OP's questions was:

Quote:
did it help to negotiate?


Before you start you need to know what you want to negotiate.

If it simply means price negotiation (in the U.S.) the book will certainly help as it gives a good initial orientation into the piano market and the pricing structure (or rather the lack of it).
When people use "negotiate", I think 99% of the time they mean price. It's really not a complicated concept.
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/17/12 02:19 AM

Quote:
When people use "negotiate", I think 99% of the time they mean price. It's really not a complicated concept


That may well be so but then it is because those people do not know the difference between bargaining (uni-variant/zero-sum) and negotiating (multi-variant/positive-sum).

When wanting to acquire a piano - a high price ticket object who most people want to keep for a life time - it is more wise to make oneself familiar with the technique of negotiation. It takes some time to learn and master it but it is worth it; that is why diplomats spend years mastering the negotiation technique and why many people should try making oneself familiar with to should they not wish to rum from one buyer remorce to another.

example source : bargaining is not negotiating

schwammerl.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/17/12 07:30 AM

Originally Posted By: schwammerl
Quote:
When people use "negotiate", I think 99% of the time they mean price. It's really not a complicated concept


That may well be so but then it is because those people do not know the difference between bargaining (uni-variant/zero-sum) and negotiating (multi-variant/positive-sum).

When wanting to acquire a piano - a high price ticket object who most people want to keep for a life time - it is more wise to make oneself familiar with the technique of negotiation. It takes some time to learn and master it but it is worth it; that is why diplomats spend years mastering the negotiation technique and why many people should try making oneself familiar with to should they not wish to rum from one buyer remorce to another.

example source : bargaining is not negotiating

schwammerl.
Although I will study the article when I have a chance, my first reaction is that very few people, including myself, most piano dealers and, even those who get the best deals on a piano they buy, know what some of the terms you mentioned in your reply mean.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/17/12 08:42 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: schwammerl
Quote:
When people use "negotiate", I think 99% of the time they mean price. It's really not a complicated concept


That may well be so but then it is because those people do not know the difference between bargaining (uni-variant/zero-sum) and negotiating (multi-variant/positive-sum).

When wanting to acquire a piano - a high price ticket object who most people want to keep for a life time - it is more wise to make oneself familiar with the technique of negotiation. It takes some time to learn and master it but it is worth it; that is why diplomats spend years mastering the negotiation technique and why many people should try making oneself familiar with to should they not wish to rum from one buyer remorce to another.

example source : bargaining is not negotiating

schwammerl.
Although I will study the article when I have a chance, my first reaction is that very few people, including myself, most piano dealers and, even those who get the best deals on a piano they buy, know what some of the terms you mentioned in your reply mean.


If you understand in full the wants, needs, and capacities of all players in the bargaining process, you can work towards a deal that leaves everyone better off than they would be with no deal.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Piano Buyer / Larry Fine - 11/18/12 01:28 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: schwammerl
Quote:
When people use "negotiate", I think 99% of the time they mean price. It's really not a complicated concept


That may well be so but then it is because those people do not know the difference between bargaining (uni-variant/zero-sum) and negotiating (multi-variant/positive-sum).

When wanting to acquire a piano - a high price ticket object who most people want to keep for a life time - it is more wise to make oneself familiar with the technique of negotiation. It takes some time to learn and master it but it is worth it; that is why diplomats spend years mastering the negotiation technique and why many people should try making oneself familiar with to should they not wish to rum from one buyer remorce to another.

example source : bargaining is not negotiating

schwammerl.
Although I will study the article when I have a chance, my first reaction is that very few people, including myself, most piano dealers and, even those who get the best deals on a piano they buy, know what some of the terms you mentioned in your reply mean.

I am sure it is something with which you are intrinsically familiar, even if you never bothered to put a "name" to it.

The idea is pretty simple. With a piano:

Bargaining: You are considering charging me "X". I want to pay a lesser value "Y". We work until we either find middle ground or we do not. In the end, what the seller loses (in price), the buyer gains (in savings). This is uni-variant, in that only one variable is considered. It is also zero-sum in that one person wins and the other loses.

Negotiating: You are selling piano "X". We bring into it tuning, regulation, repayment terms, loan/lease options, moving the piano, additional features (Dampp Chaser, etc), re-selling value, additional store credit, a bench, warranty terms, and any other number of variables you may be able to consider. This is multi-variant because there exists more than one variable. It is positive-sum because there is a chance that the buyer may "win" something that costs the seller "nothing", or may be willing to concede something of little costs that makes the seller's life easier.

Most commodity purchases do not have the option of being negotiated. Bargained, yes, but not negotiated. There typically are very few "win-win" variables. However, this poster is saying that if you can find any, you can (and should) change tactics from bargaining to negotiating.

One other key to negotiating: it is not time-bound. In other words, you can't have a one-time, short-lived experience with a seller and expect to be able to negotiate. Quite simply, you're not invested in each other's success long enough to truly equate potential gain. If you were leasing a car with an option to buy, and involving the company's loan department, now you have a longer-term situation in which negotiation can be utilized. But typical short-term and one-time commodity purchases with few selling options do not fall into this category.