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Whats up with US Kawai pricing? #1826809
01/18/12 12:51 AM
01/18/12 12:51 AM
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techchimp Offline OP
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I am a bit smitten with the Kawai CN43, but I don't understand why it is so much more expensive in the US. You can see it here in the EU.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/kawai_cn43_sb_set.htm

The only place to buy this piano in my area is a dealer in the highest rent boutique mall in the city. The atmosphere is the worst of Coach purse and used car dealer combined.

I understand supply chain, I will pay a fair price to keep a dealer in business. (well maybe not that business)

The retail price difference between Europe, big East and West coast US cities and elsewhere is egregious. (I travel a LOT)

What can you do other than switch brands?

And yes I have thought hard about bringing one home with me, but the box is just slightly too big.


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Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826816
01/18/12 01:13 AM
01/18/12 01:13 AM
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Calgary Alberta
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ZoeCalgary Offline
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I feel the same way! And it's even worse here in Canada! It's driven me crazy
Almost as much as the fact that you can't even Get Your hands on some models to even try before ordering. But I don't think it's just Kawai? Other brands seem to have the same issue in different countries. Not sure what price you have but I was told $2875 plus tax of 5%.


Coming back after a long while.

Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826818
01/18/12 01:22 AM
01/18/12 01:22 AM
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Hancock Park LA (not again)
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Dr Popper Offline
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Unlike Yamaha or Roland Kawai do not own their distribution networks or exhibit much control over the one they do own (Kawai USA) which operates in its own world as far as I can see. They attract third tier dealers for their DP's who often are very old school and unable to embrace the recent advances in technology in Digital Pianos themselves let alone work out that their pricing and stocking strategies are being discussed on the internet on a daily basis. Kawai appear to essentially have little control over their dealers activities compared to the others but that has a lot to do with their lack of pure financial muscle to provide dealers with floor stock on consignment which is pretty much for free until sold which Yamaha and Roland both do.Your experience with trying to buy Kawai isn't unique with their dealer network and distribution model getting quite a lot of complaints in here from people who can't seem to even find a dealer with any stock at all, local dealers refusing to order pianos for floor stock, people driving hundreds of miles just to test one out or like yourself getting wildly differing quotes for the same board. Their pricing consistency can be being quite poor compared to the other major brands but be aware that US pricing (and Euro pricing) will be coming under increased pressure over the next 12 months from all manufacturers with the high Yen price and historically low US dollar and bottom of the barrel Euro pricing. The trick seems to be to find a good Kawai dealer via word of mouth perhaps some Kawai owners can give you recommendations ...
There is nothing absolutely wrong with the Pianos themselves they are amongst the finest available on the market. Kawai's issues are all business model and distribution related.
Have you considered a MP10 or MP6 which are available from most good online retailers ? These are both Excellent boards (maybe the best in the segments) and with the right stand can be as stunning looking as a console style board.




Last edited by Dr Popper; 01/18/12 01:25 AM.

"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826820
01/18/12 01:31 AM
01/18/12 01:31 AM
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Yep, I wanted at the beginning to get CN43 and end up with MP10, mostly because the latter is much more valued in the EU than in the US, where it is for more less the same price as CN43.

Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: gnembon] #1826826
01/18/12 01:44 AM
01/18/12 01:44 AM
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techchimp Offline OP
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The MP6/10 is not passing the wife test although I would love either, by specs and reviews.

Although to try one I would have to drive hundreds of miles.

Almost every Roland and Yamaha is on a floor somewhere in my city.

Sigh.

Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: gnembon] #1826827
01/18/12 01:45 AM
01/18/12 01:45 AM
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by gnembon
Yep, I wanted at the beginning to get CN43 and end up with MP10, mostly because the latter is much more valued in the EU than in the US, where it is for more less the same price as CN43.


Yes I think a few people have gone the MP6/10 route recently its much easier when you can make them look this nice ...

[Linked Image]


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826828
01/18/12 01:46 AM
01/18/12 01:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
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Hancock Park LA (not again)
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by techchimp
The MP6/10 is not passing the wife test


LOL !!!!! Life is hard


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826831
01/18/12 01:49 AM
01/18/12 01:49 AM
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Calgary Alberta
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ZoeCalgary Offline
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Calgary Alberta
Oops wrong thread!

Last edited by ZoeCalgary; 01/18/12 01:51 AM.

Coming back after a long while.

Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826833
01/18/12 01:56 AM
01/18/12 01:56 AM
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ONfrank Offline
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Originally Posted by techchimp
I am a bit smitten with the Kawai CN43, but I don't understand why it is so much more expensive in the US. You can see it here in the EU.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/kawai_cn43_sb_set.htm

The only place to buy this piano in my area is a dealer in the highest rent boutique mall in the city. The atmosphere is the worst of Coach purse and used car dealer combined.

I understand supply chain, I will pay a fair price to keep a dealer in business. (well maybe not that business)

The retail price difference between Europe, big East and West coast US cities and elsewhere is egregious. (I travel a LOT)

What can you do other than switch brands?

And yes I have thought hard about bringing one home with me, but the box is just slightly too big.



Kawai seems to be happy with this distributor/dealer relationship. Few dealers, no online sales, MAP agreements (and the like), and little competition, means higher prices for consumers.

Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: ONfrank] #1826841
01/18/12 02:42 AM
01/18/12 02:42 AM
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techchimp Offline OP
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Dr. Popper,

That is a nice set up.

The only thing my wife would see is the cords hanging in back.

Waiting for that Kawai guy to defend his brand.

The local dealership can't.

Love the product, hate the channel.

Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826842
01/18/12 02:49 AM
01/18/12 02:49 AM
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US
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gvfarns Offline
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I think the fact that you can find the CN-43 in an online store in Europe tells you a lot. As a rule, online prices are much better and they are very nicely all close to each other. How could they not be when comparison shopping is so easy?

Online sales are (I suspect) the primary reason stage pianos are so much cheaper in the US than similar console models. I had the impression that the manufacturers prevent online sales of home models like the CN-43 in order to protect profit margins of their distributors. Looks like thomann has enough muscle or something to overcome that obstacle.

From what I've seen, nearly all digital pianos are more expensive outside the US than they are inside, even if you have to go through a retailer to get them. Competition drives prices down here more. What you have found is a big exception: in a store that somehow is selling a home-style piano online--something US online retailers can't (or maaaaybe won't) do.

However, my understanding is that Kawai's market share is better in Europe than in the US. So if anyone will be better priced there than here, I would expect it to be Kawai.

Actually, these pianos are probably cheapest in Japan. Few people post from Japan in the prices paid thread, so I can't be sure.

And of course, currency conversion doesn't necessarily give you a good idea of the cost in terms of purchasing power. If you can get something abroad shipped to you cheaply, it's awesome. Otherwise I take the sour grapes approach. smile

Last edited by gvfarns; 01/18/12 02:58 AM.
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826847
01/18/12 03:02 AM
01/18/12 03:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 15,258
Hamamatsu, Japan
Kawai James Offline
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Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted by techchimp
I am a bit smitten with the Kawai CN43, but I don't understand why it is so much more expensive in the US. You can see it here in the EU.

http://www.thomann.de/gb/kawai_cn43_sb_set.htm

The only place to buy this piano in my area is a dealer in the highest rent boutique mall in the city. The atmosphere is the worst of Coach purse and used car dealer combined.

I understand supply chain, I will pay a fair price to keep a dealer in business. (well maybe not that business)

The retail price difference between Europe, big East and West coast US cities and elsewhere is egregious. (I travel a LOT)

What can you do other than switch brands?


I'm inclined to agree that the sales and distribution model for Kawai DPs in the US is flawed, but I also believe that the situation is rather more complicated than in other parts of the world. Please note, however, that I do not work in this division, nor am I employed by Kawai America, so will politely refrain from commenting further. However, if you have any queries regarding the instrument itself, I will of course be happy to provide information and insight.

Now, referring to the 'Prices Paid' thread it would appear that there are four entries for the CN43:

- $3,000 USD (California, US)
- $2,600 AUD (Adelide, AU)
- $2,500 AUD (Brisbane, AU)
- $2,767 CAD(Montréal, CA)

In addition, the CN43 is currently listed on the Kawai America online store for $2,799.

If your local dealer has quoted more than the prices above, you may wish to try asking for a more competitive deal. Perhaps also consider contacting Kawai US directly to enquire into alternative dealers in your area (or further away, if you are willing to travel).

I can empathise with your differential pricing frustrations, however - a Nord Electro 3 HP can be purchased in the US from Amazon.com for $2,600, while the same instrument sold in Japan by Amazon.co.jp is 268,000 JPY (~$3500).

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826864
01/18/12 03:39 AM
01/18/12 03:39 AM
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by techchimp
Dr. Popper,



Waiting for that Kawai guy to defend his brand.




James isn't really in a position to defend or support Kawai's business practices, he doesn't come here in a official capacity but he does do a lot for this place. He is not able to influence in any way Kawai's business models so here we tend to discuss this issue without reference to him having to "defend" Kawai.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826866
01/18/12 03:41 AM
01/18/12 03:41 AM
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Hancock Park LA (not again)
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Dr Popper Offline
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Originally Posted by techchimp
Dr. Popper,

That is a nice set up.

The only thing my wife would see is the cords hanging in back.




A bit of cable management and using Active monitors instead of a amp and speakers would clean those cables right up.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826877
01/18/12 04:07 AM
01/18/12 04:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
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UK, Burton on Trent
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Originally Posted by techchimp
I am a bit smitten with the Kawai CN43, but I don't understand why it is so much more expensive in the US.


Indeed the CN43 is a fine piano, but it works the other way too for those of us in Europe wanting a stage piano the pricing structure here is frustrating.
In Europe the MP6 is the same price as the CN33, and the MP10 is the same price as the CA63. I guess it is to do with demand and sales outlets, maybe there isn't the demand for stage pianos in Europe as there is in the US and the price reflects that.


Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826893
01/18/12 05:20 AM
01/18/12 05:20 AM
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While I agree that prices should be more or less the same worldwide [even though some countries are better off than others], in the US you can get almost all electronics cheaper than in Europe - digital cameras, laptops, most digital pianos. Case in point:

Yamaha P155 - $999 on amazon.com
- 1245e on thomann.de ~ $1588

Roland FP-7F - $1999 on amazon.com
- 1777e on thomann.de ~ $2267
- $2600 paid by RafaPoint in Ecuator

How's that for fair?


old Gaveau upright & Kawai CA63; previously Korg SP250
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1826907
01/18/12 06:13 AM
01/18/12 06:13 AM
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I understand your frustration. But this is not limited to Kawai. Try to find a Roland HP series piano at a US dealer for the prices listed at Thomann... Same exact problem.

The good thing about stage pianos, if you ask me, is that they are not designed to hide the fact they are digital. That means you get a superior user interface and many hardware knobs and sliders that are very handy.


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1827151
01/18/12 02:51 PM
01/18/12 02:51 PM
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techchimp Offline OP
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I used the wrong word with regard to Kawai James. I think, "shed light on" would have been a better choice than defend. I have seen his many helpful posts to the Kawai users.

Where does one go to browse furniture style stands for keyboards. All the ones I can find are the black metal stage styles.

Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: gvfarns] #1827295
01/18/12 05:34 PM
01/18/12 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Online sales are (I suspect) the primary reason stage pianos are so much cheaper in the US than similar console models. I had the impression that the manufacturers prevent online sales of home models like the CN-43 in order to protect profit margins of their distributors. Looks like thomann has enough muscle or something to overcome that obstacle.


Yes and north of the border, they don't even have that choice from Kawai. Kawai stage pianos are only available at independent dealers and not online = higher prices. Last I checked, the MP6 was within $100 of the FP-7F.

Originally Posted by Bogs
While I agree that prices should be more or less the same worldwide [even though some countries are better off than others], in the US you can get almost all electronics cheaper than in Europe - digital cameras, laptops, most digital pianos. Case in point:

Yamaha P155 - $999 on amazon.com
- 1245e on thomann.de ~ $1588

Roland FP-7F - $1999 on amazon.com
- 1777e on thomann.de ~ $2267
- $2600 paid by RafaPoint in Ecuator

How's that for fair?


Those prices include 20% VAT do they not?

Last edited by ONfrank; 01/18/12 05:36 PM.
Re: Whats up with US Kawai pricing? [Re: techchimp] #1827315
01/18/12 06:00 PM
01/18/12 06:00 PM
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I am looking to purchase the Kawai CP209 or CP207 digital grand piano. The CP207 is much less expensive than the CP209. I am having a tough time finding a dealer with both models on the floor. Can anyone give me some info on the main differences between the two models?
C7alt

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