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#1873720 - 04/04/12 03:59 PM "prices paid" thread?  
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Gomer Offline
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The DP forum has a very lovely prices paid thread. Any particular reason that one doesn't exist on the acoustic side? Just curious smile

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#1873739 - 04/04/12 04:28 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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I have no interest in telling you what I paid.

Why?

Because it gets too involved in all the particulars, especially when buying a high end piano.

I have posted about what the differences might be from one dealer to another if you care to search the archives.

Things like, what do they do for prep? What do they do for after care? Where are they located? and on and on.

Piano prices will be different when you consider WHO and WHERE you are purchasing.

There can only be a list if you list ALL THE PARTICULARS of the purchase.



"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
#1873743 - 04/04/12 04:35 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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You are free to start a prices paid thread if you like. It is my personal opinion (FWIW) that posting prices paid for new and used acoustic pianos can be very controversial, divisive, and combative at times.

The prices posted cannot be verified, and some dealers feel threatened when prices for new pianos are posted on the forum. I’ll admit that the pricing of new pianos can be very confusing and hard to understand; such is the nature of the piano business. New (and used) acoustic piano prices vary from dealer to dealer and region to region (country to country). There are a lot of variables involved.

The “Piano Buyer” is probably the best source of information on piano pricing.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1873764 - 04/04/12 05:17 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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Thanks for the feedback, you two. You make good points. My post wasn't meant as a challenge as to why there isn't such a thread, but rather pure curiosity as I see many people making discrete posts on if a deal is good or not.

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#1873774 - 04/04/12 05:42 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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Originally Posted by Gomer
Thanks for the feedback, you two. You make good points. My post wasn't meant as a challenge as to why there isn't such a thread, but rather pure curiosity as I see many people making discrete posts on if a deal is good or not.

Gomer, I’ve posted my personal opinion on prices here a few times myself. I’m not up on new piano prices, but I know what I think is a good price on a used piano… based on my hobby and pastime of looking at used pianos for sale on Craigslist and eBay. smile

With that said, I know it can seem like “us against them” when it comes to posting prices paid for new or used acoustic pianos. The consumer wants the lowest price they can reasonably (or unreasonably) get, and the dealer wants the highest price they can get or the market will bear. Many members here do decide to post the prices they paid. It is not against the forum rules, per-se.

I want the consumer, or piano buyer, to get the best value for their dollar they can, and I want to see the dealers stay in business. We need the dealers… many of them have suffered enough as it is since the great depression of the 21 century.

I think the Piano World Forums is, by far, the best thing going for piano shoppers, and dealers, in terms of education and information sharing, and not so much just prices paid.

Rick



Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1873778 - 04/04/12 05:52 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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I remember one lady here once wanted to know if she got a good deal on the Kawai upright she bought.
Apparently the price she got was so good that one of the dealers online here personally contacted the dealer that had sold it to her in order to berate him for selling it at such a price.
The first dealer let the buyer know that he was contacted and obviously she felt absolutely mortified.
I guess she didn't realize how truly nasty some of these people are.
Knowing that there's dealers out there like that I don't think it is a good idea to have people post what they got their new pianos for.

I do know of one friend who got a particularly good deal on a Chinese piano and the dealer asked him to keep the price to himself if he could and not let other dealers know what he sold it for, so apparently this is not uncommon in the industry.

I don't see any problem with people saying what they purchased used pianos for though.

#1873827 - 04/04/12 07:37 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Sparky McBiff]  
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Originally Posted by Sparky McBiff

The first dealer let the buyer know that he was contacted and obviously she felt absolutely mortified.
I guess she didn't realize how truly nasty some of these people are.


I think that's why people don't post prices on acoustic pianos.

Its not in the sellers best interest that prices get shared. I know because I got out of the new car selling business when the invoice price list and internet met. Just about everyone coming in after 2000 new the price the dealer had paid for a car from the manufacturer. After that new car selling became purely a volume game which I don't think the Piano business can sustain.

#1873834 - 04/04/12 07:46 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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Gomer, this is something I have thought about too. Now I see the readons why no such thread exists. Another thing to keep in mind is that in the DP section there are very few dealers who are posting. Here it is alost 50-50 (not quite, but still) which is great I think.


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#1873854 - 04/04/12 08:31 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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It's interesting that sharing prices is so taboo. When I bought a car, I had no difficulty finding the wholesale price that dealers pay including promotional kickbacks from the manufacturer. On car buying message boards, people frequently share not only their price, but the name of the dealership that gave it to them. Publicly. I see absolutely nothing unethical about this. Dealers thrive on information asymmetry, and will absolutely gouge you if you don't do your homework.

I'm surprised that resources such as Fine's guide continue to disguise prices with an undisclosed markup (which I presume is 40-50%). Why is information asymmetry so important to protect, even to the author of the piano buying guide? Believe it or not, some people may be sympathetic to the dealer's position and offer a fair profit if they know what his numbers really are.

#1873864 - 04/04/12 08:48 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Sneakers]  
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Originally Posted by Sneakers
It's interesting that sharing prices is so taboo. When I bought a car, I had no difficulty finding the wholesale price that dealers pay including promotional kickbacks from the manufacturer. On car buying message boards, people frequently share not only their price, but the name of the dealership that gave it to them. Publicly. I see absolutely nothing unethical about this. Dealers thrive on information asymmetry, and will absolutely gouge you if you don't do your homework.


That's why I got out of the new car salesman business. People would come in and literally say: "The price invoice for that Mazda 3 is $x and your a dealership with y on the lot so you would have gotten a $z kicbkack. Therefore, I'll offer you $x-$z+$250.

My former colleagues now tell me that many new car sales are now done via the internet. This is progress and great for the buyer, not so good for the seller.

I was lucky enough to be young enough to change careers.

#1873869 - 04/04/12 09:11 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: MiddleAgedProdigy]  
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Originally Posted by MiddleAgedProdigy

That's why I got out of the new car salesman business. People would come in and literally say: "The price invoice for that Mazda 3 is $x and your a dealership with y on the lot so you would have gotten a $z kicbkack. Therefore, I'll offer you $x-$z+$250.
Absolutely. I don't see it as a negative thing though. There are still car dealers making boatloads of money on volume. Perhaps the best (most successful) dealers used to be those with charisma and "salesmanship," and now the best dealers are those who can really execute on the operations side.

#1873874 - 04/04/12 09:30 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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I have informed people of some accurate recent price quotes I got in a metro area and they have been so much cheaper than their price they think you are lieing. Go figure. I agree with the poster that stated the piano industry could not survive if it was volume based sales.

#1873888 - 04/04/12 10:06 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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I find this to be quite the interesting discussion and can see why SMP is often the price referenced to as a basis to work down from (rather then up from the bottom)

#1873898 - 04/04/12 10:39 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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If you all want to post the price you paid, or were quoted for a new piano, go right ahead. There is nothing saying you can't or shouldn't. As far as the practice being somewhat taboo on the piano forum, it may well be, for the reasons mentioned already.

Honestly, I think the price someone paid for their piano is rather personal. But if you want to reveal that information here on the forum, go for it.

However, you might want to ask yourself if it is going to be helpful and not hurtful to other members here, particularly the dealers?

I’m not so much pro piano dealer, but I am pro piano dealer member here... without the dealer members here, and the advertisers, Piano World might not be around. Or, if there were no dealer members, the forum would not be the same… it would be more or less one sided, so to speak.

We need the dealer members here... and, the ones who have been in business a long time, and have good reputations, know how to deal with their customers and pricing their pianos. If they didn't they would not be in business.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1873909 - 04/04/12 11:04 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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I agree with lilylady. At the risk of sounding like a lawyer, it can all depend on how "price" is defined. There are many aspects in addition simply to what is paid for the piano: shipping, tuning, prep, distance, reliability of dealer, etc.

There is one additional huge variable: the piano itself. Pianos are not identical. One can be offered a wonderful deal on a piano--but if one does not love the piano, the best deal in the universe is a bad one.

The analogy to cars tends to fall apart here, at least to new cars. One Ford Explorer with the particular list of options is the same as another Ford Explorer with the same options. That is simply not the case for pianos.


#1873918 - 04/04/12 11:22 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]  
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Originally Posted by Rank Piano Amateur

The analogy to cars tends to fall apart here, at least to new cars. One Ford Explorer with the particular list of options is the same as another Ford Explorer with the same options. That is simply not the case for pianos.



At the risk of sounding like a former new car sales man (wait I am that ... never mind).

We used to tell customers that all new cars are not the same and our prep was better. Now in the 1990's it used to be true, particularly for Japanese cars. You'd get two Honda's with the same spec and our car was better. Our team would literally take off all hoses and blow them clean amongst other things. The reason was some cars sat for months on docks waiting to be shipped and developed problems. Now with China producing so much goods and the U.S. buying it, the amount of shipping traffic means most cars go straight from the production line onto a boat with minimal delay, so the argument on prep for cars is balderdash.

I'm not sure for Pianos. Does a dealer really do a lot to prep a piano? Even if they did, I don't see the problem with reporting a price with the caveat (uncrated in my home) or (not preped).

#1873976 - 04/05/12 03:13 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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Seems fairgame to me, why hide anything a poster WHO PAID for a piano wishes to share.. It IS the internet...

#1874103 - 04/05/12 10:02 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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Would it be different if there weren't any dealers on this board?

If you want to share, then share. What's the big deal? I've been on fitness forum where I shared that I paid $700 for a used 1995 Concept 2 rowing machine. Or a running forum where I shared stated that I paid got a deal for two pairs of running shoes for less than $150. How's buying a piano any different? Are we elitists?

#1874120 - 04/05/12 10:43 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: mcours2006]  
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I'm all for it, if it will keep some of the dealers around here on their toes. It just might bring out their ugly side, though, unfortunately always close to the surface and on tap for those who disagree with them.

While at first glance the piano forum appears like one half of the posters are trying to sell something to the other half, piano dealers, while certainly vocal, represent a very small knot of opinion, it's simply that their focus is more "adjusted".

And, since the percentage of "active" piano forum dealers is likely less than one tenth of one percent of all the piano dealers and salesfolk in the US, luckily, in the real world, the piano buyer has a far wider choice of, er, personalites to choose from.


Mike


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#1874125 - 04/05/12 10:46 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: mcours2006]  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
Would it be different if there weren't any dealers on this board?

If you want to share, then share. What's the big deal? I've been on fitness forum where I shared that I paid $700 for a used 1995 Concept 2 rowing machine. Or a running forum where I shared stated that I paid got a deal for two pairs of running shoes for less than $150. How's buying a piano any different? Are we elitists?


That sounds as if you've actually never experienced the actual piano shopping process.
It was a real eye opener for me.
When I started visiting different dealers since some of them made the stereotypical sleazy used car salesmen seem like saints.
Some of the outright lies and distortions that some of these salesmen would employ were outrageous but apparently many uneducated first-time buyers are gullible to their lies.
But there are also several very honest and upstanding dealers.
I ended up buying from one of the few that I found.

#1874144 - 04/05/12 11:23 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Sparky McBiff]  
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Originally Posted by Sparky McBiff

That sounds as if you've actually never experienced the actual piano shopping process.


How is buying a piano different than buying anything else? And yes, I have experienced the piano buying process, but I do not wear it like some kind of badge of honour. It's just another big ticket item that the family needed. It's no more special or less special.

But what does this have to do with posting prices? I honestly don't understand why this is a sensitive issue here. Do people think that they are being judge by the amount of money they paid for their instrument or the brand of instrument? As if my piano and the price I paid for it says something about my social status, wealth, skill level, etc. If that's the case, then I guess I can understand their apprehension. I believe it says none of those things.

But the argument that it might stir up the pot for dealers is just ridiculous. Everyone is either trying to save some money or make some money. It's all fair game.

#1874149 - 04/05/12 11:27 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Sneakers]  
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Originally Posted by Sneakers
...some people may be sympathetic to the dealer's position and offer a fair profit if they know what his numbers really are.


Key words "some people". I think most wont be sympathetic. What's a fair profit after a dealer's overhead costs are covered? 2% of dealer wholesale cost, 5%, 10%? And as another member pointed out it depends how 'price' is defined since there are variables to consider.

IMHO, with this forum, the internet and the Larry Fine books the consumer has more knowledge than they ever did before in figuring out resonable prices for negotiating new piano prices. All one has to do is do their homework, nothing difficult about this.


My music_website at http://www.OdysseyofaG.com
#1874155 - 04/05/12 11:44 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: mcours2006]  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
How is buying a piano different than buying anything else?


It's actually quite different when you factor in the 'price' variable factors.


My music_website at http://www.OdysseyofaG.com
#1874158 - 04/05/12 11:54 AM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
But the argument that it might stir up the pot for dealers is just ridiculous.


Is it really ridiculous? I don’t think so.

Like I said, there is no hard and fast rule on posting piano prices paid or quoted here on the forum.

However, and again, this is just my opinion, the Piano World Forums are more than just the Internet… it is a community of people who have similar interest and who have mutual respect for one another… hopefully.

It may well be that some here have something to sell, and some here want to buy something.

There is, however, a rule that is imposed on the dealer members… they are not allowed to advertize their pianos for sale on the open forum, although some do get in a free advertising plug or marketing promotion from time to time. If everyone who had bought a new piano posted the price they paid and the dealer from whom they purchased, is that not a form of advertising for the dealer? And, yes, that does happen here from time to time.

I can see where the issue of posting prices paid could get out of hand, though it does happen on occasion. Would it keep the dealers here on their toes or bring out their ugly side, as Mike Carr suggests? Maybe, maybe not.

All I’m saying is to stop and think about why you are posting the price you paid for a new or used piano and the implications it may have.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1874170 - 04/05/12 12:32 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: monads]  
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Originally Posted by monads

It's actually quite different when you factor in the 'price' variable factors.


"Quite different"? Really? Is it really that complicated? For the (informed) buyer, he finds the piano he likes, negotiates a price which he believes is fair. A handshake and a few signatures later it's done. Does it really matter to him how the dealer arrived at the price? This is how most people handle this transaction. But perhaps members of this forum don't fit the mold of the average piano buyer.

But like any process one can make it as simple as can be, or equally as complicated.

#1874172 - 04/05/12 12:34 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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When Amazon starts selling Steinways..the party's over!

#1874182 - 04/05/12 12:50 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: Gomer]  
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Originally Posted by Bob Newbie
When Amazon starts selling Steinways..the party's over!

According to one member here their local Costco is selling some new Yamaha acoustic pianos.

Of course, I’m sure you can get an additional discount when buying shrink-wrapped multiples. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1874185 - 04/05/12 12:54 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: mcours2006]  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
"Quite different"? Really? Is it really that complicated? For the (informed) buyer, he finds the piano he likes, negotiates a price which he believes is fair. A handshake and a few signatures later it's done.


It's not complicated at all. I was alluding to the fact that there's things to consider when shopping for a piano. And it's easy if you do your homework. So why then does a buyer need the price people paid for a new piano fed to them?

Originally Posted by mcours2006

Does it really matter to him how the dealer arrived at the price?


Kinda does, because the buyer is using that as the basis for negotiation. And if didn't matter I don't think we'd be having this discussion "prices paid" thread wink



My music_website at http://www.OdysseyofaG.com
#1874221 - 04/05/12 02:13 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: monads]  
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Originally Posted by monads

Originally Posted by mcours2006

Does it really matter to him how the dealer arrived at the price?


Kinda does, because the buyer is using that as the basis for negotiation. And if didn't matter I don't think we'd be having this discussion "prices paid" thread wink



You don't know what exactly the dealers' margins are; you are only guessing at it. You can find out the MSP quite easily, and you try to work your way down from there. That's your basis for negotiation. How much discount you can get depends on a lot of things, none of which is in your control. So if you can get a 15% off and you think that's a good price, does it really matter what the dealer's take is to you?

As for divulging the price you paid, it's more information on which you can base your decision. Again, no different than buying anything else.

#1874269 - 04/05/12 04:55 PM Re: "prices paid" thread? [Re: mcours2006]  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
. . .does it really matter what the dealer's take is to you?


It can be complicated. The best price on the piano is partly a function of how little prep is put into the piano--which can be a very costly savings. Also, some dealers pay for the move while others add it to the negotiated deal. Some cover 2 tunes. Others cover only one. All these factors mean that a simple number can mislead the potential buyer. (I'm not a dealer. I'm a customer, BTW.)

Most importantly, someone selling pianos in a town of only 100,000 people will go out of business if they charge what dealers charge in huge markets. You want your dealer to not disappear if you have a warranty problem, no?

If we get too caught up in raw numbers, we might pay for it in the end. I'm virtually sure I could have negotiated a lower price on my new piano from the dealer, but for a wide variety of reasons, I stopped pushing at what seemed fair. They special-ordered a piano that took 5 months to arrive, and I turned it down after it arrived. They loaned me 2 digitals while I was waiting. They delivered them and picked them up. They threw in the cost of a complicated move. Above all, they are famous for doing extensive prep (according to 2 techs who sent me personal messages telling me how lucky I was to have bought from this particular dealer).

In the end, I took the best price I could find in S.F. and L.A., *added* what it would cost to ship a piano from those cities to Portland, split the difference between the total costs from those 2 cities, and presented that to my PDX dealer. They said yes. I could have NOT factored in the expensive moves from California, but when people bend over backward to provide great service, I thought it was worth something. And when someone is paying more than $25,000 for a piano, I think it's hard to pretend that you're so broke that you must get the absolute best deal in order to survive financially.

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