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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2162621 10/06/13 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KurtZ

Originally Posted by Rickster
Hi Mar23, and welcome to Piano World!

MichaleH is right to an extent, in that actual selling prices on new pianos are sort of taboo here on the forums.


Rick,

WADR: Remember that your voice carries the resonance of a moderator. Is it taboo or isn't it? There's a WHOLE LOT of stuff that comes up around this and some days I or someone else might take up the gauntlet in iconoclastic battle but today, I decline. Today, I am like our friend Norbert. I am innocence itself and offer nothing but a morsel that might lead another to insight or maybe not.

Kurt

Hi KurtZ,

When I was in college I took a course entitle “Organizational Behavior”; it was basically a course of study on how various organizations behave as an entity or as a whole. In fact, organizations have/develop a unique personality/demeanor much like an individual. I suppose you might say this is the “image” an organization exhibits or portrays. Piano World is no different.

With that said, it is my view that discussions of actual selling prices here are somewhat taboo, in that it could very well hurt some dealer members, because they may not be able to sell the same piano for that particular price… that is my opinion alone, and there is no hard and fast rule on discussing prices. If you, or any other member want to discuss the prices they paid, go right ahead. Does is show respect for our dealer members here? I’m not so sure.

So, at times I suppose I’m danged if I do and danged if I don’t, in regards to my comments here.

Also, for the record, not only do I consider Norbert a friend, but I consider every member here, dealer and non-dealer alike, a friend. And, I am not so much pro-dealer as I am pro Piano World.

However, I am not so naive to think that everybody here is my friend. Kind of reminds me of a blues tune I wrote with some lyrics that say, “I learned a long time ago that everybody ain’t your friend and every thing that glitters ain’t gold”. smile

Rick




Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2162651 10/06/13 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mar23
Thanks for all the input.

I live in Colorado. The biggest dealer in the area is Schmitt Music. There's also Pianos N Pianos and a couple of smaller dealers.



You also have Onofrio Piano (South Broadway) in Denver and Boulder Piano Gallery.

When I was looking, I visited them both and found them to be very helpful.

Good luck,

Jonathan

Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2162672 10/06/13 04:26 PM
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Hi Rick,

I too was wondering about "taboo" and if it was from a piano world policy or just your general assessment of the forum. You have explained it as the latter.

It's probably the word itself. It's highly charged. It wouldn't have been even noticed if "Sometimes people feel hesitant .....," or some such thing would have been used.

Water under the bridge.

Communication around here can often be like walking on eggs!

grin


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2162708 10/06/13 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Hi Rick,

I too was wondering about "taboo" and if it was from a piano world policy or just your general assessment of the forum. You have explained it as the latter.

It's probably the word itself. It's highly charged. It wouldn't have been even noticed if "Sometimes people feel hesitant .....," or some such thing would have been used.

Water under the bridge.

Communication around here can often be like walking on eggs! grin

Hi Marty,

I apologize that my use of the word “taboo” was not as clear as it should have been. Being articulate and well spoken is something I’ve always admired in a person; I’d like to think that I’m a good communicator, but I guess I can use some improvement in that area (as well as my piano playing smile ).

And, there are many highly articulate and well spoken folks here on Piano World, Dr. Minnesota Marty among them. smile

Now, let me tell you how much I paid for my last piano… laugh

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Rickster #2162801 10/06/13 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
but I think the term “price discrimination” is a little harsh. The word “discrimination” in itself makes someone a villain or a bad guy.

Didn't mean to be offensive--it's a standard phrase in Economics--but I can see how it might sound a little harsh to people who don't know it. Basically it means no one is treated the same regarding price--each customer pays a different price (i.e. as much as the seller can get out of them).



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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Rickster #2162802 10/06/13 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
I see the negotiation process, regardless of the item being bought or sold, as a bidding process from both buyer and seller. No one is holding anyone hostage to buy or sell. If buyer and seller cannot agree on a price, then no business will occur.

Just my .02.

Rick

I agree. I also love to haggle and get a good deal! laugh



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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Retsacnal #2163117 10/07/13 05:04 PM
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"Discriminatory pricing" in the piano industry is probably more applicable to student/teacher discounts, institutional sales, paying different prices for the same model with a different name on it, and group buying than say the customer who simply walks in to purchase a piano, the main element missing, of course, is any detailed information on the purchaser's surplus, or how much money can the salespro shake out of them.

While it's easy to label any non-linear pricing as discriminatory or deceptive my argument would be that if there is any discrimination or bias it's not based on gender, race, ethnicity, religious bent, or economic class (ability to pay) but one's ability/skill to haggle or bore the salespro to the point of capitulation.

Given that every piano in a retail joint has a bottom line or LSD (lowest street dollar), it's not so much negotiating in the classic sense of haggling with a street vendor, craiglister or sidewalk rug merchant whose costs and therefore prices, especially with the craiglister, may be indecipherable, but revealing a solid retail price that is lurking behind door number three.

Of course, the salespros are good at sizing up the customer's wallet. Maybe they notice the fire in the parking lot is the customer's Tesla burning to the ground. Maybe they notice the navitimer the customer is wearing.

But then there are always the customers who pretend, hide their economic ranking, and show up in a tilting rusting pick-up with their granny (or an actress) sitting in back, usually in a fraying lawn chair, smoking a corncob pipe and strumming a zither to the tune of the Third Man (this can be unnerving to even the most consumate salespro).

It might be more difficult in the bay area sizing up the marks because most of the money wanders around looking like Canadian gardeners or they're wearing Hemingway's old fishing clothes complete with a few bloodied hooks.

So, the first question the salespro asks out of the box is generally, after the weather is discussed and last night's earthquake, what price instrument are you looking for?

Any perceived surplus that the salespro fails to shake loose can later be siphoned off by the dealer's cut of various "continuing service" schemes.


Mike

Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mike Carr #2163165 10/07/13 07:36 PM
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Excellent post!

Originally Posted by Mike Carr
"Discriminatory pricing" ... how much money can the salespro shake out of them.

This is probably a little different than you intended, I think, but the above is the practical definition of "price discrimination." According to Google: "the action of selling the same product at different prices to different buyers, in order to maximize sales and profits," which is how I meant it.

Originally Posted by Mike Carr
While it's easy to label any non-linear pricing as discriminatory or deceptive my argument would be that if there is any discrimination or bias it's not based on gender, race, ethnicity, religious bent, or economic class (ability to pay) but one's ability/skill to haggle or bore the salespro to the point of capitulation.

You could also say how persuasive one might be in convincing a seller that he's got to discount in order to make a sale, forcing him to acknowledge competition and/or the likelihood that he might not make a sale at all.

Also, to be fair, the buyer is also discriminating, or should be: how much are they willing to give for a specific thing, or what's the best thing they can get for their price/budget/surplus.

For example, I just bought a piano for roughly $2000. I could have gone to the nearest dealer, and said "what can I get for $2000?" In which case I would have ended up with a mediocre Aeolian variant. I also could have decided I wanted a specific model, and gone to a dealer and paid MSRP/SMP/discounted SMP for it. Or I could have found a second-hand one at a dealer paid whatever he was willing to take for it. I tried to maximize my value by finding the best one I could pay the least for (and I think I did pretty well, but that's a different story).

Originally Posted by Mike Carr
But then there are always the customers who pretend, hide their economic ranking, and show up in a tilting rusting pick-up with their granny (or an actress) sitting in back

You can bet, I show up at a Craigslister's house in my ratty Jeep Wrangler, and not my BMW. ;-) A ratty Jeep has some cache in certain circles--a la your Canadian gardeners, but probably not with most piano sellers.

Originally Posted by Mike Carr
So, the first question the salespro asks out of the box is ... what price instrument are you looking for?

And you never, ever want to answer that question. Not with pianos, or cars, or houses, or anything! Because the salesman is wondering what the least thing of value he can give is, while still taking all of your money (maximizing his profit and minimizing your value)!

Anyway, this is probably getting too far off topic...



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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2163417 10/08/13 10:31 AM
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All this advice is probably good, but at some point you just have to take the leap. You will probably never know if you got a good deal, only if you got a good piano.

Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Retsacnal #2163483 10/08/13 01:05 PM
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Rets,

This kind of first degree price discrimination you're describing is theoretical at best and one of the conditions is that the seller has a detailed description of the buyer. When you think about it, it is difficult to discriminate without having some kind of basis to discriminate. If no one had known that John Garfield was Jewish in the movie "Gentleman's Agreement" you wouldn't have had a movie. The movie went into dramatic overdrive when Gregory Peck pretended to be Jewish.

So, when someone wanders into a piano store the salespro has no idea of his comfort level, as far as spending, and has to make guesses based on leading questions and appearance (number of prison tattoos, hygiene, diction, etc.), which can be misleading. If two people pay different prices for the same piano based purely on their ability to negotiate, I wouldn't call that discrimination. Of course, any number of economists would argue with that, but then they like to argue almost as much as they like to write books that no one understands.

Mike

Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2163568 10/08/13 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
Of course, the salespros are good at sizing up the customer's wallet.

The last time I visited a major piano store, I’m quite sure the salespeople sized me up and read me pretty well… of course, I did a little sizing up myself; I was the only customer in the store at the time and there were 4 salespeople there at the time, including the store owner. There were 5 vehicles in the parking lot… my red Chevy pick-up truck and 4 late model Mercedes Benz sedans.

If one’s income/financial status is judged by the vehicle they drive… well, I need say no more. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2163679 10/08/13 09:06 PM
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Tell them, whether true or not, that you would be writing a check, and also tell them that you may just buy a new car instead. They will fawn over you and try to get your attention. I have been in the car business for many years, and if they think you are undecided, and well qualified, they will probably cut to the chase with the price! Good luck!


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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2163715 10/08/13 10:12 PM
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Yeah, see...when you are the customer, it's ok to lie. And cheat the dealer! It's fun! Go ahead.

Say anything you like. Lie like a dog. You're the customer. Come on - do it.

Ethics only go in one direction - didn't you know that??



Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Furtwangler #2163865 10/09/13 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Yeah, see...when you are the customer, it's ok to lie. And cheat the dealer! It's fun! Go ahead.


That's the game the industry has created for itself.


Gary
Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2163931 10/09/13 11:46 AM
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Quote
There were 5 vehicles in the parking lot… my red Chevy pick-up truck and 4 late model Mercedes Benz sedans.

If one’s income/financial status is judged by the vehicle they drive… well, I need say no more.



I guess I couldn't work there myself driving only a VW TDI.

At least it's U.S. made....

Norbert wink


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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2164573 10/10/13 06:03 PM
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Anyone with any knowledge should respect a driver of a VW TDI. There is a prudent and careful man. That might speak volumes about the spending habits of the potential buyer. As I have said before, I'm in the auto business, and we have cars ranging from Rolls, to Cavaliers. My company car of choice is always a hybrid or anything that gets 40+ mpg! I receive free gas, but I love saving money for the corp, and being a saving, sensible American. TA DA!


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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2164591 10/10/13 07:13 PM
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So I went into a couple of piano stores today. Both had really nice helpful salespeople. Not at all pushy, quite informative and friendly.

I've played a Cable Nelson, really nice sound IMO
A brand new Young Chang. Much nicer sound on this one than others I played.
A Boston, really nice sound both in my blues and classical music
A Hailun. Also nice.
I've also tried a new Hardman, a Kawai, Hallet Davis and some older pianos.

Right now my favorites are the Boston, Young Chang, and Hallet Davis.

I'll decide over the next little while which I will be getting. Either way I'm happy with what I've been seeing.


Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Mar23 #2164613 10/10/13 08:23 PM
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Quote

Right now my favorites are the Boston, Young Chang, and Hallet Davis.


I presume these pianos are all in quite different price ranges.

If you'd take the most expensive one, perhaps the Boston, and then see what else you might get for same money, you could be most likely surprised.

Shopping by "brand" almost immediately eliminates the competitive edge you would get in today's market with an abundance of attractive choices at often similar price point.

The moment price point is not similar, all bets are off....

"Money" directly related to available quality at a particular price point is where it's really at in today's market.

Which is highly competitive - your ADVANTAGE.

Use it.

The only guarantee/promise to make a truly optimal choice for yourself.

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 10/10/13 08:28 PM.

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Re: Upgrading to a Baby Grand.
Norbert #2164622 10/10/13 08:51 PM
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It wasn't price I was thinking about today. I brought in an assortment of music and played them all. The most expensive was the Boston, yes but not a lot more as it's a 98. Cheapest I've seen were the Hardman, Hallet Davis and Young Chang.

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