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Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
#2176731 11/04/13 02:33 AM
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Simple question. Is it because they are made there?

I was looking at one site for Sauter piano prices in Germany. They were listed at almost 1/2 the price of the retail in Larry Fine's book for North America.

These are brand new pianos. Even the markup for German cars aren't that high.

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176750 11/04/13 03:59 AM
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The dollar is not as strong as it used to be. Not that long ago you could work on the basis of a $ equaling a euro. Now $4 gets you 3 euros.

There is also transport to consider.

Marketing a luxury product isn't always about cutting price. Often the reverse is the case if you think you have got a market where consumers think "expensive foreign = status".

I wonder, are Steinways more expensive in Europe than in US?


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Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176761 11/04/13 05:45 AM
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I suppose it's the sum of:
Transport, Import Taxes and a weak dollar.

BTW. In Germany most German products are way cheaper then in the rest of Europe. We (non German Europeans) also pay a "made in Germany" premium. (we pay double what Germans pay for a German car.)


Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176772 11/04/13 06:33 AM
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I did some more research. It seems German cars like BMW, Porsche, VW, Audi are CHEAPER in the USA than in Germany!

Apparently due to taxes... But I know that in some Asian countries it's like 2 or 3 times more expensive.

Very interesting about paying double in the Netherlands.

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176782 11/04/13 07:01 AM
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@The Wind,
It's mostly a tax issue. We pay an immense amount of tax on cars.

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
WimPiano #2176783 11/04/13 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wimpiano

BTW. In Germany most German products are way cheaper then in the rest of Europe. We (non German Europeans) also pay a "made in Germany" premium. (we pay double what Germans pay for a German car.)

This is quite interesting since IIRC at least some German cars are cheaper in the Czech Republic than in Germany. Also Skoda (which is Germany car made in CR) is more cheaper (surprisingly!) here then in Germany...
Do you have some special tax on luxury in Netherlands? If not, then why you simply do not go to Germany and buy car there?


November 2011: piano entered into my life.
Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176787 11/04/13 07:18 AM
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Sorry to have moved the thread slightly off-topic.

About cars: We pay quite a lot of tax on cars (and even more on petrol):
The average BMW 3 series = 42000 of which 12500 is tax.
Double might indeed be a bit exaggerated. The Germans pay 30000 for the same car.

About pianos, the difference is less but still substantial. Example:

The lowest price for I could find for a new Schimmel C116T is €9200 in the Netherlands vs €8240 in Germany (without negotiation).
The MSRP for this Schimmel C116T in Germany is €8990 vs €9790 in the Netherlands.

Last edited by wimpiano; 11/04/13 07:22 AM.
Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
KarelG #2176791 11/04/13 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by KarelG
This is quite interesting since IIRC at least some German cars are cheaper in the Czech Republic than in Germany. Also Skoda (which is Germany car made in CR) is more cheaper (surprisingly!) here then in Germany...
Do you have some special tax on luxury in Netherlands? If not, then why you simply do not go to Germany and buy car there?

Living here is quite expensive. I suppose things have gotten more expensive in the Czech Republic in the last ten years as well? In the winter of 2001 I bought myself a Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic for just over 10cts.

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176846 11/04/13 10:13 AM
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Having done consulting for a couple of the European manufacturers, in addition to all the valid points made above, the pricing of their competitors in the US is also taken into account, as are their methods/costs of distribution here.


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Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176854 11/04/13 10:37 AM
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Well, if you're comparing the retail price listed in Fine's guide to strike prices in Europe, that's a large part of the difference. The real price of European pianos in the US is often 30-40% lower than what is given as the list price in Fine's PianoBuyer.

Any residual difference is likely due to taxes and transport costs, and some local market differences.

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176891 11/04/13 12:16 PM
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As a point of Euro (German) cars that are cheaper here than in other parts of the world including Germany, its not the case for all models and makes but is for some. Many of the manufacturers do not manufacture some or all of the parts in Germany and in some cases they are manufactured AND assembled in the USA plants so inevitably it will be cheaper here. For instance the X5 BMW is made in the Carolina plant mainly for the US market and so therefore will carry as much expense.


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Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2176932 11/04/13 01:19 PM
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Getting back to pianos...

I wonder if it might have anything to do with the manufacturer having higher export and distribution costs, wishing to make higher margins on sales in the U.S., and the U.S. distributor taking 25-30% off the top?

Nah - probably not.


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Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
Furtwangler #2176992 11/04/13 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Getting back to pianos...

I wonder if it might have anything to do with the manufacturer having higher export and distribution costs, wishing to make higher margins on sales in the U.S., and the U.S. distributor taking 25-30% off the top?

Nah - probably not.


Along the same lines, isn't there any import duty on pianos as a luxury good?

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
laguna_greg #2176999 11/04/13 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Along the same lines, isn't there any import duty on pianos as a luxury good?

The U.S. duty rate on German upright or grand pianos, new or used, would be 4.7%.

Larry.

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2177016 11/04/13 04:46 PM
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Could anyone provide a list of the MSRP prices for the Steinway Grands sold in Germany? It would be interesting to compare them to the published NY-Steinway prices.


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Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2177042 11/04/13 05:25 PM
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Quote
I was looking at one site for Sauter piano prices in Germany. They were listed at almost 1/2 the price of the retail in Larry Fine's book for North America.



The short and sweet answer is this:

In North America we are obsessed with "Discount" and "Sale" pricing, giving the consumer the illusion he'll get a "once in a lifetime" type deal.

In reality, consumers here pay actually MORE in the end on virtually all products, even AMERICAN made ones.

To accomplish this, you have to start from higher, articially set prices to create the illusion.

In Europe, this doesn't exist. Prices are almost exactly where they *are*, so they are indeed or at least "appear" to be lower.

To ask for 30% or 40% off on a piano in Germany would either result in having an ambulance called on you or another family member.

After all, you may have gone missing for a few days already...

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 11/04/13 05:28 PM.

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Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2177051 11/04/13 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Norbert
To ask for 30% or 40% off on a piano in Germany would either result in having an ambulance called on you or another family member.

After all, you may have gone missing for a few days already...

Norbert

So, the German Mafia really does exist?

I wonder if they collaborate with the Sicilian or Russian Mafia? smile

Rick


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Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2177055 11/04/13 05:59 PM
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The original question asked for an explanation of why German pianos are cheaper in Europe. It's not at all clear to me that they are, or that the difference is large if it exists.

First we have the potentially misleading comparison between fluff list prices in the US set against hard real prices in the EU. Apple, meet orange.

Secondly, the transport and tariff costs are fairly small.

Lastly, there can be some pricing to market. But that can go both ways. If the competition is more intense in Europe (more brands going at it), a price discriminating firm would price lower in Europe and higher in the US. But exchange rate fluctuations can cancel that out. When the Euro rises, European makers tend not to raise US dollar prices in lock step, so the US price falls relative to the EU price. The reverse can happen if the dollar rises.


Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2177099 11/04/13 07:07 PM
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As an example, here's a link for a website to buy pianos in Europe:

http://www.pianova.com/en

You can choose the brand and countries, I put in Sauter and Germany, Austria. I found one brand new Sauter 114 for $8000 Euros which would be just under $12,000 US or Canadian.

Now this is a piano I would look at buying. I know Norbert carries Sauter but I am quite sure his retail price would be higher than the listed price in Germany.

I will look at some other brands too, where I am in western Canada all the German brands seem to be at a premium, like Grotrian, Bechstein...


I wonder if it's possible to buy the piano in Europe and ship it over here, but then that would add lots of duty/shipping/tax costs as well.

Re: Why are German pianos cheaper in Europe than North America?
The Wind #2177100 11/04/13 07:07 PM
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