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Joined: Feb 2011
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Was the same dealer who had the Weber with the cracked bridge the one that sold you the piano with the finish issue?

Because if it is, I think you should identify the dealer. And you should still post your experience to Yelp and Google review. Potential customers should be aware of a dealer like this, and you can help someone else avoid going through what you did.


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As I posted in the other thread, this guy sounds like a real bad apple.

He chose your earlier email, which he thought served his interests better. But it doesn't sound like in that one you offered not to "go public" with your complaints. Even apart from Yelp and other sites, word-of-mouth is often the best way to go. I'd tell everyone you know about your bad experience with the dealer. His clientele likely largely overlaps your sphere of influence...six degrees of separation, and all that. I would tell anyone and everyone you know about your experience.

I'm curious if the two pianos will remain on his sales floor! Or does he display nice pianos, and ship the defective ones?


“If it sounds good, it IS good.”
― Duke Ellington
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Originally Posted by Sam Rose
Was the same dealer who had the Weber with the cracked bridge the one that sold you the piano with the finish issue?


Yes, that's the same dealer, but I am not comfortable of posting his name on a public forum like this. If anyone wants to know who the dealer is, he/she can pm me.

By the way, after looking for a piano for a few months and read a lot of posts and a few books, I am surprised at how little most piano shoppers know about pianos. I heard from all my local dealers that only a small percentage of piano buyers are doing their homework before buying a piano. I learned that most piano shoppers never heard about Larry Fine's book and web site. Most piano shoppers rely on (a) piano dealers and (b) their kid's piano teacher for buying advice. I know many piano teachers in my social circle and when I asked them for recommendation, 70% of them said Yamaha and the other 30% said either Yamaha or Kawai.

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Good piano dealers don't unequivocally say that their inventory choices are the best in each price range. They say "In our opinion" even if some would assume it's their opinion without that phrase or "We feel that make X is one of the best in this price range because________."

Good dealers don't put down other dealers. This includes putting them down without specifically mentioning them by name. I mean statements like "Unlike many dealers, we___________." or It's unfortunate that many dealers don't ________."

Good dealers don't brag about their supposed knowledge about pianos.

Many other things, but just a few that came to mind.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/23/16 04:39 PM.
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Good dealers don't put down other dealers. This includes putting them down without specifically mentioning them by name. I mean statements like "Unlike many dealers, we___________." or It's unfortunate that many dealers don't ________."


This is especially true in my experience. Not-as-cool dealers badmouth others and other brands.

I also second everything else PL wrote above.

Good dealers and staff are musicians themselves. Music and community first, above huge markups and profits.

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Originally Posted by Pneuma
So, let me give you an update. After being ignored repeatedly by the dealer, I totally lost my patience with him and I was determined not to have anything to do with him anymore. However, I decided to give him a last chance so I wrote a nice email to him and asked him to let me return the piano for a refund. I told him that I would pay $500 for moving the piano and all his trouble. Of course, I received no reply, so I sent the email again the next day. I then waited patiently for 2 weeks hoping he might change his mind.

Two weeks passed and nothing happened. I sent him an email documenting all my communication attempts with him and how he responded or not responded. During that 2 weeks, I also received confirmations from several professionals on this forum that this particular brand of piano was known to have problems with its finish. Since this dealer has been selling this brand for many years, I assumed he must know about this problem. I warned him that if he knew about the problem but still sold me the defective piano, it could be considered a business fraud. I told him that I now want a full refund and if I do not hear from him within 10 business days, I will report him to BBB and post my experiences on Google review and Yelp.

You know what, within an hour, I received an email from him but it was a reply to the email I sent him 2 weeks ago. He said that he would take my offer of $500 for a return and refund. I was furious but I was also tired of dealing with him, so I said yes.

Within 24 hours, the piano was out of my house and I got my money back minus $500.

So, I am back to the market for a piano again.


Good.

Let me sell you something you'll like, that's worth the money.

Biggest bang for the buck? Asian-built grands. In no particular order, go find these pianos...And I don't care if you have to drive. Six hours of windshield time (one-way), is nothing, if it means you get the right piano.

1. Brodmann
2. Cunningham
3. Baldwin
4. Rittmuller
5. Hailunn
6. Perzina

If you want new, I submit you can find something you really like within those six brands. And they are all different. For instance, even though they come out of the same factory, you'll never mistake a Cunningham for a Hailun, and vice-versa.

Try them all, and try them in tune.


TNCR. Over 20 years. Over 2,000,000 posts. And a new site...

https://nodebb.the-new-coffee-room.club

Where pianists and others talk about everything. And nothing.
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Originally Posted by Jolly
Biggest bang for the buck? Asian-built grands.


I'd say used concert grands are the best price performance point, if you have room for one. High end used/rebuilt pianos are more stable than recent product will outlast them.



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Hmmm. Maybe it's my spider sense.

I've been inside maybe 30 different piano shops in my time, but have only done business with two. Both experiences have worked out AOK.

My first used grand came from Boston Piano, since out of business. A great Yamaha dealer, I must have spent hours in there before finding the right used Yamaha G3. I sent friends there as well, and they all came back happy. I bought a U1 from them, as well as a N3. Great folks.

Too bad they had to close a few years back. A real shame.

My lifetime piano purchase was at the Atlantic Music Center in Melbourne, FL. An exceptional dealer of many exotic brands, which is what I was looking for. Absolutely no regrets -- an exceptional dealer experience.

The other ~28 piano dealer experiences, well, not so good. Warehouses full of exceptionally cheap off-brand pianos, with a hired music grad to play them all nicely. Salespeople who tried to tell me that I was actually listening to a fine instrument when I obviously wasn't. Used instruments that were obviously damaged. People who tried to browbeat me into thinking I really didn't know pianos. Or play off people's insecurity.

And the Steinway dealers who treated me like I was buying this year's fashion statement vs. an instrument. Yuck.

Some I walked out of in 3 minutes flat. Others took a while longer to figure out this wasn't for me.

I had to kiss a lot of frogs. You may need to as well. But I eventually found exactly what I wanted. I hope you all have the same positive outcome as I did.


Life is too short to be playing bad music.

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Originally Posted by cphollis

My lifetime piano purchase was at the Atlantic Music Center in Melbourne, FL. An exceptional dealer of many exotic brands, which is what I was looking for. Absolutely no regrets -- an exceptional dealer experience.


I would agree with this !



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Quote
The dealer that I had a bad experience with had excellent Google reviews.


Google's ratings can be manipulated with fake reviews. Yelp it is much a more reliable source. Yelp has an active algorithm which filters reviews. It is not perfect but sophisticated enough to deliver with 75% accuracy. On Yelp you can disregard the really bad reviews and those glowing reviews as well, then create an average.

Quote
Another thing I noticed was the complex relationship the dealer had with Larry Fine's book/website. The dealer printed out a review from Fine's book and put it in a frame to promote a particular piano brand. Obviously the dealer loved the positive review from Fine's book.

Some dealers have developed presentations around the book focusing only on favorable sections.
This book has evolved over the years and went from an actual book with information (only) to a magazine with advertising. In my opinion the book it is a good source but inadvertently helps to level the field for the less known brands by giving them perhaps more credit than it is deserved. (in some cases)

Quote
Anyhow, what do you think are the signs of good piano dealers?

Dealers who provide objective information with regard to pianos, the kind of information that can be verified by a piano technician. Dealers who tell you immediately without any pre-talk where the piano is made. Dealers who can tell you what kind of prepping you can expect and get it done.

Best Regards,


San Mateo Piano
Kawai Piano Dealer San Francisco Bay Area
www.sanmateopiano.com
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