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Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691297
11/22/17 04:25 PM
11/22/17 04:25 PM
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Goshen, Indiana
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Shipping costs are regularly built into the cost of items listed for sale online. If this is of huge concern to you, why have you not purchased from your regional dealer?

disclaimer, Sweetwater is a regional competitor.


Benjamin Rogers
Fmr. Piano Sales & Marketing Professional
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
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Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691309
11/22/17 05:16 PM
11/22/17 05:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 450
Chicago
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I usually avoid getting into legal discussions on Internet forums because the issues are often. Far more complex than I have the time and energy to fully explain. I violated my own principles here and now regret getting involved in this.

Mr. Justice Pologuy, I am from Chicago. Is there a point to the question? Moreover, the clients that hire me and lawyers referring cases to me best validate the adequacy of my legal education and my 16 years of practice.

On point, there is case law that treats the series of communication between buyer and seller in an on-line purchase as a written contract. The point of formation occurs when the buyer hits “place my order” or the like. Hence the interpretive rules apply as to any other written contract. Notwithstanding, this purchase also comes under Article 2 of the UCC and a host of applicable federal rules regarding sales and digital commerce. All this is simply to complex for me to cover here. A judge will look at all these factors. Remember, most of these disputes wind up I. Small claims. If you are the plaintiff, you get five minutes and the retailer gets five. Then the judge decides. Case over.

Good luck to all.


Baldwin SF-10
Petrof III
Chickering Console (1950s)
Associate Member PTG (Chicago chapter)
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Duke of Dunning] #2691314
11/22/17 05:21 PM
11/22/17 05:21 PM
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Posts: 355
Milwaukee, WI
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Pologuy Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Duke of Dunning
Mr. Justice Pologuy, I am from Chicago. Is there a point to the question?


Yes, that is where I attended law school - Northwestern.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP(12), or Kawai VPC(2), or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691330
11/22/17 06:04 PM
11/22/17 06:04 PM
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+1 to Cas below

Last edited by Gombessa; 11/22/17 06:37 PM.

Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691335
11/22/17 06:12 PM
11/22/17 06:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7,033
Italy
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Now we're getting into the realm of personal digs, and that's just not on.

I think the point has been made here. If there was anything worth saying, it's been said.

Time to go play the piano lads.


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Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691341
11/22/17 06:46 PM
11/22/17 06:46 PM
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Posts: 355
Milwaukee, WI
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Pologuy Offline OP
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Sorry, it wasn't meant to be a dig - and if it was taken that way, I truly apologize.

It was more of a tongue-in-cheek reply to his calling me "Mr. Justice Pologuy".

Sorry if it offended anyone - that was truly not my intent!

Now I was going to say - back to the main topic - but I think this proverbial "dead horse" has been beaten enough.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP(12), or Kawai VPC(2), or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691357
11/22/17 07:58 PM
11/22/17 07:58 PM
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Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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I am also not about to beat a dead horse ....

There seems to be some confusion as to the issue here.

Here is what I thought we were talking about .... correct me if I am wrong.

I buy a product from a dealer on-line for $100 plus "free" shipping.

The product arrives at my door and I use it for 1 day and decide I do not want it.

The dealer policy allows me to send it back.

Now here is where the confusion begins ....

If I send it back with a label provided by the dealer and do not pay anything while sending it back, the dealer will take the cost of that shipment BACK off of my refund.

That is what I thought we were talking about and I defend that as being fair.


I am reading some posts which make it sound like the customer (me) pays for the shipping when I send it back and then in addition to that the dealer rescinds its original offer of "free" shipping and deducts the cost of shipping it TO ME from the refund.

That does not sound right and I do not think that is what happens.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691362
11/22/17 08:08 PM
11/22/17 08:08 PM
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Posts: 87
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On the first concern, under what ad for "free shipping" would the retailer's real costs of the shipping not be "concealed" in the price? This would be like saying you want the cost of manufacturing or developing the piano to be "free". As someone said, "included in the advertised price", would be a better description, but most buyers know the economic reality of "free shipping".

Pologuy's second concern is valid, but only if he stated it correctly. Any return processed with the retailer's original shipping cost deducted from the return may be legal (assuming the practice was put in small print), but it would not endear the retailer to customers. Why, it would be uncommon and not standard .There is a difference between good business practices and legality.

Sweetwater does have a practice that soured me on their business, although it is not mentioned here. Every so often, I would get an unrequested call from my Sweetwater "representative", informing me that if there is anything I need in musical equipment, he/she would be happy to serve me. I found these calls to be irritating, outside typical business practice, and difficult to stop. Imagine any other retailer --such as cars, boats, outdoor equipment, particularly for hobby or luxury items--calling in the evening just to ask if you were ready to purchase something new? For me, it became a negative cost to me of doing business with Sweetwater.

Last edited by Scooby Hoo; 11/22/17 08:15 PM.
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691364
11/22/17 08:16 PM
11/22/17 08:16 PM
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Posts: 355
Milwaukee, WI
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Pologuy Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dmd
I am also not about to beat a dead horse ....

There seems to be some confusion as to the issue here.

Here is what I thought we were talking about .... correct me if I am wrong.

I buy a product from a dealer on-line for $100 plus "free" shipping.

The product arrives at my door and I use it for 1 day and decide I do not want it.

The dealer policy allows me to send it back.

Now here is where the confusion begins ....

If I send it back with a label provided by the dealer and do not pay anything while sending it back, the dealer will take the cost of that shipment BACK off of my refund.

That is what I thought we were talking about and I defend that as being fair.

I am reading some posts which make it sound like the customer (me) pays for the shipping when I send it back and then in addition to that the dealer rescinds its original offer of "free" shipping and deducts the cost of shipping it TO ME from the refund.

That does not sound right and I do not think that is what happens.



Correct - you misunderstood, lol smile

If you decide to return a product to Sweetwater - they don't provide you with a label - you have to arrange and pay to ship it back yourself - which no one really has any problem with.

However, the refund they issue you will have the original "free shipping" cost deducted from your refund.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP(12), or Kawai VPC(2), or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691367
11/22/17 08:28 PM
11/22/17 08:28 PM
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Posts: 355
Milwaukee, WI
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Pologuy Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Scooby Hoo
There is a difference between good business practices and legality.


Virtually every states' Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) / Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) / Consumer Protection Act (CPA), etc. uses the same boilerplate wording.

“no person, entity, firm, corporation or association... with intent to sell, distribute, increase the consumption of... any... merchandise... directly or indirectly, to the public for sale... shall make, publish, disseminate, circulate, or place before the public... an advertisement, announcement, statement or representation of any kind... which... contains any assertion, representation or statement which is untrue, deceptive or misleading.”


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP(12), or Kawai VPC(2), or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691388
11/22/17 10:48 PM
11/22/17 10:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 64
Minnesota, U.S.
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unkabin Offline
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Like several others, I'm still wondering after reading through this mildly entertaining thread, so I'll ask a direct question:

Pologuy, when you were asked for your zip code, was this within the context of your asking for a lower than advertised price?

If so, once you engage in that bartering, don't you believe that you've chosen to step outside the realm of the standard terms? At that point, I see this as a retailer reasonably wanting to know their costs before possibly offering you an even lower price that advertised. I just can't see anything wrong with this.

As for the deduction of the original shipping costs in the case of a return, this would give me pause, but it seems in your initial post that you were most outraged by the question of your zip code.

Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691389
11/22/17 10:50 PM
11/22/17 10:50 PM
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Posts: 4,502
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline
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Originally Posted by Pologuy
Correct - you misunderstood, lol smile

If you decide to return a product to Sweetwater - they don't provide you with a label - you have to arrange and pay to ship it back yourself - which no one really has any problem with.


Well, good .... because that is what I thought you were objecting to. You are not. Ok.


Quote
However, the refund they issue you will have the original "free shipping" cost deducted from your refund.


I can hardly believe that.

I do not believe I have ever experienced it but I suppose I could have but just didn't notice. That doesn't sound like something I would not notice, though.

wow ...


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691401
11/23/17 12:05 AM
11/23/17 12:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,841
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Pologuy
Originally Posted by dmd
I am also not about to beat a dead horse ....

There seems to be some confusion as to the issue here.

Here is what I thought we were talking about .... correct me if I am wrong.

I buy a product from a dealer on-line for $100 plus "free" shipping.

The product arrives at my door and I use it for 1 day and decide I do not want it.

The dealer policy allows me to send it back.

Now here is where the confusion begins ....

If I send it back with a label provided by the dealer and do not pay anything while sending it back, the dealer will take the cost of that shipment BACK off of my refund.

That is what I thought we were talking about and I defend that as being fair.

I am reading some posts which make it sound like the customer (me) pays for the shipping when I send it back and then in addition to that the dealer rescinds its original offer of "free" shipping and deducts the cost of shipping it TO ME from the refund.

That does not sound right and I do not think that is what happens.



Correct - you misunderstood, lol smile

If you decide to return a product to Sweetwater - they don't provide you with a label - you have to arrange and pay to ship it back yourself - which no one really has any problem with.

However, the refund they issue you will have the original "free shipping" cost deducted from your refund.


Unless they have changed recently, this is not what happened when I purchased my VPC1 from them a few years ago and returned it (not for a defect in the DP). I only paid to have it shipped back.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691420
11/23/17 04:01 AM
11/23/17 04:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,237
Wales
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A few years ago I purchased a keyboard from a major US dealer (not Sweetwater), and decided to return it. The cost of shipping was deducted from my refund (I believe it was both ways, but am not certain). I was somewhat out of pocket, but I did not have to live with a product that didn't suit my needs. I knew the situation before I hit the purchase button. By clicking on that I agreed to these terms, whether or not I might regard them in theory as unacceptable. If I did think of them as unacceptable, I sold out my principles by regarding the overall price and convenience as more important at that moment in time.

Looking at it from the dealer's perspective, they are basically saying that as long as the item remains sold, they have their shipping costs and profit margin covered. If it is returned, they now have an open-box item (providing they're honest about that) that has to be rehoused and resold. Should they have to eat the shipping (either one way or both ways), they may well lose the potential profit that they would receive from any resale as open-box (which is likely to be at a lower price than the original sale). Therefore, the "free" shipping only applies if you keep the item.

When haggling, you are negotiating a new contract. The original advertised price and terms no longer apply, and therefore the "free" shipping is also off the table.

If I wanted to avoid that potential scenario, I would order through Guitar Center for pickup at my local store. If the item was unsuitable, I would pack it up and return it to the store - zero cost penalty for me. In that situation, GC has paid to ship it to the store and must hope that the item can be resold from that same store to avoid further transportation costs.

With the demise of the independent bricks and mortar stores, which would never be able to carry sufficient range of stock, nor cover the costs of returned big-ticket items, this is the situation that we must live with. To be honest, I think it's a pretty good deal for the keyboard purchaser, as, effectively, we can "rent to own" any item we desire (for up to 30 days). Should we keep the item, all monies go toward the overall purchase price, including shipping, but if we return, the rental is just the cost of shipping (whether one-way or two - ask first!).

If you're worried about the use of words in an advertisement, don't purchase there, but consider a polite email to the store owner or manager asking for clarification. If you're simply indignant that you can't have something for nothing, welcome to the real world!


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: voxpops] #2691433
11/23/17 06:32 AM
11/23/17 06:32 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,611
Northern England.
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Originally Posted by voxpops
A few years ago I purchased a keyboard from a major US dealer (not Sweetwater), and decided to return it. The cost of shipping was deducted from my refund (I believe it was both ways, but am not certain). I was somewhat out of pocket, but I did not have to live with a product that didn't suit my needs. I knew the situation before I hit the purchase button. By clicking on that I agreed to these terms, whether or not I might regard them in theory as unacceptable. If I did think of them as unacceptable, I sold out my principles by regarding the overall price and convenience as more important at that moment in time.


Jus' tryin' to get my head around that . . . .I might have sold out my principles loadsa times without knowing it, because I never read the small stuff . . . . . or much o' the big stuff either.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: voxpops] #2691434
11/23/17 06:34 AM
11/23/17 06:34 AM
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Portugal
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Hello again vox!
Originally Posted by voxpops
With the demise of the independent bricks and mortar stores, which would never be able to carry sufficient range of stock, nor cover the costs of returned big-ticket items, this is the situation that we must live with. To be honest, I think it's a pretty good deal for the keyboard purchaser, as, effectively, we can "rent to own" any item we desire (for up to 30 days). Should we keep the item, all monies go toward the overall purchase price, including shipping, but if we return, the rental is just the cost of shipping
Yes, that sounds very fair and sensible. The retailer has to cover his margins somehow. The option of returning an item just because the customer didn't quite like it is a bit of a pain for them to deal with financially.
Originally Posted by voxpops
monies

I hadn't realised you were a banker's lawyer.


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Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: MacMacMac] #2691435
11/23/17 06:35 AM
11/23/17 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Why the rant?
Why are you surprised?

Nothing is free.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Not ever.


It is, in the Netherlands.

I've been dealing with the same store for 10 years (and my parents before that, for 15 years, with the current owner's father.) He knows I look around before I buy anything. When I told him I was interested in a CLP-585 and asked him for a price, he offered a €250 discount off the bat, and a free matching Discacciati bench.

In the end, I went for the LX-17, and told him it was €250 cheaper in Germany. (In the Netherlands, prices were/are the same everywhere, give or take €10.) I got the price reduction down to German level, got the free bench, and even most of the earlier €250 discount (from the Yamaha) on top of that. And free delivery and setup.

So... Price of the LX-17 in the Netherlands at the time: 4.995. Price of the bench: €175.
I paid: €4600, including everything.

That's a discount of €570 as compared to when I would have bought that piano anywhere else. Having a good, and very long relationship with your dealer can be beneficial for both: for me, with regard to finances, for him, because I refer everyone I know who wants to buy an instrument there.

Last edited by Falsch; 11/23/17 06:43 AM.

Roland LX-17 PE == At GF's condo: Kawai MP7 == Currently in storage: Focal Alpha 80, Pianoteq with Kremsegg I, II and Ruckers II addons.
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Falsch] #2691439
11/23/17 06:58 AM
11/23/17 06:58 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,437
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Online content
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Having a good, and very long relationship with your dealer can be beneficial for both: for me, with regard to finances, for him, because I refer everyone I know who wants to buy an instrument there.

Ain't that the truth. I always try to buy from my local dealer in Oisterwijk, Klundert Muziek.

He gave me €150 off the price of the RD2000 and it had just come out. There are store owners who are very decent people and in the long run that's simply good business.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy] #2691486
11/23/17 12:29 PM
11/23/17 12:29 PM
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I don't get this thread. Where is the problem?

"Free shipping" means one thing: The price you see on the website is what it will cost you to buy and get the item delivered to your home. "Free" is to be understood as "no additional costs". Obviously any merchant will add the shipping fee (+other operational costs) on top of the price before displaying them on the site.

Would the designation "shipping costs already included" be more accurate? Absolutely, Thomann actually states it that way (German only). The result is the same though.

Now a merchant with "free shipping" CAN be cheaper than one with standard fees, but (at least in Germany) that is often NOT the case. It's up to you to compare (plenty of sites that do that quickly available).

Also, there is no secrecy, dishonesty or misleading advertizing here.
Originally Posted by https://www.sweetwater.com/about/free-shipping/
If you return your purchase, then the cost of shipping will be deducted from any refund or credit.

Right there in the bullet point. Not hidden away in some AGB or anything. Doesn't get anymore fair and transparent than that.
While this might seem weird at first, consider that shipping a big, heavy and honking box is pretty expensive. TOO expensive for any merchant to subsidize away if he lets people try pianos w/o any penalty.

As others already posted: if you want to negotiate an even lower price, the merchant quite obviously needs to take the concrete (depending on location, USA = waaay bigger than Germany laugh ) into account. That is why they asked.

Bottom line: OP did not read the information laid out in front of him before engaging in negotiations.

Last edited by Granyala; 11/23/17 12:36 PM.

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Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Granyala] #2691502
11/23/17 01:13 PM
11/23/17 01:13 PM
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Quote
TOO expensive for any merchant to subsidize away if he lets people try pianos w/o any penalty.


This idea has been mentioned a bunch. If I have to pay the cost of return shipping - as mentioned, shipping a digital piano is expensive - then there's still a 'penalty' or cost involved in trying out the product if I choose to return it. That said, "Free Shipping" seems like a fine label as long as Sweetwater isn't also claiming free returns on the same page with no clarification that shipping fees are not refundable except in the case of a Sweetwater error.

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