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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
Edb123 #2726557 04/04/18 05:14 PM
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I got the message in e-mails and postcards from the dealer who was selling all of their new Steinway stock. They were pretty open and public about the reason.


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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
Edb123 #2726558 04/04/18 05:15 PM
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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
twocats #2726572 04/04/18 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats

Intersting, twocats! Thanks for the link.

So, there's a dealer who apparently is standing by their claim since they put it in "print" on their website:

Originally Posted by the dealer in the link above
Steinway informed us the only way we could continue being a Steinway dealer was to offer their pianos exclusively.


It looks like the above was posted in late 2013.

Just out of curiosity, in case it vanishes from that website, it was also archived in the Web Archive's waybackmachine:

https://web.archive.org/web/2017071...sicpianos.net/steinway-liquidation-event





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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
Edb123 #2726578 04/04/18 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
I got the message in e-mails and postcards from the dealer who was selling all of their new Steinway stock. They were pretty open and public about the reason.

This is just my gut talking here, but I'd be more inclined to believe Bob Snyder rather than the dealer. Of course, there is always the possibility of a misunderstanding.

Rick


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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
Rickster #2726610 04/04/18 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by twocats
I got the message in e-mails and postcards from the dealer who was selling all of their new Steinway stock. They were pretty open and public about the reason.

This is just my gut talking here, but I'd be more inclined to believe Bob Snyder rather than the dealer. Of course, there is always the possibility of a misunderstanding.

Rick

That's funny, my gut is telling me the exact opposite.

Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
ando #2726619 04/04/18 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by twocats
I got the message in e-mails and postcards from the dealer who was selling all of their new Steinway stock. They were pretty open and public about the reason.

This is just my gut talking here, but I'd be more inclined to believe Bob Snyder rather than the dealer. Of course, there is always the possibility of a misunderstanding.

Rick

That's funny, my gut is telling me the exact opposite.

I guess he’s technically correct if we’re being pedantic about the word “demand”. Steinway didn’t “demand” anything, they just offered a rather unpalatable choice.


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
twocats #2726640 04/05/18 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by twocats


Hi twocats,

I know that dealer well and remember them going through that issue. Frankly, it is not uncommon for a manufacturer to have concerns about how their product is displayed and against what other instruments it will be competing with and compared to on a showroom floor that may be the singular experience for a region of piano buyers making a decision.

The stronger the brand, the more they will have concerns about how "brand centric" their dealer is.

It seems to me that an open minded and well informed pianist, when placed among some great pianos that are well prepped, will choose the instrument that most appeals to them, regardless of the name on the fallboard. This would put some brands at a greater disadvantage than others.

For that dealer this was the right decision.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
Edb123 #2726703 04/05/18 10:31 AM
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I have three quick final comments on this:

1. to "ando", who assumes I'm lying when I say we don't have the "Steinway only" policy: don't take my word for it. check Steinway dealer websites in a few cities, and it won't take long before you'll see that there are many who represent brands in addition to ours.

2. regarding the Portland situation: I won't go into specific details regarding this change, but I will say - as one who was very closely involved in this - that when these sorts of changes occur, it is to be expected that the dealer will put a positive spin on it - at least as it relates to their side of the equation. That's to be expected. In this case however, the "spin" level was elevated to a position that would impress CNN.

3. regarding the reasons why dealers change the lines they carry, in my 35 years plus of experience I have observed the following most common scenarios: the dealer makes the decision / the manufacturer makes the decision / both sides agree that it is the right decision. The reasons why are many and varied - - but at the end of the day, both sides need to do what makes the most sense in terms of what is best for their company. Both sides want these relationships to work - - but there are times when they don't - - so a change is made; hopefully the relationship is not destroyed - - because one never knows what the future may hold.


Bob Snyder
Senior District Manager
Steinway & Sons

rsnyder@steinway.com
www.steinway.com
Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
twocats #2726829 04/05/18 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by twocats
I got the message in e-mails and postcards from the dealer who was selling all of their new Steinway stock. They were pretty open and public about the reason.

This is just my gut talking here, but I'd be more inclined to believe Bob Snyder rather than the dealer. Of course, there is always the possibility of a misunderstanding.

Rick

That's funny, my gut is telling me the exact opposite.

I guess he’s technically correct if we’re being pedantic about the word “demand”. Steinway didn’t “demand” anything, they just offered a rather unpalatable choice.


As the one who used the word "demand" above, let me first say that I was paraphrasing, not quoting directly. Secondly, I too wondered if there was some way to slalom through these statements, and have them be hair-splittingly "true" to all parties.

Twocat's link also got me poking around with Google, which led me to this link:

http://www.musicincmag.com/News/2009/090707/090707_kitts.html

That third party report describes a dealer who

  • was an award-winning Steinway dealer (i.e. must have been doing well)
  • who continued to sell Steinway in other markets (i.e. must be Steinway-worthy in the big scheme of things)
  • hoped to sell Steinway in the future in metro area in question (i.e. still wants to sell Steinway)


It sure sounds like this is one of those times when "dealers change the lines they carry," but "the manufacturer makes the decision" for them. And the rationale that it's because of the other lines they carry is pretty compelling (multiple dealers have sung the same song). Rich G. explained the logic that could drive such a decision.

So, while it may be true that "Steinway does not 'demand' that our dealers sell 'only Steinway'," it does seem to be true that Steinway sometimes "cancels" a dealer's right to do so, against the dealer's wishes, for various and sundry reasons.

And it also seems like someone is trying to "put a positive spin on it - at least as it relates to their side of the equation." But, "that's to be expected."


For the record, I'm not calling Bob a liar. I just think that there's likely "truth" in both sides of this story. I also think 99.99% of Bob's contributions here are positive (not that it's my place to judge him). Helping Steinway owners find out the provenance of their pianos, for example, is pretty awesome.



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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
Edb123 #2726845 04/05/18 07:23 PM
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Yeah, I think there may have been other rather important factors in play there that you're not mentioning, Retsacnal. If memory serves, a change of ownership after the business owner passed away, an economic crash, the shrinking of a multi-location business, and a change in product representation. It sort of looks like you're "cherry picking" to make a particular impression here...


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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
terminaldegree #2726876 04/06/18 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
It sort of looks like you're "cherry picking" to make a particular impression here...

Cherry picking would imply that I know more than I'm saying here, and that's not the case. 100% of my "knowledge" is shared here.

Please remember that I don't have the extensive industry contacts and exposure that you do. That said, I don't think any of the things you point out would change my impression.

Change in ownership? If I bought a dealership that sold Steinway, I'd probably be pretty pissed if Steinway then "canceled" the dealership.
Economic crash/shrinking business? I suspect that this dynamic would be just as likely to impact the new distributor as it would the previous one.
Change in product line? Well, that's the crux here, isn't it?

Anyway, I think there's enough smoke here to conclude that there's a fire (i.e. the truth probably lies somewhere in between the two narratives).





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Re: Why do piano dealers change brands ?
Edb123 #2727054 04/06/18 04:26 PM
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From my experience, Steinway likes to have their dealers as exclusive for high end pianos as possible. Of course there are exceptions, the local dealer here for example also has Schimmel.
But I don't know a single dealer who also offers Estonia.
In fact those few who once did, no longer seem to.
So the question always remains "why". One can of course always speculate...
Fine by me, nothing wrong with trying different types of coffee in different parts of town.

Norbert smirk

Last edited by Norbert; 04/06/18 04:28 PM.

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