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Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
#2843377 04/29/19 08:10 AM
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Hi,
I am saving up to buy a specific piano. I was speaking to a piano salesperson who told me the price of their Kawai GX series pianos has been increasing 4 to 6 percent EVERY YEAR.
Is he is full of b.s. and using this as a tactic to get me to buy now? It seems implausible for the price of a piano to go up that much when inflation is historically, maybe 1/3 of this rate?
As an example, a $30,000 instrument would be going up to over $38,000 in just five years. This seems ...just not right.

Can someone confirm if this sounds really incorrect or is actually plausible?

Last edited by pianopuff; 04/29/19 08:13 AM. Reason: typo
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843379 04/29/19 08:27 AM
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Don't trust ANYTHING a salesperson tells you. They have been given a list of expressions to use to attempt to get you to buy...now.

Do you have a relationship with a good technician that you trust?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843383 04/29/19 08:45 AM
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It's possible - but who knows what will happen fiscally in the next 5 years. Yes, that has happened at times of high inflation, and, some things have increased, other things have reduced.

Prices are based more on what the manufacturers think the market will stand, not necessarily what it costs to produce a product.

The other trick is that the salesman will try to get you to sign up a finance deal - which will undoubtedly cost you more than 4-6% even if it does go up that much.

But yes, they do go up in price - in 1977 I bought a YAMAHA UX upright for about $2,300 - and it's equivalent YUS5 now is over $20,000 - but then everything else has gone up. And the new one is superior to the UX.

Don't be pressured. Check the market carefully - find the piano you want, and go from there - when you've saved up.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
backto_study_piano #2843390 04/29/19 09:03 AM
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Thanks. I know that prices go up, of course. But it just seemed strange to say that much every year. The truth is, we don't know how much it will go up...I just need a ballpark amount to shoot for and if that target goes up that much every year, then it's important to know!
Appreciate the input.

We are not financing our piano under any circumstances. I have a decent upright that I love. And when I can afford it, I'll get the grand (looking at a Kawai GX-1 or 2).

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843394 04/29/19 09:14 AM
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New piano prices do increase over time. Yamaha and Kawai also deal with labor and material costs in Japan, yen to whatever exchange rate, tariffs, etc. Also Yamaha and Kawai make improvements to their new pianos to help justify the price. Yamaha C series is now the CX. Kawai has also upped their game in their pianos with the typical price increases. Unfortunately used pianos always deprecate. Perhaps you could consider a lightly used Kawai and be sure to get it checked by an independent piano tech. Best of Luck!


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843395 04/29/19 09:17 AM
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Yes I do have a relationship with technician, and I'll ask him when he comes to tune our piano in a few months! smile
Great idea.

Last edited by pianopuff; 04/29/19 09:17 AM.
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843403 04/29/19 09:39 AM
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Why guess when the facts are published?

SMP on a Kawai GX2 PE:

2016 - $33190
2017 - $34990
2018 - $34990
2019 - $37990

An increase of ~15% in 3 years.


Piano Industry Consultant

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Jasons Music
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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843418 04/29/19 09:57 AM
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If piano inflation were really more than general inflation, perhaps this might be a contributory factor to the decline in piano sales?

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843423 04/29/19 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by pianopuff
It seems implausible for the price of a piano to go up that much when inflation is historically, maybe 1/3 of this rate?


A lot depends on how inflation is measured, and it's a very squishy thing to try to get a handle on....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Consumer_Price_Index

You have to decide what should be in the "basket" of typical commodities. I don't think pianos are ever in the basket. Just like different stocks may go up and down on the same day, different commodities can move in opposite directions. Not even Merle Hazard knows for sure.... ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fq2ga4HkGY


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843432 04/29/19 10:34 AM
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At any rate, when you find the instrument you want you simply make them a reasonable offer. They will counter, and you can meet somewhere in between. Hardly anyone actually pays the ticket price, let alone the retail price. If they let you walk out the door when they KNOW you're a real buyer, they're nuts. They will make a deal with you.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
j&j #2843446 04/29/19 11:35 AM
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The used is a good idea but my husband and I have both agreed, this is the one thing in our lives we want to get new for ourselves (never bought a new car, etc.). Thanks! We may change our minds if a great deal on a lightly used one came along but we would rather wait and get the one we truly want, be the first owners. etc. smile
Originally Posted by j&j
New piano prices do increase over time. Yamaha and Kawai also deal with labor and material costs in Japan, yen to whatever exchange rate, tariffs, etc. Also Yamaha and Kawai make improvements to their new pianos to help justify the price. Yamaha C series is now the CX. Kawai has also upped their game in their pianos with the typical price increases. Unfortunately used pianos always deprecate. Perhaps you could consider a lightly used Kawai and be sure to get it checked by an independent piano tech. Best of Luck!

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
Steve Cohen #2843450 04/29/19 11:43 AM
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Thanks for this. I did google and try to find something but was unable. I did try, I swear! I've never shopped for a new piano and obviously don't know where to look.

That's actually quite a big increase. Can I ask what site this is from?

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Why guess when the facts are published?

SMP on a Kawai GX2 PE:

2016 - $33190
2017 - $34990
2018 - $34990
2019 - $37990

An increase of ~15% in 3 years.

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843453 04/29/19 11:48 AM
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Pianopuff - I too bought new so I get it. Go in well informed about new piano prices and do your best negotiating for the piano you love. Most piano dealers are willing to negotiate.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843454 04/29/19 11:51 AM
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Yes. It's negotiable, just like a car... I was just curious about the general ballpark as a target to save toward. I'm aware it's going to be a lot of money.

Originally Posted by P W Grey
At any rate, when you find the instrument you want you simply make them a reasonable offer. They will counter, and you can meet somewhere in between. Hardly anyone actually pays the ticket price, let alone the retail price. If they let you walk out the door when they KNOW you're a real buyer, they're nuts. They will make a deal with you.

Pwg

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843471 04/29/19 12:34 PM
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Check out the databases on Larry Fine’s Piano Buyer. He explains MSRP and SMP. Your negotiating should start below SMP. Prices do vary on location and number of piano dealers within driving distance. Knowledgeable piano technicians can give some advice on reputable piano dealers.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
[Linked Image]
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843484 04/29/19 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopuff
Thanks for this. I did google and try to find something but was unable. I did try, I swear! I've never shopped for a new piano and obviously don't know where to look.

That's actually quite a big increase. Can I ask what site this is from?

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Why guess when the facts are published?

SMP on a Kawai GX2 PE:

2016 - $33190
2017 - $34990
2018 - $34990
2019 - $37990

An increase of ~15% in 3 years.


This is from Larry Fine's Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer....what I would claim is the best source available.

It's free at pianobuyer.com.


Piano Industry Consultant

Contributing Editor & Consultant - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Family Owned and Operated Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843514 04/29/19 03:35 PM
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My 1887 Steinway Model A1 was sold for $1100 at the time. In today's prices, (according to http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1887?amount=1100) it would be $29,433.92 - which is quite a lot less than the current MRSP for the A. However, I believe the number of hours of the average wage needed to earn one is the same now as it was in 1887.

Paul.

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843516 04/29/19 03:46 PM
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"Don't trust ANYTHING a salesman tells you..".

That's an awfully broad condemnation, don't you think?

The only conclusion one can make from that statement is that EVERYTHING a salesperson says is not trust-worthy.

The irony of such an accusation is quite profound.


Bob Snyder
Senior District Manager
Steinway & Sons

rsnyder@steinway.com
www.steinway.com
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843519 04/29/19 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopuff
Can someone confirm if this sounds really incorrect or is actually plausible?

I think you need to approach this a bit differently. You should be buying a piano that you want, when you want it.

The voodoo science of: high inflation, low interest rates, wage stagnation, money printing, and rapid piano asset depreciation are too sloppy to noodle on.

Recognize published "general inflation" rates are entirely fake but that low financing rates help to offset actual high inflation rates.

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pyropaul #2843522 04/29/19 04:21 PM
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Pianos with the materials needed to produce the best sound are much more expensive than they were in the late 1800's. Couple that with the cost of labor and the requirements for EPA, OSHA etc. and you have a very difficult time getting the price to coincide with chart showing the average rate of inflation.

In addition smaller manufacturers using the most expensive materials don't have economies of scale.

Here is my article on why high end pianos cost so much.
https://www.pianobuyer.com/Articles/Detail/ArticleId/30/The-Uncompromising-World-of-High-End-Pianos


Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
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