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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
Bob Snyder #2843533 04/29/19 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
"Don't trust ANYTHING a salesman tells you"



Meaning: Don't just take it at face value...check it out to see if it rings true.

Not all salespeople are untrustworthy, but many are uninformed, misinformed, or have an ulterior motive, enough anyway for all to be open to suspicion. Check what they say.

That's all.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843538 04/29/19 05:39 PM
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Pianopuff,

I am a Kawai dealer. It is true we have price increases every year.


San Mateo Piano
Kawai Piano Dealer San Francisco Bay Area
www.sanmateopiano.com
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
P W Grey #2843570 04/29/19 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
"Don't trust ANYTHING a salesman tells you"



Meaning: Don't just take it at face value...check it out to see if it rings true.

Not all salespeople are untrustworthy, but many are uninformed, misinformed, or have an ulterior motive, enough anyway for all to be open to suspicion. Check what they say.

That's all.

Pwg

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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843842 04/30/19 03:01 PM
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The rate of inflation is an incredibly misleading number.; it probably has less of an impact on price than exchange rates. Moreover, inflation does not affect all things equally. Inflation causes some price increases, but some things go down in price whatever the inflation rate is. And some things stay the same. Demand also has an impact on price, as does the percentage of dealer markup, which can vary with demand, lender interest rates, inflation, and exchange rates, as well as the individual needs of the dealer.

Price increases are also misleading, if you are looking at increases in the MSRP. The fact that there are official price increases from a manufacturer doesn't mean that there will actually be price increases in what the dealer will charge his or her customers. (Nor does it necessarily mean that the manufacturer is charging its dealers more, either.)

In other words, a healthy skepticism is a good approach to any assertions about inflation or price increases.

At least this is my opinion.

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843850 04/30/19 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pianopuff
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?


In Fall 2010, Piano Buyer put the MSRP of the GM-10, Kawai's 5' baby grand, at $14,195.00. Today (2019), the GL-10, Kawai's current 5' model, has an MSRP of $16,295.00.

There may be a difference in the construction of these pianos. I personally never enjoyed the GM-10 but I have never played a GL-10.

As a comparison, the Yamaha GB1K in 2010 had an MSRP of $13,499.00 and today the very same model has an MSRP of $14,999.00.

I hope that helps you pianopuff.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843859 04/30/19 04:21 PM
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If you are in one country, and are buying a new piano from another country, the relative exchange rates can be a major issue. An extreme example was when we bought our Bosie 225 in 1985. The US dollar was at its all time high (never again that high since then either). The British pound was $1.08 and the French Franc (before Euros was about 9 per dollar.) We bought from a dealer in Paris in French Francs and converted from USD where we live. The 225 cost us $24,000 new including airfreight to the US and no duty from US Customs. We chose it at the factory in Vienna. In the US at the time it was selling for about $60,000. Today, adjusted for inflation, the price would be $57,000. I think we could sell our 33 year old piano for that much now.

Last edited by astrotoy; 04/30/19 04:23 PM.

Boesendorfer 225 (1985)
Yamaha S400E (predecessor to CF4) Disklavier (1992)
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
astrotoy #2843866 04/30/19 05:02 PM
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In my lifetime I've seen a sort of ratchet effect in exchange rates for European goods in America. When the dollar drops relative to the related European currency, U.S. sellers raise prices to cover the shift. When the exchange rates swing back, they do not adjust prices. This results in an upward creep of prices relative to what they can be bought for in Europe, like a ratchet drive that only applies pressure in one direction, swinging unrestrained in the other. The 1980's was a particularly good time to buy direct in Europe, rather than through an importer.

Anyway, I like reading these stories about people who have the courage to buy abroad. smile



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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
P W Grey #2843936 04/30/19 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Don't trust ANYTHING a salesperson tells you.


Ouch, right in the heart! lol

Nobody has a crystal ball to tell you that it will go up by a certain percentage every year. The salesperson may be (probably) exaggerating, but their point rings true: it won't be any cheaper to purchase one next year.


Justin Johnson
Portland Piano Company
www.portlandpianocompany.com
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
Retsacnal #2843945 04/30/19 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
In my lifetime I've seen a sort of ratchet effect in exchange rates for European goods in America. When the dollar drops relative to the related European currency, U.S. sellers raise prices to cover the shift. When the exchange rates swing back, they do not adjust prices. This results in an upward creep of prices relative to what they can be bought for in Europe, like a ratchet drive that only applies pressure in one direction, swinging unrestrained in the other. The 1980's was a particularly good time to buy direct in Europe, rather than through an importer.

Anyway, I like reading these stories about people who have the courage to buy abroad. smile

The other thing is, she hasn't given us any idea which country she is in - she could be in Europe, China - or Japan. And the answer will be vastly different if either are correct.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
P W Grey #2843948 04/30/19 11:54 PM
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A bit harsh Bob Snyder.If not harsh then cliched.There are plenty of piano salespeople out there with integrity.


Piano sales consultant
Australian Piano Warehouse-Melbourne Australia
30 years and still going
Steinway upright,Yamaha upright,Roland RD800,Korg Kronos
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2843991 05/01/19 03:50 AM
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Just a note on "official inflation numbers":

If certain categories of items go up a lot in price, the government views these as less important, because they reason that these items will be traded less as a consequence of the price increases. Therefore their weight in the inflation numbers will decrease.

Similarly, items that drop in price are weighted higher, because they are seen as becoming more important.

This process has the effect of ALWAYS making the inflation numbers artificially low.

Basically, it is totally fraudulent, but governments like it.


Roland FP-30, Roland E-28
Synthogy Ivory II Studio Grands, Production Voices Estate Grand, Garritan CFX Lite, Pianoteq 7.0 (Blüthner, Bechstein DG, Grotrian, Steinway D, K2)
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
Lushey1 #2844006 05/01/19 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Lushey1
A bit harsh Bob Snyder.If not harsh then cliched.There are plenty of piano salespeople out there with integrity.


Blunt rather than harsh but a wise comment though - even if you are lucky enough to be dealing with a salesperson with integrity they really are not a suitable source for unbiased advice or information.

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2844038 05/01/19 07:18 AM
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You know what they say, "once bitten twice shy." It's like that with all the salespeople, not just in the piano world. Everyone's had a bad experience at one point or another so we're all cautious. Sometimes, even more so than required.

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
Lushey1 #2844056 05/01/19 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Lushey1
A bit harsh Bob Snyder.If not harsh then cliched.There are plenty of piano salespeople out there with integrity.

I'd agree - all the sales people I encountered in my purchasing of pianos (and organs) over the last 42 years have been great - and I've been involved in quite a few with various schools, relatives and Churches. Generally, they were well informed about their product as well.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2844106 05/01/19 09:25 AM
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It is nice when they are honest and up front. Makes the experience much better.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2844121 05/01/19 09:54 AM
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Pianos aren't as bad as the antique violin market following the sale of the "Lady Blunt" Strad. 😆

I remember "Carter-years inflation," when everything seemed to doubled in price (really from Ford to early Reagan).

I can understand the OP's desire to buy new, but I would never do that with something like a Steinway B (sorry, Mr. Paulson). Yamaha/Kawai, perhaps.


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2844131 05/01/19 10:11 AM
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It's happened in the UK too, Kawai and Yamaha have gone up considerably over the past 10 years. There was a while when they didn't seem to go up in price all that much and then boom.

But that has also happened with bread.

Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2844192 05/01/19 01:16 PM
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I agree that the statement "Don't trust ANYTHING a salesman tells you" is harsh.... VERY harsh. Unreasonably harsh. Irrationally harsh.

I was quoting a tuner (note my post, where I put the statement in quotes).

That's why I, as a salesman, took great exception to it.

And yes, there are many salespeople out there who are absolutely trustworthy. I work with many such professionals, every day.

Given the extremely broad condemnation that the statement represents, and in defense of the many excellent salespeople who visit and read this forum, I felt it appropriate to draw attention to it.


Bob Snyder
Senior District Manager
Steinway & Sons

rsnyder@steinway.com
www.steinway.com
Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2844219 05/01/19 02:17 PM
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Most sales professionals I’ve encountered over the years have pretty thick skin. I think there’s a logical reason for that. Perhaps anyone who lacks the requisite thick skin should avoid the sales profession.

Although there are many honest people in sales, most folks understand the old adage about one bad apple spoiling the bunch, and there are enough bad apples in the sales profession that it’s not unreasonable for John Q. Public to be wary of sales pitches.



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Re: Cost of new pianos vs. Inflation
pianopuff #2844225 05/01/19 02:40 PM
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Lots of things besides inflation in the economy affect the price of pianos (or anything else) in future years. Chinese pianos in the UK are getting more expensive every year. Why? Maybe because they are getting better, built of improved materials. Maybe because they are so good now that word has got out and demand exceeds supply. Maybe because as China's development advances it will cease to be a high volume low wage economy as piano technicians demand higher salaries.

If Chinese pianos become more affordable it will undercut Japanese pianos (for the sake of argument). To keep selling them the Japanese may need to cut costs (and eat into profits) and saleroom prices will become cheaper. Or maybe they will be sufficiently advanced with robotics and AI that pianos in Japan will be made from start to finish by robots, cutting out all human intervention. Prices will therefore fall.

Cars of today have vastly more toys and gadgets than cars 20 years ago - airbags, central locking, trip computers, electric windows etc. Yet they are cheaper to buy now than they were all that time ago despite all the toys. Well, some are. Rolls Royces are probably even less affordable now than in the past after accounting for inflation - but there is still a significant market for them too.

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