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Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
#3052436 12/03/20 12:39 PM
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Hello all,
This is my first post here but I've been reading the forum for a while. Thank you all for the great amount of information.
As the title stated, do you have any tip on getting a good discount on a Kawai piano?

For my background, I've been looking around for a good digital piano for several months. My only requirement is good key action, which must be similar to a traditional piano. From my countless read and conversations, I narrowed down to Kawai. Initially I can afford CA49 only, but with the holiday offer at 0% interest in 24 months, I can afford CA79 or even the CA99 if the right is right.

I've read this forum a lot and know the price range some of you got for each model. I do not expect the best deal but it'd be better with some hundreds, I'm in no rush. I called Alamo Music in TX (because some of you got good deal from them), they said no further discount allowed due to Kawai's region restriction, those deals were special due to the pandemic's shut down.
At the same time, I can't seem to talk about price to any of Kawai's dealer in my area (DC, Northern VA and MD). When I called they said "can't discuss the price on the phone", which is kind of inconvenience due to the pandemic and distance, I'd rather not deal in person. Anyway, I did make time and trips to some (1 hour drive each), and when I showed up, they said "no further discount due to low stock", maybe an extra bench and free shipping. That was super disappointed! (they could say that on the phone.)
The best offer I got is from Tim at digitalpianoreviewexpert.com, which not as good as expected but at least something.

On the other hand, I can easily get at least 15% off internet price on any piano from a local franchise store. That means any Yamaha, even the CLP-745 or 785, but for Kawai they only carry the CA49 (yes, I can get the CA49 at 15% off).

Do you have any tips to get good price on Kawai? What do you think about the trade-up program that some dealers have? Is it worth it if I don't look for discount, pay full price for the CA49 and trade-up in a couple years for whichever replace the CA99 then?

Thank you for reading this long post!

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Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
VitaminV #3052442 12/03/20 12:51 PM
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I think you've done everything you can. Here's what we (think we) know:

1. Kawai US typically has a higher "MSRP" or listing price. The list price that authorized dealers are suggested to post in-store is on the higher end, with the expectation that they post slashed "discount price" or "our price" that makes it look like a better deal.

2. Normally (pre-COVID), there tended to also be flexibility beyond the discount price as well, since the discount price was really more of a list price.

3. Now, with COVID, supply constraints on DP are a real thing, along with the increased demand from people staying at home and needing something to do.

4. Taken together, there's not much incentive for shops to offer significant discounts, since there are many buyers and short supply. It's a bit of a seller's market. For how long, it's hard to say.

5. You can see if there is price flexibility across different models. If shops are selling more budget models, they may be willing to move on the more expensive units. Or vice versa.

6. You can also see if they offer an "in kind" discount. Get them to throw in a real bench, or higher quality bench, etc. Additional store warranty, full price trade-up offer...these things often don't cost the shop much (or anything), since they may have spare stock of accessories.

7. Shopping online is also an option. Regional distributor contracts will prevent shops like Alamo from encroaching on other distributors' regional rights. But there are often loopholes (if you call a shop and ship to a location that doesn't have a regional retailer covering the area, it's usually a fair game). Some smaller shops or those in rural/low-pop areas may be willing to ship, and might be willing to ignore distributor restrictions (not that I'm advocating for that, but it happens), just don't go around outing them online if they cut you a deal smile


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
Gombessa #3052457 12/03/20 01:40 PM
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Thank you very much for your input. That makes sense to me.
To be honest, I almost changed my mind to Yamaha CLP-745 because of the deal, but again, the key action is not as good as Kawai. Now I just hope I can find that "loophole" you talked about, otherwise I have to accept the situation and go with full price.

Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
VitaminV #3052470 12/03/20 02:16 PM
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Digital piano stock is pretty thin in the US now. Some models seem to have been out of stock for months, although a few stragglers might make it in.

The used digital piano market is also quiet, in general.

If you are in a rush, I would not expect to find the most competitive prices to be honest. If you have time to shop around, there always are bargains to be had, although nobody knows when the supply chain will sort out. For reference, my friends live in the bicycle capital of the world and (as of last week) component supply from China still is impacting production.

EDIT - last week, there was a NU1 for $1800 and a cosmetically deficient VPC1 for $900 near NYC; those were superb prices.

Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
VitaminV #3052570 12/03/20 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by VTs
... do you have any tip on getting a good discount on a Kawai piano?

I've read this forum a lot and know the price range some of you got for each model. I do not expect the best deal but it'd be better with some hundreds, I'm in no rush. I called Alamo Music in TX (because some of you got good deal from them), they said no further discount allowed due to Kawai's region restriction, those deals were special due to the pandemic's shut down.

At the same time, I can't seem to talk about price to any of Kawai's dealer in my area (DC, Northern VA and MD). When I called they said "can't discuss the price on the phone", which is kind of inconvenience due to the pandemic and distance, I'd rather not deal in person. Anyway, I did make time and trips to some (1 hour drive each), and when I showed up, they said "no further discount due to low stock", maybe an extra bench and free shipping. That was super disappointed! (they could say that on the phone.)

Do you have any tips to get good price on Kawai? What do you think about the trade-up program that some dealers have? Is it worth it if I don't look for discount, pay full price for the CA49 and trade-up in a couple years for whichever replace the CA99 then?
Several things:

1. Trade-up programs are a sham. When someone offers to accept your trade-in at the full price that you paid years earlier ... doesn't that ring alarm bells?
Remember, in any trade-in transaction there is the agreed value "T" of the trade-in and the agreed value "P" of the new purchase.
The game is to lure you with a high T ... only to sucker you with a high P.
Just ignore trade-up programs. They're a sham.

2. Piano dealers don't discuss price on the phone. Likewise dealers of all high-priced merchandise. Until they see a warm body there's nothing to discuss. So don't fret it.

3. As for getting a good price ... you don't "get a good price". Instead you decide how much you're willing to pay and then you make an offer.
It might be accepted, or it might not. Be prepared for either consequence.
My rule is: I make one and only one offer. If the answer is yes, the sale is made. If it's no, I walk. Simple.
My motto is: the dealer wants my money more than I want his piano.

Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
MacMacMac #3052769 12/04/20 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Several things:

1. Trade-up programs are a sham. When someone offers to accept your trade-in at the full price that you paid years earlier ... doesn't that ring alarm bells?
Remember, in any trade-in transaction there is the agreed value "T" of the trade-in and the agreed value "P" of the new purchase.
The game is to lure you with a high T ... only to sucker you with a high P.
Just ignore trade-up programs. They're a sham.

2. Piano dealers don't discuss price on the phone. Likewise dealers of all high-priced merchandise. Until they see a warm body there's nothing to discuss. So don't fret it.

3. As for getting a good price ... you don't "get a good price". Instead you decide how much you're willing to pay and then you make an offer.
It might be accepted, or it might not. Be prepared for either consequence.
My rule is: I make one and only one offer. If the answer is yes, the sale is made. If it's no, I walk. Simple.
My motto is: the dealer wants my money more than I want his piano.

What surprised me was even when I showed up with another price quote, they still didn't budge, they could have done so on the phone. That would have saved me several hours driving.
Anyway, I'm greatly appreciated for your replies. I'll keep looking, and waiting.

Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
VitaminV #3052782 12/04/20 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by VTs
What surprised me was even when I showed up with another price quote, they still didn't budge, they could have done so on the phone. That would have saved me several hours driving.

IMO that's just obnoxious. It's one thing to have a no phone haggling policy, it's another to falsely imply you can move on price and make the customers drive hours to find out you can't. Way to not get the sale AND lose any trust for future business.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
VitaminV #3052784 12/04/20 09:29 AM
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They do that on purpose, because the DRIVE is already part of your Initial payment in the Deal.

You can do the reverse, if they don't give a proper quote on the phone, NO coming in. If everyone did that, they'd have to budge, it's the dumb players which ruin the game for everyone else.

This haggling is just one more reason piano is dying fast. No one wants to deal with this BS for something, let's face it, people don't really need.

Last edited by jeffcat; 12/04/20 09:32 AM.
Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
Gombessa #3052842 12/04/20 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by VTs
What surprised me was even when I showed up with another price quote, they still didn't budge, they could have done so on the phone. That would have saved me several hours driving.

IMO that's just obnoxious. It's one thing to have a no phone haggling policy, it's another to falsely imply you can move on price and make the customers drive hours to find out you can't. Way to not get the sale AND lose any trust for future business.
Without taking sides in this case, you can present your dissatisfaction with customer service, or a store's t's and c's in many public ways these days with social media. Trustpilot, Google reviews, Facebook posts or reviews, Twitter, even forums, and so on. You may not get anywhere except some personal vented self satisfaction, (although better not to vent instead just present facts), but I have also experienced cases where the store management has reached out to improve the situation. Not with pianos or DP's. If you do this I would say make sure you know in your own mind what would be needed to make things right or better.

Re: Kawai piano buying tip in the US?
jeffcat #3053091 12/04/20 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
They do that on purpose, because the DRIVE is already part of your Initial payment in the Deal.

You can do the reverse, if they don't give a proper quote on the phone, NO coming in. If everyone did that, they'd have to budge, it's the dumb players which ruin the game for everyone else.

This haggling is just one more reason piano is dying fast. No one wants to deal with this BS for something, let's face it, people don't really need.

Yes, this, I would hope everyone would do this. I'm still a baby to this game. But for now, I just have to find the right dealer who is not in my area + 100 miles; someone is willing to talk on the phone and willing to ship the piano to me.


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