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#3084852 02/20/21 08:26 PM
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Hello. Let’s assume that I live in the middle of nowhere (I do), and that I would like to examine a Yamaha YUS5 or a Kawai K800 (I do), and that the local dealers do not stock them (they don’t). If I took a ride to another dealer outside the local dealers’ territory and found a YUS5 or a Kawai K800, liked it and wanted to buy it, would I be violating some dealer etiquette by buying a piano outside my local dealer’s territory? Would a piano dealer be allowed to sell to me when there is a dealer of that brand nearer to me? I used to buy an occasional airplane and at least one brand that I considered had a rule that one did not sell in another dealer’s territory, but I don’t know if that dealer rule extends to pianos.
I suppose that I could drive outside the territory, examine a piano, and then ask my local piano dealer to order it, but I would of course not be buying the piano that I examined. Kawai and Yamaha are both good companies so perhaps it would not matter that I would be buying a different new piano from the one that I examined.
I also would not want to offend my local piano dealers by buying their product from someone further away, but if they don’t stock the item it makes it difficult. Also, another thought, what if the local dealer did not offer as good a deal as another dealer outside the territory?
Thanks.


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Absolutely not. You’re allowed to buy a piano from any darn place or person or store or dealership that you want. Full stop. 😊


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You would not be violating anything, but the dealer(s) might be (depends on the nature of their dealership agreements).

I know car dealers arrange to trade inventory. Perhaps piano dealers can too.

If the local dealer doesn't stock what you want, though, then you ought to be able to go find it elsewhere if that's the solution that works for you.

FWIW, years ago (like 20), the Yamaha dealer an hour away offered to sell me a piano for less than the local dealer would. I ended up not buying the piano, because I went overseas for two years.


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Your questions are indeed philosophical, and ethical regarding territorial policies and agreements for various piano dealers. First of all, it must be understood that the big piano manufacturers are the ones who place the territorial mandates on the dealers, and not the other way around.

So, if you went outside the dealer's territory to buy a model they did not have in stock, I don't see how you could be offending the dealer. If so, the territorial mandate would also be placed on the customer as well as the dealer.

I think most dealers probably try to abide by the territorial agreements, but in your scenario, if the local dealer doesn't have the piano you are looking for in stock, I don't see how they could be bound by such agreements, although they may be. The territorial agreements could also mean that the customer may have to agree to purchase a model she/he hasn't seen or played, in order to not violate the agreement, but I'm just speculating.

Personally, I would not want to get involved in such a territorial merry-go-round in order to buy a new piano.

Also, some dealers are likely more concerned with making a sale, and keeping their doors open than violating any territorial agreements. Based on my own personal experience, I looked at a certain brand piano (new) at a large dealer in Atlanta. I also contacted a dealer of that brand in another state. The out-of-state dealer called me and said he could beat the other dealer's price, if I promised not to tell anyone (particularly the other dealer). So, there you go... proper etiquette? Not likely. Did I buy the piano out of state? No. But it was an interesting experience.

Interesting thread, by-the-way.

Rick


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Originally Posted by Damien PG
[...]I suppose that I could drive outside the territory, examine a piano, and then ask my local piano dealer to order it, but I would of course not be buying the piano that I examined. Kawai and Yamaha are both good companies so perhaps it would not matter that I would be buying a different new piano from the one that I examined[...]

To me, that would matter. As uniform in manufacture as some piano brands may be, pianos are made up of many organic parts and that contributes to the fact that while they each might be well-made within high standards, at the same time each one may be different in character from the next one of the same brand and model.

I would buy only the piano I had auditioned and would record the serial number before purchase to guarantee that I got the one I played and liked.

Regards,


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I think Steinway & Sons will direct potential buyers to the closest dealer and will answer questions from the New York or Hamburg office through a sales director. Also, years ago I was visiting a Yamaha shop and signed the guest book. I received Yamaha. sales brochures ever since. Piano companies and piano dealers compete for your business. I love other piano people but heck make them work for your business.


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It does not matter whether or not the local dealer has the model you are interested in. You are free to buy from anyone you want. As far as I know dealers are not supposed to quote prices on new pianos over the phone, because this would result in some people calling every dealer to see who has the best price. Once you step inside their store, a dealer, even if not local to the customer, can quote a price without violating territorial rules. At least that's my understanding.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/20/21 09:26 PM.
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Originally Posted by j&j
I think Steinway & Sons will direct potential buyers to the closest dealer and will answer questions from the New York ro Hamburg office through a sales director.
That does not mean one cannot buy from a non local dealer or that a non local dealer would be violating territorial rules if they sold someone a Steinway. I think your comment refers to general inquiries on the Steinway website. in that case, it makes perfect sense to direct buyers to the closest dealer.

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Story/Lesson: I wanted to buy an Acura and went to my local dealer. After 4 long hours at the dealership, the manager finally came out from his office and said "I just don't see how you can afford an Acura, you might want to consider getting a smaller car, maybe a Ford" I left the dealership very sad, I really wanted an Acura. I went to a Ford dealer in another part of the suburbs and as I drove past another Acura Dealer, I decided to pull in. 45 minutes later, I was driving away with a Brand New Acura having trading in my older Ford Focus.

LESSON? Go to a large dealership, whether car or piano, with high volume and sales. They will be much more prone to dealing and cutting prices. SHOP AROUND!

In fact when I decide to get a new piano - I will be 'shopping' around, comparing prices - even traveling from Asheville NC, to Atlanta, Greenville SC & Charlotte NC - whoever has a wide selection and will be willing to give me the best price, especially for the amount of money you could be dishing out!

Last edited by brdwyguy; 02/20/21 10:43 PM.

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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
[...]
In fact when I decide to get a new piano - I will be 'shopping' around, comparing prices - even traveling from Asheville NC, to Atlanta, Greenville SC & Charlotte NC - whoever has a wide selection and will be willing to give me the best price, especially for the amount of money you could be dishing out!

I guess that approach applies if price is your main criterion.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by brdwyguy
[...]
In fact when I decide to get a new piano - I will be 'shopping' around, comparing prices - even traveling from Asheville NC, to Atlanta, Greenville SC & Charlotte NC - whoever has a wide selection and will be willing to give me the best price, especially for the amount of money you could be dishing out!

I guess that approach applies if price is your main criterion.

Regards,

Check that you will be receiving equivalent services: free tuning? Tech visit for those irritating little things that are not covered by warranty and would usually be addressed by your local dealer as ‘good will’? If the prices are reasonably close, I would personally choose local.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by j&j
I think Steinway & Sons will direct potential buyers to the closest dealer and will answer questions from the New York ro Hamburg office through a sales director.
That does not mean one cannot buy from a non local dealer or that a non local dealer would be violating territorial rules if they sold someone a Steinway. I think your comment refers to general inquiries on the Steinway website. in that case, it makes perfect sense to direct buyers to the closest dealer.

Pianoloverus you’re probably right. I think it’s somewhat strange when potential buyers contact a piano company and get absolutely no response. That certainly hasn’t been true in my case with Yamaha, Steinway & Sons, and Cunningham Pianos. Then of course those three companies are located or have offices in the US, so there’s no need for a translator.


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True - BUT Price does become a concern after you've done your research and started searching - and then when a decision is made, especially if you are looking at new pianos. You need to find a dealer who is willing to negotiate. Just sayin'


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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
True - BUT Price does become a concern after you've done your research and started searching - and then when a decision is made, especially if you are looking at new pianos. You need to find a dealer who is willing to negotiate. Just sayin'
Absolutely true, I just had this painful experience myself. 👍


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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
True - BUT Price does become a concern after you've done your research and started searching - and then when a decision is made, especially if you are looking at new pianos. You need to find a dealer who is willing to negotiate. Just sayin'
It's not whether or not they will negotiate. It's what price they will sell a particular piano for. If a dealer marks the price very high and is willing to negotiate it down a lot, the price could still be higher than a dealer who starts with a lower asking price.

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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by j&j
I think Steinway & Sons will direct potential buyers to the closest dealer and will answer questions from the New York ro Hamburg office through a sales director.
That does not mean one cannot buy from a non local dealer or that a non local dealer would be violating territorial rules if they sold someone a Steinway. I think your comment refers to general inquiries on the Steinway website. in that case, it makes perfect sense to direct buyers to the closest dealer.

Pianoloverus you’re probably right.
Of course. Does anyone think that if one is, for example, visiting Steinway Hall in NYC and tells the salesperson they'd like to buy a particular piano the dealer will say they can't sell them the piano because there are Steinway dealers closer to the buyer's home?

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It never hurts to have an address in the local area for them to put in the sales book.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by j&j
I think Steinway & Sons will direct potential buyers to the closest dealer and will answer questions from the New York ro Hamburg office through a sales director.
That does not mean one cannot buy from a non local dealer or that a non local dealer would be violating territorial rules if they sold someone a Steinway. I think your comment refers to general inquiries on the Steinway website. in that case, it makes perfect sense to direct buyers to the closest dealer.

Pianoloverus you’re probably right.
Of course. Does anyone think that if one is, for example, visiting Steinway Hall in NYC and tells the salesperson they'd like to buy a particular piano the dealer will say they can't sell them the piano because there are Steinway dealers closer to the buyer's home?

There’s always the delivery costs to consider. Plus there’s a whole bunch of people that detest price negotiation on anything. Not everyone enjoys “the dance”. Some cultures haggle prices for nearly everything.


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I can’t stand negotiating for anything, and it drives my wife nuts. My wife will negotiate the price of a pencil. I will look at an overpriced piano and just accept it. laugh


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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
I can’t stand negotiating for anything, and it drives my wife nuts. My wife will negotiate the price of a pencil. I will look at an overpriced piano and just accept it. laugh

That's easy then. Choose your piano, tell your wife what the price is and let her negotiate it for you keeping whatever she saves. Happiness all round :-)

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