2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
72 members (anotherscott, Calavera, bob@pei, Abdol, Animisha, AJB, BMKE, B3boy, 20 invisible), 677 guests, and 283 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
over the phone?

I was under the impression that dealers' contracts with manufacturers do not permit them to quote actual selling prices on new pianos over the phone. I think this is because, without that rule, a fairly high percentage of buyers will simply call every dealer and buy from the one who quotes the lowest price. I'm not not talking about quoting MSRP which might be contractually allowed and is readily available in the Piano Buyer. Of course, it's possible some dealers do not follow what they're supposed to do if there is this requirement.

I'm hoping some PW dealers can comment on whether the above paragraph is correct. Also, some posters who have had experience calling dealers and asking for quotes on new pianos can tell us what happened.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/04/22 07:17 AM.
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,489
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,489
I have been quoted non-MSRP prices over the phone before (and it’s happened before I worked for the Piano Buyer). But my recollection is the best prices I was quoted, as a private, non-institutional buyer, always happened while visiting a store in-person…or immediately afterward. Not having worked in retail, I suspect the dealer agreement would prohibit quoting below the MAP price over the phone.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,957
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,957
I’ve seen at least one dealer that posts their prices for new pianos online. Although, FWIW, those prices are not that far off the msrp you can see in the Piano Buyer.

As to the original question about contracts with manufacturers, I wouldn’t be surprised if S&S had that kind of micromanaging contract, but I would imagine other manufacturers give their dealers much more leeway.

just thinking out loud here…


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 38
Tog Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 38
Dear Pianoleverus,

Legally binding Retail Price Maintenance agreements, as they are known in the UK, were made illegal for most products (except for books with the Net Book Agreement) in 1964, yes I did say 1964! Books followed in 1997 (which is perhaps why Amazon started out as a book retailer given the established margins!).

This does not prevent retailers from listing a manufacturer's recommended retail price to discount from and there are a number of retailers (particularly furniture) doing this that perpetually operate "Sales" all year round for the flimsiest of reasons! However, even then there are enforceable regulations about how these "discounts" are calculated.

Just another difference between both attitudes and legislation in different marketplaces!

Regards,

Tog


Standard: Absolute beginner. Currently butchering Bach BWV846!
Kit: Kawai MP11SE; Focal Alpha 80 monitors (pair); the original REL 'Storm' Sub-woofer from the early 1990's ( manufactured by BK Electronics Ltd on behalf of REL); Roland Z-Stand; generic studio style speaker stands; HP Grado SR60
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 15,248
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 15,248
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
I have been quoted non-MSRP prices over the phone before (and it’s happened before I worked for the Piano Buyer).

I remember years ago, when I was actively shopping for a grand piano, I called about a new piano I saw online, located at a rather larger dealer in another state. The owner of the dealer actually answered the phone. I told him my name, and where I was from, and what I was calling about. After talking a bit, he told me he'd give me a really good deal on the piano, if I promised not to tell anyone, particularly the local dealer of the same brand.

I did think about it, but decided it was just to far to travel to try it out, and didn't want to pay that much money to buy sight unseen.

So, I guess it happens, although probably not the norm, unless it's close to the end of the month. wink smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,866
G
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,866
I believe such practices would be completely illegal not only in the UK but also in the EU.

That doesn't mean that some manufacturers won't attempt to put as much pressure as they can on dealers despite that being illegal. And the flip side, in jurisdictions where such restrictive practices are still legal, is that dealers may still attempt to circumvent those restrictive practices.

Actually, despite the restrictive practices being illegal in the UK, it can still be quite hard to establish real prices as most dealers do not choose to advertise them - there seems to be some sort of 'gentleman's agreement' on this. That said not all dealers toe that line and for many of the more popular pianos you can find the discounted price advertised.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Originally Posted by Rickster
I remember years ago, when I was actively shopping for a grand piano, I called about a new piano I saw online, located at a rather larger dealer in another state. The owner of the dealer actually answered the phone. I told him my name, and where I was from, and what I was calling about. After talking a bit, he told me he'd give me a really good deal on the piano, if I promised not to tell anyone, particularly the local dealer of the same brand.
My guess is that, if there are rules or at least expectations, some dealers don't follow them which I think is on the shady side. Although it was a while ago, I remember being impressed by a dealer who is highly regarded on PW who told me that only once I stepped inside the store I become someone he could discuss pricing with.

Hoping some dealers will respond here.

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Originally Posted by gwing
I believe such practices would be completely illegal not only in the UK but also in the EU.
I specifically asked about U.S. dealers.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,446
S
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,446
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think this is because, without that rule, a fairly high percentage of buyers will simply call every dealer and buy from the one who quotes the lowest price.

That is what one does by going to various dealers and negotiating the price down. Of course it is easier over the phone, but frankly the buyer still has to go physically to try out the piano anyway. For casual goods, it is possible to do that, but for pianos, I think it is much less useful. Whats the point of having a slightly lower price if you dont like that particular piano. For new piano that are more consistent across the range, it could be an option but anyway, no dealer will make their best offer over the phone on the first call.


Blüthner model 6
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think this is because, without that rule, a fairly high percentage of buyers will simply call every dealer and buy from the one who quotes the lowest price.

That is what one does by going to various dealers and negotiating the price down. Of course it is easier over the phone, but frankly the buyer still has to go physically to try out the piano anyway. For casual goods, it is possible to do that, but for pianos, I think it is much less useful. Whats the point of having a slightly lower price if you dont like that particular piano. For new piano that are more consistent across the range, it could be an option but anyway, no dealer will make their best offer over the phone on the first call.
My guess is that a surprisingly high percentage of buyers would be willing to pay a lower price even if they could not try out the piano. I think the typical buyer is not like the typical PW poster.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,957
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,957
Quote
I think the typical buyer is not like the typical PW poster.

this is so true and something I think a lot of us often forget!

Back to the topic at hand ... given the rise of internet shopping, I wonder if there's more pressure on dealers to share info before someone visits a store, whether the info is shared online or in a phone call.

When I was piano shopping, I got an email from a dealer about an upcoming sale, they said they would have a huge selection of used pianos, both from some recent music program and something else (I don't recall now). The email invited people to make an appointment to see the pianos before the sale started. I called for more details and was told I had to email someone else, so I emailed and asked for a list of makes/models and years of the grands they would have on offer. The person emailing with me was trying to be all mysterious and not willing to give me any specifics beyond brand names. I was really ticked off and said it's not worth me making the drive if I have no idea of what I'm going to see when I get there. Not only would he not share details about the pianos, their sizes and ages, but he wouldn't say anything about price, not even a price range let alone specifics.

Sorry, a bit of thread drift but the point is, dealers run the gamut from being very open with info to being complete jerks about it.

I understand that they want people to physically come into the store, but buyers have a lot of options and as more and more people do more and more online purchasing of big items, they are probably only going to become more demanding in terms of access to information before making a visit to the store.

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 04/04/22 10:54 AM.

Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Doesn’t the flexibility of dealers to disclose new piano prices depend on contracts with the piano manufacturers? Without knowing their contractual flexibility, I don’t see how we can know what information buyers can be given. It might be MSRP only which is of no help.

Last edited by dogperson; 04/04/22 12:07 PM. Reason: Typos

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,866
G
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,866
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by gwing
I believe such practices would be completely illegal not only in the UK but also in the EU.
I specifically asked about U.S. dealers.

Indeed, but I don't have very good knowledge of U.S. law and can't comment specifically on that. Some folks here are interested in the issue globally, not just in the U.S, though, and we don't always confine ourselves strictly to the original question but do stray a bit.

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by gwing
I believe such practices would be completely illegal not only in the UK but also in the EU.
I specifically asked about U.S. dealers.

Indeed, but I don't have very good knowledge of U.S. law and can't comment specifically on that. Some folks here are interested in the issue globally, not just in the U.S, though, and we don't always confine ourselves strictly to the original question but do stray a bit.


I am a US citizen, but am also interested in global laws/practices,


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 7,214
G
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 7,214
My own personal/anecdotal musings on this:

1. Without getting into a morass of legal/commercial practice terms, there's a reason why "there are all these "suggested" and "advertising" prices, rather than hard restrictions on sale price. I suspect strongly that much of it has to do with ensuring that dealers are independent (at least on paper) and not acting as a mere proxy for the manufacturer (if they were, there would likely be more issues relating to restraint on free trade, sales liability, tax, consumer protection obligations placed directly on the manufacturer). MAP, or Minimum Advertised Pricing has come up a few times, but it's a very nebulous/gray area where "advertising" begins and ends. Is it internet pricing on a website? Does it count when a consumer cold calls and ask for "the best price?" Is it contractually any different if a consumer calls, versus walks into the store (what if a store doesn't have a physical storefront)? My guess is there's a lot of gray area here, and probably jurisdictional variation in settled case law, but my unresearched impression is that a consumer contacting and talking to a dealer directly is not "advertising" in the context of MSRP/MAP.

2. There is probably also a difference in practice due to scarcity. Fazioli makes ~140 pianos a year, full stop. What is a serious buyer supposed to do, contact their local dealer and wait until 2024 when the allocation comes to the head of the queue? I find that in these kinds of markets, it's expected to find the shop that sells it, and very likely that shop will not be local to the buyer. And in this case, the dealer has to think about what it means if they refuse to provide information about the product. The more fungible the product, the less likely it's worth it for the dealer to reveal their pricing (and the lower the impact of a "lost sale" that way)?

3. I'm the "family and friends" car buying guy (I just last week helped the in-laws close, inspect and pick up their new Model S in a frankly ridiculous EOQ rush), and ever since the early 2000s, I was helping to call and fax (remember that?) car dealers to negotiate offers on BMWs and MBs. I would cover a 1-2 state swath of dealers, such that closing on a good price might be worth a 400-800 mile round trip drive for pickup. Some dealers wouldn't respond, but the vast majority would either accept the offer or counteroffer, again without ever seeing my face or sometimes even hearing my voice. So I think the practice of online/phone pricing is actually fairly routine, if not the most common practice.


Bosendorfer D214VC ENPro
Past: Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11, Kawai NV-10
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,297
L
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,297
Originally Posted by Gombessa
3. I'm the "family and friends" car buying guy (I just last week helped the in-laws close, inspect and pick up their new Model S in a frankly ridiculous EOQ rush), and ever since the early 2000s, I was helping to call and fax (remember that?) car dealers to negotiate offers on BMWs and MBs. I would cover a 1-2 state swath of dealers, such that closing on a good price might be worth a 400-800 mile round trip drive for pickup. Some dealers wouldn't respond, but the vast majority would either accept the offer or counteroffer, again without ever seeing my face or sometimes even hearing my voice. So I think the practice of online/phone pricing is actually fairly routine, if not the most common practice.

As far as I know, Tesla has no dealer network and can sell every single car they build in the current climate. What is there to negotiate?

By the way, I love my Model 3. As a guy who has not owned a car in the last twenty years, due to living in New York City, I am so glad I went with the Model 3. I would never buy an ICE car again and I cannot live without the autonomous driving features, lol.

Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 7,214
G
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
7000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 7,214
Originally Posted by LarryK
As far as I know, Tesla has no dealer network and can sell every single car they build in the current climate. What is there to negotiate?

Yeah, there's no pricing to negotiate (unless you count scoring a free umbrella, supercharging credits, etc.) with a Tesla, that was just a timely example of how it's a continuing role I have (much like family IT/tech support!). In this case however, I did have a role in taking the 4-month wait for the car cut down to 8 *hours*, due to some creative finagling with the sales manager.


Bosendorfer D214VC ENPro
Past: Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11, Kawai NV-10
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,297
L
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,297
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by LarryK
As far as I know, Tesla has no dealer network and can sell every single car they build in the current climate. What is there to negotiate?

Yeah, there's no pricing to negotiate (unless you count scoring a free umbrella, supercharging credits, etc.) with a Tesla, that was just a timely example of how it's a continuing role I have (much like family IT/tech support!). In this case however, I did have a role in taking the 4-month wait for the car cut down to 8 *hours*, due to some creative finagling with the sales manager.

I think Americans hate negotiating. Look at how well Apple has done selling computer equipment with their no haggle policy. Tesla is following their lead.

I buy high quality umbrellas by Davek. When they break, they’ll give you a new one. If you lose one, they’ll give you 50% off a new one. I’ve seen bad software sold to big corporations through golf games and “free” umbrellas. I’m not falling for that trick. smile

I happened to score a car that was being delivered to my area so I had little wait. The one thing I did was insist that I would transfer the money when I saw the car in front of me, and not a minute before. Some people have wired money, and gone to pick up the car and something happened with delivery such that there was no car waiting. In that situation, good luck getting the money back quickly.

Overall, though, the Tesla is a dream.

Last edited by LarryK; 04/04/22 01:14 PM.
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 33,042
Originally Posted by dogperson
Doesn’t the flexibility of dealers to disclose new piano prices depend on contracts with the piano manufacturers? Without knowing their contractual flexibility, I don’t see how we can know what information buyers can be given. It might be MSRP only which is of no help.
That's why I'm hoping some dealers respond. If manufacturers do/ do not usually require that customers can only get price quotes in the store, I don't think the dealers would be revealing a trade secret. The personal experience of PW customers may also help answer the question although that may assume dealers follow protocol.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,446
S
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,446
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
My guess is that a surprisingly high percentage of buyers would be willing to pay a lower price even if they could not try out the piano. I think the typical buyer is not like the typical PW poster.

Yes, thats possible. I would see that more in the digital piano area; once you have chosen the model you want, you can order it anywhere, including online.

The acoustic piano business is shrinking in the US. There were over 100,000 acoustic piano sold at the turn of the century down to about 20,000 in 2020 of which 6,000 grands. So, for those, I would think dealers should be more flexible and open to any opportunity. The digital pianos business is in expansion.


Blüthner model 6
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
What happened to ONKYO
by Abdol - 08/17/22 09:23 AM
Shiedmayer Grands?
by russmagi - 08/17/22 09:16 AM
Which would you recommend and why - K8, K20 or U3?
by plumberpw - 08/17/22 08:00 AM
C2X Silent (SH2)?
by Jadam - 08/17/22 12:25 AM
Happy Birthday, Bill Evans!
by Dfrankjazz - 08/16/22 10:52 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,431
Posts3,216,947
Members106,103
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5