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Originally Posted by Sidokar
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.


I believe those sales statistics reflect new pianos only. As the price of new pianos increases, don’t you see some expansion in preowned pianos being sold?


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I also see pianos for sale at Costco, at special displays at the front of the store every few months. I think those are part of travelling road shows where big dealers or distributors move from store to store and sell their goods. There are pianos on display and customers can play them. There is a salesman who can also demonstrate the piano. I understand Costco's policy is that the dealer or distributor gives a significant discount on the list price of the piano (good value to the Costco customer is a must), and pays Costco either a commission or a display fee or both.

The customer buys the piano by model number and color and pays Costco. The piano (not the one in the store) is shipped to the customer's home with whatever setup is included in the price. Not sure, but probably Costco guarantees satisfaction and will refund the purchase price if the customer is not happy with the purchase. There may be a time limit. Costco is famous for its very generous refund policy. Of course, Costco would do a chargeback to the dealer or distributor including the shipping costs.

I have no idea how successful these sales are, but I have seen them fairly regularly at our local Costco, so they have to be beneficial to all parties. Given the huge number of customers who shop at Costco and would see the displays, there would be a much higher volume of people who at least stop to ask questions and listen, and maybe even play than a typical piano store gets. So the discounted price made up in volume of sales makes a lot of sense. Costco benefits because it has no inventory risk and probably gets some up front money no matter what the sales are.

Last edited by astrotoy; 04/04/22 03:31 PM.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
I believe those sales statistics reflect new pianos only. As the price of new pianos increases, don’t you see some expansion in preowned pianos being sold?

The sales statistics I have seen do not say explicitely if that is new or new and used. What is certain is that the considerable amount of available used pianos necessarily limits the number of new piano being sold. And the stats cant take into account the transactions between individuals. By comparison in China where there is very few used pianos the market of new pianos is booming (60,000/year). Nonetheless there is no doubt that the digital pianos are taking over. I have seen a number of 188,000 units sold in 2020 in US.


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Last edited by Piano World; 04/05/22 09:23 AM.
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What does that thread say? When I try to access it, I get "Warning, potential security risk!" so I don't want to open it.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What does that thread say? When I try to access it, I get "Warning, potential security risk!" so I don't want to open it.

Funny you say that, because I got a warning too. Since it was a PW link, I just bypassed it and got to the thread. But it was a little odd. And now that I look it it, it looks like Google is trying to make it an https link, instead of http (the "s" variant for secure). I think the warning is because the explicit link says it's https[ecure], but the server responds with http.

Anyway, I found the thread through Google, but now that I know where it is (it's about a year old), it was easy to re-find through PW's interface. So here's another PW-native link to the post:

http://forums.pianoworld.com/ubbthr...-piano-dealer-etiquette.html#Post3085411

Or, here's the post I was referencing:

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
What applies here is the "Threshold Rule", a clause in the overwhelming majority of dealer agreements. It prohibits an authorized dealer from quoting prices until the shopper has physically crossed the threshold of the store. This includes telephone, email, text messaging, etc.


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It was a mixed issue.
The root forum site is forum.pianoworld.com, not forums.pianoworld.com
Then there's the ongoing issue of the images not being at https.

Changing the entire forums over to https would require finding every image and changing it's link to https.
There are tens of thousands of them.


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Making an OT reply from the thread, but first of all thank you for what you do and especially for popping into random threads like this to respond to issues. There may be someone in the community who can help with this? A script could ferret out the offending images and handle the changeover— the order of 10s of thousands, I know I don’t have to tell you, is a pretty manageable task for a machine to handle. I’m a designer, not a developer, so can’t offer much more help than this, but it might be a quick rainy day project for a developer who feels like giving back (maybe over in the DP forums hee hee).

Just putting that out there; I’m sure you already have a big stack of rainy day projects smile.

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I had one dealer who satisfied the threshold rule by just doing a conversation over FaceTime. Once he was comfortable that I was a real, serious customer, all pricing info and availability came over text.

I have always found the “come in and we’ll talk” method a bit off-putting, old-school, and car-salesman-like. Alas, I ended up buying from a dealer who did just that— they had the best price In the end.

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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Or, here's the post I was referencing:
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
What applies here is the "Threshold Rule", a clause in the overwhelming majority of dealer agreements. It prohibits an authorized dealer from quoting prices until the shopper has physically crossed the threshold of the store. This includes telephone, email, text messaging, etc.
I think that answers the question in my OP definitively. Unfortunately, some dealers don't abide by the dealer agreements(and possibly a tiny percent don't have the threshold clause in their agreements).

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Originally Posted by Piano World
Changing the entire forums over to https would require ...

For me, this remains a non-issue. I know it "flares up" from time to time, but I still have no problem with PW remaining http. Browsers are becoming more alarmist, and a certain hegemonic search engine is trying to force the whole internet to https, but it's not necessary for a site like PW (IMO).


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Or, here's the post I was referencing:
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
What applies here is the "Threshold Rule", a clause in the overwhelming majority of dealer agreements. It prohibits an authorized dealer from quoting prices until the shopper has physically crossed the threshold of the store. This includes telephone, email, text messaging, etc.
I think that answers the question in my OP definitively. Unfortunately, some dealers don't abide by the dealer agreements(and possibly a tiny percent don't have the threshold clause in their agreements).

I thought it would (remembering the recent thread).

Of course, some individuals may play "looser" with the rules. That's human nature I suppose.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think that answers the question in my OP definitively. Unfortunately, some dealers don't abide by the dealer agreements(and possibly a tiny percent don't have the threshold clause in their agreements).

Not to stir up, but I wonder if there's backup for the "overwhelming majority" claim...and even if it is, this rule strikes me as something made for an offline, pre-internet world. When it comes to "advertising," I would expect there's a pretty sizable body of case law diving into what constitutes public advertising (versus directed price offers or negotiations), what a threshold is, whether you can satisfy the rule virtually, or if it even applies to MOTO/internet distance sales, for example if a buyer initiates a negotiation over the phone. I do think manufacturers have a vested interest in maintaining price controls, but I don't know that I've seen enough here to conclude that such a rule is de rigeuer or that it's a given that dealers are outright flauting it in breach of contract.


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think that answers the question in my OP definitively. Unfortunately, some dealers don't abide by the dealer agreements(and possibly a tiny percent don't have the threshold clause in their agreements).

Not to stir up, but I wonder if there's backup for the "overwhelming majority" claim...and even if it is, this rule strikes me as something made for an offline, pre-internet world. When it comes to "advertising," I would expect there's a pretty sizable body of case law diving into what constitutes public advertising (versus directed price offers or negotiations), what a threshold is, whether you can satisfy the rule virtually, or if it even applies to MOTO/internet distance sales, for example if a buyer initiates a negotiation over the phone. I do think manufacturers have a vested interest in maintaining price controls, but I don't know that I've seen enough here to conclude that such a rule is de rigeuer or that it's a given that dealers are outright flaunting it in breach of contract.
The person quoted on this from the other thread is a major piano industry person and knows what he is talking about. He did indicate that it's possible that a few dealer contracts might not have the "threshold rule". The reason which I previously stated for the threshold rule is pretty obvious, and the rule is reasonable and well thought out IMO.

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