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Posted By: pinkfloydhomer What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 11:58 AM
I am considering buying a Ritmüller GH148R, GH160R or GH170R from my local dealer here in Denmark, Europe.

I have never owned or bought a grand piano before, let alone a new one. What kind of dealer prep should I expect? Should the dealer regulate the action, even out the voicing etc. or will I just get whatever comes from the factory? What should I except and what should I demand?
Posted By: ando Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 12:22 PM
You will get what you negotiate. Usually if you say nothing, you'll get a tuning and not much more. But it's a discussion you really should have with your dealer just so you know what you are getting with the deal and what you aren't. Congratulations on taking the plunge - very exciting!
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 01:17 PM
That makes sense, ando.

But then my question becomes: What are the dealer prep "items"/"services" I should try to negotiate? Thorough regulation and equalizing of voicing? Other things? Just after delivery? After a year? What else?
Posted By: ando Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 03:01 PM
Yes, I think you could negotiate all of those things being done within the first month or two of buying the piano. Voicing really should be done in the home. Regulation could be done prior to delivery. I don't think a dealer would want to provide ongoing maintenance as part of a deal though - there are just too many variables that could leave the dealer at a disadvantage. But hopefully the tech you get as part of the initial deal will be a good one and you can develop an ongoing trust with him/her and keep your piano is good shape.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 03:08 PM
I think you may be overanalyzing this. If you play enough pianos at enough stores, you start to get a sense of what a well-prepped (either at the factory, the dealer, or both) piano sounds and feels like. If the piano is really sorted out to you liking at the dealer, then I think it's properly prepped. You can ask what was done (granted, dealers tend to be either truthful or untruthful when it comes to this issue), but the performance of the piano on the floor should be your guide.

If the piano doesn't play to your satisfaction (but it's close), focus on that prior to purchase. If the piano does play well, I might try and negotiate the cost of the first in-home service with the dealer, with a technician of your choosing. Sometimes the store's technicians are well-trained and experienced, sometimes they're not. Since I know the technicians in my area, I'd want to select who makes that critical first round of adjustments after a 2-5 weeks of use, so the piano starts life well.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 04:22 PM
Do you have a piano technician you trust? If you do I would have them inspect the piano(s) after you have tried them and made notes on what you think of the sound and feel of each one.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 05:08 PM
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Do you have a piano technician you trust? If you do I would have them inspect the piano(s) after you have tried them and made notes on what you think of the sound and feel of each one.


Unfortunately I don't have or know a technician I trust. Also, these pianos I am considering, the Ritmüller GH-XXXR line, they don't have them on the floor here. So I can't try them before I buy. But my dealer is willing to order one for me and then give me five years to freely swap for something else at the same price or upgrade for the price difference. I know that many people here would never buy a piano without having tried that specific piano or at least the same model. But unfortunately, I don't have that luxury here in Copenhagen, Denmark. I would have to stick to whatever the local dealers have on the floor, and Copenhagen is not New York. And I find most modern grands I've tried here in Copenhagen too bright, distinct, harsh in tone. I love the mellow tone of the Ritmüllers I've listened too online. The five years given by my dealer and the mostly good reputation of the quality of these pianos and the lack of alternatives makes it a tolerable option for me.

The alternative would be that I bought something local I could try out, feel and touch, but which I don't like the tone of and which costs more, typically much more.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 05:43 PM
Wait - you're going to select a piano based on online recordings? Really??
Posted By: ando Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 05:55 PM
Couldn't you take a trip down to Hamburg or Bremen or somewhere like that? They have a lot more range in Germany.
Posted By: BruceD Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 06:31 PM
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Wait - you're going to select a piano based on online recordings? Really??


I echo terminaldegree's disbelief!

Regards,
Posted By: Bob Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 06:54 PM
Do not put money down on a piano sight unseen...especially if you already have an idea of the type of sound you prefer.

Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 07:31 PM
You all seem to have this figured out. Except you don't factor in the things I wrote, or provide alternatives.

Yes, I could go to Hamburg or similar, but it's not like it's just around the corner. Also, I would be on my own with regards to warranty, local support etc.

It is certainly not ideal to select a piano remotely, but it is also far from ideal to select a piano from a remote dealer.

The way I see it, I have to use a reputed local dealer and then make a good arrangement with them. If I don't like the piano, I have five years to choose something else, among the pianos I had available in the first place anyway.

If I had to follow your hard rule, it would mean:

1) Put down a lot of money for something I can try out, but don't really like.

2) Buy from a dealer far away in another country, discarding service, warranty and so on. And that is after having spent a lot of time and money on travelling to different dealers at random to find something I might like enough.

3) Never own a grand piano because I can't find one that I like enough among the ones I have the opportunity to try out.


Posted By: Joseph Fleetwood Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 07:40 PM
No, you don't have five years to choose something else. You have a five year warranty which will come into force if the piano has a fault. Not liking a piano just because, doesn't count as a fault - at least not here in Britain. Be very careful. I mean it's not impossible to buy from a dealer sight unseen and be very happy, but you have to be clued up about how warranties work
Posted By: Jonathan Alford Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 08:00 PM
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
You all seem to have this figured out. Except you don't factor in the things I wrote, or provide alternatives.

Yes, I could go to Hamburg or similar, but it's not like it's just around the corner. Also, I would be on my own with regards to warranty, local support etc.

It is certainly not ideal to select a piano remotely, but it is also far from ideal to select a piano from a remote dealer.

The way I see it, I have to use a reputed local dealer and then make a good arrangement with them. If I don't like the piano, I have five years to choose something else, among the pianos I had available in the first place anyway.

If I had to follow your hard rule, it would mean:

1) Put down a lot of money for something I can try out, but don't really like.

2) Buy from a dealer far away in another country, discarding service, warranty and so on. And that is after having spent a lot of time and money on travelling to different dealers at random to find something I might like enough.

3) Never own a grand piano because I can't find one that I like enough among the ones I have the opportunity to try out.




You do have a tough dilemma. I purchased my piano from quite a distance - plane flight away but in the same country. I am not sure how it would work with you, but I was very comfortable with the dealer I purchased my piano from and did not worry about warranty / service issues as he assured me they would be taken care of if they arose.

All he asked was that I use a PTG Certified technician for any items that needed to be addressed. I did have one item that needed to be addressed - it was handled easily (at least in my mind.) My tech came out, spoke to the dealer on the phone while he was working on my piano and sent his bill to the dealer.

Maybe you could make a few phone calls / swap emails with a long distance dealer who you could develop a relationship with before travelling to try out pianos?

I know it is a tough decision.

Good luck,

Jonathan
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 08:01 PM
Double post.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 08:05 PM
Originally Posted by joe80
No, you don't have five years to choose something else. You have a five year warranty which will come into force if the piano has a fault. Not liking a piano just because, doesn't count as a fault - at least not here in Britain. Be very careful. I mean it's not impossible to buy from a dealer sight unseen and be very happy, but you have to be clued up about how warranties work


Yes, I do have five years to choose something else. That is the deal with the dealer. I can freely choose something else within five years, as many times as I want, at no cost, other than the difference in price between the pianos.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 08:26 PM
Originally Posted by Jonathan Alford

You do have a tough dilemma. I purchased my piano from quite a distance - plane flight away but in the same country. I am not sure how it would work with you, but I was very comfortable with the dealer I purchased my piano from and did not worry about warranty / service issues as he assured me they would be taken care of if they arose.

All he asked was that I use a PTG Certified technician for any items that needed to be addressed. I did have one item that needed to be addressed - it was handled easily (at least in my mind.) My tech came out, spoke to the dealer on the phone while he was working on my piano and sent his bill to the dealer.

Maybe you could make a few phone calls / swap emails with a long distance dealer who you could develop a relationship with before travelling to try out pianos?


True. That is also an option. Although also non-ideal, as the rest of the options.

I am not sure my non-ideal option is worse than the other non-ideal options smile

Also, I can't be the first person in a small, remote market that is faced with this dilemma. And I can't be the first one in history to choose something not physically available after researching and assessing options.

Maybe I should start a thread for people in this situation or people who have made this choice.

In theory, Denmark isn't that remote of a market. In northern Europe, close to Germany and England. I live in the capital of Denmark even. And we have EU wide laws to protect consumers. In practice, it doesn't feel safe to buy from some unknown dealer far away in another country. And also, I have to find that dealer and the right piano first.

I guess I could visit some German or English dealers that have the Ritmüller grands on the floor, to try them out. But that is certainly easier said than done. And I probably still wouldn't buy that specific piano anyway, foreign remote dealer and all.

I guess the five year deal with my local dealer feels like I am betting that

1) I want to own a grand piano for the next five years.

2) That I will find at least one piano which I like enough for a price am willing and able to pay.

Could you guys elaborate on what you see as the greatest risk in buying a piano remotely?

Is it that the tone I've heard from several different recordings isn't the same in real life?

Is it that there is too much variation on tone between different specimens of the same model, so that even if what I've heard is true, there is a big risk that I will get something else or something worse?

Is it that there is too much variation in build quality, so that there is a big risk I will get a bad specimen?

Or?



Posted By: Withindale Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 08:35 PM
Everyone,

Perhaps it's time to answer PFH's question about the prep he should request, although he has not decided whether he wants to buy a Ritmuller grand piano or where he would buy it.

It is received wisdom in this forum that you should only buy a piano that sings to you but, in practice, that sometimes means you are listening to a state of regulation rather than the intrinsic qualities of the piano. There is the story about Roger Jolly prepping seven raw Petrof grand pianos with 21 volunteers. The Petrofs were pretty much indistinguishable after three days work.

On that basis PFH is quite right to ask what prep should be done.

My suggestion would be for PFH to get hold of a regulation checklist and mark down what he wants against all the items he considers important such as depth of aftertouch, alignment of the hammers, and so on.

Ed Foote gave some excellent guidance on assessing aftertouch last week. If I were PFH, I'd pay attention to it and the wealth of other advice to be found in the archives.

Pre-delivery acceptance criteria, no less.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 09:02 PM
I haven't 100% decided that I want to buy a Ritmüller. Or that I have to buy from my local dealer. Or that I am buying a Ritmüller or any other piano before having the opportunity to try it out etc.

I just know that I want a grand piano and I won't wait forever.
I also know that after trying many different brands and models at many different price points at several dealers in Copenhagen, I found nothing I love.
I know that I really like the sound of the Ritmüller GH-XXXR's I've heard recordings of.
If I don't like it, I can freely choose one of the Kawais that my dealer carries. I don't like the sound of the Kawais as much as what I've heard of the Ritmüllers, but if I had to choose something my dealer has on the floor, it would probably be one of the Kawais. I sort of liked the kawai GX-3 that I tried. Just not as much as I like what I've heard of the Ritmüllers. And the price of the GX-3 is... much higher.

Making a thorough pre-delivery acceptance list is a good idea.
Posted By: master88er Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 09:23 PM
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
I am considering buying a Ritmüller GH148R, GH160R or GH170R from my local dealer here in Denmark, Europe.

I have never owned or bought a grand piano before, let alone a new one. What kind of dealer prep should I expect? Should the dealer regulate the action, even out the voicing etc. or will I just get whatever comes from the factory? What should I except and what should I demand?


Hi pinkfloydhomer:

As you may know, my company has been selling these pianos (Ritmmüller GH and UH series pianos) since their inception, so I do have, perhaps, the most experience with these pianos that you will find on this forum. Additionally, as a paid consultant to Pearl River, and having a close personal relationship to Lothar Thomma, I have an intimate knowledge of these pianos.

First, I would like to echo some of the posts of others in this thread: While I firmly believe in these pianos, if you haven't played one but are simply making your selection based on recordings, I would not recommend you buying ANY piano without first playing the brand and model/size you are considering. This holds true for ANY brand. Once you have tried one, and find it to your liking, I have no issue with one being ordered in the color and size you prefer - as with any other brand such as Kawai or Yamaha, as these pianos are extremely consistent in tone and performance.

This consistency leads me to recommend the following Dealer prep on these pianos, as this is our nearly unanimous procedure on every Ritmüller grand we unbox:

  • Remove stack and ease key bushings: We have noticed that, in San Francisco, once the piano sits for a few days the bushings can be a little tight. This doesn't take long to do.
  • Check regulation, and adjust hammer travel and let-off. While most of the Rits we uncrate do meet this standard, it is always prudent to check.
  • The pianos arrive VERY mellow, and this is on purpose. It is much easier to add a bit of brilliance than to voice down hammers. We routinely iron the hammers as part of prep, to about 10% harder than they arrive. Remember that pianos get brighter with age and playing, so I wouldn't going any more than 10% at the start. Your technician can always do a bit more when the piano is in the home.
  • Two to Three tunings - We ALWAYS bring these pianos to A442 (European standard pitch) and do a second tuning a few days later. They are very stable and shouldn't need another tuning until 60-90 days after delivery to your home.


While the GH148 is a very musical instrument, if your budget allows I would certainly recommend the GH160 & GH170 as a preference. In fact, the GH170 is the best selling model of any piano of any brand the we carry.

IF your dealer also has access to the Kayserburg GH160 or GH170, and the price is within your budget, I would recommend you consider these as the prep work would be less important, since they receive more fine voicing and regulation at the factory level.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to PM me. I hope the above was helpful.
Posted By: Bosendorff Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 09:44 PM
Some people here bought sight unseen and are quite happy with their purchase. It's certainly not ideal, but can sometimes be the best choice in certain situations.

PFH, given the fact that your local dealer agrees (make him write it on the purchase contract) to switch piano if you don't like it, I think it's quite reasonable, especially as you already know which kind of piano sound you want and given he also carries Kawais. I agree with you Kawais are close to Ritmullers on the "dark to bright" scale, probably just next to them.

Finally, on the list master88er gave you for regulation, I would add to fix obvious defects that can sometimes happen during transport and also I would ask for regulation of the dampers and sostenuto pedal. I personally think this (and several other things) should be checked after a long distance move.
Posted By: Norbert Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 10:27 PM
There are some pianos you can definitely buy "sigh unseen" - we sell quite a few like that these days.

Trusting a brand is one thing but trusting the dealer you're buying from is even more important.

What works well in one case may not necessarily work well in another.

Dealers that are 'owner operated' generally do better in this regard being able to make decisions quicker plus having often more at stake.
[no names mentioned to protect the innocent.. wink ]

Since we have long distances in Canada & doing it all the time, I personally need to be on top of things constantly.
Sometimes can be a challenge: some may not enjoy it same way I personally do. [Gerald, Kurt: are you reading here... wink ]

Find a make/model you like, can afford to pay for and a dealer you can trust - a good beginning!

Alternatively: secure the services of the finest tech you can find in your area and proceed to "make your deal"

Norbert smile
Posted By: BornInTheUSA Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/22/14 10:45 PM
Given the circumstances, it seems somewhat reasonable. Assuming it's not really an option to buy from an out-of-town dealer, if the pianos currently on the floor are not to his liking AND they're more expensive. Then if gets the Ritmuller and doesn't like it, at least he didn't pay as much for it. But there's a decent chance he'll be happy with it. WTH, go for it!
Posted By: ando Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/23/14 01:00 AM
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
You all seem to have this figured out. Except you don't factor in the things I wrote, or provide alternatives.

Yes, I could go to Hamburg or similar, but it's not like it's just around the corner. Also, I would be on my own with regards to warranty, local support etc.



I wasn't saying you should buy it from Hamburg, just that you would have at least played the model you are about to buy and confirmed that you like it before you commit to buying one. I understand that you are in a tricky situation.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/23/14 12:28 PM
Originally Posted by master88er

Hi pinkfloydhomer:

As you may know, my company has been selling these pianos (Ritmmüller GH and UH series pianos) since their inception, so I do have, perhaps, the most experience with these pianos that you will find on this forum. Additionally, as a paid consultant to Pearl River, and having a close personal relationship to Lothar Thomma, I have an intimate knowledge of these pianos.


I am glad to benefit from your knowledge and experience. Of course, you might not me totally impartial, but that doesn't seem important in this case.

Originally Posted by master88er

First, I would like to echo some of the posts of others in this thread: While I firmly believe in these pianos, if you haven't played one but are simply making your selection based on recordings, I would not recommend you buying ANY piano without first playing the brand and model/size you are considering. This holds true for ANY brand. Once you have tried one, and find it to your liking, I have no issue with one being ordered in the color and size you prefer - as with any other brand such as Kawai or Yamaha, as these pianos are extremely consistent in tone and performance.


Duly noted.

Originally Posted by master88er

This consistency leads me to recommend the following Dealer prep on these pianos, as this is our nearly unanimous procedure on every Ritmüller grand we unbox:

  • Remove stack and ease key bushings: We have noticed that, in San Francisco, once the piano sits for a few days the bushings can be a little tight. This doesn't take long to do.
  • Check regulation, and adjust hammer travel and let-off. While most of the Rits we uncrate do meet this standard, it is always prudent to check.
  • The pianos arrive VERY mellow, and this is on purpose. It is much easier to add a bit of brilliance than to voice down hammers. We routinely iron the hammers as part of prep, to about 10% harder than they arrive. Remember that pianos get brighter with age and playing, so I wouldn't going any more than 10% at the start. Your technician can always do a bit more when the piano is in the home.
  • Two to Three tunings - We ALWAYS bring these pianos to A442 (European standard pitch) and do a second tuning a few days later. They are very stable and shouldn't need another tuning until 60-90 days after delivery to your home.



Thanks for the list. I will keep your suggestions in mind. I don't mind the piano being very mellow, I like that. Also, my living room have a lot of hard surfaces and it will brighten over time. I guess what I will negotiate with my dealer is that since I can't listen to the piano before it is in my home, they will have to voice it to my satisfaction if necessary.

Originally Posted by master88er

While the GH148 is a very musical instrument, if your budget allows I would certainly recommend the GH160 & GH170 as a preference. In fact, the GH170 is the best selling model of any piano of any brand the we carry.


I was actually going for the GH160R at first, but my dealer just spoke to Pearl River, and they can only have a GH148R or a R9 ready for the next shipment in December to my dealer. I have asked my dealer how long it would take before they can have GH160R or GH170R ready.

I might start with the GH148R now and then upgrade to GH160R or GH170R when they have one ready. Also, the prices my dealer has quoted for GH160R and especially GH170R are rather steep, compared especially to US prices but also the few european prices I have been able to find.

Originally Posted by master88er

IF your dealer also has access to the Kayserburg GH160 or GH170, and the price is within your budget, I would recommend you consider these as the prep work would be less important, since they receive more fine voicing and regulation at the factory level.


My dealer doesn't carry Ritmüller or Kayserburg normally, but they have a business relationship with Pearl River and have sold some of their cheaper pianos. I guess my dealer can just as well order a Kayserburg, but I am afraid the price would be even more steep compared to international prices.

Originally Posted by master88er

If you have any other questions, please feel free to PM me. I hope the above was helpful.


It was, thank you smile
Posted By: gynnis Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/23/14 12:36 PM
Many post on this board note that the piano sounds fine at the dealers, but too loud when they get it in a home environment. This will be especially true for a larger grand piano. I would definitely get an in-home voicing included in the price of a new piano. Preferably after you played it in for a month or two.
Posted By: Norbert Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/23/14 08:19 PM
People forget that all brands perform a little different, also later at home.

Master88 was giving a great list of what makes most sense in prepping Rits and I found this comment particularly useful:

Quote
The pianos arrive VERY mellow, and this is on purpose. It is much easier to add a bit of brilliance than to voice down hammers. We routinely iron the hammers as part of prep, to about 10% harder than they arrive. Remember that pianos get brighter with age and playing, so I wouldn't going any more than 10% at the start. Your technician can always do a bit more when the piano is in the home.


Pretty well sums it up.

Norbert smile

Posted By: Anne H Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 07:12 AM
I'm getting my tech to go over my new GH 160r on Tuesday morning, so if you'd like I'll post what he ends up doing it.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 07:30 AM
Originally Posted by Anne H
I'm getting my tech to go over my new GH 160r on Tuesday morning, so if you'd like I'll post what he ends up doing it.


Thanks, that would be nice.
Hi - not sure if this is what you're looking for - this only relates to regulation, not necessarily in relation to setting up a new piano. Some of this could be done prior to delivery, and some may not be relevant to new pianos.

It was posted on PianoWorld a couple of years ago.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1884489/Re:%20Kawai%20Grand%20Regulation%20Man.html

You could probably also find "Voicing the RX Series Grand Piano" - document on Google.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 10:17 AM
Thanks. I know of the Kawai regulation manual and other sources of regulation procedures.

In this case, I am more interested in knowing what I should demand/negotiate from my dealer when ordering a new grand piano, especially one that I am buying sight unseen.
Posted By: Withindale Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 10:24 AM
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
In this case, I am more interested in knowing what I should demand/negotiate from my dealer when ordering a new grand piano, especially one that I am buying sight unseen.

What do you already have on your list?
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
Thanks. I know of the Kawai regulation manual and other sources of regulation procedures.

In this case, I am more interested in knowing what I should demand/negotiate from my dealer when ordering a new grand piano, especially one that I am buying sight unseen.


You get nothing for nothing. The sales business is a complex balancing act of supply & demand as well as (not in your case directly) whether they've got floor stock which they need to move.

You've said that "If I don't like it" ... the dealer will swap for another model or brand. Which is a significant potential expense for the dealer (freight, re-setting your piano for someone else and setting up another piano for you. Plus, the "don't like it" piano won't be a "NEW" piano any more, so he likely will make a loss re-selling it as a USED piano - and they'd then have to factor in the cost of keeping floor stock which they may not want.

You will be the one paying for that - so under those circumstances, I wouldn't expect much in the way of mark-down, or included services.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 08:29 PM
Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
In this case, I am more interested in knowing what I should demand/negotiate from my dealer when ordering a new grand piano, especially one that I am buying sight unseen.

What do you already have on your list?


Only the stuff from this thread. As I wrote, I've never owned or bought a new (or used) grand piano before.

I don't know what to expect or demand/negotiate. I didn't even know that the piano included a bench. I guess I come off as rather inexperienced to the dealer. Which I am. And I guess if I don't know what to ask for, I won't necessarily get it automatically.

One of the more tangible things: The price I am being offered is rather steep, IMO. He wants more for a Ritmüller GH170R than I've been able to negotiate for Kawai GE-30. In

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall14/228.html
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall14/238.html

there is quite a bit of difference in SMP between the two: GH170R at $15,590, GE-30 at $22,190.

I don't know how uniform Kawai or Ritmüller prices dealers pay across the world. But he is offering GE-30 for $15,536, 70% of SMP.

Can I expect to be able to get the GH170R for 70% of SMP also? That is $10,913. His offer is $16,713. A _HUGE_ difference.

If course, price isn't everything. But it is part of the whole. If he has a very high price and on top of that I negotiate little to no dealer prep, I would feel kinda ripped off.

I guess it's all supply and demand. But this doesn't feel like a very competitive market where a lot of sellers want my money and are willing to fight for it with sharp prices and good service. It feels like no one wants to sell me a GH170R at a "fair" price with great service. Even Pearl River do not want to sell a GH170R at the moment, they have none ready at the factory to sell to my dealer.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 08:42 PM
Originally Posted by backto_study_piano

You get nothing for nothing. The sales business is a complex balancing act of supply & demand as well as (not in your case directly) whether they've got floor stock which they need to move.

You've said that "If I don't like it" ... the dealer will swap for another model or brand. Which is a significant potential expense for the dealer (freight, re-setting your piano for someone else and setting up another piano for you. Plus, the "don't like it" piano won't be a "NEW" piano any more, so he likely will make a loss re-selling it as a USED piano - and they'd then have to factor in the cost of keeping floor stock which they may not want.

You will be the one paying for that - so under those circumstances, I wouldn't expect much in the way of mark-down, or included services.


This deal is not for me exclusively. It's for everybody buying at this dealer. He says it's their business model: They only want to sell quality pianos that will roughly keep their value for the first five years. Of course, he can't sell it as new, so I guess what he means is that, all things considered, he will still make enough money on each piano on average to make his business profitable. That is a function of the price of the new piano, the price if it is re-sold, the cost of service, the pre-sale guidance given to lower the probability of people opting to upgrade within these five years and so on.

Of course you are right whatever the cost is of this business model, the consumer pays. But I can't see it being in his interest to give poor service or dealer prep.

It _is_ a nice opportunity to be able to upgrade freely within five years. Why shouldn't I? I could be playing a very nice piano for five years for "free" and save up money for a nice upgrade in the meantime.
Posted By: Norbert Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 09:21 PM
Quote
I guess it's all supply and demand. But this doesn't feel like a very competitive market where a lot of sellers want my money and are willing to fight for it with sharp prices and good service. It feels like no one wants to sell me a GH170R at a "fair" price with great service. Even Pearl River do not want to sell a GH170R at the moment, they have none ready at the factory to sell to my dealer.


The market for many pianos today is influenced by the tremendous demand for pianos right now in China.

While about 380,000 new pianos are being sold there annually, the whole of North America is selling only around 20,000..

There are developing short passes developing for some, Ritmuller being one of them. Presently we have two 170 grands presold but need waiting getting them.

Guess the Chinese market for which the pianos had originally been designed, is gobbling up more than its fair share...

Norbert frown
Posted By: pogmoger Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 09:26 PM
Hi pinkfloydhomer,

I don't know how helpful the pricing information in Piano Buyer is if you are shopping outside of the US. In Denmark in particular you have to factor in the increased cost of doing business (higher taxes and wages etc.) and the lack of competition from other dealers. The only way to know if you are getting a good deal or not is to compare with other pianos offered at other dealers locally.

In my experience in Norway, when buying a piano priced around 50-60.000 NOK, the 'standard' deal includes a pre-sales tuning, a bench, delivery and one free tuning after the purchase within a year. I recently bought a Shigeru Kawai grand for about 5-6 times that price, and this included quite a bit of pre-sales prep, delivery, bench, several service visits within the first 18 months, and a damp chaser. I think that the piano market in Denmark probably has more in common with the piano market in Norway than that in the US. I don't think it would be reasonable to expect to get a Ritmüller at a comparable price to what they sell for in the US, plus loads of prep and service visits included. For what it's worth, the pre-negotiaton sticker price in Oslo for a Ritmüller 148 is 85.000 NOK.

I totally understand your aprehension, though. Pricing in the piano market is so confusing that it's sometimes difficult to know if you're getting a good deal or not. And if you don't ask, you won't get anything thrown in for free! smile But the bottom line is, if you can afford it, and there isn't something else available across town for a much lower price, then you're not being ripped off. My opinion is that it's not unreasonable to have to pay a bit more for decent prep work, and this approach will get you a better instrument than if you just try to hammer out the lowest possible price.
Posted By: MiguelAngel07 Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer

It _is_ a nice opportunity to be able to upgrade freely within five years. Why shouldn't I? I could be playing a very nice piano for five years for "free" and save up money for a nice upgrade in the meantime.


Be careful with your assumptions on this regard. Although you may be indeed getting credit for 100% of the pre-sales-tax money you paid for the original piano, more than likely it would be towards the purchase of a "replacement" piano at its full MSRP/retail price.

The difference between the replacement-piano's MSRP and its discounted-SMP would be like "rent" you paid for the original-piano during the associated time-frame.

This could still be a good benefit since you have the "peace of mind" of having the option to upgrade without the hazzle of having to place your piano in the market, but it is certainly not "playing for five years "for free"".

Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 10:38 PM
Originally Posted by pogmoger
Hi pinkfloydhomer,

I don't know how helpful the pricing information in Piano Buyer is if you are shopping outside of the US. In Denmark in particular you have to factor in the increased cost of doing business (higher taxes and wages etc.) and the lack of competition from other dealers. The only way to know if you are getting a good deal or not is to compare with other pianos offered at other dealers locally.


True. But please note that I am not directly comparing the prices. Rather, I am comparing the price _differences_ between certain specific pianos. Both absolutely and relatively, and both street prices and SMPs and otherwise. I am trying to get the big picture, get a feel for the prices.

I do not expect a US price in Denmark. I just don't understand why a Ritmüller would cost more in Denmark than a Kawai that is much more expensive in the US. Also, the few European prices I can find on the Ritmüllers suggest a more reasonable relationship between European prices of these two pianos.

Originally Posted by pogmoger

I totally understand your aprehension, though. Pricing in the piano market is so confusing that it's sometimes difficult to know if you're getting a good deal or not. And if you don't ask, you won't get anything thrown in for free! smile But the bottom line is, if you can afford it, and there isn't something else available across town for a much lower price, then you're not being ripped off. My opinion is that it's not unreasonable to have to pay a bit more for decent prep work, and this approach will get you a better instrument than if you just try to hammer out the lowest possible price.


True. I guess that's what I am looking for. The whole package, piano, good prep, good service, at a fair price.

Maybe if I "let" the dealer sell me the piano at his price, he will be more generous with prep and service smile Who knows...

I am not interested in getting the piano as cheap as possible and then be on my own. But I don't want to pay far too much either, especially as I don't know up front if his prep work and service will be worth the high price.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 10:45 PM
Originally Posted by MiguelAngel07
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer

It _is_ a nice opportunity to be able to upgrade freely within five years. Why shouldn't I? I could be playing a very nice piano for five years for "free" and save up money for a nice upgrade in the meantime.


Be careful with your assumptions on this regard. Although you may be indeed getting credit for 100% of the pre-sales-tax money you paid for the original piano, more than likely it would be towards the purchase of a "replacement" piano at its full MSRP/retail price.

The difference between the replacement-piano's MSRP and its discounted-SMP would be like "rent" you paid for the original-piano during the associated time-frame.

This could still be a good benefit since you have the "peace of mind" of having the option to upgrade without the hazzle of having to place your piano in the market, but it is certainly not "playing for five years "for free"".



At least I should make sure what the terms are.

But he already acknowledged that I could upgrade for free from, say, the Ritmüller GH148R to the Kawai GE-30 not at MSRP but at the competitive price he agreed to match.

This is because he has a price guarantee where he matches any price with delivery included, at least in the EU. I showed him a lower German price on the GE-30 from a company that sells to Denmark as well. He matched that price as per his price guarantee.

So he has both price guarantee and a five year free upgrade policy. The upgrade policy is on the condition that his company exclusively maintains and tunes the piano in these five years.

The company is the largest piano dealer in Denmark, even in the entire Scandinavia I think. I presume they have good techs and so on.
Posted By: Norbert Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 11:20 PM
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I could upgrade for free from, say, the Ritmüller GH148R to the Kawai GE-30


Not sure if this an "upgrade"

Without playing any of the [differently sized] pianos, it will remain a wild card - at best.

Piano Buyer indicating pianos being in [slightly] different categories.

Notwithstanding size, calling anything "up-grade" may be a stretch.

Here's someone who had looked at a similar situation before:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubb...muller_from_Heritage_Pi.html#Post1777783

Nothing against calling another make "upgrade" but better play the pianos before deciding on term...

Norbert smile
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 11:27 PM
A pricewise upgrade. It was just an example of something commonly available on all markets that costs more than the Ritmüller on all markets.
Posted By: Norbert Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/24/14 11:34 PM
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A pricewise upgrade. It was just an example of something commonly available on all markets that costs more than the Ritmüller on all markets.


Fully understood.

But in today's market higher price no longer means automatically better quality. That's why it is important to check things on a "case-by-case" basis.

Irritating many dealers with more "traditional makes" but giving at same time incredible opportunity to savvy buyers in today's market.

Disclaimer: we're by no means only dealers offering such 'select' pianos. Increasingly, the whole market *is*.

By no means restricted only to "Consumer Grade" pianos... wink

By the way, why not make a call here to get perhaps more directions:
http://www.pearlriver-europe.de/english/

Norbert smile
Originally Posted by pinkfloydhomer
[quote=Withindale][quote=pinkfloydhomer]
...

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall14/228.html
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall14/238.html

there is quite a bit of difference in SMP between the two: GH170R at $15,590, GE-30 at $22,190 ...


The SMPs are only relevant in USA - here in Australia, they're not even worth looking at - some which were much the same SMP were in fact double (or half depending on how you look at it) the other piano, and I suspect in your case it could be the same.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/25/14 01:45 PM
I know SMPs are not directly usable. But I still would expect that it would say something about the factory price, which shouldn't vary too much whether the dealer is in the US or in Europe. Also, freight from Japan or China to either Europe or the US shouldn't make SMPs vary 100% or more.

I know that many factors play a part here. The piano market isn't very effective or transparent.
Posted By: pinkfloydhomer Re: What should dealer prep include - 11/25/14 02:06 PM
Things have changed a little bit now:

My dealer is taking home a GH148R and a R9 now, to check them out and to sell them to no one specific. That means that I don't have yo buy it sight unseen, it also means that he will probably prep them as well as he normally would for something in his showroom that he is trying to sell.

Good news for me, I can compare these two and the Kawai GE-30 at the same dealer before making a decision.

I just wish he would take home the GH170R (and GH160R) also. He says that maybe he will in the future, but at the moment he wouldn't even get one from Pearl River before April.
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