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Posted By: MGAB New S&S D - 07/28/17 03:49 PM
We are in the market for a new concert grand and are interested in the S&S D. The model Ds available in our area are unfortunately not to my liking. To my knowledge, one can go to Steinway’s factories in NYC and/or Hamburg for more selections. Does anyone know how this process work?

Even though they have more choices in the factories, there is still a chance that none of those suits me. Are we obliged to make a purchase? Or is there a charge for visiting them?

Thanks in advance!
Posted By: johnstaf Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 03:56 PM
Originally Posted by MGAB
We are in the market for a new concert grand and are interested in the S&S D. The model Ds available in our area are unfortunately not to my liking. To my knowledge, one can go to Steinway’s factories in NYC and/or Hamburg for more selections. Does anyone know how this process work?

Even though they have more choices in the factories, there is still a chance that none of those suits me. Are we obliged to make a purchase? Or is there a charge for visiting them?

Thanks in advance!


You just need to contact your authorised dealer. You are not obliged to buy anything, nor is there a charge. Where I live the previous dealer used to even pay for the trip.
Posted By: MGAB Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 04:26 PM
Thanks johnstaf for the quick reply.

I did contact the local dealer, they unfortunately told me that both a deposit (a large percentage too) and a charge (hundreds of dollars, for the admittance into selection room) are required. Should I not able to find one that I like, the admittance charge is not refundable.

This does not sound like any usual business practice, regardless of the value of the product. We are not sure what to do.
Posted By: BDB Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 04:41 PM
Contact Steinway directly, and tell them what the dealer said.
Posted By: Rickster Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 04:56 PM
Originally Posted by MGAB
I did contact the local dealer, they unfortunately told me that both a deposit (a large percentage too) and a charge (hundreds of dollars, for the admittance into selection room) are required. Should I not able to find one that I like, the admittance charge is not refundable.

This does not sound like any usual business practice, regardless of the value of the product. We are not sure what to do.

Humm, this sounds really strange to me. They want you to pay, big bucks, just to enter the store and look at the piano; then, they want to extort thousands of dollars from you as a so-called deposit.

This kind of expensive piano is so far out of my league that I probably shouldn't be posting here; but based on what you have reported, I'd tell them to keep their S&S D and admire it the remainder of their lives, and when they pass on, to make room in the grave for the piano. If something is really that valuable and rare, they should be able to take it with them with they pass on...

Secondly, I'll bet there are some reputable dealers and rebuilders who would be much more accommodating to your needs, and treat you with much more respect, and you would likely end up with a S&S D just as nice or nicer than the new one that the dealer will take to the grave with them. smile

Arrogance:

Arrogance is a human trait that is easy to recognize
It starts with a lack of respect and big bulging eyes
There is no compassion or mercy that is closely related
Nothing but greed and contempt as others are berated
But one thing is for sure, and there is no doubt
Arrogance is a temporary thing and will soon burn out
So let them be brash, and let them be bold
And, in the end, maybe they can take home their gold
Where they go, in the end, it's hard to tell
It may well be heaven, or it may well be h...
But rest assured they'll be leaving this world
And perhaps sooner than later, as things are unfurled
Who knows, perhaps in the end, they'll wish they'd been smarter
But to be so bold, and brash and arrogant, is a non-starter
It's not too late to change and make amends
Perhaps be more courteous and try to make friends
For if you make a friend, perhaps you make a sale
Or, maybe not, who knows, it's hard to tell...


Just my .02.

Rick
Posted By: PianoWorksATL Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 05:03 PM
You may visit other dealers to try their inventory, but for a factory selection, that has been Steinway's policy for quite some time. Or you could expand your search to include other brands.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
You may visit other dealers to try their inventory, but for a factory selection, that has been Steinway's policy for quite some time. Or you could expand your search to include other brands.


Sam is correct. Of course, you have other options such as used or rebuilt Steinway Ds, Yamaha concert grands, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Fazioli, etc etc etc. New Steinway concert grands can be fantastic, but there are many other options out there that may be preferred from the point of view of performance or value or both.
Posted By: ClsscLib Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 06:29 PM
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
You may visit other dealers to try their inventory, but for a factory selection, that has been Steinway's policy for quite some time. Or you could expand your search to include other brands.


Sam is correct. Of course, you have other options such as used or rebuilt Steinway Ds, Yamaha concert grands, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Fazioli, etc etc etc. New Steinway concert grands can be fantastic, but there are many other options out there that may be preferred from the point of view of performance or value or both.


Second to that motion. I've played some Steinways I really liked, but I've also played some fantastic pianos from Estonia, Fazioli, Grotrian, and Steingraeber, among other great makers.

There are several wonderful dealers on this Board (and even on this thread!) who will treat people right: Sam, Keith, and Rich G., along with others.

I always prefer taking my trade to good people vs the other kind.
Posted By: SMA55 Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 06:36 PM
Up until 3 weeks ago, I also was in the market for a Steinway D. And just as with the OP, the one available new D at my local Steinway dealer was not to my liking. The dealer offered me the option of doing a factory selection, and the way it was explained to me was as follows: "You pay me for the piano ahead of time, and we then make an appointment for you to do the factory selection. By the time you have left the Steinway factory, you WILL own a Steinway D." He did say that if I was very unhappy with all of the Steinway D's that were available in the factory selection room, he himself would select one of them instead for his showroom, and then I could purchase the one he currently had in his showroom. In either case, there was the potential for spending a whole lot of cash on a piano with which I was less than delighted. This sounded too risky to me, given the huge number of dollars involved. In the meantime, I found a wonderful Steingraeber D232 of which I was completely enamored. So I purchased that instead. As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 06:50 PM
Originally Posted by MGAB
Thanks johnstaf for the quick reply.

I did contact the local dealer, they unfortunately told me that both a deposit (a large percentage too) and a charge (hundreds of dollars, for the admittance into selection room) are required. Should I not able to find one that I like, the admittance charge is not refundable.

This does not sound like any usual business practice, regardless of the value of the product. We are not sure what to do.


Sorry about that. It's so different from how things used to be. It's extraordinary, especially as it is not easy to find a good selection of new Model Ds at a dealer. Perhaps one of the Steinway halls might have a decent selection? I've been to Steinway in London, and while they have a great selection, I don't think they had many Ds -at least on the floor.
Posted By: PhilipInChina Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 07:38 PM
Sam has taken the words out of my mouth. Why not try some of the other top tier pianos: C Bechstein model E, Blüthner Model 1, Bösendorfer, Grotrian Steinweg and Fazioli all spring to mind. You have said you haven't come across an S & S that you like.

If I were treated like that over the purchase of any product I would buy from a competitor.
Posted By: MGAB Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 07:55 PM
Thanks everyone for your valuable input. Before that I was not sure if it was the dealer's or Steinway's policy.

We also have tried other makes: M&H, Bösendorfer, Fazioli, Estonia, Blüthner, and August Förster. While they are all superb pianos, I am still looking to see if I can find the perfect model D... something like Horowitz's, which I fell in love with at first play.

We can travel to Steinway Hall in NYC quite easily. But the dealer here at first said we should go, and then later discouraged it. They said the Hall typically has only 1 or 2 D's for show and are not as well prepped. The Factory Selection room, however, will have a handful and are all very well prepared. Just that to get in, one has to pay a large deposit.

We have not made up our minds. But now we know if we decided that the model D is the one, we just have to deal with Steinway... or the highway.

Thanks again!
Posted By: ando Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 08:04 PM
Originally Posted by MGAB
I am still looking to see if I can find the perfect model D... something like Horowitz's, which I fell in love with at first play.

Isn't that a little fanciful though? Horowitz's pianos are well known to have been modified to within an inch of their lives. i.e., anything but a standard Steinway. There's no way any new Steinway you find will play like his did. There might be some rebuilt ones that are more in line with Horowitz's philosophy, but you'll have to work to track them down.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by MGAB
I am still looking to see if I can find the perfect model D... something like Horowitz's, which I fell in love with at first play.

Isn't that a little fanciful though? Horowitz's pianos are well known to have been modified to within an inch of their lives. i.e., anything but a standard Steinway. There's no way any new Steinway you find will play like his did. There might be some rebuilt ones that are more in line with Horowitz's philosophy, but you'll have to work to track them down.


I was just about to make this exact point. As I have expressed many times here, the sound of Horowitz's Steinway from his recordings in the 40s and 50s is for me, the ultimate Steinway sound. It is quite different from current Steinways and not only for all of the customization it received. Of course, Horowitz himself may have contributed a bit to that sound :P
Posted By: Miguel Rey Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by MGAB
I am still looking to see if I can find the perfect model D... something like Horowitz's, which I fell in love with at first play.

Isn't that a little fanciful though? Horowitz's pianos are well known to have been modified to within an inch of their lives. i.e., anything but a standard Steinway. There's no way any new Steinway you find will play like his did. There might be some rebuilt ones that are more in line with Horowitz's philosophy, but you'll have to work to track them down.


I was just about to make this exact point. As I have expressed many times here, the sound of Horowitz's Steinway from his recordings in the 40s and 50s is for me, the ultimate Steinway sound. It is quite different from current Steinways and not only for all of the customization it received. Of course, Horowitz himself may have contributed a bit to that sound :P


The OP should seek out the Horowitz's Steinway to see how he likes it. From what I understand it was an overly loud and bright instrument on it's own yet a different story under the hands of Horowitz.
Posted By: BDB Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 08:26 PM
I thought the piano was overly bright and uneven when I heard Horowitz playing. These are things that tend to get forgotten when there is such heat in the performance.
Posted By: MGAB Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 08:41 PM
I actually did not find Horowitz's piano overly bright/loud. If I remember correctly, they told me the original action is stored somewhere else, the one I played was the "standard" Steinway action, whatever that is. Surely, I think some regulation would have been great. But that piano sounded amazing. It can be loud and bright when asked for, but it can also be very warm.

That was just one of the D's I fell in love with... there are more.
Posted By: JohnSprung Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by MGAB
..., I am still looking to see if I can find the perfect model D... something like Horowitz's, which I fell in love with at first play.


In that case, it's a waste of time to look at any maker's new pianos. You need a technician/rebuilder who knows the radical differences that Horowitz liked, and you need a bespoke rebuilt concert grand. A Steinway core would be a good choice, maybe not the only choice. Perhaps start a new thread looking for such a rebuilder. I think there may be one here on this forum.... ;-)
Posted By: iObsessed Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 10:27 PM
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
In that case, it's a waste of time to look at any maker's new pianos. You need a technician/rebuilder who knows the radical differences that Horowitz liked, and you need a bespoke rebuilt concert grand. A Steinway core would be a good choice, maybe not the only choice. Perhaps start a new thread looking for such a rebuilder. I think there may be one here on this forum.... ;-)



Very true. I heard that Horowitz's Steinway had a Yamaha action retrofitted to it. However, it may not be what you want, since I'm assuming you would not like an overly bright and "juiced" action. Rebuilt Steinways with Renner actions *might* be closer to what you want. But whatever it is, I'd look at rebuilt Steinway D's, as well as new ones, and compare their tonal qualities extensively and with an open mind, keeping any bias for "brand-spanking-new" Steinway D's away from your piano shopping experience.
Posted By: S. Phillips Re: New S&S D - 07/28/17 11:25 PM
IObsessed, The Horowitz Steinway never had any action other than a Steinway action.

MGAB, Steinway's selection room policy is that the sale of the piano has to be confirmed before a selection date can be made. This is not a store, it is a room in the factory. Steinway Hall in Manhattan is a retail store and is open to the public and anyone can go at any time to play and see the pianos.

In a factory selection 5-6 concert grands are prepared for your selection. There is a form that is filled out by the dealer that gives the factory some idea about where it is going: home, concert hall, size of hall etc. You also choose from the finish that you have noted. Right now there is a three month waiting list for a selection date depending on the case finish. Only the customer or committee that is scheduled for the selection is allowed into the factory selection room area so that the customer and his or her selection committee have total privacy during their scheduled time. The technicians in the selection room do a wonderful job getting the pianos ready.

Probably the most appealing quality about these pianos is that they are so mallable in tone and touch by a tech. Tonal requests are pretty easy to accomplish. You just have to ask.
Posted By: MGAB Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 01:06 AM
Thanks again everyone. Your insights are very, very helpful.

I will certainly keep my mind and eyes open for opportunities that come my way. smile
Posted By: huaidongxi Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 02:13 AM
horowitz' steinway had a heavily modified action, as did gould's. there are some details of the extra attention both pianists received in the book "A Romance on Three Legs". if you order and put a deposit down for a bespoke top tier concert grand, you'd probably get similar treatment in the set up of your instrument. should older instruments come under consideration, it then comes down to finding a technician/rebuilder you trust to completely understand what you want and can make it real. many top pianists who could own any brand new instrument they like, choose otherwise for their personal instruments.

if you wish to try out hamburger steinways, you needn't go to Deutschland necessarily, if that doesn't appeal to you. (for a long part of A.Rubenstein's career he played steinways but would not visit their home country.) they're found in any big steinway dealers in the major cities of the u.k. and western europa, but you'd need to ascertain how many model D's a particular dealer has for you to test.
Posted By: BDB Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 02:35 AM
I think you should be shopping for a technician before you shop for a piano.
Posted By: Bob Snyder Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 04:09 PM
Hello MJAB -
There is a significant amount of information above that is less than accurate; I will contact you privately in hopes of completely clarifying and answering whatever questions you have about the use of our New York selection room. You are also welcome to contact me via email if you'd like to.
Posted By: dogperson Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 04:55 PM
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Hello MJAB -
There is a significant amount of information above that is less than accurate; I will contact you privately in hopes of completely clarifying and answering whatever questions you have about the use of our New York selection room. You are also welcome to contact me via email if you'd like to.


If there is significant misinformation in this thread, why don't you correct it here for all to read? As it stands, this is the information that any future reader will get regarding the selection room process,
Posted By: Rickster Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 05:50 PM
Originally Posted by dogperson
If there is significant misinformation in this thread, why don't you correct it here for all to read? As it stands, this is the information that any future reader will get regarding the selection room process,

I was thinking the same thing, dogperson. But when you're Steinway, you don't have to be or need to be transparent. If a piano shopper wants to buy a Steinway, they just need lots of money, not only to buy, but just to look as well, apparently. smile

Of course, as Sally Phillips said, if there is a 2 month waiting period just to get an appointment for the factory-selection, they (Steinway) must be doing pretty well.

Rick
Posted By: Bob Snyder Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 07:10 PM
Rickster - your comment and implied accusation is not at all fair. If I wasn't transparent - I'd be hiding behind some handle, and I certainly wouldn't use my real name of email address.

I have chosen to not get drawn into arguments and debates on this forum. I've also gone out of my way to never post or respond in a way that will draw a predicable chorus of "he's just a salesman for Steinway - disregard anything he says". Whether or not there is a bias on this forum is a question to which participants will draw their own conclusions.
Posted By: Rickster Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 07:51 PM
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Rickster - your comment and implied accusation is not at all fair. If I wasn't transparent - I'd be hiding behind some handle, and I certainly wouldn't use my real name of email address.

I have chosen to not get drawn into arguments and debates on this forum. I've also gone out of my way to never post or respond in a way that will draw a predicable chorus of "he's just a salesman for Steinway - disregard anything he says". Whether or not there is a bias on this forum is a question to which participants will draw their own conclusions.

Bob, you have a point, and it was well stated. And, I do apologize if my comments were construed as an implied accusation that Steinway, or you, as Steinway's representative here on the PW forum, are not transparent; quite frankly, I'm not sure if you are or not, and it was pure speculation on my part, based on what I have read in this thread. But there are two sides to every story/argument/equation.

You say/imply that the reason you do not wish to divulge or elaborate on the inaccurate information that you say is stated in this thread, is that you wish to discuss these things via PM or private mail rather than openly in this forum. That is indeed your prerogative and your right. But you would have to admit that it does leave everyone else guessing as to what the inaccurate information is; hence, my rational/logic for making the statement about transparency.

Steinway is a private company, and a very well known one at that; you absolutely have the right to share more or less information about your sales policies, or none at all. But that still leaves everyone here guessing exactly what information here is inaccurate. You say there is inaccurate information in this thread, but you don't say what it is...

Again, I do apologize if my comments were in any way offensive. I certainly meant no offense toward you or Steinway.

Best regards,

Rick
Posted By: jcgee88 Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by Rickster

Arrogance:

Arrogance is a human trait that is easy to recognize


Most of the time I find I am in agreement with Rick's comments, as his comments
are always backed by a lot of experience and common sense. I have to say that in
this case, I don't see Steinway's process to be one that smacks of arrogance.

As a retired sales professional, I see a difference between the services you should
should expect for free in a bricks-and-mortar store vs those being offered in Steinway's
selection room. Expecting a show room to be stocked with product, being able to
try out those products, and interacting with the store's sales staff and technicians -
those are part of doing business and should be free. A "selection room" seems to me
to be downstream to the store, and thus one's expectations of which services should
be free should not be the same as with a store.

Set aside for the moment the non-refundable deposit, and you see that Steinway is
providing a service with their selection room rather than it being a sales channel.
The room likely has been accoustically treated to enable optimal listening; it's been
populated with a million dollars of hard-to-get inventory; technical services have
been expended to prep the pianos to the guest's preferences; technicians are on
hand to make further adjustments during the visit; you'll have a guide/escort
throughout your visit. In effect, you are getting a mini-concert hall plus its personnel
for your personal use. If you tried to put something together like that on your own,
how many thousands of dollars per hour would you charge for someone to use it?

Back to the deposit, I might not agree that that is a wonderful thing to impose on
my prospective customers. It's probably Steinway's way of sales qualifying persons
who want access to a very costly asset. While this is a business decision on
on their part, it is also causes the sales process to be slightly intermingled with
what otherwise is just a pure customer service. And that co-mingling can tempt
us to think: this should be free, and if it is not, then Steinway must be being arrogant.

John
Posted By: ClsscLib Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 09:30 PM
If Sally is right and there is a waiting list for these appointments, the armchair economist in me believes that Steinway is requesting a non-refundable deposit that is too low.
Posted By: Rickster Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by JCGee88
Most of the time I find I am in agreement with Rick's comments, as his comments are always backed by a lot of experience and common sense. I have to say that in this case, I don't see Steinway's process to be one that smacks of arrogance.

As a retired sales professional, I see a difference between the services you should should expect for free in a bricks-and-mortar store vs those being offered in Steinway's selection room. Expecting a show room to be stocked with product, being able to try out those products, and interacting with the store's sales staff and technicians - those are part of doing business and should be free. A "selection room" seems to me to be downstream to the store, and thus one's expectations of which services should be free should not be the same as with a store.

Set aside for the moment the non-refundable deposit, and you see that Steinway is providing a service with their selection room rather than it being a sales channel. The room likely has been accoustically treated to enable optimal listening; it's been populated with a million dollars of hard-to-get inventory; technical services have been expended to prep the pianos to the guest's preferences; technicians are on hand to make further adjustments during the visit; you'll have a guide/escort throughout your visit. In effect, you are getting a mini-concert hall plus its personnel for your personal use. If you tried to put something together like that on your own, how many thousands of dollars per hour would you charge for someone to use it?

Back to the deposit, I might not agree that that is a wonderful thing to impose onmy prospective customers. It's probably Steinway's way of sales qualifying persons
who want access to a very costly asset. While this is a business decision on on their part, it is also causes the sales process to be slightly intermingled with what otherwise is just a pure customer service. And that co-mingling can tempt us to think: this should be free, and if it is not, then Steinway must be being arrogant.

John

Hello, John,

Your post was very articulate and well written. Not only so, but you make some good points. As for my poetic rant about arrogance, no, I am not always right, but I can be a good poet when I'm in the mood (at least in my opinion). smile

Perhaps arrogant was too strong a word to begin with. How about "Snobbish"?

Snobbish:

Snobbish is a human trait that is easy to recognize

Okay, well, there is no need to go there... smile

As I said in my original post in this thread, the concept of buying such an expensive luxury item is way out of my league and well beyond anything I could ever afford. But I am capable of reading this thread and drawing a conclusion based on what I have read; and, it seems to me that having to pay a non-refundable fee to merely look at a Steinway piano is something I have difficulty comprehending.

Maybe the world of the rich and famous is so far above and beyond the scope of the world in which I live has something to do with my thoughts and ideas here.

Sorry about that...

I won't post anymore to this thread. I don't think I have enough money in the bank. smile

All the best!

Rick
Posted By: Miguel Rey Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 10:51 PM
Originally Posted by huaidongxi

if you wish to try out hamburger steinways, you needn't go to Deutschland necessarily, if that doesn't appeal to you. (for a long part of A.Rubenstein's career he played steinways but would not visit their home country.) they're found in any big steinway dealers in the major cities of the u.k. and western europa, but you'd need to ascertain how many model D's a particular dealer has for you to test.


Video of Rubinstein trying out his repaired D with factory technicians. If you don't speak German you can click on CC to get the subtitles.


Posted By: Bob Snyder Re: New S&S D - 07/29/17 11:10 PM
Steinway does not have a "non-refundable deposit" policy with regard to the use of our selection room.
Posted By: Bob Re: New S&S D - 07/30/17 02:20 AM
I've seen the selection room and played the pianos within. The selection room is for those folks that have already made the decision to buy a Steinway, and want to choose the Steinway that best suites them. It's not for casual browsing. That's what piano dealers are for. One of our University professors used the selection room to choose his Steinway B for his office with great results.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT Re: New S&S D - 07/30/17 03:10 AM
I don't think anyone in retail sales in the USA is allowed to require non-refundable payment.

Bob Snyder has nothing to gain by debating the rest of us here in a public forum, his posts strike me as him trying to represent his employer well. Which is a job well done.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: New S&S D - 07/30/17 03:24 AM
If I'm not mistaken, I've heard there is a waiting list specifically for the polished ebony finish D. I believe the satin grand finishes are in greater supply (source: anecdotal from managers at 3 different S&S dealers).

Posted By: huaidongxi Re: New S&S D - 07/30/17 03:58 AM
Sr.Rey, gracias for that video, have seen it. i.i.r.c. that was the first visit to the federal republik of deutschland (still split into to entities of course at that time, the demokratische republik deutchland the other side) rubenstein had made to any part of the country since well before the war. natuerlich he's treated like royalty by los germanos. his german pronunciation has less of his polish accent than what english speakers hear in his english, and of course he slips a few french words in as well, again without a polish accent. just a guess, english might have been one of the western european languages he acquired about midway through his total of seven or eight, counting yiddish of course as a separate tongue.

rubinstein moved to Berlin at age ten to study, performed with the Berlin Phiharmoniker at 13, and moved to Paris at 17. the area in Poland of his earlier childhood was politically part of Russia at the time. he began refusing engagements in Germany as early as 1914.
Posted By: PhilipInChina Re: New S&S D - 07/30/17 08:13 AM
I suppose they are trying to get rid of the "tyre kickers" who must be a plague with a product such as theirs.
Posted By: dogperson Re: New S&S D - 07/30/17 05:50 PM
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I don't think anyone in retail sales in the USA is allowed to require non-refundable payment.

Bob Snyder has nothing to gain by debating the rest of us here in a public forum, his posts strike me as him trying to represent his employer well. Which is a job well done.


Here is a recent forum post where OP was requested by his Dealer to pay upfront prior an appointment

Quiet NY Steinway D
Posted By: SMA55 Re: New S&S D - 07/30/17 06:42 PM
Yes, dogperson. That was me saying that. And I also related part of that story earlier in this thread. I quote myself:
Originally Posted by SMA55
Up until 3 weeks ago, I also was in the market for a Steinway D. And just as with the OP, the one available new D at my local Steinway dealer was not to my liking. The dealer offered me the option of doing a factory selection, and the way it was explained to me was as follows: "You pay me for the piano ahead of time, and we then make an appointment for you to do the factory selection. By the time you have left the Steinway factory, you WILL own a Steinway D." He did say that if I was very unhappy with all of the Steinway D's that were available in the factory selection room, he himself would select one of them instead for his showroom, and then I could purchase the one he currently had in his showroom. In either case, there was the potential for spending a whole lot of cash on a piano with which I was less than delighted. This sounded too risky to me, given the huge number of dollars involved. In the meantime, I found a wonderful Steingraeber D232 of which I was completely enamored. So I purchased that instead. As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

My dealer telling me that I would own a new D one way or another after the factory selection process was further explained to me: no refund would be possible after I went to the factory selection room.
Posted By: DanS Re: New S&S D - 07/31/17 01:05 AM
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Steinway does not have a "non-refundable deposit" policy with regard to the use of our selection room.



Originally Posted by SMA55

My dealer telling me that I would own a new D one way or another after the factory selection process was further explained to me: no refund would be possible after I went to the factory selection room.


These two statements don't seem to add up. I hope Bob Snyder will post again to clarify just what exactly is Steinway's policy.
Posted By: musicpassion Re: New S&S D - 07/31/17 03:23 AM
Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Steinway does not have a "non-refundable deposit" policy with regard to the use of our selection room.



Originally Posted by SMA55

My dealer telling me that I would own a new D one way or another after the factory selection process was further explained to me: no refund would be possible after I went to the factory selection room.


These two statements don't seem to add up. I hope Bob Snyder will post again to clarify just what exactly is Steinway's policy.
I don't have any "inside information" about this, so this is just my pondering:
Might it be possible a dealer could have their own policies besides or in addition to Steinway's policy? A dealer is an independant business, after all. I don't imagine a dealer would want to be regularly arranging for use of the selection room and have their clients back out. Not only would it be embarrasing, it would be a waste of the dealer's time if they are the one arranging it.
Posted By: AJB Re: New S&S D - 07/31/17 06:30 AM
It seems to me simple enough. Steinway have a dealer network through which they sell pianos retail. The factory is not a retail outlet. Factory access is limited by qualifying the customer as real v maybe v tyre kicker. No doubt this qualification can be done in various ways depending on how the dealer rates the customer, and the factory obviously has discretion.
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: New S&S D - 07/31/17 09:35 AM
Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Steinway does not have a "non-refundable deposit" policy with regard to the use of our selection room.



Originally Posted by SMA55

My dealer telling me that I would own a new D one way or another after the factory selection process was further explained to me: no refund would be possible after I went to the factory selection room.


These two statements don't seem to add up. I hope Bob Snyder will post again to clarify just what exactly is Steinway's policy.


Musicpassion hit the nail on the head. Steinway the manufacturer has their policies and their dealer has their policies. They are two related, but independent businesses.
Posted By: dogperson Re: New S&S D - 07/31/17 10:11 AM
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by DanS
Originally Posted by Bob Snyder
Steinway does not have a "non-refundable deposit" policy with regard to the use of our selection room.



Originally Posted by SMA55

My dealer telling me that I would own a new D one way or another after the factory selection process was further explained to me: no refund would be possible after I went to the factory selection room.


These two statements don't seem to add up. I hope Bob Snyder will post again to clarify just what exactly is Steinway's policy.


Musicpassion hit the nail on the head. Steinway the manufacturer has their policies and their dealer has their policies. They are two related, but independent businesses.
.

Interesting, that the original statement from Steinway did not state the dealer can set their own policy for the selection room . As an agent of the company, are dealers really allowed to do this? Unless you are stating that each dealer can set their own refund policy as a fact, this remains an unanswered question from corporate. Also what remains to be answered is what in this thread is inaccurate from the corporate perspective.
Posted By: Dave B Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 12:13 AM
If there are only two "D"s in the selection room, Is there a serious Steinway decline?
Posted By: JohnSprung Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 12:51 AM
Originally Posted by Dave B
If there are only two "D"s in the selection room, Is there a serious Steinway decline?


Quite the opposite, it would mean they can't make them fast enough. ;-)
Posted By: Miguel Rey Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 12:55 AM
I'm surprised why an amateur pianist would have to go through so many new tier 1 instruments to find one. Is Fabrini and professionals swooping up all the good ones?
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 04:08 AM
Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
I'm surprised why an amateur pianist would have to go through so many new tier 1 instruments to find one.


That's an odd statement.
The so-called "tier 1" pianos are remarkably different in tone, and not everyone likes them all. Not every maker's 9' concert grand is an unabashed success. Also, I think it's a brilliant marketing strategy to offer buyers a selection of a half dozen of the exact same model and finish, and hand pick their favorite, with a concert/finish technician there "on call" during the selection to tweak stuff, after a factory tour...whether they're an accomplished pianist, an institutional buyer, or an amateur pianist who's saved all their lives to make that purchase.

In fact, I've now heard a couple of dealers offer the factory selection option to customers from other, less prestigious (but still well-respected brands), though I can't remember whether or not a representative model was already on the floor at the dealership.
Posted By: Fareham Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 12:28 PM
It took me 3 years to find an S&S 'D' I wanted to buy - second hand.

I was actually looking for a 'B' - but have a large enough music room - just 35 x 22 x 11. I'm currently agonising about replacement hammers - it's already on its third set since 1985.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 01:54 PM
Originally Posted by Fareham
I was actually looking for a 'B' - but have a large enough music room - just 35 x 22 x 11.
I live in what would be a considered a fairly nice but not luxurious NYC two bedroom apartment but the whole apartment is about the size of your music room and with only 8' ceilings!! Well at least I can go to Piano Row as often as I want haha.

Posted By: Fareham Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 03:05 PM
I have a flat end of my nose, having kept it on the grindstone for 40+years as a design engineer. I got there in the end - and I expect you will too- if you want. (Mind we live 6 miles from nearest town : population 35,000, so space is cheap)
Posted By: musicpassion Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 05:27 PM
Originally Posted by dogperson
Interesting, that the original statement from Steinway did not state the dealer can set their own policy for the selection room .
I don't think it would mean setting a policy for the selection room. It would be a policy for their own dealership sales. If I'm the dealer, I think it would be a reasonable sales policy that I'm not going to arrange the selection room unless you've committed to purchase.
Quote
As an agent of the company, are dealers really allowed to do this?
"Agent of the company" almost makes it sound like an employee. They aren't employees of Steinway. They are in a business relationship with Steinway.
Quote
Unless you are stating that each dealer can set their own refund policy as a fact, this remains an unanswered question from corporate. Also what remains to be answered is what in this thread is inaccurate from the corporate perspective.
"Refund policy" can mean different things, and I think the language might be contributing to confusion in this thread.
Posted By: ando Re: New S&S D - 08/01/17 06:19 PM
Originally Posted by musicpassion
I don't think it would mean setting a policy for the selection room. It would be a policy for their own dealership sales. If I'm the dealer, I think it would be a reasonable sales policy that I'm not going to arrange the selection room unless you've committed to purchase.

Such a thing wouldn't be possible in my country. We have strong consumer protection laws. There is no guarantee of satisfaction in this process. Who knows what the pianos will be like at the time of presentation/selection. If they don't present something you want, they can't force you to take it - even if you have paid a deposit. I'd be interested to know what the actual laws are in the US regarding and also what the dealer contracts specifically state. It should be that even if a contract stipulates something, it won't be upheld in court if it contradicts a legal statute. A contract cannot include clauses that are illegal. An illegal clause can make the entire contract invalid.
Posted By: malkin Re: New S&S D - 08/02/17 01:39 AM
Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
I suppose they are trying to get rid of the "tyre kickers" who must be a plague with a product such as theirs.


Or perhaps "lyre kickers."
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT Re: New S&S D - 08/02/17 03:11 AM
Ando, That is my undersanding of the consumer laws in the USA. No deposits for retail purchase can require non-refundable terms. Real estate is different.

Malkin, Excellent pun,, "Lyre Kickers"!!!
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