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I found local dealer didn't tune or regulate Yamaha and Kawai but he tuned and regulated very carefully on a certain brand pianos. I found he was the agent of the piano brand and he set the price ridiculously higher than normal and explained to me how excellent the piano brand is.
Do some piano dealers don't tune or poorly tune some pianos to promote other piano brands?
Most of the piano dealer members here have a very good reputation, and have been in business for a long time.

The shysters who do things like you mention, don't usually last long in business, although they may make a fortune for a time; but their reputation will soon precede them.

One of those dealer members here told me once that the piano business (in the US) was a very small world and most everyone in the business knew everyone else, in some form or fashion. I'm sure the honest dealers know which dealers are not honest.

The tactic you mention is probably not new or isolated. My advice? Any consumer who wants to buy a non-escentual, luxury item like a piano, that cost thousands of dollars, or tens of thousands of dollars, should shop around and select the dealer with the most integrity and the best reputation, even if their goods cost a bit more.

If you talk to a shyster long enough, you will soon catch them in a lie. That is usually the first red flag...

Good luck!

Rick
It's unusual, but I've seen it happen once.
A Roland dealer kept a couple of used Yamaha pianos "for sale" in their store, but nailed to the floor, in absolutely dreadful shape. They sold their digitals against those pianos.

I've seen salespeople demonstrate sort of badly on a cheaper piano and then better on the more expensive piano.

I've seen dealers pay attention to the more expensive inventory in terms of prep, compared with the entry-level or older used stuff.

But the majority of stores have a basic standard of "dealer prep" they do for all their inventory. They might do more if you made an advance appointment or if you asked for something specific (within reason).
Originally Posted by tony3304
I found local dealer didn't tune or regulate Yamaha and Kawai but he tuned and regulated very carefully on a certain brand pianos. I found he was the agent of the piano brand and he set the price ridiculously higher than normal and explained to me how excellent the piano brand is.
Do some piano dealers don't tune or poorly tune some pianos to promote other piano brands?
So were the Yamahas and Kawais he carried used or trade ins?
That seems like a rather silly practice. Why would anyone buy and display a poorly tuned brand X so they can sell a perfectly tuned brand Y?
seems a bit of a waste of floor space to me....
Originally Posted by j&j
That seems like a rather silly practice. Why would anyone buy and display a poorly tuned brand X so they can sell a perfectly tuned brand Y?
So the buyer will think brand Y is superior to brand X.
"...seems like a rather silly practice. Why would anyone...."

A money motive, somewhere along the line. Could be they need a certain volume to qualify as an authorized dealer, or need the sales volume to get a more favorable price... or to stay in business.

There are reputable dealers who have a large stock on display, and find it too difficult to keep every single floor model in tip-top tune. If a shopper expressed a serious interest and allowed a reasonable time for the work to be done... I would think they would be happy enough to put a tuning on it.

But, the money motive might be that if you don't tune it, there's no tuning bill to pay. In any case, the person to ask this of, is the dealer you're wondering about. And Tony3304, it kind of sounds like the thrill is gone with you and this local seller. There's no need to take it personally, nor to feel that the seller is out to skin you. Just do the research, get a feel for the norms of the local market, and get the hang of negotiating with a smile. I hope you'll let us know how it goes, and write back again if you have more questions.

It's just possible that a smart shopper like yourself bought the tuned and regulated model off the sales floor, and the seller has just taken a fresh one out of the box. So, today's easy lesson for you is, write down the serial number of the piano you're buying; make sure it gets on the paperwork, and check it again before the movers take it off the truck.

Best of luck to you! Negotiate with a smile; it is highly contagious.
I was doing some preliminary shopping for a student once. The salesman was extolling the virtues of Brand A, saying how great it was, especially because of it's CF action. It doesn't require the regulation of traditional wood etc. When I started looking at Brand B, the more expensive German pianos, suddenly Brand A wasn't so good and the CF actions were unproven technology.

I went elsewhere. They got a very nice piano.
We have found about 1 in 10 dealers properly tune their showroom pianos. Most just throw them out there, tune up any glaring notes, and hope someone buys them. Every time we mention the difficulties in testing a piano which is badly tuned (and regulated), they are quick to point out that is all easy to fix once we pay for the instrument or any time we like if we are serious. That usually ends our visit to that showroom.

Reminds me of a time I visited a Mazda dealer in hopes of test driving a brand new RX8. They had several to choose from, but all had dead batteries and could not be started. After the third one, I said thanks and ran for my car.
Originally Posted by oldMH
Reminds me of a time I visited a Mazda dealer in hopes of test driving a brand new RX8. They had several to choose from, but all had dead batteries and could not be started. After the third one, I said thanks and ran for my car.

I like that you brought up the comparison to the new car dealerships, because when I bought our last two cars both car manufacturers asked us to fill out questionnaires on how our car buying experiences were and how clean, professional, courteous, etc., the car dealership was, and how well prepared and trouble-free the cars were. These car manufacturers know that their dealerships are their public face to their customers, and are interested in making sure that the dealerships they work with are not letting them and their image down.

I would think that piano manufacturers are also interested in making sure that their authorized dealers perform at some minimum level concerning the presentation and initial preparation of their pianos. For example, when we bought our Kawai pianos, they both came with a free initial tuning. I assume that the cost of that free initial tuning is covered not by the store where we bought our piano, but by the Kawai piano company itself because of their interest in making sure that their customers get off to a good start with their pianos in order to keep up the company's image. I also assume that other piano manufacturers have similar free initial tuning programs.

Given all this, I'm surprised to learn on this thread that there are some piano dealers who are sloppy about preparing and presenting their Kawai and Yamaha pianos. I would have thought that Kawai and Yamaha would be monitoring their dealers to make sure that their pianos are properly prepared and presented. I'm also pretty sure that Kawai and Yamaha would be very interested to know who these problem dealers who are presenting their pianos in a poor light are.
It’s an old trick. Used more often than you would think. I once saw a technician in a store actually twist some front rail pins in order to make a few keys stick. I overheard him tell the manager that one’s done, just like he’d asked.
It's also like electronics stores playing around with the color settings on the TV's on display to make the TV they want to sell look better than the other choices.
Even for a single brand, I've certainly seen dealers take more care of their more expensive models.

I've been to Yamaha dealers where popular entry models like the U1 and GB1K were very out of tune while higher end models like the multiple YUS5s they had sitting around and all the Bosendorfers all sounded amazing.

The "brand new" U1 show model they had tucked away in a corner was about 4yrs old judging by the serial number, and had a noticeable rattle in addition to just being out of tune. Of course, around here, people would buy a U1 just by word of mouth probably.

Some of it might just be manpower priorities, although i do wonder what it might imply about the actual value of the more expensive pianos.
Interesting. Yamaha dealers sell lots of U1s and GBK1s. Those pianos don’t sit on the floor all that long before they’re gone. I would think, if it was my store, if U1s were a popular model I’d have at least one or two in tune ready to go to a new home on the floor. If there was a special dealer incentive on the YUS5 I wouldn’t detune the popular seller to sell more YUS5s. I might temporarily move the U1s and highlight the YUS5s to get more attention. I would never endanger the cash cow.
Who in their right mind roasts the goose that lays the golden eggs?
Originally Posted by j&j
Who in their right mind roasts the goose that lays the golden eggs?

Unfortunately, many businesses (not just some piano dealers) will roast the goose that lays the golden eggs, and often. It seems they view a customer as a "one-time opportunity" to extract a commission or extra profits.

I have always been way too trusting of someone who I'm doing business with, and particularly when buying goods or services. I've learned from past experiences that you should not automatically "trust" a salesperson. Sorry, and I don't mean to diss any honest salespeople here, but I've had bad experiences in the past, and even very recently.

My mantra? Trust but verify... (Ronald Reagan) smile

Rick
Originally Posted by j&j
Who in their right mind roasts the goose that lays the golden eggs?
Even a roasted golden goose marked U1 will sell , you can be sure of that J&J.
True Rick and LadyBird! But if a business person slaughters their own cash Cow or roasts their golden egg laying Goose they really can’t expect to stay in business very long. I’ve come across some dishonest people in the world but if I’m looking for a specific model of new piano and it’s not tuned I’ll ask them to tune it then or by next business day. If a store doesn’t tune a piano until I pay for it, I’d be shopping elsewhere.
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