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Originally Posted by oldMH
I would assume a 50-100% mark-up is built in to the sales price to cover advertising, prep, storage, etc. Dealers have a lot of room to negotiate. Convince them there is only one instrument you like of theirs and your budget is firm. It is that sale or nothing.

Weird as it may sound, some dealers will cut a better deal on a newly listed piano in which they haven't invested any prep, storage, etc. They see it as a quick profit, no matter how small. Pianos in inventory for ages sometimes have to pay their freight with higher prices. The dealer has already had the thing sitting for six months, what's another six?
Thanks oldMH- I appreciate your thoughts re this. Hadn't thought that a better deal may be had on the more newly listed, but kind of makes sense now you mention it.

PS - old Mason Hamlin?

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I've never spent this much on a piano ... but on other things ...

I just like to make an offer. The seller might accept, or not. If not, I generally will not make a second offer. End of story.
If he won't sell at my price then I don't want to buy. Simple.

This is a dealer's typical B*S* tactic. It means nothing. Nothing at all ...
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Well, where I've from, many dealers will state a certain sale price and tell you it is only good for the remainder of the day.
Sellers want you to buy NOW. A "limited time offer" is just a sleaze tactic to get you to hurry up. But he who hurries is at a disadvantage. So don't. Not ever.

I don't accept this line of reasoning ...
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And what if none of them accept? Then you have to go back cap-in-hand and offer more than your take-it-or-leave-it offer. That could be embarrassing too, not to mention putting you in a weaker position to negotiate than the "strong" position you were trying to take.
If the seller does not accept, so what? He won't sell at your price, so you don't buy. So what?

There is no cap-in-hand. There is no embarrassment. Those are emotions, and they have NO PLACE in a negotiation. It's just business, nothing more.

As for weakening of your position ... my position is never weak. I have the money. The money is mine mine mine mine.
The dealer wants my money. He is in the weak position. He wants my money much more than I want his merchandise.

It's all about attitude. Never forget whose side you're on.

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I understand the desire to avoid endless negotiations. The tactic I have used when shopping for anything where negotiation is involved (usually cars) is tell them I'm leaving in half an hour (or whatever limit you desire) with or without a deal. I've always done my research ahead of time and I know what I'm willing to spend, and what the dealer paid for it. I've even gone so far as to put a timer on the table.

That way the salesperson has a disincentive from playing many of the games they like. Of course, you must be willing to actually leave at the end of the time. I also inform them that if the final sales contract has anything on it that I have not already agreed to, the deal is entirely void and I will only purchase at a price below what was previously agreed. Again, this only works if you are willing to walk.

In general, being willing to walk is the best negotiating tactic I have found.


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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

I just like to make an offer. The seller might accept, or not. If not, I generally will not make a second offer. End of story.
If he won't sell at my price then I don't want to buy. Simple.


Yes, admirably clear. However some/most of us probably would like to get that piano for a bit less than the price we're willing to pay.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac

This is a dealer's typical B*S* tactic. It means nothing. Nothing at all ...
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Well, where I've from, many dealers will state a certain sale price and tell you it is only good for the remainder of the day.
Sellers want you to buy NOW. A "limited time offer" is just a sleaze tactic to get you to hurry up. But he who hurries is at a disadvantage. So don't. Not ever.


I couldn't agree more and if confronted with this sort of approach I prefer to walk away and buy from someone more pleasant, failing that it's a sweet smile and 'Oh, that's a shame if it's only for today. Today I can only manage X'. (Where X is 25% or so less than I would otherwise have offered). If I'm feeling particularly malicious I might add 'I can pay a deposit right now, do you want it before I spend it? ' and pull out my wallet with an even sweeter smile on the grounds that one dirty tactic deserves another :-)

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I partly agree ... but I differ on the attitude.

1. If you buy something at any price, then that's the price you are willing to pay. You cannot pay less than what you paid.

2. I don't find a need for tactics, as in "that's a shame it's only for today", or "do you want it before I spend it". There's nothing really wrong with those. But when I make an offer I find it's entirely adequate to say that I will make only one offer. I'm being serious with the seller, and he will instantly recognize such. I see no need for tactics.

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Precisely. If you know what you want and how much you're willing to pay (both are essential), then you know exactly when to stay or when to walk away.
Originally Posted by P3T3R
Being wiling to walk is the best negotiating tactic I have found.

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MacMacMac, P3P3R and gwing, thanks!

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
There is no cap-in-hand. There is no embarrassment. Those are emotions, and they have NO PLACE in a negotiation. It's just business, nothing more.
I absolutely agree. I never feel embarrassed when trying to make a deal - it all comes down to whether the seller wants/needs to sell at that particular moment. Although piano dealers can be rather uppity at times smile smile

And being willing to walk away is right. I'm happy to make my offer and, if it's refused, move on to another instrument I'm interested in. Which is why, after considerable time trying out instruments, I've made a list of six pianos - any of which I'd be happy buying.

Unless no one wants to sell at all, I'll surely end up getting one of the six... I hope smile

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If you like a piano a lot, I don't understand how one can have a very precise idea of what one is willing to pay.... a ballpark figure yes, but if a piano is over 30K what's another couple of thousand unless the dealer's price is already high?

Also, if one likes a piano a lot, I don't see how one can easily just walk away(provided the dealer's asking price is at least reasonable)? If one is somewhat picky about pianos it's not so easy to find a piano that one likes. Even in NYC (where I live) I feel like there's not that big a selection of pianos of a given quality, size, and price range although there's probably a bigger selection than most other places.

When someone says they are willing to walk away do they mean permanently or just for the day and they might come back in a few days and make another offer?

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I find it interesting that, within your budget, you have been able to find six used pianos, any one of which you would be happy to own. Surely that's unusual. There isn't one that stands out above the others?

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Originally Posted by BruceD
I find it interesting that, within your budget, you have been able to find six used pianos, any one of which you would be happy to own. Surely that's unusual. There isn't one that stands out above the others?
I've just spent ages trawling around Germany solely exploring pianos - trust me, I could have a list of 20 or 30 pianos that I'd happily own of the many I've seen and played. So I've narrowed it down to the top six - and genuinely not sure which one would be the favourite.



Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If you like a piano a lot, I don't understand how one can have a very precise idea of what one is willing to pay.... a ballpark figure yes, but if a piano is over 30K what's another couple of thousand unless the dealer's price is already high?

When someone says they are willing to walk away do they mean permanently or just for the day and they might come back in a few days and make another offer?
Pianos seem to make people go weak at the knees and all gushy - many people, when buying, lose all sense of proportion and reason and then they spend way over what they intended to pay. For me, I assess what's available and within budget, then I decide what I'm going to offer. No emotion, no gush, no great disappointment if things don't work out. It's a transaction. And walking away means just that, otherwise making a definitive offer would be pointless. We all have different ways of doing things.

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Originally Posted by precise
Originally Posted by BruceD
I find it interesting that, within your budget, you have been able to find six used pianos, any one of which you would be happy to own. Surely that's unusual. There isn't one that stands out above the others?
I've just spent ages trawling around Germany solely exploring pianos - trust me, I could have a list of 20 or 30 pianos that I'd happily own of the many I've seen and played. So I've narrowed it down to the top six - and genuinely not sure which one would be the favourite.



Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If you like a piano a lot, I don't understand how one can have a very precise idea of what one is willing to pay.... a ballpark figure yes, but if a piano is over 30K what's another couple of thousand unless the dealer's price is already high?

When someone says they are willing to walk away do they mean permanently or just for the day and they might come back in a few days and make another offer?
Pianos seem to make people go weak at the knees and all gushy - many people, when buying, lose all sense of proportion and reason and then they spend way over what they intended to pay. For me, I assess what's available and within budget, then I decide what I'm going to offer. No emotion, no gush, no great disappointment if things don't work out. It's a transaction. And walking away means just that, otherwise making a definitive offer would be pointless. We all have different ways of doing things.


I think your negotiation tactics are fine and will succeed. I have used much the same to great success.

Isn't the "perfect piano" concept so often gushed about here a bit strange? Especially considering tastes and moods change over time as well as ambient conditions and weather - all of which may work to totally change one's opinion of any specific instrument.


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The perfect piano does exist at least for me .At this stage I bought a lovely upright which suits me perfectly in this stage of my retirement
I once had a wonderful grand and that was perfect for me for many years. I have read quite a few posts of people having bought thier ideal piano, write back years later and express total joy in having bought that particular piano.
.So choosing carefully is very important.

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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
The perfect piano does exist at least for me .At this stage I bought a lovely upright which suits me perfectly in this stage of my retirement
I once had a wonderful grand and that was perfect for me for many years. I have read quite a few posts of people having bought thier ideal piano, write back years later and express total joy in having bought that particular piano.
.So choosing carefully is very important.

That is sensible. I was referring more towards the "There is only one piano in existence that perfectly fits my needs" crowd.
The last time I visited a piano dealer there were easily 20 pianos available that would have been perfect for my needs. I guess I don't understand the concept of a "soulmate" piano.


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Hehehe... It's funny to read these Mittyesque vignettes about vanquishing dealers! wink

Normally I'd be in the camp that says the seller wants your money more than you want his product. But that's in the case of ubiquitous things, like cars, electronics, etc. In this case, I got the impression that the OP had a concrete short list of pianos in which he's interested, which would change the dynamic. OTOH, as he's posted more, I now get the impression that he'd be happy with almost any piano.

One significant reason why I'd discourage anyone from offering up a "lowball" offer is because it may not be as low as you think. In this case, 30k offered against a 39k asking price is only a "discount" of 23%. By offering a value z


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Originally Posted by Tararex
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
The perfect piano does exist at least for me .At this stage I bought a lovely upright which suits me perfectly in this stage of my retirement
I once had a wonderful grand and that was perfect for me for many years. I have read quite a few posts of people having bought thier ideal piano, write back years later and express total joy in having bought that particular piano.
.So choosing carefully is very important.

That is sensible. I was referring more towards the "There is only one piano in existence that perfectly fits my needs" crowd.
The last time I visited a piano dealer there were easily 20 pianos available that would have been perfect for my needs. I guess I don't understand the concept of a "soulmate" piano.
.

20 pianos at a piano store would not fit my needs...by the time I look at size, price, touch and tone, the number would be significantly reduced. When I was looking for a grand piano, I did not look at anything that I could not afford. When I played the piano that I bought, I felt like I wanted to hug it. My first thought was ‘I have never sounded better’

Would some of other piano in the world give me that same feeling? Absolutely. Would there be brands that were not available to me or were not affordable to me that would give me that feeling? Absolutely.... but I have no feelings that I might need to upgrade someday and I love to play it every day, That is what I consider a ‘soulmate’ piano. It did not feel like a compromise at the time and doesn’t now.

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Originally Posted by Tararex
That is sensible. I was referring more towards the "There is only one piano in existence that perfectly fits my needs" crowd.
The last time I visited a piano dealer there were easily 20 pianos available that would have been perfect for my needs. I guess I don't understand the concept of a "soulmate" piano.
Very few people think "There is only one piano in existence that perfectly fits my needs". But that is not the same thing as being fussy/demanding about the tone and touch of a piano one decides to buy which is much more common. Many people feel one should really love the piano one chooses to buy and not just think of it as acceptable.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many people feel one should really love the piano one chooses to buy and not just think of it as acceptable.
Which people?

I'm not sure where all this buying the 'perfect' piano, the 'soulmate', the 'love of my life' has come from! smile Talk about anthropomorphising.

Yes, they can be lovely things - wonderful vehicles for creativity and interpretation. But they can also be complete nightmares - temperamental, fluctuating, unreliable etc.

No one piano is perfect for all repertoire or for all pianists. I'm buying something that fits into one of my 'need' boxes - it's a practical purchase, for a specific use (daily note bashing), and I'm buying with a practical mind. Once emotion gets in the way of such a purchase, well, it can be downhill.

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Originally Posted by precise
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many people feel one should really love the piano one chooses to buy and not just think of it as acceptable.
Which people?
One just has tor read numerous, almost endless, PW threads about choosing a piano to see how important the piano selection is to many posters. Many people are very fussy about tone and/or touch and/or appearance. This may make bargaining more difficult, but these people want a piano whose tone and touch that greatly appeals to them.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by precise
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many people feel one should really love the piano one chooses to buy and not just think of it as acceptable.
Which people?
One just has tor read numerous, almost endless, PW threads about choosing a piano to see how important the piano selection is to many posters. Many people are very fussy about tone and/or touch and/or appearance. This may make bargaining more difficult, but these people want a piano whose tone and touch that greatly appeals to them.

I see what you mean now. And that's quite right. I wouldn't disagree. I would only buy a piano I like a lot, not one that is just acceptable.

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