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JoeT Offline OP
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Did you wonder why digital pianos have become so expensive lately?

That's because prices have been fixed in a cartel since at least 2018:

https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/Sha...en/2021/05_08_2021_Musikinstrumente.html


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Hello,

Originally Posted by JoeT
Did you wonder why digital pianos have become so expensive lately?

That's because prices have been fixed in a cartel since at least 2018:

https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/Sha...en/2021/05_08_2021_Musikinstrumente.html

Wow. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

My 'feelings' for Thomann had already cooled down considerably due to growing dissatisfaction in how I was treated in several customer service cases.

With this new knowledge, I'll avoid giving them my custom even more seriously.

Cheers and happy integrity,

HZ

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I have only positive feelings about Thomann. After all, I purchased a NU1X, returned it and replaced it with a N1X. Wouldn't have happened with any other reseller. I'm OK with the "cartel" if that's the way for them being so flexible.


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I wonder whether there are American watchdog agencies looking for similar circumstances in the US or Canada.

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Originally Posted by JoeT
That's because prices have been fixed in a cartel since at least 2018

Addenum: The evidence shows that price fixing started in 2005:

https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/Sha...rtellverbot/2021/B11-31-19_B11-33-19.pdf


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Hello,

Originally Posted by CyberGene
I have only positive feelings about Thomann.

Same here, truly happy with them until, unfortunately, my experiences saw a rapid decline over the last months.

Really unfortunate.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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As a funny matter of fact, I ordered a Yamaha reface CS from Thomann only 8 minutes before this thread was created laugh Not that it would have changed my decision...


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Some time ago i read on the news that several piano makers were fined in uk because fixing prices. I was amazed nobody semmed to care about it, even here. I posted the link but didn't get much attention. People seems to be ok overpaying for their pianos.

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Originally Posted by JoeT
Did you wonder why digital pianos have become so expensive lately?

That's because prices have been fixed in a cartel since at least 2018:

https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/Sha...en/2021/05_08_2021_Musikinstrumente.html

Glad they were caught. Cartels are bad for consumers and forbidden. 21 million euros fines for three companies and responsible staff (!) is quite serious. Nevertheless I believe prices in Europe are lower than in the US for digital pianos. Strange.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I wonder whether there are American watchdog agencies looking for similar circumstances in the US or Canada.
I don't know, but in the U.S., it is legal for a manufacturer to specify a "MAP" or "Minimum Advertised Price" for their products. A retailer can sell such an item for whatever they want, but they can't advertise it below a certain price. (Also, the retailers themselves cannot conspire among themselves to sell at a certain price.)

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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Glad they were caught. Cartels are bad for consumers and forbidden. 21 million euros fines for three companies and responsible staff (!) is quite serious. Nevertheless I believe prices in Europe are lower than in the US for digital pianos. Strange.

For a long time Yamaha pianos have been much more expensive in the eurozone than in the US and now we now know the reason.

Originally Posted by anotherscott
I don't know, but in the U.S., it is legal for a manufacturer to specify a "MAP" or "Minimum Advertised Price" for their products.

And that's not legal elsewhere. This vertical practice, which Yamaha, Roland and Fender employed is part of the antitrust case.

The main problem however is the market concentration on Thomann making this kind of manipulation possible. With a healthy network of independent dealerships instead of that one "Music Gear Amazon" price fixing practices like these would become impractical. This why antitrust agencies are allowed to break up large market-controlling entities into multiple competing companies for the good of the market.


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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by JoeT
Did you wonder why digital pianos have become so expensive lately?

That's because prices have been fixed in a cartel since at least 2018:

https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/Sha...en/2021/05_08_2021_Musikinstrumente.html

Glad they were caught. Cartels are bad for consumers and forbidden. 21 million euros fines for three companies and responsible staff (!) is quite serious. Nevertheless I believe prices in Europe are lower than in the US for digital pianos. Strange.

I think it depends on the product. A Yamaha P-515 is cheaper in the US than in the Eurozone. A Kawai MP7SE is cheaper in the Eurozone than in the US.

When Guitar Center in the US has had storewide 15% or 20% off sales, Yamaha, Roland, and Korg have been excluded, but the sales have applied to Kawai. This leads me to believe that Kawai digital pianos have a higher markup in the US than in the Eurozone.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I think it depends on the product. A Yamaha P-515 is cheaper in the US than in the Eurozone. A Kawai MP7SE is cheaper in the Eurozone than in the US.

When Guitar Center in the US has had storewide 15% or 20% off sales, Yamaha, Roland, and Korg have been excluded, but the sales have applied to Kawai. This leads me to believe that Kawai digital pianos have a higher markup in the US than in the Eurozone.
I agree. In Europe CN29 costs about 1300€, it's premium sibling CA49 costs about 2000€, speaking of about +50%.
In the US, they charge $2300 for CA49 and if I see CN 29, it is whopping $2000. It is even more expensive than ES920 inclusive furniture-stand and triple pedal.
In Europe CN29 is way cheaper than a naked ES920. No wonder nobody in an US forum cares about CN29, nor recommends it!

In Europe (thomann-land) the CN29 seem to be a bargain. Yamahas counterpart CLP725 also sells for 300€ more! The reason is maybe because of this antitrust!


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
[quote=pianogabe][quote=JoeT]Did you wonder why digital pianos have become so expensive lately?



When Guitar Center in the US has had storewide 15% or 20% off sales, Yamaha, Roland, and Korg have been excluded, but the sales have applied to Kawai. This leads me to believe that Kawai digital pianos have a higher markup in the US than in the Eurozone.

Or maybe just that Kawai doesn't threaten the retailers like the other guys do?

Last edited by Joe Garfield; 08/05/21 09:29 PM.
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Japanese corporations typically set long-term foreign exchange target rates. So, when the Euro-dollar fx rate fluctuates, we see some price dislocation. They would also consider local income and VAT rates to set prices IME.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I think it depends on the product. A Yamaha P-515 is cheaper in the US than in the Eurozone.

Can't confirm this. It's listed at about $1500 (MSRP) at Center and $50 cheaper at Thomann. However previous products used to be much more expensive in Euro.

Quote
A Kawai MP7SE is cheaper in the Eurozone than in the US.

When Guitar Center in the US has had storewide 15% or 20% off sales, Yamaha, Roland, and Korg have been excluded, but the sales have applied to Kawai. This leads me to believe that Kawai digital pianos have a higher markup in the US than in the Eurozone.

According to the antitrust papers until 2015 Fender specified a Minimum Sale Price of 1.5 times the wholesale price. That's the markups we see in this sector. They are outrageous, especially when we compare them with other electronic gadgets. And it's obvious that small dealers don't get these wholesale prices, which is something that needs investigation too.


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Originally Posted by Joe Garfield
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
[quote=pianogabe][quote=JoeT]Did you wonder why digital pianos have become so expensive lately?



When Guitar Center in the US has had storewide 15% or 20% off sales, Yamaha, Roland, and Korg have been excluded, but the sales have applied to Kawai. This leads me to believe that Kawai digital pianos have a higher markup in the US than in the Eurozone.

Or maybe just that Kawai doesn't threaten the retailers like the other guys do?

Maybe, but none of the other US retailers ever seem to offer such a discount. I paid $1439 for an MP7SE in mid-2019 during a GC 20% off sale, almost as low as the normal price in the EU:

https://m.thomannmusic.com/kawai_mp_7_se.htm

It is not just keyboard products, but many monitor and PA brands also are excluded in the GC sales. I've heard that if you ask a store manager to extend the sale to an excluded product, they sometimes do.


Primary keyboard interests: Early baroque through early romantic repertoire, blues improvisation.

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