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Originally Posted by RiverwayInca35
Should I follow up with the director and insist that he should drop the price of the model in the showroom (which is at least a few years old) or should I perhaps see if I can order the Omega directly from Sauter since I now know that the price straight from the factory is cheaper than if I were to buy the piano I played in the showroom?

You can always ask them to drop the price. It never hurts to gives them your lowest offer.

One question--how many Sauter dealers are in your area? If you have $2k ordering from the factory, you get a piano you've never played so you are taking a chance, and a dealer who will ghost a potential customer who hasn't yet paid will CERTAINLY ghost a non-customer; if you need warranty work and Sauter points you to their only authorized dealer in the area, are you going to be out of luck?

It sounds unfortunate about the salesperson, but you came across (they volunteered) legitimate information on purchase options that they were happy to keep from you; you should use that to your full advantage in negotiations. The worst thing they can say is "no deal."

Another option: order something that necessitates a special order anyways (exotic wood finish, chrome hardware)? Might cost more than the vanilla option, but no harm no foul from the store perspective.


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The piano on the dealers showroom floor has been for you. maintained and serviced.Perhaps that's the reason that the piano is more expensive than the one which perhaps has to be still manufactured, (at Sauter) and then prepared for you. Otherwise it's because many do not want to order a piano they have not played before.

I do not think you can insist on a lower price, however just keep negotiating a good price with the dealer.I hope it turns out well
for you.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by RiverwayInca35
Should I follow up with the director and insist that he should drop the price of the model in the showroom (which is at least a few years old) or should I perhaps see if I can order the Omega directly from Sauter since I now know that the price straight from the factory is cheaper than if I were to buy the piano I played in the showroom?

You can always ask them to drop the price. It never hurts to gives them your lowest offer.

One question--how many Sauter dealers are in your area? If you have $2k ordering from the factory, you get a piano you've never played so you are taking a chance, and a dealer who will ghost a potential customer who hasn't yet paid will CERTAINLY ghost a non-customer; if you need warranty work and Sauter points you to their only authorized dealer in the area, are you going to be out of luck?

It sounds unfortunate about the salesperson, but you came across (they volunteered) legitimate information on purchase options that they were happy to keep from you; you should use that to your full advantage in negotiations. The worst thing they can say is "no deal."

Another option: order something that necessitates a special order anyways (exotic wood finish, chrome hardware)? Might cost more than the vanilla option, but no harm no foul from the store perspective.

No Sauter dealers where I live, unfortunately. I actually e-mailed Sauter directly before I travelled and he pointed to two dealers in neighboring countries.

Although I did love the powerful sound of the Omega in the showroom (Fazioli was first by far and the Petrofs and Schimmels were way below the 1st two), the touch and look of the instrument felt a little worn which is why I'm guessing that it must be at least a few years old. I figured that it would be an advantage to get a new one and at a cheaper price, too. It is the same brand and model - could a new Omega sound and feel much different from the one in the showroom? I thought that it would be improved in all respects, but then I admit to knowing next to nothing about these things.

I had not thought about warranty work - I'll be e-mailing Sauter directly again to inquire about that if I do decide to buy one. Since there are no dealers where I live, I wonder how that will work.

I'm going to give the sales rep one or two more days to respond; if he doesn't, I'll be e-mailing the director. I do wonder how he'll respond knowing that I know that he's told the rep not to contact me, and knowing that I know that he's jacking up the price of a worn Omega to make a profit when I can buy one directly from Sauter for less (nearly 10k USD's worth).

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A "worn Sauter Omega" being sold as new? Perhaps the Petrof and the Schimmels are worn too?.😉 I think there are quite a few high tier European grands that do sit in a store for a few years.They are regarded as new until bought.Of course if it's been there for 5 or 6 years he may decide to give you more of a discount eventually.... I would not mention more about buying directly from the manufacturer to anyone at that dealer.If that's what you do decide then just do that.Remember even with the most magnificent pianos they are still very individual pianos.There could be just something you do not like at all in the piano you receive.

Regarding the warranty I am sure if you could find a really well qualified and experienced technician like a concert technician the manufacturer may agree to him attending to any warranty work.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
I would not mention more about buying directly from the manufacturer to anyone at that dealer.If that's what you do decide then just do that.Remember even with the most magnificent pianos they are still very individual pianos.There could be just something you do not like at all in the piano you receive.

I read what Riverway said as "the dealer could order the piano new, for a different price than taking the one off the floor." If that's the case, I think it remains a viable option to bring up until the dealer unequivocally says they won't do it (in which case, I think I would seriously reconsider having to anything to do with that dealer?)

Originally Posted by RiverwayInca35
a sales representative had told me that the Omega in the showroom was significantly more expensive than if they were to order the piano for me directly from Sauter.

I'm not sure why the price would be different for such a "direct sale" though. If the dealer were doing the ordering, wouldn't they just add their usual markup to whatever the "wholesale price" is? And presumably if it is wholesale, it's a good question whether the manufacturer would have a direct-to-consumer sale model (that would potentially conflict with the dealer model)?


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I am not sure what is happening? Is the OP considering buying directly from Sauter or do they have to pay more to order a new one from the dealer? I can understand the first mentioned situation would cause problems for the sales person if they suggested or perhaps even mentioned that.(it would be unfair to terminate the person's work position though) About charging more for a new piano, I do not know? Is this sometimes normal practice, or are the shipping costs far more expensive now.Has the MSRP price gone up since the showroom Omega was acquired by the dealer?

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Originally Posted by RiverwayInca35
It is the same brand and model - could a new Omega sound and feel much different from the one in the showroom? I thought that it would be improved in all respects, but then I admit to knowing next to nothing about these things.

These are extremely low-production pianos made with a lot of hand labor. So...Yes, they can sound and feel different from one to the next, particularly if you're a high-level player or just very perceptive and discerning.


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I wonder if there are some cultural issues at play here in terms of the relationship between the director of the dealership, the initial sales person, and the customer, particularly with regard to communication about pricing. My sense is that the final pricing in this situation is up to the ‘director’ rather than the sales person. Given how much prices have gone up, it seems odd to me that an ‘out of the crate’ brand new piano would be much much less expensive than a piano that would have originally been purchased several years ago, and I wonder if there was some initial miscommunication from the salesperson about pricing. Anyways, it is up to you to determine if you feel comfortable working with this dealership. Since you are in a different country, my guess is that unless a true warranty issue comes up, the dealer will not be involved much in after-purchase support, and I would also confirm with Sauter and the dealership that if there is a warranty issue, this dealer will handle it. Given that the director has indicated that the buck stops with him, I don’t think it’s worth trying to deal with the initial salesperson. From your story, the salesperson does not have a lot of authority to negotiate with you.
Unlike many goods, buying a piano brand new and out of the crate is not generally a great idea. The piano you end up with could be considerably different in touch and tone from the piano at the showroom. Also, the showroom piano will have had prep work — including multiple tunings (so it should be more stable) than a piano that arrives in a crate. In your situation, where you are in a different country, the dealer cannot just send one of their technicians to do some of this work in your home, and if you are getting the piano at a significant discount to the floor model, I do not think they will be paying a tech of your choosing (or theirs) to do that work.

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So the sales rep has (surprisingly) gotten back to me. My impression is that he is more subdued and has probably been instructed to toe the party line. He has sent me a photo of the Sauter in the showroom with the serial number on it (I could not find it myself), and from my research the piano is at least a decade old. The sales rep reiterated the cheaper cost of ordering a new one from Sauter, and said that they could assist me by having the piano rerouted to my country instead of to theirs, thereby bypassing their country's import tax.

I argued that the establishment has many old pianos (some decades old) so shouldn't they offer fairly good discounts in comparison to prices of new models? He stated that that is not company policy, that prices go up every year and therefore their pricings have to reflect that even with very old pianos. A bit of a ridiculous reasoning, if you ask me; no wonder they have scores of old pianos sitting on multiple floors that have not been bought for years!

For example, there was an old Schimmel that I was interested in (the C 182, a discontinued model) that had an almost perfect touch although the sound was a little weak. This piano was made in 2005 - 2006 and the asking price is 65,673 USD! Only after a little badgering from me did he agree to lower it to 61,296 - fat chance of me buying it when I can get a new Estonia L190 from Indonesia for 57,400!

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That’s a nice budget! What about a Steinway…for this price you could find one original from a few decades ago, (90s) or something older, restored. Depending on your luck, could be better than a new Estonia or Yamaha.

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I don't think that L190 for USD57,400 is a good deal.
IIRC the usa price for L190 is comparable to yamaha c3x,
so that price is far too much.

however, in Asia, european pianos are always more expensive.

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Originally Posted by RiverwayInca35
So the sales rep has (surprisingly) gotten back to me. My impression is that he is more subdued and has probably been instructed to toe the party line. He has sent me a photo of the Sauter in the showroom with the serial number on it (I could not find it myself), and from my research the piano is at least a decade old. The sales rep reiterated the cheaper cost of ordering a new one from Sauter, and said that they could assist me by having the piano rerouted to my country instead of to theirs, thereby bypassing their country's import tax.

Ah, import tax. And you live in a different country than the shop you visited. That fills in the blanks for how a shop might offer you a lesser amount for a new order than for existing stock on their showroom.

Originally Posted by RiverwayInca35
I argued that the establishment has many old pianos (some decades old) so shouldn't they offer fairly good discounts in comparison to prices of new models? He stated that that is not company policy, that prices go up every year and therefore their pricings have to reflect that even with very old pianos. A bit of a ridiculous reasoning, if you ask me; no wonder they have scores of old pianos sitting on multiple floors that have not been bought for years!

I don't know the shop economics, but it sounds right that this is more a "policy" thing or perhaps something in their dealer agreement. When I was shopping, what I heard was more along the lines of what you expected. The shop had a piano they had purchased wholesale from the manufacturer for X price, so they were offering it at X + A price to me. If I wanted to special order a custom piano from the manufacturer, they were happy to help me do so, but since the piano now costs Y wholesale instead of X, they would have to charge me Y + A. Which is fair as far as I'm concerned. In fact, shops here will often say "there's a price increase happening on all new orders starting next month, so you may want to buy now before it happens."

I'm not a piano or sales expert, but as a consumer, I would never consider something sitting in a shop for 10 years as brand new, even if it's never been played. So I agree with your reaction (and applaud your skepticism earlier about this unit).

All said and done, I think you're sitting with some good information. Is this shop head over heels great? No, doesn't sound like it. Are they underhanded and sneaky? No, sounds like they're being generally transparent with you, and you still have the option to buy drop-shipped at a lower cost if you want to risk an untried piano that you'll be stuck with long-term on the chance you don't like it (perhaps the shop would be willing to swap it out with their 10-year-old new piano in that case). This shop is just somewhat inflexible, and it sounds like they're happy to have old models sit around for many years while they try to find someone willing to buy them at a higher price than the original markup. Maybe they find that buyer, maybe they wait another decade. But you know better where you stand?


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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
That’s a nice budget! What about a Steinway…for this price you could find one original from a few decades ago, (90s) or something older, restored. Depending on your luck, could be better than a new Estonia or Yamaha.

The problem is that I couldn't actually try such a piano. Used Steinways are unheard of where I live, and even travelling to a country within this region to sample European brands that are unavailable here was such an awful strain because of all the COVID restrictions and requirements. I'm assuming to find a used Steinway one would have to go to North America or Europe which is simply an impossibility at the moment with international air travel being so nightmarish.

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Originally Posted by tirta
I don't think that L190 for USD57,400 is a good deal.
IIRC the usa price for L190 is comparable to yamaha c3x,
so that price is far too much.

however, in Asia, european pianos are always more expensive.

I don't think it's that great a deal either which is why I never went to Indonesia to try an Estonia (being Indonesian, you'd probably know which store we're talking about here).

I just think it is a bit incredible to pay a not insignificant amount more for a smaller, discontinued Schimmel from 2005/2006 when I could get a new Estonia instead.

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I see. Hmm. Well Sauter looks like the one to go with. It’s a little older but so what? I’ve never played one but the way you describe it makes it sound awesome. I have played Estonia, and Yamaha CX/SX, and was impressed but not smitten. I’d expect Sauter to bump you up a tier in quality.

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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
I see. Hmm. Well Sauter looks like the one to go with. It’s a little older but so what? I’ve never played one but the way you describe it makes it sound awesome. I have played Estonia, and Yamaha CX/SX, and was impressed but not smitten. I’d expect Sauter to bump you up a tier in quality.


The downside to the floor model, IMHO, is that you are paying a premium for a ten yr old piano. If you decide to sell it in ten years, I think a potential buyer would view it as a twenty year old piano.

The downside of the new-in- box shipment is there would be no dealer prep, and this would be a never-played piano

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Another downside of a newly ordered Omega is that it would take months to make.It is unlikely that there would be one already waiting to export at Sauter.

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Classic supply-and-demand situation.

The floor model has been prepped. It’s older. And it’s also more expensive? But it’s the known versus unknown.

New from factory Sauter, does anyone know what to expect from these? Obviously the product is essentially the same, but how much is that prep worth to you?

Can they offer for a tech to come by and set it up as part of the deal? Someone knows how to prep it.

I figure this is the situation to make work for you one way or another. A bit of negotiating and discussing with them.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
In fact, shops here will often say "there's a price increase happening on all new orders starting next month, so you may want to buy now before it happens."

I've heard this before with stores over here. Like with the Petrof Breeze I mentioned in my original post - they were all like, you have to get it now if you want it at this price; next month, prices will be raised. Thankfully, I wasn't blown away by the piano because my piano shopping tour yielded a bigger Storm (this time, really new and not a decade old or more) that actually costs less than the smaller piano in my own Petrof dealership!

Visiting this foreign store was overall a pleasant experience, but yes, their insistence on labeling a Bechstein from the 1970s or a Schimmel from 2005/2006 as "new" just because they'd never been owned before is a bit much. In my opinion, a bad marketing tactic too; I'd seriously consider getting one of these "new" pianos if the price reflected the age of the instrument.

Another concern is that when they first took me up to the floors with the pianos, the rooms were all dark and hot (it's a tropical country anyway) - I had to wait ages for the air-conditioning to kick in to the point where I actually stopped sweating! So you have so many grands and uprights all bunched up together just sitting there for years in such humid conditions only getting reprieves when people come to check them out! Doesn't really give one full confidence that the pianos are in their optimum states.

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Riverway, I’m completely speculating, but based on your description of the situation, I really wonder if the issue is related to the international nature of the transaction and if between red tape, taxes, and other factors, it’s just not worth it to the dealer to send you a piano from their store, unless you pay a big premium. Whereas if they arrange for the manufacturer to send you the piano, the manufacturer takes care of most of the red tape. Just speculating, but if this is the case, I wonder if this is a problem you are going to run into with many dealers outside Malaysia. If this is the case, you will have a harder time than most of us in terms of weighing the risks and benefits of buying a piano sight unseen and paying the money for the store model.

I lived in Bangkok for several years as a youngster. I would be quite concerned about pianos that had stayed for many years in such an environment with little or on-and-off climate control.

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