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55k CDN is about 42k USD. So perhaps not a bad price.

Send a PM to Norbert to see if that's a good value. He's not terribly active any more, since he's retired, but he sold Estonia in BC, and could probably give you an idea as to whether that's a good price or not for Canada.


The shipping crisis still seems to be in full swing. In fact, to get around the waiting, some large retailers are chartering whole ships (which probably makes the wait even worse for others).

I haven't seen any definitive posts about whether prices have returned to the pre-Covid dynamic. Apparently during the pandemic the shortage of everything (including pianos) has kept piano prices higher than normal, also driven by an increased demand for pianos since everyone is/was stuck at home.


If the more expensive piano is going to put your family in jeopardy, then I'd advise against it.

And don't be shocked that you fell in love with a nicer piano. You're liable to fall in love with all sorts of fantastic pianos if you play a bunch of them. In fact, you should, to better assess them.


Edited to note that Rachtoven made the same point as me about currency conversion while I was typing my post up! thumb

Last edited by Retsacnal; 05/11/22 04:15 PM.

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Since playing the piano should be an enjoyable pastime, if the purchase is stressful, as has been discussed, there are less stressful options. With your original post, I have only a glimpse into your situation, so I don't want to project too much worry if it isn't apropos.

One would be to finance. With a sizeable down payment, financing only part of the balance, the cost of financing is likely to be no more than annual price increases (and possibly less). This would leave you with cash reserves going forward, making the cost of financing justifiable for financial flexibility.

Another would be to look at other less expensive pianos from the same Estonia dealer. Many dealers like ourselves have generous trade-up policies that are better than trade-in prices. It may be a way to more safely and conveniently stair-step your way into your dream piano.

Playing on a dream piano does stir up more powerful emotions in your playing and is often a key ingredient in achieving your personal piano goals, so I cannot dismiss it. Of course you can get a lot of joy from the more practical options, but having a clear goal or dream is a powerful motivator. Whether you go to your goal directly or indirectly over more time, I think it's worthy of more discussion than just settling.

A KG-2E is a good piano, but you've already shared that for you the Estonia was worth the difference if only for the financial pressure that comes with it. That resonates with me and with others that have had that kind of experience. "The one that got away" is a story I've often heard from pianists.


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I think there is a tendency(not so much on this post) for PW posters to too often say "Go for it(meaning the most expensive piano under consideration)!" when it's not their own money or risk involved. So my advice is to not fall for for that trap. That doesn't definitely mean you definitely shouldn't buy the Estonia.

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One would be to finance. With a sizeable down payment, financing only part of the balance, the cost of financing is likely to be no more than annual price increases (and possibly less).

This explains what I had always suspected without being able to articulate it this way --- IOW, that financing a piano can be a smart approach, depending of course on the person's situation.

If you have a good credit score (assuming Canada is similar to the US in the way that's treated as important?) and if you're not planning on buying a house or a car in the next year, then any hit your credit score might take would be erased by then.

So I am in favoring of financing -- as long as it is a reasonable option given the person's overall financial profile and short-term plans.

But having said that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going with the Kawai if the financial outlay for the Estonia is just too much.

Maybe you could write up one of those pros/cons lists, and include some negative "what ifs" as well -- e.g., what if you suddenly had to buy a new car a month after buying and/or financing the Estonia? If you would not be able to handle that, then definitely don't buy the Estonia. If it's a "well it would be tight but we'd manage just fine" or something, then you might consider it.

Either way, keep us posted. We will all jump up and down with joy for you either way, because getting a new (or new-to-you) piano is awesome.


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Who can explain in simple terms how this sort of financing would be less of a burden on the family at the end of the financing term? That is as compared at with outright purchase at the outset - at the same point in time down the track.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Who can explain in simple terms how this sort of financing would be less of a burden on the family at the end of the financing term? That is as compared at with outright purchase at the outset - at the same point in time down the track.

I'll let Sam answer for himself, but my interpretation is as follows:

1) the comparison is financing a purchase versus waiting to purchase. The price increases when the purchase is a few years out, so the amount extra you pay in interest (if you buy now through financing) balances it out -- or if you're able to pay back quickly, you will definitely end up paying less by financing it at 2022 prices rather than waiting to purchase in 2025, at 2025 prices. But even if not, the amount you pay in interest can be compared to the percentage in price increase you face by waiting to purchase.

2) the burden on the family is based on the two options of a) pay for it all at once and wipe all or most of the savings/cash reserves, or b) finance the piano and pay it back monthly, whilst retaining savings/cash reserves. Obviously, b is less of a burden in the short run because you keep those cash reserves.

We will probably buy a new car soon -- well, maybe, I'm cranky about the prices and lack of inventory, so it might not be soon-soon. But when we buy, I could pay for it upfront, but I don't want to bring my savings down like that, so I'll get a loan to make the purchase. The interest rates will be low, and I'll be making more than the minimum monthly pay each time I make a payment, so the extra I pay in interest will be minimized, and so will the hit to my savings. And, the hit to my credit score will be erased in probably six months (if not less) as well.

Oh, and if you buy the piano now, you get to play it right away. If you wait, obviously, no piano till you do buy. (Same with the car but I don't care as much about what kind of car I drive whome

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 05/11/22 07:14 PM.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Although I usually don't recommend traveling far to audition piano, if prices in Canada are that much more expensive than the U.S., you might consider a trip to a U.S. Estonia dealer. Of course, you should try to get at least an estimate of the selling price before making a long trip although that may be difficult. And hopefully, go to a place that has at least two 190 models to audition. I don't know what typical prices for Estonias in the U.S. are but with an SMP of 51k it's certainly possible that you might be able to get one in the high 30ks. There might be an additional shipping charge. Two, at least onetime dealers, that I know of are Allegro Pianos in Conn. and Cunningham Pianos in Philly. You can undoubtedly find more dealers on the Estonia website.

That's not necessarily a good option. Since Estonia is a European import and not subject to the tax benefits of NAFTA (or whatever it's called now), bringing a European piano to Canada from the US, the Canadian buyer is going to have to pay import taxes.

Just as an example, when I brought my Estonia 190 to Canada from the US back in 2005 - when Estonias were much less expensive than they now are, I still had to pay $6,000.00 Canadian in import duties, even though I had owned the piano for 5-1/2 months; it wasn't yet considered part of my "household goods." Had I waited another two weeks, my ownership of six months would have exempted me from those import duties.

I can't imagine what the import duties are given today's Estonia prices. That would have to be researched as a first move.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by j&j
I had another thought. Like vehicles, digital and hybrid pianos have a full array of motherboards and circuitry. I would guess there could be stacks of keyboards waiting on chips like there are new trucks sitting unfinished waiting on similar chips.

Thank God for acoustics. No offense to our digital piano friends.

We've seen supply chain and chip shortages hitting the digital pianos, for sure. Long delays on hybrids, production pauses on certain models, and (suspected) delays in new product releases. Sometimes, it hits the "acoustic" world as well, such as with Yamaha's early retirement of the SH2 silent system!

The thing is, it's not *entirely* silo'd off from the acoustic world, even when you eliminate the silent/player pianos with built-in electronics. There are manufacturing, worker, shipping and logistical constraints for hard goods across the world, and part of the reason we're seeing delays and price increases even in the pure acoustic piano market is due to the supply chain squeeze. Hopefully these get worked out soon (though I suspect that means a number of quarters, as opposed to weeks/months).

Very true. Supply chain issues and spikes in materials prices affects all ends of the industry.


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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
"The one that got away" is a story I've often heard from pianists.

I’m sure this is the case. But the flip side of this may be the pianos that could no longer be justified when circumstances changed. We don’t hear a lot of these stories on this forum, but I think they happen. I’m definitely not planning on buying another piano any time soon, but I do occasionally look at the listings from dealers that I visited and liked, just out of curiosity. There have been a few very high end pianos (of pretty recent vintage… like less than 5 years old) that have been listed that made me think they fell in this category. On one of them, the description mentioned something along the lines of ‘the person fell in love and adored this piano, but circumstances changed, and they had to part ways.’ I think the piano was being sold on consignment. Whether this meant the owner downsized or needed the cash or something else, life happens. And I think that sometimes, when we buy things that are at the margins of what we feel comfortable with, it works out. And other times it doesn’t. Because this depends to some extent on circumstances beyond our control, it can be really hard to know whether we should ‘go for it’ or settle for something that is good, minus the magic but also minus the certainty of knowing that it is comfortably with in our means.

To the OP: it is very hard to advise you in this case, because a lot of this has to do with the specifics of your financial circumstances as well as your tolerance of financial risk. You’ve gotten some good ideas about things like financing and trade up policies. I would only add: the piano you buy today should be the piano that makes sense for you (and your family) today. It does not need to be the piano that makes sense for you in 5 or 10 years. You can decide at that point whether a different piano best meets your needs. You can also wait and see if there are any other good contenders that appear.

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Wise words, Sgisela. That's basically why I won't pay for a car purchase in full, just in case, I'd rather have those cash reserves.

So if purchasing a piano pushes one really to that financial edge, then yeah, waiting is probably best.

It's the same with buying a house, the advice is always to make sure you're not buying more house than you can afford.

And houses, cars, pianos, are all the same in that, much of the time, we're not buying the last house/car/piano that we will ever buy. So hopefully this thought brings down some of the pressure of the current purchase.

Having said that, when I first bought a digital piano way back when, while in Japan, I had no idea that I would eventually buy and sell five pianos, go from digital to upright, to digital again, and then upright 1, upright 2, and now to end up with a grand, living in the US. And although I don't see myself buying a different piano (or a different house) any time soon, you never know. Who knows, maybe next year we'll be in Canada and I'll be buying an Estonia!

You just never know.
Life's funny like that!
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Last edited by ShiroKuro; 05/11/22 07:47 PM.

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Originally Posted by Sgisela
But the flip side of this may be the pianos that could no longer be justified when circumstances changed. We don’t hear a lot of these stories on this forum, but I think they happen.

I hesitate to post it here for several reasons, but what you wrote reminded me of an article I had read several years ago:

Quote
So Charvonia walked her through the details of an offer to finance the $78,000 purchase.

Kilrea would have to make a $20,000 down payment and agree to a layaway loan from the store, the Steinway Piano Gallery in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, and another from a third-party lender that works with buyers.

“It was a seven-year loan for a total of $1,600 per month: $1,000 to the store for the layaway portion, and $600 to the financing company,” she said. “That’s obviously a big chunk. But my disability pension covered it.” Her total cost with interest and taxes would hit an even $100,000.

In the meantime, she would have to make due with an inexpensive Essex upright — a loaner from the store until Kilrea’s final payment cleared on the salon grand. So the piano she loved and was financing would remain in Steinway’s climate-controlled showroom. Kilrea was free to visit the instrument and play it any time she liked. She just couldn’t take it home.

The trouble started about five months later when Kilrea’s husband changed jobs the couple moved back to Canada. Then she got pregnant and they bought a house. Her military disability became less valuable because of the plunging Canadian exchange rate. She could no longer afford the payments. “I just couldn’t keep up,” she said.

That’s when she discovered a harsh reality. She was nearly underwater on her Steinway.

By that time, early 2017, she’d paid $67,000 and still owed $33,000. The store didn’t really want to buy it back from her. But they made an offer. They would pay off the $18,000 she owed to the finance company and write off her $15,000 store loan — and then take possession of the piano.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding me? How is that possible when it’s supposed to appreciate?’ It was in showroom condition.”

Brand and advertising aside, circumstances do change, you can't reliably predict life. A piano can be a really great thing to have in it, but I think for a lot of people, it's entirely discretionary, and there are always less expensive options. Whenever I hear a purchase is going to be a stretch, I have to think long and hard about what the downsides are.


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Most of the good stuff has been said, but…a few tips from me to repeat/add…

1) Before buying, make sure you play lots of pianos. Don’t be shy about it at the store. This will just make it more obvious that the Estonia (or whichever piano) is deserving of your admiration and desire.

2) One nice thing about preowned (in good shape) is that it can probably hold its value better…in the worst case event you had to turn around and sell it.

3) Estonia isn’t going anywhere. They’re really meticulous about their quality control from what I’ve heard. And I bet any shop will be able to offer you a good deal similar to what you’re currently considering, reliably into the future.

4) I bet you could find a preowned Estonia that basically plays like this brand new one, that you might be able to fall in love with, and time home, and not be under such financial strain. That’s the story of my piano in a nutshell (and I love the specific one I found; I couldn’t have afforded a new one at this point in my life).

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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
3) Estonia isn’t going anywhere. They’re really meticulous about their quality control from what I’ve heard. And I bet any shop will be able to offer you a good deal similar to what you’re currently considering, reliably into the future.
I don't think it's clear that the present piano is a good deal(maybe an OK deal). And the price will obviously be greater in the future.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
3) Estonia isn’t going anywhere. They’re really meticulous about their quality control from what I’ve heard. And I bet any shop will be able to offer you a good deal similar to what you’re currently considering, reliably into the future.
I don't think it's clear that the present piano is a good deal(maybe an OK deal). And the price will obviously be greater in the future.

I’m not sure what your basing it being a “good deal” on in this case. What’s the objective determination for that? And why will it obviously be greater in the future, beyond say, the expected rate of inflation?

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Everyone...
Space_doodle said that they would prep it to concert level and give a digital keyboard.

“Store is giving me a good deal: $55,000 before tax, throwing in a concert preparation setup and a digital keyboard!”

Imagine if the prep and keyboard included in the price!

Imagine...
$54k normally but with all of that it’s $55k!

I hope they aren’t trying to do that....

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I’m looking right now... seems used ones are around $30k USD (39k CAD?)

Look for a better deal!! Maybe even piano if you find a even better one.

Edit: found 10k usd ones??
I’m looking wrong LOL.

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Originally Posted by probably blue
I’m looking right now... seems used ones are around $30k USD (39k CAD?)

Look for a better deal!! Maybe even piano if you find a even better one.

Edit: found 10k usd ones??
I’m looking wrong LOL.


Be sure you are looking for pianos being sold in Canada


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I hesitate to post it here for several reasons, but what you wrote reminded me of an article I had read several years ago:

[cut]

Brand and advertising aside, circumstances do change, you can't reliably predict life. A piano can be a really great thing to have in it, but I think for a lot of people, it's entirely discretionary, and there are always less expensive options. Whenever I hear a purchase is going to be a stretch, I have to think long and hard about what the downsides are.

Oh yes, I remember reading that article as well! Actually, I think that article is highly relevant to this discussion, or at least to the discussion of financing a piano. The person at the center of that article financed way beyond her means, and the sales tactics were dishonest, it was like a perfect storm. It’s a heartbreaking story, but probably a good one to read for anyone contemplating a piano purchase that is close to the outer edges of their budget.

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 05/11/22 10:50 PM.

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BTW I really want to know what happened to the woman in the Steinway article, did she ever get her piano?
frown

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 05/11/22 10:53 PM.

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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
3) Estonia isn’t going anywhere. They’re really meticulous about their quality control from what I’ve heard. And I bet any shop will be able to offer you a good deal similar to what you’re currently considering, reliably into the future.
I don't think it's clear that the present piano is a good deal(maybe an OK deal). And the price will obviously be greater in the future.
I’m not sure what your basing it being a “good deal” on in this case. What’s the objective determination for that? And why will it obviously be greater in the future, beyond say, the expected rate of inflation?
i was using the SMP figure in the Piano Book of 51K converted to Canadian dollars. So a good us price of 20-30% off SMP would be about 41K-35.5K before conversion to Canadian dollars. I didn't say the piano price in the future would be greater than inflation although some makers increase price more than inflation. I said the deal will not be "a good deal similar to the one you're currently considering because the price will have increased.

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