Tips for Selecting a Piano from a Showroom


  1. Be prepared.
Understand your own values and expertise.  Although you may not be experienced at buying a piano, you have had experience in purchasing other things, perhaps a house, car, stereo, furniture, and even major repairs and remodeling services.  Although the piano market is in many ways different than these other markets, you are the same person.  You have a set of values that helps you make decisions.  You probably have opinions about how much you want to pay; how much space in your room you want the piano to occupy; what you want it to look like; what purposes you want the piano to accomplish; how long you want it to last; how much time you are willing to spend looking for it and what quality of construction you want it to be. You may find that reading the Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Piano will be helpful in evaluating your needs, priorities and reasons for buying a piano.
    B.   Choose the buying process you prefer: You also have preferences as to how you like to buy things.  Do you like to see as many pianos as possible and then narrow down your choices? Or do you prefer to study things out before you go shopping, narrowing down your choices so you won’t be overwhelmed?  You are also the one most qualified to judge whether or not your own level of expertise in selecting a piano is sufficient to satisfy your own needs to minimize your risks.  When you go into a showroom, it will help for you to know how you expect the process of looking at pianos to proceed, so you can discuss it with the salesperson at the beginning of your conversation.
Take sheet music if you need it to play various pianos.  It is usually best to play the same pieces on each piano so that you can have a fair comparison of tone.
  2.. Choose your salesperson 
Work with people who will treat you with respect.  Only you know best what you need to feel supported. To most buyers, buying a piano is a major purchase. They want to know that they have made a good choice.  But, they don’t want people to talk down to them; persuade them to do something they don’t want to do; withhold important information from them; belittle their opinions or values; pressure them into making a decision prematurely.  You deserve to be treated with respect and to have your choices and values supported by others.  Not everyone will do this.  Choose to work with those who treat you how you wish to be treated.
    B.   Work with only one salesperson per dealer:  Dealers often set up the commission structures so that the commission has to be divided between all the salesperson who work with a buyer during the sale process.   It is often the salesperson who is making the decision as to what price they will sell the piano for (within a range allowed by dealer).   It shows a salesperson respect when you call ahead to set up an appointment with them and when you arrive if you ask for them by name.  Working with one person exclusively per dealership is usually the best way to go, especially if you have been given a referral to them by Piano Finders or any one else.
  3. Inform your salesperson of your needs
A. Tell them what your know about what you want.   Once again, you may find that reading the Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Piano will be helpful in evaluating your needs, priorities and search criteria.
    B.   Tell them how what you need from them.  Depending upon the situation, a showroom is not always a quiet place to play various pianos and salespeople have different styles of presenting their product.  You could request any of the following from your salesperson:
        a.   To have the salesperson take you through the showroom, play the various pianos for you tell you about their products.
        b.   To tell you if they have a specific set of pianos you are looking for, and then allow you to play them without interruption.
        c.   To make an appointment when you can come back an play the pianos at a less busy or crowded time.
        d.   To allow your teacher/technician/pianist to player inspect various pianos for you without input from the salesperson until you ask for it.
        e.   To accommodate any other reasonable needs you may have.
   4. Maintain your ethics
    We think it is as important that you are honest and abide by the same ethics you expect the people you do business with to abide by.  We recommend the following as code of ethics for managing relationships in the marketplace.
  5. Ask for product information on pianos that interest you.
    Before you leave, you want to know the following about the pianos that are of most interest to you:  Brand, age, serial number, size, model, color, sheen, cabinet style, price, and general condition of the piano.  You also want to know if the price includes any of the following:  warranty, bench, any upgrades, move to your location and tuning in your location after move.
  6. Don't allow yourself to be persuaded to buy before you are ready.
  7. Choose the piano that matches your preferences. 
    When you finally select your piano, it should be the one that best matches your own preferences and needs.  Other people may disagree with your choice.  After all, if there weren’t so many people with different values, there would be so many different types of pianos for sale.  You should feel confident in what you have decided now and for many years to come.
  Explore other options on this web.  Go to Buyer's Section Beginning or Home Page.

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