Negotiating Flute Price

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MarkF786
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:30 am

Negotiating Flute Price

Post by MarkF786 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:49 am

I'm buying my daughter a professional flute (currently considering the Miyazawa 602). In my experience with other musical instruments (guitars, pianos, etc) prices are negotiable, and usually a 10-20% discount from MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) can easily be negotiated. I don't know if this is also true with high-end flutes.

In the limited experience I've had with flute shopping so far, though I haven't tried negotiating yet, the shops seemed to imply there wasn't any wiggle room with price.

What's been your experience with negotiating flute prices?

On a side note I had considered buying the Miyazawa from Matthew's Musiek in the Netherlands. Buying the Miyazawa 602 from them would be about $2500 cheaper than in the US; the US prices have a 50% market compared to Europe! I recently bought a Yamaha YPC-62R piccolo from them and saved $750 over US retail prices, and had a great experience dealing with them. But buying a Miyazawa might present some challenges since it may be hard to find US repair shops that are willing to work on it; I'm not so much worried about warranty work, but just yearly adjustments. Also, speaking with a local dealer, they said Miyazawa flutes required extensive adjustements even new from the factory, to accommodate the individual flautist.

Does anyone have experience with getting the non-US Miyazawa (or other flute) serviced in the US?

Thanks for your help and feedback.

Mark

MarkF786
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:30 am

Re: Negotiating Flute Price

Post by MarkF786 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:30 pm

I took my daughter to our local Miyazawa dealer and tried out the 202 and 602. Sadly, they didn't have all the headjoint models to try though.

In the end, I was ready to buy the 602 but it didn't have the Split E Mechanism. The dealer was insisting it wasn't necessary and kept trying to talk me out of, so I went along at first. They then gave me a price that I felt reasonable, about $1000 more than I could buy from Matthew's, but I was willing to pay that to support a local business and to be able to take the flute there for service.

But when I got home and did more research on the Split E Mechanism, I felt it best that we should get it. When investing this much money in a flute, I'd rather pay the small amount extra even if the feature is of minor usefulness. So I emailed the dealer saying I'd rather they order the flute with the Split E Mechanism - and they quickly replied and shockingly they now say I have to pay full retail price for the flute if I want to order it with that feature!

It now makes me suspicious of why the dealer is willing to provide a good discount on the instrument they had in stock, but offer no discount for any others! I'd be ok if it was a little more markup to cover their added effort, but it's a $1500 jump in price (not including the $250 for the Split E mechanism)!

Buying online is beginning to look more attractive unless the dealer decides to be a little more reasonable.

KJF_pdx
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Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:58 am

Re: Negotiating Flute Price

Post by KJF_pdx » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:54 pm

I’m a newbie here and an adult amateur. I’m looking for a flute upgrade myself, most likely the Miyazawa 202 (see my recent post on standard wall versus heavy wall, etc.).

So here’s my flute shopping advice:

Take your time and don’t let anyone pressure you into a deal that you really don’t want. The 202 is a lot of money. The 602 is even more. This is an important purchase for your daughter’s musical education and maybe even career.

Like you, I always try to support my local businesses. In this case, they don’t carry Miyazawa. I’m planning to trial a standard and heavy wall Miya with the three available head joints in the next few weeks. It’s with one of the larger sellers in another state who will ship you flutes to trial. If you want to PM me, I’d be happy to give you the name of the person who is working with me. I’m not affiliated with them or anything. Only want to share what I’ve learned these past few months in my shopping.

MarkF786
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:30 am

Re: Negotiating Flute Price

Post by MarkF786 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:19 pm

KJF_pdx wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:54 pm
I’m a newbie here and an adult amateur. I’m looking for a flute upgrade myself...
Thanks for the reply, KJF. There were further developments with my local dealer:

What I discovered the following day after visiting the local dealer was that the 602 she had was a discontinued model with a 0.38mm wall, which current 0.40mm head joints don’t fit. Also the MZ-11 head joint cut is in the process of being discontinued (and again, was the 0.38mm model, which had already been discontinued). That explains her eagerness to sell (and discount) the flute, though I feel it was dishonest that she did not disclose that information. Despite that, I still attempted to work with the local dealer, but all follow-up emails and phone calls were ignored; maybe she was embarrassed by being caught in the scam.

I since reached out to a few other dealers and found one that was very helpful. She has ordered a 602 with all the features I wanted from Miyazawa and should have it in a couple weeks, at which time she'll send it to me with the three head joints to try (MZ-10, MX-1, and MX-2).

One thing I will note is that most dealers do not seem receptive to negotiating price (supposedly Miyazawa forbids it), but I think there is unofficially a little wiggle room ;-)

Mark

KJF_pdx
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Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:58 am

Re: Negotiating Flute Price

Post by KJF_pdx » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:39 am

Which head joint did you pick?

MarkF786
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Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:30 am

Re: Negotiating Flute Price

Post by MarkF786 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:44 pm

We ended up choosing the MX-2 headjoint.

fluteguy18
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:11 pm

Re: Negotiating Flute Price

Post by fluteguy18 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:37 pm

As a technician and maker, I will make a few comments because I have also worked with the staff at both the US distributor for Miyazawa and the staff you mentioned in the Netherlands.

These are not the same instruments that you are comparing. The version of the 602 that is sold in Europe is set up with different materials and headjoint geometry than then ones in the US. The US distributed instruments are higher in price because they have better pads and a higher level of finishing/set up. The playing difference is significant. Playing tastes in Europe are different than tastes in the US, and the models are set up and distributed accordingly.

Do not expect retailers to give you a discount. In the handmade flute market, dealers get 20-25% off MAP as a wholesale price AT BEST. Some makers only give dealers a 10% cut. The remaining percentages are how they make a living and sustain themselves, and they also have to pay credit card processing fees which are usually in the ballpark of 3%.

In the end you get what you pay for, but the US distribution centers are not required to honor any sort of warranty for any instrument that is purchased overseas and imported through other channels.

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