Don’t Be Fooled Into Buying a Yamahwas, aka Gray Market Yamaha Piano

Don't Be Fooled Into Buying a Yamahwas, aka Gray Market Yamaha Piano
Image credit: wikipedia.com

Yamaha pianos are a fantastic value, if purchased on the secondary market. Much like a Mercedes Benz, a new piano’s value drops dramatically as soon as it is delivered to a home.

But don’t be fooled into buying a Yamawas; not to be confused with a Yamaha. What is a Yamawas? Please allow me to explain.

There is no used market in Japan. Culturally, the Japanese do not buy used anything. This includes pianos. American entrepreneurs are aware of this fact and make contacts with Japanese business men. These Japanese business men establish connections with multiple churches, schools, universities, etc.

These pianos are collected, then sold to US importers. This is where the term “gray market” comes into play. Gray Market pianos are not supported in anyway by Yamaha Corp. This means if you need parts, you are out of luck. As a result gray market Yamaha piano’s resale value are dismal.

It gets worse. The US importer then takes these worn out, beat up instruments and begins the refurbishing process. Without Yamaha’s support these shady piano organizations are forced to use whatever parts they can find and non OEM parts. A Yamaha’s transformation into a Yamahwas is fully complete when the importer has finished the  rebuilding/refurbishing process.

Buyer Beware:
There are gray market piano dealers (whom often refer to themselves as “wholesalers” because they convince traditional piano stores to buy their flawed product), in every major American market.

Thankfully, it is very easy to determine if the piano you are considering to buy is a gray market piano or not. Yamaha has an active website that allows the user to enter a Yamaha piano’s serial number. The database will generate a phrase such as, “This piano was made for the North American market.” Or, ” This piano was NOT made for the North American market.”

You can find this database by Googling “Yamaha serial numbers”. It will be the first or second organic listing.

Dave’s Piano Showroom is Tampa Bay’s only piano dealer that has taken a public stance, with Yamaha against gray market pianos.