[The following is the photo and text of the advertisement that appeared in the Piano Technicians Journal which publicly recorded Yamaha Corporation of America’s several claims against legally imported used Yamaha pianos.]
Tech Gazette Yamaha
Gray Market Yamaha Pianos
By Bill Brandon, Yamaha Piano Service Manager
At Yamaha, we have always tried to provide quality service and part support for new and used Yamaha pianos which were originally manufactured for sale in this country. As you are probably aware, “gray market” (or pianos originally manufactured for sale in Japan) used Yamaha pianos are being brought into the United States by independent importers and sold to piano dealers across the country. These pianos have caused service support problems that Yamaha Corporation of America is not responsible for. As a result, Yamaha Piano Service will not provide service assistance or part support for these “gray market” pianos.
Service Assistance – To begin with, there is no “Yamaha “warranty of any kind on these “gray market” pianos. This is an important consideration because these well-used imported pianos were made for use in Japan – a much more humid environment than the average American home. As a result, these pianos may develop serious problems such as loose tuning pins, cracked soundboards and bridges. In addition, action problems such as warping, misalignment of parts, glue joint failures, sluggish response, and “sticking” key problems are also common.
In Piano Service, we know this to be the case because we receive numerous calls from customers and piano technicians reporting the above problems with “gray market” pianos.
Part Support – Yamaha makes different models of pianos for the many markets around the world. There are many models of Yamaha pianos that were sold in Japan that were never sold in North America. In the U.S., Piano Service does not have part information on these pianos and cannot order parts for these pianos from Japan.
When you call us for a service part, you will asked for the serial number of the piano. If this piano was headed for the North American market, we must decline taking the order.
Based on experience with pianos not seasoned for the North American market, we strongly discourage the purchase of these “gray market” pianos.
Our commitment at Yamaha Corporation of America is to provide the nest service and part support we can for our customers who have purchased pianos made for and sold in the United States, through our authorized Yamaha Piano Retailers.
Part 6: FAQS about Previously Owned Yamaha and Kawai Pianos, by Wilton Syckes
Part 7: Seasoned for Destination, by Tom Donahue
Part 8: Gray Market Yamaha Pianos – What is the Truth? By Craig Whitaker