We will never step into this Sherman Clay store again. This is an account of how we were treated by the salesman/store manager named "Alex."
When we walked into this store, Alex told us that a salesman upstairs will assist us with "discount" pianos. (Note: We were not looking for "discount" pianos. We're in the market of purchasing a brand new piano in the range of $8-12k. My wife and I are both working professionals, and were prepared to pay the price in full). Upstairs in the "discount" piano area, there was no salesman to assist us. Red flag #1.
Alex eventually came upstairs (he was probably the only salesman in the store and didn't want to give us that appearance, so he told a little lie... no big deal), and said that Yamaha will raise its price in December and that we should seriously consider purchasing the piano before December in order to receive the discount. C'mon, are you kidding me?! (Note: A friend who works in the industry previously told us that Yamaha had already raised its price for the year, and that the next price increase probably isn't due until later next yr). Red flag #2.
Alex never played any of the pianos for us or took the time to really educate us on the uniqueness of each of the brands and models, like the other stores we had already visited. Was he expecting to give us a 5-minute sales speech for our $8-12k purchase?! Red flag #3.
Alex then tried to convince us not to buy any used pianos from the "gray" market because of the problem of seasoned wood. (Note: For a discussion of seasoned wood in pianos, read www.pianofinders.con/techtalk/seasoning.htm). So, if we moved from Texas to Washington (obviously different climates), then does that mean we need to get rid of our new piano and purchase another one because of the change in humidity and temp?! This sounds like what all dealers probably pitch anyway, but I'm not convinced. Red flag #4.
Alex then tells us that the model we wanted is back-ordered, and we should consider the models on the floor. (Note: We called a dealer from out of state, and the saleman made a few calls and said he could get us that particular model to our house within a week from their warehouse in Atlanta). Why was Alex telling us it was back-ordered, when he could have easily gotten us that model from the warehouse?! Any good salesman is going to say "I will check that for you and get back with you." Red flag #5.
For those reasons, we will never purchase from Alex or step foot in this Sherman Clay store again. We are now considering a reconditioned piano from another local dealer who treated us with respect, played for us on over a dozen pianos, and educated us in the various brands and models. We are also considering purchasing our brand new Yamaha from an out of state dealer and arranging the pickup ourselves. I bet the savings from doing so might even beat the "best" price from this store. Research and compare. Personally, I would avoid the condescending and arrogant attitude, and the sales BS of this Sherman Clay salesman/manager. Not sure why the company even hired him to sell pianos in the first place. Anyway, take it for what it's worth. Good luck on your search for the right piano for your family.