Cars, houses, electronic equipment. We all want to buy the best right? And yet there is that "deal-seeker" inside us that wants "the best" for less. In some cases, will even buy the less expensive item based solely upon the facts presented by promotion, marketing - or a salesperson who is worth their weight in gold. Let's look at the acoustic piano market of which I am familiar. If a retailer purchases a "finished" product for $3,000 and sells it for $12,000, it is really not even worth the $3,000 because the wholesaler had to make some money too! How good can the materials, workmanship, overall sound, feel and durability of that instrument be? Yes, there are overpriced pianos on the market today and a wise shopper can avoid these pitfalls of "too little/too much" by doing their homework. Take a look around and see who is playing what. Then as "why?". Read up on the company selling the pianos how many brands do they sell? Are they looking to sell you a cheap, inferior product if you can't afford their top of the line instruments? Would they really be willing to buy back that instrument from you at a future date?
There will be consumers that seemingly cannot afford the best and so therefore, will always exist the "less-expensive". But I like to compare purchasing a piano to buying a home. Most other purchases are done with the quality of longevity not being an issue. But when you buy a home, you walk around inside and you look and you imagine where you'll place the furniture and whose room will be where with the idea of possibly living there for the rest of your life. That's the way it should be with a piano, especially one that can, in later years be restored, as you would do with the home. You would also want an instrument that you can develop into, that can raise you to higher levels of performance or creating. By its tone and feel and what it "gives" to you. This is why people who purchased rebuilt Steinways 25 years ago for $10,000-$15,000 made incredibly good investments. Not only for themselves but for their heirs, should they continue to pass these instruments along. They have also had the opportunity to enjoy these outstanding instruments for all these years and will continue to do so after further restoration, when called for. The $10,000-$15,000 of then, is the $40,000-$60,000 of now and 20 years from now it will be different, higher numbers. That is because these instruments have a great design, are solidly made and are loved by millions. In the coming years the issue of quantity will create an even greater desire for these instruments for their rarity and limited availability.