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Buying a Roland C-30 in the US, Spring 2012.
It's a bit of a confusing situation. The advertised price is $4,999.oo in the USA. You do a search on the internet and find that major music retailers have them for sale with a list price of $4,999 and an advertised price that is lower….but with the statement that you have to call for even better pricing. You call and find out that they do not have them in stock. And do not know when they will get them in stock.
The good news is that Roland has changed the "lowest advertised price" back up to $4,999. This helps prevents internet dealers from dropping the expected price below a point in which a dealer who might stock them stands back and realizing that the internet guy may sell it for such a low price that he, the local dealer with a store, makes nothing on the sale. An internet store can sit on the product, order 10 at once, possibly getting a deal for buying that many all at once, when they have sales that have come in, save money on shipping and even ship them direct to the buyer…making it impossible for the local store to even heklp pay a few cents on the light bill from the sale.
With the set price of $4,999, now the market can work to set the actual street price. A local dealer can adjust the price for the situation, you can call the internet guys and see what they want to sell it for and then decide where you want to go. Your local dealer may try to match the internet price….or offer you reasons, good ones, to spend a bit more and buy locally.
Your local Harpsichord dealer may offer free lessons, a harpsichord club or more, be sure to ask! Local dealers can do a lot to inspire you to buy locally, including loan or renting out instruments as needed, something the internet guys will never do.