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Experience buying from Thomann / Warranty / (+ import to USA)

RHOU

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Hi, I'm thinking of buying a new Weltmeister from Thomann. The few threads I found on this site have been rather positive experiences, mostly from folks in the UK, but I wanted to check if there are more stories to tell:

A few specific questions:
1) Did things arrive on-time and well packed?

2) For those who may have imported to the USA, I looked up the HTS code and it shows 0 % duty for piano accordions, so there should be no customs duties. Did you still receive any invoice for processing fees from UPS when it was delivered?

3) If anybody had any repair issues, did they really honor the 3 year warranty and what was the process? Did it require shipping the unit back to Germany? If yes, did they pay for shipping?

Thanks,

Robert
 

Tom

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I have not purchased from Thomann so can not comment on that. However, I have had to pay duty on one or two (can't remember) piano accordions imported from Italy to the US. So, be sure you have contact info in case it gets tied up and you need to respond to a call or email on that. Not from UPS but from the US customs or post office (don't remember). Don't know about from the UK.
 

vivdunstan

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Hi, I'm thinking of buying a new Weltmeister from Thomann. The few threads I found on this site have been rather positive experiences, mostly from folks in the UK, but I wanted to check if there are more stories to tell:

A few specific questions:
1) Did things arrive on-time and well packed?

2) For those who may have imported to the USA, I looked up the HTS code and it shows 0 % duty for piano accordions, so there should be no customs duties. Did you still receive any invoice for processing fees from UPS when it was delivered?

3) If anybody had any repair issues, did they really honor the 3 year warranty and what was the process? Did it require shipping the unit back to Germany? If yes, did they pay for shipping?

I ordered a Weltmeister Perle from Thomann in Germany at Christmas just gone. I am in the UK, so now (sadly) outside the EU. Customs/VAT was included in the purchase price I was quoted and paid Thomann up front, and I had no further charges to pay. The accordion arrived promptly by fast courier delivery in its original manufacturer box, well packed. I did have one note where the reed was initially not responding well, so I did look into the possibility of return. But a bit of playing and air through and all was quickly fine, and has been ever since. A local accordion tuner I’d used gave me free advice about this. If I had done a return it was going to have to go back to Germany, but it didn’t get that far. So yes, I was a happy customer, and remain delighted with my box.
 

96Bass

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Is there a reason that you are buying a Weltmeister from a European dealer rather than a US dealer?
Have you looked at Gabbanelli accordions. They are located in Houston. They provide sales and service right where you live.
 

RHOU

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Is there a reason that you are buying a Weltmeister from a European dealer rather than a US dealer?
Have you looked at Gabbanelli accordions. They are located in Houston. They provide sales and service right where you live.
I have been to Gabbanelli many times. This is where I service my current accordion. They are right down the street from me. Unfortunately they don't carry anything similar to the Juwel. (compact lightweight 30/72 PA). Even their 26/48 bass weighs 14 lbs, more than the Juwel. They mainly focus on button accordions for Norteno music with lots of focus on the look / design.

So since I have to buy online already anyway I'm looking at Thomann because at least on paper it looks good.
a) 30 day money back guarantee
b) 3 year warranty where they take care of shipping costs
c) very good USD prices for Weltmeister accordions
 

96Bass

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I have been to Gabbanelli many times. This is where I service my current accordion. They are right down the street from me. Unfortunately they don't carry anything similar to the Juwel. (compact lightweight 30/72 PA). Even their 26/48 bass weighs 14 lbs, more than the Juwel. They mainly focus on button accordions for Norteno music with lots of focus on the look / design.

So since I have to buy online already anyway I'm looking at Thomann because at least on paper it looks good.
a) 30 day money back guarantee
b) 3 year warranty where they take care of shipping costs
c) very good USD prices for Weltmeister accordions
Your main criteria is the weight of the accordion?
a) I would guess that most on-line accordion dealers offer a trial return policy. Thomann's return policy does look very good.
b) Looks like most US Weltmeister dealers give a 2 year warranty so Thomann gives you an additional year.
If the accordion needed a repair, warranty or not, would you really ship it back to Germany or just drive down the road to Gabbanelli?
 

Scuromondo

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If the accordion needed a repair, warranty or not, would you really ship it back to Germany or just drive down the road to Gabbanelli?
I think this is a very important consideration. Unless the European supplier was offering a staggeringly good discount when compared with a U.S. dealer, my choice would be to work with the US dealer instead, and count on him to share some of the risk if there is a problem. As far as warranty work goes, I don’t think I would ever ship a new accordion back to Europe for repairs. The risk, not only of additional shipping damage, but also the chance that it could get delayed for months, or even lost altogether, isn’t worth it.
 

RHOU

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Your main criteria is the weight of the accordion?
a) I would guess that most on-line accordion dealers offer a trial return policy. Thomann's return policy does look very good.
b) Looks like most US Weltmeister dealers give a 2 year warranty so Thomann gives you an additional year.
If the accordion needed a repair, warranty or not, would you really ship it back to Germany or just drive down the road to Gabbanelli?
Yes my main criteria is weight. I like to play standing / walking around with the kids dancing and running around, sometimes outdoors. My current 25key/24 bass weighs only 9 lbs but is out of tune, leaky and a bit too limiting. I want to get all 6 bass rows and at least 30 keys, so that's where the Juwel appears like the perfect fit.
I think this is a very important consideration. Unless the European supplier was offering a staggeringly good discount when compared with a U.S. dealer, my choice would be to work with the US dealer instead, and count on him to share some of the risk if there is a problem. As far as warranty work goes, I don’t think I would ever ship a new accordion back to Europe for repairs. The risk, not only of additional shipping damage, but also the chance that it could get delayed for months, or even lost altogether, isn’t worth it.
If it is something that Gabbanelli can do locally I would just bring it there. They told me they would be able to do anything that doesn't require parts, but they don't source parts for other brands.

As far as shipping is concerned should I need a bigger repair, I don't think there is a huge difference in damage risk whether something is shipped from Houston to e.g. Philadelphia or from Houston to Germany. It will still go on a truck, at least 2 planes, on a truck again, etc. If I had a local accordion shop here in Houston that sells Weltmeister, I would buy it from them even at a $400 premium.
 

96Bass

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(compact lightweight 30/72 PA).
Are you sure you want a "compact" accordion that does not have full size keys?
The Juwel 30 key keyboard is one inch shorter than the Weltmeister 30 key Kristall model.
 

RHOU

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Are you sure you want a "compact" accordion that does not have full size keys?
The Juwel 30 key keyboard is one inch shorter than the Weltmeister 30 key Kristall model.
Thanks for pointing it out. I was worried about that, so just to make sure, I tested out a very old used Italian 41 key compact accordion at Gabbanelli. Something similar to this here, just 15lb. https://www.libertybellows.com/shop...nelli-Piano-Accordion-LM-41-120-x64166999.htm

The keys were only 17mm wide (41cm for all keys) and it was surprisingly easy to play. After about 5-10 minutes in the showroom I was able to play without mistakes. Amazing how the brain / fingers simply adjust to it. I actually liked it because I can do spans I usually can't do.
 

TonyChicago

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I just ordered some microphones from them last Friday. I received them via UPS on Wednesday! No duties or added cost. I think my shipping was $25 and some change. They were also very helpful in my pre-buying questions via email.
 

jozz

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No accordion purchases there, but lots and lots of purchases over the years regarding stage equipment and such. I have had a few returns and one repair and it always was handled properly by them. Main reason for me personally to buy there is that they bill you without sales tax if you're buying as a listed company. Lots of shops in my own country fail to do that.
 
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