Prices for digital church organ are impacted by the quality of their consoles, components, and the amount of electronics included, as addressed in other postings.
An organ manufacturer’s distribution system also affects customer prices. Unlike consumer electronic products that do not require installation expertise and local service support, most digital organs are sold through some form of distribution. The most direct is when the organ manufacturer has a local representative resell the instrument, who then handles all aspects relating to the sale, installation and after installation service.
A less direct distribution method occurs when the manufacturer first sells organs to an importer or distributor, who resells them to a local dealer, with markups added at both levels. Most European digital organs marketed in North America are sold through this type of distribution.
It is understandable that European instruments cost more in North America than in Europe due to shipping. However, with such costs typically at about $1,000 per organ, it is difficult to understand the large premiums quoted.
A large church organ retailer in Germany, Kisselbach, https://kisselbach.de/, publishes customer prices for Viscount, Johannus and Content organs. The prices are substantially lower than what American customers are being quoted by U.S. dealers, in some cases by more than 50%.
Example: Kisselbach publishes the retail price for the four-manual Viscount Unico 800 at 43,210 euros including German VAT tax. Deducting the VAT tax, which American customers would not pay, makes the customer price 36,311 euros, approximately $42,847 at today’s euro-dollar exchange rate. However, the Unico 800 has been quoted in America in excess of $115,000, more than 2.5 times the German price.
The chart below includes customer prices for organs quoted by Kisselbach that can help determine the efficiency of distribution for these organs, as well as help set their values.