Piano Buying, Selling
Buying or Selling Pre-Inspections
— by Wes Flinn RPT
Buying, Selling Pianos needs Pre-Inspections:
Don’t Lose Big Time !
— whether Buying or Selling, get Piano Pre-Inspections
- Would you pay $500 for a machine, any kind of machine, which looked great, but actually would not even work?
- Would you pay $2895 for a piano a store told you was just fantastic, that it had been completely restored, played like a dream, and would be perfect for anyone to play and study on?
- Would you buy that piano just because a salesperson told you all this, and just because the outer finish of the cabinet had been brought up to make that 100 year old nostalgic relic look completely fascinating?
OK, maybe YOU wouldn’t do this, but it’s typical of the daily scenario that takes place in the purchase of used pianos. The scene described above in “Questions” actually happened to a Buyer, now my client, who had the common sense to get a Pre-Purchase Piano Inspection.The Buyer involved in this story had reached the point in life that he seriously wanted to play the piano again. He was very excited and motivated about it. He started his own looking campaign, and found these two pianos described below. In sum, he was looking for reasons to buy a piano, and to buy it now! He called me two times to report his progress. He was ready to own and practice and play a piano again, right now, and he really wanted to buy one or the other of these two pianos, and to end the looking and decision process. Then he called a third time asking me to go with him to do a Pre-Inspection of the pianos as I had explained to him, prior to actually buying.
The first piano he had located was a 70 year old Starr Grand Piano, strings missing, keys not working, and legs so wobbly and loose that children playing near it could have knocked it over and down on a child playing underneath — now just imagine the consequences of that situation! Almost unthinkable. I told the seller involved in front of the buyer to get it to the dump, NOW, if he didn’t want liability claims resulting from just showing the piano!
The second piano mentioned above was a 100 year old 57″ tall Turn-of-the-Century Kimball Victorian Upright, exactly as described in the “Questions” above. Beautiful piece of furniture. But, not a piano to be played and used for studying. It was worn out inside. Almost anyone — if they knew how to look (or listen) — would be able to tell that this “machine” on the inside had not been restored as described. But how many folks know how to take a piano apart and look inside, much less know what it is they are looking at! Buying this piano would have been a $3000 mistake and loss. Again, remember that this client first wanted a piano to play and use, not only to look at, although second he did want a pleasant looking piece of furniture.
In this case, the buyer, in his enthusiasm to buy a piano, when searching for a piano had failed to understand the machine side of a piano — but, fortunately he did have the wisdom to find an RPT to examine the piano before he made the actual purchase.
Buyers and Sellers both have to realize that a piano is a machine, and that it must be maintained during its service life, and and that it wears out if it isn’t maintained! It’s no different than a car, boat, airplane, bicycle, lawn mower or whatever machine in this regard.
Then what happened ?
The end of this story is a happy one.I fortunately saved this individual from not one, but two really horrible optional buying decisions.
After Inspecting the first two pianos, I next escorted this man, who was so excited with the prospect of learning to play the piano again, to a reputable dealer. There we looked at a wonderful, slightly used and newer upright I knew about. He bought it with a warranty, and free delivery, and was ecstatic. Thank Heavens he had that common sense to set up Pre-Purchase Inspections of the first two pianos he had located — pianos he was actually ready to buy, with grave consequences.
Look at the grief he was saved just by arranging for Pre-Purchase Inspections !
What about NEW PIANOS ?
Just CALL me on this one ! It’s a very complex story.There are some very good new pianos, and some very bad. To understand what I mean will take research and work on your part. You can start your search with complete authority if you will take the time and effort to buy and study the “Bible” of the Piano Industry, for everyone — Buyers and Sellers alike — which is the “Piano Book“. This Book covers it all: prices, history, quality.
The Piano Book is the best un-biased information and objective information that exists – Note: There are two books: 1) main text, and 2) annual supplement.
For more information, and how to find and buy, click here:
The Piano Book by Larry Fine.
Pre-Purchase Inspections are needed with new pianos, equally as much with used pianos.
Where can I get straight, quick answers on new or used pianos ?
All Piano Buyers and Sellers must learn to look at Piano Purchases through the eyes of a Buyer! A Buyer wants to know what he is getting for his money, where the value is. Buyers and Sellers alike must understand that a Piano is a Machine, first and last! They both need to understand the basics of this Machine, and of the market available to it.
If you are going to buy or sell a piano, and you are not experienced technically in the mechanical aspect of a piano, contact me or someone like me first. Save yourself time and money, and true grief from making unwise expenditures from which you cannot recover. Most of what I will tell you is free — how to prepare yourself to go out and shop for pianos, and to successfully find what you had hoped for. Also, how to be realistic in pricing for buying or selling, and how to avoid emotional decisions either in buying or selling.
You must really “get it”, that a piano truly is a Machine, and not an emotional piece of furniture! When this is clear, you can proceed to shop! When you have made some well considered choices, then we are ready to move ahead with a:
Pre-Purchase Inspection, or a Pre-Sale Inspection
of your choice, and like the Buyer in the story above, you will end up very happy experience buying a piano!
Registered Piano Technician
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