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55. Selling a Piano

First, I have a question: Why?

A piano is not easy to replace. New pianos are over-priced, and, anywhere west of the Mississippi River, used pianos are also over-priced. Once you sell the piano, the chances are very slim that you will be getting another one. If you need the money, OK, sell it. But; I would like to see you keep it for a couple more years. Some kid in your extended family may decide to take piano lessons. What a blessing it would be to pass it on and hear it played later. Also, you could loan it to some responsible family, and they might learn to make music. Think about this.

So, you are sure you want to sell it.  Here are some suggestions:

First, call a tuner, and have him tune it and adjust it. You simply will not get a decent price for a piano which is twanging and several keys won't play.  "It was playing great six years ago," sounds just as dumb as, "This Ford ran really good ten years ago." 

Second, Ask your tuner if he wants to buy it. If he says no, ask him what you should get for it. If he says yes, ask for an offer. When he leaves, forget about selling it to him. He needs to buy low to make a decent mark up.  The point is, if he doesn't want to buy it, he will probably give you a good estimate. 

If you cannot get a price from a tuner as above, here are some approximate suggestions.

Yamaha, Kawai, Story and Clark, and Everett type studios, 15 to 20 years old in top condition, should bring you about $1800 if you wait.  This estimate is dated 1996. 

Yamaha, Kawai, Samick, and Young Chang baby grands, 10 to 20 years old and in top condition, should bring at least $4000 minimum.

Older spinets and consoles can bring anywhere from $400 to $1200, depending on the brand and condition. Bottom of the brands is, "Grand," Winter, and Wurlitzer.

Old grands, like Mason Hamblin, Baldwin, Chickering, Schiller and Knabe will get you $400 to $4000 wholly depending upon the condition of the box and the usefulness of the musical works.

Old uprights go for "Haul it away, and it's yours." to $400.

Third, Don't be greedy. The problem with selling a piano is, you have had it for a long time, and you think it has gained value. Also, you might have had it in the family for 8000 years, and you think it is something special. Wrong. You better read my instructions for buying a piano and settle down a bit.

Fourth, One way to price a piano is to visit a few piano stores, and price used pianos. Cut the average price you are hearing by at least a third. That will be pretty fair. Remember, you are not delivering the piano and tuning it for the buyer.

If you rip off the buyer, and I am called to tune the piano later, I will tell the new owner just what they got. Good tuners don't cover for rip off artists. Beware!

 On to task 56.