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#1424020 - 04/25/10 04:09 PM Lost another one  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,921
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member
-Frycek  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,921
SC Mountains
I just learned my tuner's been forced by lack of business to take a job driving a truck. It's not like we're overly blessed with qualified piano technicians in this area to start with. Sad. Very sad.


Slow down and do it right.
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#1424032 - 04/25/10 04:50 PM Re: Lost another one [Re: -Frycek]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 377
JBE Offline
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JBE  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 377
USA
I'm sorry to hear that. I guess things are worse in your part of the country. I've been busy. If I were him I would rather move to an area where I could continue working rather than do something else.

I suppose there will be a lot of pianos needing work when/if we come out of this.

#1424113 - 04/25/10 07:40 PM Re: Lost another one [Re: JBE]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 792
Volusiano Offline
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Volusiano  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 792
I wonder how long it'd take a tuner to get re-established in a new area since he'd have to rebuild his clientele base all over again from scratch...

#1424143 - 04/25/10 08:34 PM Re: Lost another one [Re: Volusiano]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,854
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Bill Bremmer RPT  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,854
Madison, WI USA
It would take a very long time for anyone, anywhere. I saw, "South Carolina Hills" from Frycek. I can only imagine: beautiful area but how could anyone line up enough business to make a living there? I see that JByron lives whee I grew up. The city of Los Angeles is broke and the whole state is broke. How I would love to move back to LA and muscle in on the recording industry! How I would love to do that in NYC too but then again, I wouldn't want to do either. I like it where I am: beautiful area AND plenty of pianos to tune, at least for now.

This is supposed to be an apolitical forum as I have recently been reminded but I do have to wonder what is going to happen. The Federal government and most of the state governments are so far over extended that neither can ever hope to pay what they owe. Not if all the wealth from the richest people were confiscated could they pay what they owe (from what I've heard). Even if that were done, then where would the jobs come from? Who is going to create the wealth needed for people to be able to afford to buy pianos, enjoy music and have the pianos serviced if most or all of the wealth is taken by the government?

100 years ago, there were over 300 piano manufacturers operating in the USA. Now there are 3. Anyone see a trend?


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
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#1424211 - 04/25/10 10:37 PM Re: Lost another one [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,539
David Jenson Offline
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David Jenson  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,539
Maine
Things are not going well in Gotham City. Fortunately I have a huge client file or the loss of roughly 40% of customers would have really hurt. I would NOT want to try to start a new business right now!

Yea, I see a trend, and it's not a good one.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#1424216 - 04/25/10 10:55 PM Re: Lost another one [Re: David Jenson]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
Dave Stahl Offline
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Dave Stahl  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
Originally Posted by David Jenson
Things are not going well in Gotham City. Fortunately I have a huge client file or the loss of roughly 40% of customers would have really hurt. I would NOT want to try to start a new business right now!

Yea, I see a trend, and it's not a good one.


I was thinking the same thing. It would be tough to get a business of any type of the ground right now, and piano tuning is not immune to that.


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net
#1424220 - 04/25/10 11:01 PM Re: Lost another one [Re: Dave Stahl]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
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Cy Shuster, RPT  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
It's been four years since I moved to ABQ (when my granddaughter was born!), and in this economy, it's hard to get new customers. I'm still working hard at it. To tune three pianos a day, for people who tune annually, I need to get 700 to 1,000 customers. Once I get 'em, it's fine. Unfortunately, this is the third time in ten years I'm starting up in a new state. Piano stores have been the traditional source for new customers, but that has slowed way down.

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
#1424240 - 04/25/10 11:52 PM Re: Lost another one [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,491
Bob Offline
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Bob  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,491
Florida
Here are some trends: Total acoustic pianos sold in the USA 2005 = 95,518

Total acoustic pianos sold in the USA 2009 = 33,060 a decrease of 65% in five years.

Source, this month's The Music Trades Magazine.

Meanwhile in 2009, 102,000 digital pianos were sold in the USA (source, Music Trades)

In the years from 1967 to 1983, annual USA piano production was around 200,000 units give or take, and a couple of years closed in on 300,000 units per year. http://www.cantos.org/Piano/History/marketing.html


2009 numbers represent an 83% decrease from the annual production 1967 - 1983.

We are in a declining industry (in the USA). All of us have to figure out how to compete better against digitals. It's our own survival at stake. When the economy recovers, acoustic piano sales will recover to some extent, but like a declining stock, we are in a trend of lower lows, and lower highs. We need to reverse that.


Last edited by Bob; 04/26/10 12:03 AM.
#1424320 - 04/26/10 04:07 AM Re: Lost another one [Re: Bob]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 335
Bojan Babic Offline
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Bojan Babic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 335
Vojvodina, Serbia
My friend who has a piano shop, has not sell not even one grand piano during last two years, and he has 7 of them there. He has to pay all the things, like he works normally, rents, gas, electricity, insurance etc, but nobody buy grands. He sold a few uprights, and he has a really rough time, considering that. I personally cover a large area in 3 states, and I have only 4 or 5 tunings a week. The situation is very serious here. I think that it is a great pity to have good tuners and techs moving to less demanding professions, because it takes years of devoted work to learn the job, and also many years to build the network of clients. I would not like to quit doing this wonderful job ever. Hope that the crisis will pass. My greetings to the tuners in USA and all over the world.


Bojan Babic
piano technician and tuner
Sid, Vojvodina, Serbia
_____________________________
bojanbabic@yahoo.com
www.klaviri.blogspot.com
#1424349 - 04/26/10 07:06 AM Re: Lost another one [Re: Bojan Babic]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,731
UnrightTooner Offline
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UnrightTooner  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,731
Bradford County, PA
Frycek:

Is your tuner willing to tune part time? That is what I do inn this very rural area.

Bill:

It is easy to balance any government budget without raising tax rates and without reducing the amount spent on services. Just turn on the inflation machine. The real dollars that are spent are reduced, the interest on bonds generally remains the same, and everyone is pushed into higher tax brackets.

All:

I don’t think it is fair to compare how the economy was just a few years ago with how it is now. We were living on a bubble then and in reality now.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1424363 - 04/26/10 07:34 AM Re: Lost another one [Re: UnrightTooner]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,921
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member
-Frycek  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,921
SC Mountains
Oh, he said he'd come tune for me and I imagine he'll still get some tunings from other old customers. It's just very sad. He loves pianos. He even loves my old square. His father managed to raise a family tuning.


Slow down and do it right.
[Linked Image]
#1424389 - 04/26/10 08:49 AM Re: Lost another one [Re: UnrightTooner]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,539
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
David Jenson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,539
Maine
"I don’t think it is fair to compare how the economy was just a few years ago with how it is now. We were living on a bubble then and in reality now." Jeff

'Likely not fair, but it's hard to avoid the temptation. I realized several years ago that Americans seemed to be living well beyond their means.

Reality makes a loud sucking sound that makes aural tuning difficult!


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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