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How to sell a piano?
#2441187 07/13/15 07:42 PM
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Hi,

I'm planning on selling my Yamaha T118 PE.....it's 7ish years old.

I figured that a used piano is worth less than a new one, however....if anything my piano (which has been played a decent amount) sounds better than it did when I got it. Is this a 'thing'? Can it be good for the piano to have been played? Will it help raise the value?

Secondly, what would you say the value of such a piano is?

And lastly, what would you say is the best way to go about selling it? Should I call the dealer from which it was purchased and see if they will buy it back? Does the buyer usually pay for shipping?

Last edited by Rodriguez111; 07/13/15 07:51 PM.
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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441227 07/13/15 10:19 PM
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Welcome to Piano World.

Every area is different. You can start by getting the word out to local teachers, technicians, and it wouldn't hurt to call local dealers.

Having a tech tune and check over the piano will make the piano more attractive to potential buyers.

Why are you selling? T118 are decent pianos. Are you upgrading?


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: How to sell a piano?
Dave B #2441296 07/14/15 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave B
Welcome to Piano World.

Every area is different. You can start by getting the word out to local teachers, technicians, and it wouldn't hurt to call local dealers.

Having a tech tune and check over the piano will make the piano more attractive to potential buyers.

Why are you selling? T118 are decent pianos. Are you upgrading?


Thanks for the advice, I was planning on calling the dealer it was purchased from, if they offered a decent price I would probably just take that.

It is a decent piano and I'm an avid and dedicated pianist when I have a piano available, but right now, unfortunately, I need money and a few thousand dollars would really go a long way.

Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441298 07/14/15 07:49 AM
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To your questions:

1. Is it good? Yes.
2. Raise value? Absolutely not.
3. It would be much easier to answer if you indicate your location, as this is a global forum.

Last edited by terminaldegree; 07/14/15 09:01 AM.

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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441300 07/14/15 08:03 AM
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It probably wouldn't hurt to call the dealer you purchased the piano from and inquire about what they might offer you for it.... but be prepared for reverse-sticker shock. Dealers are used to paying wholesale or below, and sometimes way below.

You could Google your make and model for sale and see what others are asking for their piano. That would give you a rough idea of real street value.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: How to sell a piano?
terminaldegree #2441332 07/14/15 10:28 AM
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From what I've read online, people estimate the value of T118 as low as 2,000 to well over 4,000. I'm not sure what people are selling it for privately, though, and I don't know if the prices indicated are wholesale prices or suggestions for retailers.

Some people complain about it being made in China and being inferior to other Yamaha models......I would say that it can produce a vibrant sound with the right touch but the rebound action isn't good enough for certain repertoire.

Originally Posted by terminaldegree

3. It would be much easier to answer if you indicate your location, as this is a global forum.


Thanks for the reply, the piano is in the Philadelphia area, and it was purchased at Jacobs Music in Center City.

Last edited by Rodriguez111; 07/14/15 10:30 AM.
Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441335 07/14/15 10:50 AM
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It's an okay piano given what else was coming out of china at the same time. It's entry level and given decent regulation it'll do fine for any student up to strong intermediate. New, they went out the door in the high 3's and low fours. The replacement B series seems to be selling in the mid to high 4's. I think expecting 4k for this piano is not reasonable. A dealer would probably (I shopped a lot in this price range) look for around 3k for this piano with his warranty and delivery. As such he might offer you 1.5. On craigs list, you might ask 2999 but be prepared to go down to 2.7 or 2.5 (all USD). At 2k it should move quickly indeed. Heck you might even start at 3500 is you want to wait for the right buyer, seven years is still young in piano years and it is Yamaha branded but at that point, if it was me, I'd make the jump to new chinese with its warranty, delivery and 1st tuning.

Yep, pianos play in and settle into their voices over a period of months but after 7 years of "decent" use it's just crossed over into wear and tear and this piano is probably due for some maintenance above and beyond a tuning.

Kurt


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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441373 07/14/15 12:52 PM
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I want to expand on the dealer's perspective.

Let's assume that the "private market value" is about $3000.That is, the price an informed buyer pays an informed seller on the open market (craigslist, eBay, etc.)

A dealer cannot sell it at much more than the private market price, let's say $4000. They have the expense of picking the piano up ($200-$500), tuning, regulating and possibly doing a little touch-up ($200-$400), in-home tuning for a potential buyer and say a 5-year store warranty (~$250 on average). Delivery not included. Total acquisition cost of about $850.

A dealer needs to make a margin commensurate with the margin they would make on an in-stock instrument. Dealers average about 40% profit margin on new and 50% on used pianos. Even at the 40% margin a piano that sells for $4000 would have a dealer landed cost at $2500. Subtracting the $850 would have them able to pay no more than $1650.

While "those in the know" realize that the T-118 was a decent piano, it was an earlier Chinese-made piano that was discontinued after a relatively short production run. This make for a harder sale.

Your best bet to get the most for your piano is to sell it directly to a purchaser and realize close to $3000. This involves efforts on your part such as tuning it, placing in on craigslist, avoiding scams, having strangers come to your home, getting paid, etc. If that is worth the ~$1500 more that you would be paid, then that is the way you should go. I would.

However, if you value the ease of selling immediately and without hassle, then go with the dealer scenario.


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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441407 07/14/15 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodriguez111
I'm planning on selling my Yamaha T118 PE.....it's 7ish years old.

I figured that a used piano is worth less than a new one, however....if anything my piano (which has been played a decent amount) sounds better than it did when I got it.


Rogriguez,

It's interesting to hear that your T-118 has improved with play. The new ones I tried after they were introduced seemed to lack the typical Yamaha punchy attack and vitality. To be honest, a couple sounded like their output was coming from another room.

If your T is good enough that you would consider buying the same model used when your finances are in better shape, my advice is to find another way (if possible) to raise some cash. As Steve's post makes brutally clear, every time you sell a piano and later replace it, you risk losing a lot of money.

If your only choice is to sell, here are some positives in your favor.....

The piano is a late model Yamaha and it plays and sounds good. That inspires buyer confidence. Most of the used Yamaha verticals for sale will be much older.

Most buyers drawn to Yamaha pianos do not discriminate much among the various models. Your model looks very much like a U series.

Although T-118 was discontinued after a brief run in the US, that does not mean it was a bad piano. It just didn't fulfill the sales expectations of Yamaha USA, and they decided to try something else.

Some selling suggestions.....

EBay shoppers are usually looking for something for nothing.

Craigslist offers the most exposure and it's free. But shoppers using Craigslist like as much truthful information as possible in a listing. They don't want to be surprised when they make the effort to go and see your piano.

A good Craigslist listing has excellent photos of the inside and outside of the piano.

An original bill of sale with the price you paid is a big positive. It also proves you're the original owner.

Many buyers appreciate both the date of sale and the born date when the piano was manufactured. You can get the born date by using Yamaha's piano age chart. You were an early adopter of the model, so there shouldn't be a big time difference between manufacture and sale.

A printout of the T-118 page from the Yamaha product archive would be handy to show shoppers with questions. I'd recommend printing it out, and also reading it yourself.

If you have colleges or community colleges in your area, find the bulletin boards that permit sellers to put ads for their wares and post a flyer with all the information you put into your Craigslist ad. Usually you can just print your Craigslist listing from a computer and trim off the Craigslist header adding your contact information. .





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Re: How to sell a piano?
Steve Cohen #2441416 07/14/15 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
I want to expand on the dealer's perspective.

Let's assume that the "private market value" is about $3000.That is, the price an informed buyer pays an informed seller on the open market (craigslist, eBay, etc.)

A dealer cannot sell it at much more than the private market price, let's say $4000. They have the expense of picking the piano up ($200-$500), tuning, regulating and possibly doing a little touch-up ($200-$400), in-home tuning for a potential buyer and say a 5-year store warranty (~$250 on average). Delivery not included. Total acquisition cost of about $850.

A dealer needs to make a margin commensurate with the margin they would make on an in-stock instrument. Dealers average about 40% profit margin on new and 50% on used pianos. Even at the 40% margin a piano that sells for $4000 would have a dealer landed cost at $2500. Subtracting the $850 would have them able to pay no more than $1650.

While "those in the know" realize that the T-118 was a decent piano, it was an earlier Chinese-made piano that was discontinued after a relatively short production run. This make for a harder sale.

Your best bet to get the most for your piano is to sell it directly to a purchaser and realize close to $3000. This involves efforts on your part such as tuning it, placing in on craigslist, avoiding scams, having strangers come to your home, getting paid, etc. If that is worth the ~$1500 more that you would be paid, then that is the way you should go. I would.

However, if you value the ease of selling immediately and without hassle, then go with the dealer scenario.
Thanks for sharing the information. It's good to hear from the dealer's perspective.


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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441464 07/14/15 09:30 PM
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Welcome to PianoWorld.

A piano, may possibly sound better after a few years of regular tuning, voicing etc. Maybe you have changed the acoustic environment in its favour, so it sounds better, or you've become accustomed to the sound.

But - trying to convince someone about that on the other end of an advertisement - is another thing.

7 years of playing "a decent amount" won't help its value, even though it's got decades of life left in it. Near new pianos compete with the "its not much more and I can get a new one" thought.

Something to consider - you'll undoubtedly make a loss on your original purchase price in selling it. When you go to buy a new one again - there is a good chance that prices may have increased, and you would be up for considerably more to replace it.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: How to sell a piano?
musicpassion #2441466 07/14/15 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by musicpassion
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
I want to expand on the dealer's perspective.

Let's assume that the "private market value" is about $3000.That is, the price an informed buyer pays an informed seller on the open market (craigslist, eBay, etc.)

A dealer cannot sell it at much more than the private market price, let's say $4000. They have the expense of picking the piano up ($200-$500), tuning, regulating and possibly doing a little touch-up ($200-$400), in-home tuning for a potential buyer and say a 5-year store warranty (~$250 on average). Delivery not included. Total acquisition cost of about $850.

A dealer needs to make a margin commensurate with the margin they would make on an in-stock instrument. Dealers average about 40% profit margin on new and 50% on used pianos. Even at the 40% margin a piano that sells for $4000 would have a dealer landed cost at $2500. Subtracting the $850 would have them able to pay no more than $1650.

While "those in the know" realize that the T-118 was a decent piano, it was an earlier Chinese-made piano that was discontinued after a relatively short production run. This make for a harder sale.

Your best bet to get the most for your piano is to sell it directly to a purchaser and realize close to $3000. This involves efforts on your part such as tuning it, placing in on craigslist, avoiding scams, having strangers come to your home, getting paid, etc. If that is worth the ~$1500 more that you would be paid, then that is the way you should go. I would.

However, if you value the ease of selling immediately and without hassle, then go with the dealer scenario.
Thanks for sharing the information. It's good to hear from the dealer's perspective.


Our authority said the same thing I said. The dealer is going to offer about half of what he expects to be able to sell it for, a little more than a private sale.

It's no news flash that a dealer has costs involved with turning a piano.

Kurt



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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441560 07/15/15 09:11 AM
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Thanks so much for all of your advice. Unfortunately I really need money so I will probably have to sell it one way or another regardless, but this really helped a lot.

Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2441599 07/15/15 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodriguez111
Unfortunately I really need money so I will probably have to sell it one way or another regardless


Not that it's any consolation, but I've been there myself.

If worse comes to worst, don't limit your inquiries to the place you bought the piano. Dealers of all brands, shapes, and sizes like late-model Yamaha verticals for business, even if they don't personally care for them.


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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2442169 07/17/15 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodriguez111
Thanks so much for all of your advice. Unfortunately I really need money so I will probably have to sell it one way or another regardless, but this really helped a lot.


If you need the money FAST, then be prepared (as Steve Cohen notes) to sell it back to the dealer for roughly half of what you might be able to get through a private sale. If you can wait, you might possibly claim a bit of the dealer's margin. That possibility is heightened if you can tap some networks in the area. If you know someone at a music school, for instance, they may be able to help you advertise your piano to students and their families.

Re: How to sell a piano?
Piano*Dad #2442241 07/17/15 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Originally Posted by Rodriguez111
Thanks so much for all of your advice. Unfortunately I really need money so I will probably have to sell it one way or another regardless, but this really helped a lot.


If you need the money FAST, then be prepared (as Steve Cohen notes) to sell it back to the dealer for roughly half of what you might be able to get through a private sale. If you can wait, you might possibly claim a bit of the dealer's margin. That possibility is heightened if you can tap some networks in the area. If you know someone at a music school, for instance, they may be able to help you advertise your piano to students and their families.


I put it on Craig's list for $2700, I just don't know anyone in Philadelphia, unfortunately.

Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2443907 07/23/15 11:34 AM
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Hey again,

I put an ad on craigslist and now have people interested in my piano. If it does sell, what is a good way to go about shipping? Does the buyer usually pay for it? If I have to pay for it, can anyone give me recommendations of how to go about finding the best piano mover? How much does it usually cost to move a piano like this one within your own regional area?

Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2443910 07/23/15 11:48 AM
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Buyer usually pays moving expenses, unless the seller agrees to pay (which is usually stated in the ad). On occasion, the buyer and seller will agree to split the moving cost as part of the deal.

Local move for an upright piano in my area is about $200 to $250.

Good luck.

Rick


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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2443934 07/23/15 01:10 PM
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It is best to have the buyer take care of the moving expenses and arrangements entirely. Then, if something goes wrong or gets damaged, your liability is (theoretically) zero.


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Re: How to sell a piano?
Rodriguez111 #2448009 08/05/15 07:02 PM
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Well, after getting impatient with Craig's list, I lowered the price from $2700-$2100. Then I contacted Jacob's Music in Center City Philadelphia just to ask if they do indeed buy back pianos.

He said NO, they do not unless you are interested in purchasing another piano. He was also rather abrupt in terms of mannerism, but I called at the end of the day and guess the information he gave me would have been the same either way.

I'm really disappointed because that was my 'safety' plan. Now I'm stuck hoping someone will buy it on Craig's list.

Is the price I now have it at enticing for buyers? It's a semi-urgent financial concern so I'm looking for a way to sell it fast for around the $2000 range.

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