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What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? #2747665
06/28/18 12:03 AM
06/28/18 12:03 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 19
Ottawa, Canada’s capital
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Soojin Offline OP
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Soojin  Offline OP
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Ottawa, Canada’s capital
What is the usual pay arrangement for a piano technician as they help one to look for a piano to purchase? That means expert advice on a number trips (in town, in my case)... My piano tuner offers it as a free service - is this normal? What’s the protocol (in Canada)? Thank you.

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Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747672
06/28/18 12:28 AM
06/28/18 12:28 AM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
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What you should determine is whose interests the technician is representing. Does the technician sell pianos? (I do). Does the tech work for piano dealer(s)? Do they expect you to hire them to perform any work on the piano you buy?


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747722
06/28/18 06:23 AM
06/28/18 06:23 AM
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Ed brings up valid points. Generally, an independent piano technician will charge for their time in examining potential purchases on your behalf.

If they are doing this for free, they still have to eat. What is their expectation? Will they be doing technical work to whatever you find? Will they be moving and tuning the piano for you? Or, as Ed already asked, are they perhaps being paid by a dealer already?


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
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Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747736
06/28/18 07:47 AM
06/28/18 07:47 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,371
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Ed and Rich always give great, professional advice.

If I understand your thread comments correctly, you are asking what technicians usually charge to help a client find a good used piano for sale? It seems to me that would be more of a brokerage or finder's service. Finding a good used piano being offered for sale and physically inspecting/evaluating it would be two different things for which a piano tech would charge for.

Your tech may not charge you just to help located a piano being offered for sale. I would call this a courtesy service being offered by your tech, perhaps in anticipation that you would hire them to inspect, tune and service the piano.

Currently, I'm not in the market for another piano, but it was a lot of fun finding my own prospects... smile

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2747740
06/28/18 08:06 AM
06/28/18 08:06 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 19
Ottawa, Canada’s capital
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Soojin Offline OP
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Joined: May 2018
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Ottawa, Canada’s capital
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
What you should determine is whose interests the technician is representing. Does the technician sell pianos? (I do). Does the tech work for piano dealer(s)? Do they expect you to hire them to perform any work on the piano you buy?


These are excellent questions, thank you. Mine sells piano, but he is a small independent rebuilder who does not have a suitable piano for me at the moment (if he was hopeful for me to buy one of his, he was very professional and didn’t push one direction to another).

I don’t think that he works for another dealer.

I expect to hire him to work for any piano I’d buy. I’m unsure that that prospect is enough to get free expertise. Thank you.

Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Rickster] #2747741
06/28/18 08:15 AM
06/28/18 08:15 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 19
Ottawa, Canada’s capital
S
Soojin Offline OP
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Soojin  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2018
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Ottawa, Canada’s capital
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Ed brings up valid points. Generally, an independent piano technician will charge for their time in examining potential purchases on your behalf.

If they are doing this for free, they still have to eat. What is their expectation? Will they be doing technical work to whatever you find? Will they be moving and tuning the piano for you? Or, as Ed already asked, are they perhaps being paid by a dealer already?


Thanks for confirming that they usually charge for evaluation / assessment. I don’t think he’s paid by a dealer and I do think he takes pleasure in matching people to the right piano. Maybe i should mention that he’s an eclectic septuagenarian. I like him very much and don’t want to abuse of his passion and generosity. Will insist on paying him at next trip. Thank you.

Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Rickster] #2747745
06/28/18 08:28 AM
06/28/18 08:28 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 19
Ottawa, Canada’s capital
S
Soojin Offline OP
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Ottawa, Canada’s capital
Originally Posted by Rickster
Ed and Rich always give great, professional advice.

If I understand your thread comments correctly, you are asking what technicians usually charge to help a client find a good used piano for sale? It seems to me that would be more of a brokerage or finder's service. Finding a good used piano being offered for sale and physically inspecting/evaluating it would be two different things for which a piano tech would charge for.

Your tech may not charge you just to help located a piano being offered for sale. I would call this a courtesy service being offered by your tech, perhaps in anticipation that you would hire them to inspect, tune and service the piano.

Currently, I'm not in the market for another piano, but it was a lot of fun finding my own prospects... smile

Good luck!

Rick


Thanks for the fine distinction. I was thinking of piano assessment, not locating.

It’s both daunting and exciting to be looking for a forever piano. I must have played close to 100 different pianos in my life. My focus until now has been to produce the most beautiful music on whatever piano and acoustics given to me. That sure helped train my ears (and fingers, heart and soul), but I’m finding that it’s quite different when I’m looking for “the one” at a significant price for myself! I’m definitely more interested in the mechanisms that lie behind the music stand and, for the first time, attentive to what sound and action speak to me. It’s wonderful to be able to choose. I’m thoroughly enjoying the journey and this forum has been invaluable. Thank you.

Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747766
06/28/18 09:58 AM
06/28/18 09:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,371
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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I would say the average piano tech inspection fee in my local area is somewhere between $75 and $100. It may be more (or less) in other locales. However, I'm sure it would also depend on the location/distance, and how far the tech would have to travel.

If your technician has agreed to do an inspection for you for free, that is a great deal, considering, as others have mentioned, there is no conflict of interest involved.

Good luck, and keep us informed of your selection!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747774
06/28/18 10:31 AM
06/28/18 10:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,166
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Online content
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Joined: Dec 2012
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I rarely have any vertical pianos for sale for the reason that the extent of work I put into my rebuilt pianos means the resultant sales price would be what most seekers of verticals wouldn't pay. So I too often help for free people who come to me well recommended in search of a quality vertical. I will scan CL and send them likely prospects. My hope is that someday they will want a grand and I will be their first choice.

I do offer a custom high-performance upright action of my own invention that an occasional pianist with limited room space purchases.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747785
06/28/18 11:11 AM
06/28/18 11:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,821
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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San Jose, CA
"...I’m definitely more interested in the mechanisms that lie behind the music stand and, for the first time, attentive to what sound and action speak to me...."

It used to be possible, and it may still be, to buy a piano whose case is made from Lucite. A special-order item, for a special taste. I think most people see as much as they care to by removing the music desk from the piano, so the action can be observed. But the best aspect of this is that the sound becomes very direct and fresh. I don't believe a Lucite case offers anything special in this regard.

As for your very accommodating piano guy. Why don't you have this conversation with him? I would imagine that he must have some idea of a minimum of income, below which his business would have to shutter the empty display windows. It seems that you do not feel entirely comfortable accepting his time and knowledge for free, probably anticipating what level of obligation to him you are incurring... possibly your idea of the top dollar for a piano purchase is much lower than his idea.

I wouldn't know which horse to bet on, in that race. But good luck to you anyway, and go ahead and step up to the parimutuel window--- somebody's got to win.


Clef

Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747799
06/28/18 12:30 PM
06/28/18 12:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,341
Seattle Area
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Markarian Offline
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Seattle Area
When I flew to Texas to evaluate a group of used pianos in basically one location the tech I hired (who had to drive about 90 mins each way) agreed on a flat fee for his day's advisory services. My local tech did not charge me for several phone consultations, knowing he would be the one regulating, voicing, and tuning the instrument once it arrived.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2747885
06/28/18 06:11 PM
06/28/18 06:11 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
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Wisconsin, USA
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Lakeviewsteve Offline
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Wisconsin, USA
Ask you're technician. If you can't trust what they tell you then you have the wrong tech.

Steve


Bösendorfer 170
Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2748057
06/29/18 12:12 PM
06/29/18 12:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,626
Philadelphia area
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Dave B Offline
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Philadelphia area
Markarian, I agree it is best to include your tech in the decision process. Your tech already has an understanding of your needs and can communicate these more directly with an out of town tech.


"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: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2748060
06/29/18 12:23 PM
06/29/18 12:23 PM
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Oakland
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The appropriate fee is what the tech asks for, but you can offer more.


Semipro Tech
Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2748089
06/29/18 02:35 PM
06/29/18 02:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,157
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Online content
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New Hampshire
If you figure that most of us pros normally charge between $50 and $125 per hour (depending on location and certain other factors), once you have acquired the piano of your dreams, just do some mental math and hand him a wad that represents your appreciation for how he has treated you.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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Re: What’s the appropriate fee arrangements with technicians? [Re: Soojin] #2850174
05/19/19 10:32 PM
05/19/19 10:32 PM
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Posts: 19
Ottawa, Canada’s capital
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Soojin Offline OP
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Thank you very much for your replis. I was just getting to know him at the time but we are now trusting partners. His rate is $90 per visit in the same town, which seems to be in line with what some of you offered. He’s a great partner on this joint venture to find me a fine piano. Thank you all.


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