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Used Steinway Piano Pricing #2812833
02/09/19 07:52 PM
02/09/19 07:52 PM
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New York, NY
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steinwayman18 Offline OP
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I know we have had discussion on here before about the Steinway "off the lot" drop and prices of Used Steinway Pianos. This article delved more into it:

https://nypost.com/2019/02/09/steinway-piano-customers-claim-they-were-duped-into-investment/

The full story is here:

https://thehatchinstitute.org/all-stories/2019/2/9/angry-customers-say-steinway-deceived-them


Ronen

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Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812840
02/09/19 08:16 PM
02/09/19 08:16 PM
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New York City
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1. Since you sell used Steinways and are a direct competitor for dealers that sell new Steinways I think your posting this article is inappropriate.

2. Although the general premise of the article is true, I think the very first sentence claiming the value of a Steinway plunges by more than 50% as soon as the piano leaves the showroom is a gross exaggeration.

Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812843
02/09/19 08:18 PM
02/09/19 08:18 PM
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The article seems to highlight unfortunate buyers who were hoping to sell used pianos to dealers within a few months or a year of purchase. When you do that you are competing with the wholesale price of new, warranteed pianos dealers can purchase for their showrooms. I think the "shocking" figures in the article give some insight into those wholesale prices. Generally, one can sell a used piano (or car) for a great deal more privately directly to another consumer than to a dealer.

Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: pianoloverus] #2812847
02/09/19 08:27 PM
02/09/19 08:27 PM
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steinwayman18 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
1. Since you sell used Steinways and are a direct competitor for dealers that sell new Steinways I think your posting this article is inappropriate.

2. Although the general premise of the article is true, I think the very first sentence claiming the value of a Steinway plunges by more than 50% as soon as the piano leaves the showroom is a gross exaggeration.


Thanks for your note. If you look at the Hatch Institute study you will see examples of the numbers, and how they play out, with real life people, including the piano expert Larry Fine.

Last edited by steinwayman18; 02/09/19 08:31 PM. Reason: typo

Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

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Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812853
02/09/19 08:46 PM
02/09/19 08:46 PM
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Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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I notice that the first article cited does not list an author, and uses language that my appropriation-conscious academic mind finds suspicious.

I would like to link what we have to say about this in the Piano Buyer, instead of a 3rd party reinterpretation:

https://www.pianobuyer.com/Articles/Detail/ArticleId/261/How-Much-Is-It-Worth

To be clear, I'm not buying (nor have I ever) the "grows in investment value" argument from any manufacturer, particularly not in the short to medium term. Long-term, the argument becomes arbitrary when you factor in everything else. However, it has not been my experience that they're magically worth 50% of what I could buy one for, new (after doing a little negotiating), the second they drive off the lot...


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Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: terminaldegree] #2812855
02/09/19 08:49 PM
02/09/19 08:49 PM
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steinwayman18 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
I notice that the first article cited does not list an author, and uses language that my appropriation-conscious academic mind finds suspicious.

I would like to link what we have to say about this in the Piano Buyer, instead of a 3rd party reinterpretation:
.


It's not a 3rd party reinterpretation. Read the Hatch study. It's Larry Fine's own words.

Last edited by steinwayman18; 02/09/19 08:49 PM.

Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

https://www.steinwaygrand.com
Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812856
02/09/19 08:49 PM
02/09/19 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Thanks for your note. If you look at the Hatch Institute study you will see examples of the numbers, and how they play out, with real life people, including the piano expert Larry Fine.
But the depreciation schedule in Fine's piano Buyer for Steinways does not give results anywhere near the 50% drop as soon as it leaves the store. Fine does say that the idea of Steinway or any piano being a good investment is false but that is not the same as saying the value immediately drops by 50%. The Hatch study article quotes a few examples but some are when the buyer tries to sell the piano to a dealer and not sell it privately.

Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812864
02/09/19 09:03 PM
02/09/19 09:03 PM
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Posts: 5,023
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Originally Posted by steinwayman18

It's not a 3rd party reinterpretation. Read the Hatch study. It's Larry Fine's own words.


"Perhaps no buyer got a worse result than Kilrea. 'I’ve never heard of anything like that,' said Fine, when told of the details."

That pull quote seems to suggest the outcome of one of the owners, while unfortunate, is unusual.
I read the Hatch "study".
Read the Piano Buyer.


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Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: terminaldegree] #2812865
02/09/19 09:06 PM
02/09/19 09:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 73
New York, NY
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steinwayman18 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by steinwayman18

It's not a 3rd party reinterpretation. Read the Hatch study. It's Larry Fine's own words.


"Perhaps no buyer got a worse result than Kilrea. 'I’ve never heard of anything like that,' said Fine, when told of the details."

That pull quote seems to suggest the outcome of one of the owners, while unfortunate, is unusual.
I read the Hatch "study".
Read the Piano Buyer.

That one was unusual because she never even took possession of the piano! Crazy story.


Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

https://www.steinwaygrand.com
Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812869
02/09/19 09:32 PM
02/09/19 09:32 PM
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Posts: 69
Boston, MA
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Just a note about my role in this article: I was interviewed for the article, and the journalist related to me several of the stories he cites in the article, to get my reaction. I told him that while Steinways, and all other pianos, drop in value immediately after purchase, I thought that the 50% figure was not typical, and warned him against using that figure as the basis for his story. I pointed him to my own depreciation schedule, which suggests 25%, though I did admit that lately it has become a buyer's market and that a little more than 25% might have become the rule ... but not 50%. I also said that because the value of a used piano is pegged to that of a new one, and because Steinway raises its prices by more than the rate of inflation each year, that over a long period of time, its value would ultimately be higher than the amount paid. But it could take decades, and if your goal is to make money, buying Steinways, or any other pianos, is not a good way. If your goal is to have a great piano to play for a lifetime, and one that depreciates less than most other consumer items you could buy, that's a different story.

Larry Fine


Publisher and Editor, Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer
and Author, The Piano Book
Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812871
02/09/19 09:36 PM
02/09/19 09:36 PM
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New York City
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I checked some of the prices on your website and they certainly don't fit the 50% drop as soon as the piano leaves the showroom idea. For one example, the 2010 ebony Steinway B priced at 67.5K. That's an 8 or 9 year old piano selling for about 84% of the 2010 price of about 80K.

Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: pianoloverus] #2812873
02/09/19 09:45 PM
02/09/19 09:45 PM
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New York, NY
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steinwayman18 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I checked some of the prices on your website and they certainly don't fit the 50% drop as soon as the piano leaves the showroom idea. For one example, the 2010 ebony Steinway B priced at 67.5K. That's an 8 or 9 year old piano selling for about 84% of the 2010 price of about 80K.


You make a very good point, as does "pianoloverus" above. Usually when people sell their Steinway piano, they end up doing so through a third party. Online asking prices do not equal closing prices, and the asking prices are sometimes reflective of the customer's "asking price", if the piano is sold on consignment. It's definitely true that selling directly will yield a slightly higher price, because any third party that is involved in the sale (or warrant, service, and move the piano to the next customer) will need to take a reasonable fee for their service.


Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

https://www.steinwaygrand.com
Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812879
02/09/19 09:56 PM
02/09/19 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I checked some of the prices on your website and they certainly don't fit the 50% drop as soon as the piano leaves the showroom idea. For one example, the 2010 ebony Steinway B priced at 67.5K. That's an 8 or 9 year old piano selling for about 84% of the 2010 price of about 80K.


You make a very good point, as does "pianoloverus" above. Usually when people sell their Steinway piano, they end up doing so through a third party. Online asking prices do not equal closing prices, and the asking prices are sometimes reflective of the customer's "asking price", if the piano is sold on consignment. It's definitely true that selling directly will yield a slightly higher price, because any third party that is involved in the sale (or warrant, service, and move the piano to the next customer) will need to take a reasonable fee for their service.
None of that comes anywhere near to closing the gap between a supposed 50% immediate drop vs. an asking price that calculates to 16% drop over nine years.

Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: pianoloverus] #2812881
02/09/19 10:00 PM
02/09/19 10:00 PM
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New York, NY
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steinwayman18 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I checked some of the prices on your website and they certainly don't fit the 50% drop as soon as the piano leaves the showroom idea. For one example, the 2010 ebony Steinway B priced at 67.5K. That's an 8 or 9 year old piano selling for about 84% of the 2010 price of about 80K.


You make a very good point, as does "pianoloverus" above. Usually when people sell their Steinway piano, they end up doing so through a third party. Online asking prices do not equal closing prices, and the asking prices are sometimes reflective of the customer's "asking price", if the piano is sold on consignment. It's definitely true that selling directly will yield a slightly higher price, because any third party that is involved in the sale (or warrant, service, and move the piano to the next customer) will need to take a reasonable fee for their service.
None of that comes anywhere near to closing the gap between a supposed 50% immediate drop vs. an asking price that calculates to 16% drop over nine years.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[quote=steinwayman18][quote=pianoloverus]I checked some of the prices on your website and they certainly don't fit the 50% drop as soon as the piano leaves the showroom idea. For one example, the 2010 ebony Steinway B priced at 67.5K. That's an 8 or 9 year old piano selling for about 84% of the 2010 price of about 80K.

I'm just curious what you think the drop is. 2019 Steinway retail price is 76.6 for an Ebony M and 85.8 for an Ebony O. Add to that tax plus any other applicable expenses.... If you needed to sell the piano next year, or in 5-10 years, what do you think you could reasonably expect to get for it?

Last edited by steinwayman18; 02/09/19 10:01 PM.

Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

https://www.steinwaygrand.com
Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: Larry Fine] #2812891
02/09/19 10:20 PM
02/09/19 10:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by Larry Fine
Just a note about my role in this article: I was interviewed for the article, and the journalist related to me several of the stories he cites in the article, to get my reaction. I told him that while Steinways, and all other pianos, drop in value immediately after purchase, I thought that the 50% figure was not typical, and warned him against using that figure as the basis for his story. I pointed him to my own depreciation schedule, which suggests 25%, though I did admit that lately it has become a buyer's market and that a little more than 25% might have become the rule ... but not 50%. I also said that because the value of a used piano is pegged to that of a new one, and because Steinway raises its prices by more than the rate of inflation each year, that over a long period of time, its value would ultimately be higher than the amount paid. But it could take decades, and if your goal is to make money, buying Steinways, or any other pianos, is not a good way. If your goal is to have a great piano to play for a lifetime, and one that depreciates less than most other consumer items you could buy, that's a different story.

Larry Fine


Straight from Larry Fine himself. This puts it in much better perspective.


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Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812898
02/09/19 10:46 PM
02/09/19 10:46 PM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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The Steinway piano that holds it's value best comes when you buy a top quality rebuilt one. Owners can often sell these for a higher percentage of the retail price they paid anytime after purchase. They do not need to wait for the "appreciation" driven by rising retail prices for new Steinways. It is already used, so it remains used, so no added depreciation.

The caveat is it must sound and play really well. If not, it falls to core value.


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Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812911
02/09/19 11:12 PM
02/09/19 11:12 PM
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Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812940
02/10/19 12:43 AM
02/10/19 12:43 AM
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The article seems exaggerated but does not seem completely surprising

If you sell your recent model piano through a dealer on consignment (~30% fee), it’s easy to imagine a 50% loss on your purchase price very quickly.

Obviously different if you sell direct private party, but one may be trying to sell for a very long time. Also, the theoretical depreciation is one thing. Practically though, how many regular consumers do $50K+ private transactions for pianos with cash on hand?

Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: steinwayman18] #2812944
02/10/19 01:00 AM
02/10/19 01:00 AM
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Even a 70/30 split consignment deal might be rare.

Wholesale value is probably 50% current market value.

A private buyer may be difficult to find, pretty much guaranteeing the huge depreciation.

Re: Used Steinway Piano Pricing [Re: spk] #2813079
02/10/19 12:30 PM
02/10/19 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by spk
A private buyer may be difficult to find, pretty much guaranteeing the huge depreciation.


This is not always the case. I've been able to sell my pianos extremely quickly and for exactly the prices I've asked. Tools like PianoMart/Piano Buyer classifieds and this forum make it even easier to do. In my experience, the key has been to buy what you have at a good price in the first place (minimizing depreciation), protect and maintain the instrument at a high level, and then appropriately price it for resale, given a reasonable understanding of market pricing and depreciation. Many private sellers are unreasonable about their asking prices (thinking their piano didn't depreciate at all), or don't want to go through the hassle of advertising/selling and opt to trade or consign...losing a lot of the equity in the piano they bought.

For certain mid and high-end pianos, there's definitely a group of buyers looking for recently made used and well-rebuilt pianos, willing to go through the trouble of handling the purchase themselves when the right one comes along.


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