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Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
#2891924 09/19/19 06:12 AM
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Ok, I would like your input on this. If you are looking at brand new acoustic pianos at full price but what if you can get the same piano cheaper that's been leased by the dealer to the colleges (say used for 1 year only)? ballet schools etc?
my concerns are: 1 how do you know how long they have been used for? (will the dealer have some document to show you the lase time) 2. how often the piano gets played per day? I imagine it would be played all day long by different people isn't it?
3. how much discount would you expect for a slightly used piano compared to the brand new one from a dealer? There might even be some light scratches from the usage.
am I better off getting a brand new one or taking a risk, looking at the pianos being used for 1 year and just check the sound and the hammers and take advantage of the discount?

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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2891931 09/19/19 06:27 AM
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I’m not sure where you’re located, but you’re writing as if there are only two options, new or used institutional. What about use, non-institutional?

Are you looking at specific pianos or is this all just hypothetical?


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2891938 09/19/19 06:49 AM
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shiro
thanks, I have sales around me coming up seems tempting but unsure about its usage therefore not sure if its wise. I have no way of verifying how long the pianos have been used for and how often. so the situation is real. am either going to buy brand new or wonder if these sales are worth the risk.

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2891941 09/19/19 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by letsplayit
shiro
thanks, I have sales around me coming up seems tempting but unsure about its usage therefore not sure if its wise. I have no way of verifying how long the pianos have been used for and how often. so the situation is real. am either going to buy brand new or wonder if these sales are worth the risk.


It totally depends on the circumstances, letsplayit. If you are going to a liquidation of used pianos you must know what you are looking for, the history of the piano you are considering (how it was used and for how long - they will have it available), and what the market price of that piano is brand new.

So do your homework BEFORE going to the event.

Also, I have seen real deals offered at events like this, I have seen deals that were nothing special, and I seen deals that were rip offs. Again, do your homework before you go.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2891971 09/19/19 09:21 AM
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Letsplayit, one other thing re these kinds of sales: sometimes, they present the sales as a super limited time offer and they may use a lot of pressure to say that you have to purchase on the spot. I personally dislike that immensely.

The other thing, besides the pressure sales tactic, that I didn't like about the most recent institutional piano sale that was happening near me was the lack of information. It was a sale coordinated between a large university and a piano dealership, the first 3 days (IIRC) of the sale were by appointment only, and the last day would be open. So, first of all, if someone went at the beginning of the sale and saw the pianos first, that person would have first pick, and knowing that there were other people with appointments scheduled after you would be a lot of pressure to commit to a purchase right away.

Second, when I contacted them to make an appointment, they couldn't (or wouldn't) give me any useful information about what pianos would be available. They told me the names of brands they would have, but wouldn't tell me the models/sizes of the grands, no information about the age of the pianos, serial numbers etc. Ultimately I decided not to even go, besides the fact that it was a 2+ hour drive one way, I knew I wouldn't want to make a decision on the spot, and I didn't want to buy a piano that I could only test out once (in one sitting).

So, back to your situation, Letsplayit -- because at this point, I'm just complaining about my experience! whome

Here is my advice to you:
1) Before you go to the sale, get as much info as you can about the pianos available in the institutional sale. At the very least, brands, models and sizes. They probably won't want to tell you the prices they're offering.

2) then, to give you some comparison points, go to PianoMart.com and find some similar pianos (hopefully same brand and model) and write down the price *and* the age of those pianos, so you have a comparison.

3) if you haven't already, google some YouTube videos about how to evaluate used grands (or uprights, what are you shopping for?)

4) then, while you are evaluating the pianos, be prepared to google the age of the pianos (based on serial number) so you can at least see how old they are.

5) for any piano you are interested in, ask the salesperson to pull out the action so you can visually inspect the action, the hammers etc.

Ok, I'll stop, maybe this is overkill.

So back to your original question about which option would be better, if you're looking for a good piano at a reasonable price, just in terms of cost performance, IMO the best route is to either buy a used piano (non-institutional) from a reputable piano dealer, or find a used piano from a private seller. Work with an independent tech who will evaluate the piano for you once you've narrowed it down to one or two instruments, and you don't have to worry about the risk that you're concerned with for the institutional pianos.

Either way, good luck and keep us posted!


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2891975 09/19/19 09:32 AM
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Not sure if this happens in your area, but the dealer by me has a sale once a year with the local college where they sell both new and the college's used pianos. It was held in the school auditorium and you could spend hours moving from one piano to the next trying them all out. They were all tuned before the event, so it was a nice opportunity to be able to play a lot of pianos that were in comparable condition.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2891984 09/19/19 09:57 AM
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Many of these "Event" sales, (as they are sometimes called in the piano industry), sell at prices higher than what you could buy them for in the showroom. Often very few of the pianos offered were used by the school listed as "Host". I have even seen other dealers used pianos "borrowed" for the event to broaden the inventory.

When the sales occur as College/University music schools, some shoppers actually think the schools Piano Technicians have "vetted" the pianos.

I do wonder if the Schools holding these might end up liable in a fraud case sometime. And if their status as non-profit entities could be challenged.

Remember a salesperson job is to hide the true price and create a reason for you to buy today.


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.
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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892014 09/19/19 12:12 PM
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I recently went through this thought process when buying my first piano. After churning through all of the options and all of the uncertainty surrounding the vague descriptions I decided to spend the extra couple of grand and buy new which means a 10 year warranty also.

Peace of mind is more important to me than saving some bucks.

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2892016 09/19/19 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Many of these "Event" sales, (as they are sometimes called in the piano industry), sell at prices higher than what you could buy them for in the showroom. Often very few of the pianos offered were used by the school listed as "Host". I have even seen other dealers used pianos "borrowed" for the event to broaden the inventory.

When the sales occur as College/University music schools, some shoppers actually think the schools Piano Technicians have "vetted" the pianos.

I do wonder if the Schools holding these might end up liable in a fraud case sometime. And if their status as non-profit entities could be challenged.

Remember a salesperson job is to hide the true price and create a reason for you to buy today.


I saw this in person at a University where I worked in the IT department. I used to go to the (very small) music department to practice at lunch. They had 3 grands and a few uprights. A couple of weeks before the university sale trucks started arriving with pianos. Every free space in the building was crammed with them - someone was trying to unload some excess inventory...

Sam

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
PianoWVBob #2892026 09/19/19 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
I recently went through this thought process when buying my first piano. After churning through all of the options and all of the uncertainty surrounding the vague descriptions I decided to spend the extra couple of grand and buy new which means a 10 year warranty also.

Peace of mind is more important to me than saving some bucks.


Buying new is great for those who can afford it. However, I personally would never have been able to buy this grand piano if my only option were to purchase it new -- because new, this piano is probably 3 or 4 times what I paid for it used.

I am only saying this to say, 1) buying a used piano is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, and 2) it *is* possible (and common in fact!) to buy a used piano without feeling like you're taking a huge risk. And for those who want a warranty, a reputable dealer will offer a warranty on the used pianos they sell.

With all due respect to the OP, I really don't understand why you are treating this as if used-institutional or new are your only options. A used piano that's been sitting in someone's home for 20 years or less has generally been used much, much less than a school piano, and most of the time will need minimal (if any) work beyond tuning. Even if you pay for regulation and voicing, that still gets you a great piano for much less than a new one, without the beating that school pianos get. In most markets, there are people downsizing and selling very nice pianos for very reasonable prices.

Ok, I'll stop! I'm not trying to start an argument!
used piano owners unite
whome


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2892034 09/19/19 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT


Remember a salesperson job is to hide the true price and create a reason for you to buy today.


Ouch. Right in the feels, man.


Justin Johnson
Portland Piano Company
www.portlandpianocompany.com
Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892052 09/19/19 02:46 PM
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The best deal is from a private sale when people are moving out and need to get rid of their piano.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Geusey #2892065 09/19/19 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT


Remember a salesperson job is to hide the true price and create a reason for you to buy today.


So what is your cynical view of piano restorers: to convince buyers that new piano quality is horrible and that any used piano requires restoration?

I am not in the piano business but I find this statement about salesmen from someone who is in the piano business himself unwarranted and demeaning. There are honest, skilled people in all facets.

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
ShiroKuro #2892087 09/19/19 05:26 PM
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thanks for the detailed advice. I pm's you.
😊
uote=ShiroKuro]Letsplayit, one other thing re these kinds of sales: sometimes, they present the sales as a super limited time offer and they may use a lot of pressure to say that you have to purchase on the spot. I personally dislike that immensely.

The other thing, besides the pressure sales tactic, that I didn't like about the most recent institutional piano sale that was happening near me was the lack of information. It was a sale coordinated between a large university and a piano dealership, the first 3 days (IIRC) of the sale were by appointment only, and the last day would be open. So, first of all, if someone went at the beginning of the sale and saw the pianos first, that person would have first pick, and knowing that there were other people with appointments scheduled after you would be a lot of pressure to commit to a purchase right away.

Second, when I contacted them to make an appointment, they couldn't (or wouldn't) give me any useful information about what pianos would be available. They told me the names of brands they would have, but wouldn't tell me the models/sizes of the grands, no information about the age of the pianos, serial numbers etc. Ultimately I decided not to even go, besides the fact that it was a 2+ hour drive one way, I knew I wouldn't want to make a decision on the spot, and I didn't want to buy a piano that I could only test out once (in one sitting).

So, back to your situation, Letsplayit -- because at this point, I'm just complaining about my experience! whome

Here is my advice to you:
1) Before you go to the sale, get as much info as you can about the pianos available in the institutional sale. At the very least, brands, models and sizes. They probably won't want to tell you the prices they're offering.

2) then, to give you some comparison points, go to PianoMart.com and find some similar pianos (hopefully same brand and model) and write down the price *and* the age of those pianos, so you have a comparison.

3) if you haven't already, google some YouTube videos about how to evaluate used grands (or uprights, what are you shopping for?)

4) then, while you are evaluating the pianos, be prepared to google the age of the pianos (based on serial number) so you can at least see how old they are.

5) for any piano you are interested in, ask the salesperson to pull out the action so you can visually inspect the action, the hammers etc.

Ok, I'll stop, maybe this is overkill.

So back to your original question about which option would be better, if you're looking for a good piano at a reasonable price, just in terms of cost performance, IMO the best route is to either buy a used piano (non-institutional) from a reputable piano dealer, or find a used piano from a private seller. Work with an independent tech who will evaluate the piano for you once you've narrowed it down to one or two instruments, and you don't have to worry about the risk that you're concerned with for the institutional pianos.

Either way, good luck and keep us posted![/quote]

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892089 09/19/19 05:35 PM
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Let'sPlayIt,
Do not expose yourself to uneeded pressure when buying a piano.
Stay clear of any dealer( whether new pianos ,rebuilt or used)that
cause you stress,spread rumours or try to insist on you making up
your mind too soon about an instrument.
Take your time, try the piano (and others )a number of times.
If there is a piano you really like and the sales person starts talking
negatively about a different dealer, ignor or do what I once did ,play
a loud discordant chord ?(not sure if that worked however ?)
Just focus on the piano you like and how much you want to spend.

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892093 09/19/19 05:51 PM
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I have had one sole experience with a "college" piano sale, but it was far from a pleasant one. That said, your experience may be entirely different; just be warned that this is one possible scenario.

Dozens of pianos of various makes were all assembled in one room, and while I "noodled" on some momentarily, the cacophony was such with so many others doing the same that it was impossible to make any judgment of any of the instruments I was trying.

I was pressured by a salesman to state my choice and when I said it wasn't possible to do so under the circumstances I was asked - not very politely - to leave and stop wasting time!

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
BruceD #2892105 09/19/19 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
I have had one sole experience with a "college" piano sale, but it was far from a pleasant one. That said, your experience may be entirely different; just be warned that this is one possible scenario.

Dozens of pianos of various makes were all assembled in one room, and while I "noodled" on some momentarily, the cacophony was such with so many others doing the same that it was impossible to make any judgment of any of the instruments I was trying.

I was pressured by a salesman to state my choice and when I said it wasn't possible to do so under the circumstances I was asked - not very politely - to leave and stop wasting time!

Regards,




What a rotten experience and rotten salesman!



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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
BruceD #2892136 09/19/19 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
I have had one sole experience with a "college" piano sale, but it was far from a pleasant one. That said, your experience may be entirely different; just be warned that this is one possible scenario.

Dozens of pianos of various makes were all assembled in one room, and while I "noodled" on some momentarily, the cacophony was such with so many others doing the same that it was impossible to make any judgment of any of the instruments I was trying.

I was pressured by a salesman to state my choice and when I said it wasn't possible to do so under the circumstances I was asked - not very politely - to leave and stop wasting time!

Regards,


Yes amazing rudeness and lack of sensitivity !

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
dogperson #2892142 09/19/19 09:22 PM
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dogperson, So why is my statement cynical?

I don't sell any new pianos because they all have significant engineering and production problems that make them less durable over the long term than my rebuilds and new pianos don't sound or play as well as my rebuilds.


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: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2892145 09/19/19 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
dogperson, So why is my statement cynical?

I don't sell any new pianos because they all have significant engineering and production problems that make them less durable over the long term than my rebuilds and new pianos don't sound or play as well as my rebuilds.


Ed,

You sell and rebuild pianos. If I had a dime for each time you bragged about how great a job you did on rebuilding pianos I could afford to buy one of them. It seems as if EVERY post you make is an ad for your business in some way. I suggest you buy advertising from Frank and do all the bragging about yourself in the ads. If you can't resist the urge then I will help you.


Ken

Hammond Organ Technician
Piano Torturer
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