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Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
#3035251 10/13/20 03:56 PM
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Hello again, everyone. Some of you already know that I've been searching for a new piano for a while. I'll be trying a used (2013) M&H AA and a new Schimmel W180T this week. The other "maybe" pianos on my list are a Yamaha CX3, a Boston GP-178 PE II, and a Kawai GX2 BLAK.

I live in a small city. The only piano store in our entire region is a Yamaha dealer. Everyone I've run into here seems to know Yamaha and I suspect that they are much easier to sell because of that.

Would you factor in the "resale potential" of a piano when choosing a new piano? The CX3 isn't my first choice at the moment, but it is a nice piano.

Thank you all.

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035258 10/13/20 04:14 PM
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I think resale value is somewhere in my top 10 priorities when shopping for a piano, but it's near the bottom of that list. Probably for me, it's:

1. tone
2. touch
3. size
4. price
5. appearance
6. how good of a "deal" for the price (discount)
(tied below)
7. dealer experience (although some sellers quickly eliminate themselves by their behavior)
7. perceived warranty support
7. prestige of the brand/model
10. resale value

One of the ways to combat the perception of a lower resale value is to either buy it as a recently made used model (sometimes difficult to find) or to buy the new piano you like best for as discounted a price that you can. However, service-oriented dealers vs. price-oriented dealers tend to differ significantly in terms of what sort of pre-sale prep they do to their inventories, and what you can expect in terms of service and support after the sale. Even as an institutional or industry-connected shopper, that difference can be quite stark.


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Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035260 10/13/20 04:15 PM
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Do you really think you might want to sell the piano you buy in the next ten years?

I would only consider resale potential if you suspect you will sell the piano within a few years or if you like two similarly priced pianos equally and resale potential is the only difference. It could take longer to sell a non-Yamaha but there is also probably more competition from other people trying to sell their Yamahas that could make a Yamaha hard to sell.

I think potential resale value/time should be far down on the list of factors in buying a piano. If you buy a piano you love, the chance that you'll want to sell it is small. If you buy a piano you don't love just because you think it might be easier to sell, then what will you tell yourself every time you sit down to play it thinking you'd probably enjoy a different piano more?

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035272 10/13/20 04:42 PM
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Terminaldegree and Pianoloverus said it just right. Pianos don’t make good investments. They depreciate. They take wear and tear. Plus they aren’t that easy to sell. Pianos are only an investment in music for the family which IMHO makes it all worth it. So for me, potential resale value is at the bottom of the list. It might be a bit easier to sell a Yamaha or Steinway but even then I’m already losing money.


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Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035273 10/13/20 04:45 PM
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I would have potential resale value in the back of my mind but other factors are much more important - tone, touch, condition (mechanical as well as cosmetic), size, price - and whether or not you love the piano. And I would not view a piano purchase as an investment - they depreciate (new ones, especially) plus they need good maintenance over time that if not done can make the piano difficult to impossible to sell later.

And regarding a possible future resale, while it may appear that Yamaha predominates in your local market, having a Mason, Schimmel or Kawai could be quite attractive to future buyers who would like to have more choices than just Yamaha at the local dealer.

Last edited by Pianosearcher; 10/13/20 04:52 PM.
Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035305 10/13/20 06:13 PM
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It depends on one's age and quite few other factors. For us resale was not considered. Our piano was a retirement gift for
both of us.We spent a number of months searching for the right piano and eventually found it .At first the quoted price was too high so we waited and still looked around.


For us what was important was -
The tone and response (we had to love the piano)
The look of the piano (and polished ebony finish was good)
A reasonable tall piano ( looking for an upright)
The brand and the model
We preffered a European piano but did look at some higher end Japanese pianos, we were not able find any American upright except the Steinways K52
The dealer was seriously considered before buying because of a bad experience for a used piano with a "fly by night" dealer.
Warranty was important
A reasonable discount was important
We wanted to know exactly where the piano was made Germany , Japan etc., So we found out all the information from the manufacturer .
Although the piano does not have a well known name that was quickly recognizable that did not matter to us ,as long as the brand was a good brand (which it is)
So no resale ,at a very high price is not really important to us.
Saying that however we will either store the piano somewhere
rather than sell it for less than the price we think we should get for it. Of course time changes everything sometimes.

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035439 10/14/20 07:35 AM
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My experience is that the upgrade option offered by some retailers is a quite valuable form of resale value. It is based on the retailer (or the brand in the case of Essex and Boston being upgraded in the future for Steinways) offering an agreed repurchase price in case of upgrade within a certain time, usually ten years. My guess is that it is a matter of negociation on purchase.



Steinway "A". Roland LX 706. Viscount Sonus 45 hybrid organ with 165 real pipes. Harpsichord by Marc Fontaine.
Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
Vikendios #3035451 10/14/20 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Vikendios
My experience is that the upgrade option offered by some retailers is a quite valuable form of resale value. It is based on the retailer (or the brand in the case of Essex and Boston being upgraded in the future for Steinways) offering an agreed repurchase price in case of upgrade within a certain time, usually ten years. My guess is that it is a matter of negociation on purchase.
Actually I’ve done exactly that. I get 100% trade-in at the Yamaha dealer. Unfortunately when I trade in, I can only get between 20 to maybe 30 percent off SMP with a trade in so in fact it costs the buyer more in the long run to trade rather than outright sell the Boston or Essex and buy the Steinway outright. It is more work but the better on the wallet to buy the next new piano for cash.


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Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
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Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
terminaldegree #3035459 10/14/20 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
I think resale value is somewhere in my top 10 priorities when shopping for a piano, but it's near the bottom of that list. Probably for me, it's:

1. tone
2. touch
3. size
4. price
5. appearance
6. how good of a "deal" for the price (discount)
(tied below)
7. dealer experience (although some sellers quickly eliminate themselves by their behavior)
7. perceived warranty support
7. prestige of the brand/model
10. resale value

One of the ways to combat the perception of a lower resale value is to either buy it as a recently made used model (sometimes difficult to find) or to buy the new piano you like best for as discounted a price that you can. However, service-oriented dealers vs. price-oriented dealers tend to differ significantly in terms of what sort of pre-sale prep they do to their inventories, and what you can expect in terms of service and support after the sale. Even as an institutional or industry-connected shopper, that difference can be quite stark.
We have to realize that much of the top 7 will already take care of resale value.

If you are knowingly buying a piano believing that it will not be your final piano I would absolutely consider resale value especially if the piano you are looking at is not one known to have a particularly good resale value. There may come a time when you will have to dispose of it, sell it, or trade it in. That's not easy with a piano of little value.

My teacher always told me to buy the "best" piano I could afford because typically it will have great resale value. I bought a Kawai RX-2 and sold it 13 years later for $1200 less than what I bought it for. My teacher was right.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


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Kawai VPC-1
Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035464 10/14/20 09:00 AM
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I think everyone should decide for themselves if and how big of a factor resale value is.

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
U3piano #3035466 10/14/20 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
I think everyone should decide for themselves if and how big of a factor resale value is.
I think that is what the OP is going for but I think he asked for our opinions/ideas so he can make a better informed decision.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
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Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035467 10/14/20 09:04 AM
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The buyer never ever makes out doing trade ups. The buyer is paying for the convenience of having their old piano taken out and having their new piano wheeled in.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
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Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035478 10/14/20 09:47 AM
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I think resale value (or the exchange deal offered) is a very big thing if your piano purchase is a temporary holding action e.g. if you haven't yet decided how important a piano is to you and how much you are really prepared to pay for one. If you haven't any intention of selling your piano then the resale price is irrelevant - and everything in between.

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035644 10/14/20 06:15 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the very good tips and guidance. This piano shopping experience has been stressful, in large part because I have to travel so far to audition them! Our market here is just too small.

Touch and tone are the most important to me, and I was thinking of resale value as well. But then again - if I do "trade up" at some point, I think that if I had enough money for a Steinway or Bosendorfer or Fazioli or any of the high-end brands - would I really care that much getting every penny out of the sale of my current piano? I'm guessing not. I'm leaning towards getting the piano I love best that's within my budget, and not worrying too much about resale value. I'll post what I decide, but if anyone has any other input, I'm very appreciative! Always good to get different viewpoints.

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035646 10/14/20 06:21 PM
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Yes!!!! Buy the piano you will love to hear and touch — you won’t be sorry.

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035671 10/14/20 08:17 PM
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My advice is buy the piano that best fits your needs and worry less about re-sale value because it's just *such* an unknown. In the UK there are the piano auctions which have devalued a lot of pianos and increased the resale value of Steinways, of course. That means you can find things like Hailun 178 grand pianos from c.2010-2015 for as little as £1500 to £3000, you can sometimes find fully rebuilt (and I mean FULLY rebuilt) german grands for the same price, but then you may have to pay £30,000 for a 50 year old Steinway B that needs a new action, keyboard, pin block and strings (and possibly soundboard). Re-sale value is something that is fluid. It's actually the same with property, and while most people expect to make some kind of profit on their first time buy, no matter how careful a buyer you are, you may end up in a situation where you just can't sell that property/piano/car/jewellery/painting/whatever.

If you want your money to be an investment, hire a fund manager and do it that way. As for pianos, buy what you want and love it. Don't worry about tomorrow/ten years time. God knows, the pandemic has shown that ten years time is a gift and not a right, so worry less about it.

Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
Joseph Fleetwood #3035676 10/14/20 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
My advice is buy the piano that best fits your needs and worry less about re-sale value because it's just *such* an unknown. In the UK there are the piano auctions which have devalued a lot of pianos and increased the resale value of Steinways, of course. That means you can find things like Hailun 178 grand pianos from c.2010-2015 for as little as £1500 to £3000, you can sometimes find fully rebuilt (and I mean FULLY rebuilt) german grands for the same price, but then you may have to pay £30,000 for a 50 year old Steinway B that needs a new action, keyboard, pin block and strings (and possibly soundboard). Re-sale value is something that is fluid. It's actually the same with property, and while most people expect to make some kind of profit on their first time buy, no matter how careful a buyer you are, you may end up in a situation where you just can't sell that property/piano/car/jewellery/painting/whatever.

If you want your money to be an investment, hire a fund manager and do it that way. As for pianos, buy what you want and love it. Don't worry about tomorrow/ten years time. God knows, the pandemic has shown that ten years time is a gift and not a right, so worry less about it.
So true !
We always think we can control so much , but really we
are only able to control very little. Things like our health and the and loved ones are far more important .Choose the piano
you love.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 10/14/20 08:45 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035681 10/14/20 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by WYTILTLIS
Thanks, everyone, for the very good tips and guidance. This piano shopping experience has been stressful, in large part because I have to travel so far to audition them! Our market here is just too small.

Touch and tone are the most important to me, and I was thinking of resale value as well. But then again - if I do "trade up" at some point, I think that if I had enough money for a Steinway or Bosendorfer or Fazioli or any of the high-end brands - would I really care that much getting every penny out of the sale of my current piano? I'm guessing not. I'm leaning towards getting the piano I love best that's within my budget, and not worrying too much about resale value. I'll post what I decide, but if anyone has any other input, I'm very appreciative! Always good to get different viewpoints.

On the bolded- that's the trick isn't it? What's your budget?

Most of us would love to have certain pianos if we had unlimited budgets (who wouldn't want a Fazioli?), but most of us don't have unlimited budgets so we sometimes have to settle.

You just have to be careful about what you settle for. It might be the piano you love best that's within your budget (an economy model for example), but are sure that if you didn't stretch your budget a little bit you might be able to afford the piano you like maybe a little better? If by stretching your budget a little bit to buy the better piano you may find that you also end up with a piano with better resale value. That was the point my teacher was trying to make to me. Buy the best piano I can afford because in many cases it will be the piano with the better resale value and it's usually the better piano. Plus you will get more enjoyment out of it and if you ever decide to sell it or upgrade it, you will get a lot of your money back in the end. These pianos have high resale values because typically they are highly regarded in tone, touch, and quality and you can't go wrong with them and they could end up being your lifetime piano.

If you buy piano that cost a lot of money up front and within a few years it isn't worth more than the paper you signed on the dotted line for I would argue you probably didn't buy a very good piano. Resale value is oftentimes a good litmus test for quality and if you don't know much about pianos it's oftentimes a good starting point. My parents bought a Young Chang mahogany baby grand that was heavily discounted in the early 1980's. We all thought it was a good piano with a great sound until we heard what a quality piano actually sounded like. Up to that point ignorance was bliss. Now nobody wants the piano even if we say it's for free.

Last edited by Jethro; 10/14/20 09:53 PM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
Jethro #3035688 10/14/20 11:39 PM
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Read again:

Originally Posted by Jethro
This piano shoppin Resale value is oftentimes a good litmus test for quality and if you don't know much about pianos it's oftentimes a good starting point.

Piano depreciate, but you probably want them to last you something--either good enough to use, or perhaps good enough to give something back in a resale.

Even so, I doubt resale value (or retail value either, or anything) is a -precise- test of quality of tone and play-ability (which you should see for yourself now) and longer term reliability (which there might be other ways to ask about).

(In your case, for instance, there may be other factors.)
....................................................................................

I am not an expert at spending money or at picking pianos
or at reselling.

Last edited by winterflower; 10/14/20 11:42 PM.
Re: Should 'Resale Potential' Be a Factor in Choosing a Piano?
WYTILTLIS #3035699 10/15/20 12:19 AM
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To me resale value is somewhat important. Especially the ones that I knew were going to be my temporary pianos, I was conscious of being able to sale them later without too much loss, or at any cost for that matter. Resale-able not only means I could recoup some cost but also suggest I would not be stuck with an unwanted piano that takes up real estate in my tiny home and eventually have to be taken away for a fee. Now, my primary piano happens to have decent resale value. I’d like to believe it’s due to the quality not solely because of the brand recognition. It may well be my lifetime piano which I would be more than happy with, but it’s comforting to know that I can easily trade in for another piano if I choose, unless it’s too old or worn at that point. So... think carefully before you take your new person/piano/puppy/whatever home! You’ve got to be happy with your decision because you might get stuck with him/her/it!!!

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