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#3083749 02/18/21 12:14 AM
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What has your experience been with buying used keyboards? I'm in the market for a second keyboard after hearing all the great stories and posts in the thread about multiple keyboards laugh

I found a used one but I'm a little hesitant... I'd save a nice chunk and they said it was very lightly used. Is there any risk that could be some issue I dont see when i test it out and notice it later on or is this a very low risk used purchase?

Last edited by Sebs; 02/18/21 12:14 AM.
Sebs #3083757 02/18/21 12:46 AM
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There are some risks.

You need to mitigate those with a good test drive, a very low price, discussion with seller regarding history, issues, etc.

Search these (and other) forums to see if the piano you pine has some popular defects. Some issues are minor quirks you can live with whilst others are expensive and difficult to fix.

Search PW for new "prices paid" to orient value.

I would not expect a factory warranty to be transferable but that may be different in your country so is worth researching. Warranty is probably worth 10%-20% of new value imo although plenty of people here think it is worth less.

You might have some rights that vary by jurisdiction.

Any cash transaction has inherent risk (e.g. you end up with no cash, no piano, etc.). If you can remove the piano at the same time as you pay the seller that can reduce risks. As can lugging along a tough-looking bloke to help with the move.

If the piano has some defect, you may need pay for repair yourself. Do you have an "authorized" factory tech somewhat nearby that has access to the service manual, parts, and factory specialists? Are the labour rates high in your country? Poland will have great techs cheap so repair will not be painfully expensive as it would be in California.

This list is not comprehensive.

If anything feels wrong about the transaction, trust your senses and just walk away.

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Take the time to prepare well for the audition. That includes taking the time to compile a list of every problem related to digital pianos that you can think of. Make sure the seller knows that you are going to spend some serious time with the piano. And, do not let the seller distract you with idle conversation. A gentle "I need to focus on the piano right now" should be enough.

Take your time and cover all the bases. Don't feel like you are imposing on the seller.

Much of the risk can be averted by careful and planned inspection.

I have bought three used digital pianos and they were all great buys.


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Ralphiano #3083762 02/18/21 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by newer player
There are some risks.

You need to mitigate those with a good test drive, a very low price, discussion with seller regarding history, issues, etc.

Search these (and other) forums to see if the piano you pine has some popular defects. Some issues are minor quirks you can live with whilst others are expensive and difficult to fix.

Search PW for new "prices paid" to orient value.

I would not expect a factory warranty to be transferable but that may be different in your country so is worth researching. Warranty is probably worth 10%-20% of new value imo although plenty of people here think it is worth less.

You might have some rights that vary by jurisdiction.

Any cash transaction has inherent risk (e.g. you end up with no cash, no piano, etc.). If you can remove the piano at the same time as you pay the seller that can reduce risks. As can lugging along a tough-looking bloke to help with the move.

If the piano has some defect, you may need pay for repair yourself. Do you have an "authorized" factory tech somewhat nearby that has access to the service manual, parts, and factory specialists? Are the labour rates high in your country? Poland will have great techs cheap so repair will not be painfully expensive as it would be in California.

This list is not comprehensive.

If anything feels wrong about the transaction, trust your senses and just walk away.

Yes very good price needed to mitigate the risk and time it will take as it’s a long long drive. I felt the price wasn’t discounted enough to make it worth it maybe I should listen to my initial gut but then again saving a chunk is great.


Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Take the time to prepare well for the audition. That includes taking the time to compile a list of every problem related to digital pianos that you can think of. Make sure the seller knows that you are going to spend some serious time with the piano. And, do not let the seller distract you with idle conversation. A gentle "I need to focus on the piano right now" should be enough.

Take your time and cover all the bases. Don't feel like you are imposing on the seller.

Much of the risk can be averted by careful and planned inspection.

I have bought three used digital pianos and they were all great buys.

Were they deals that you couldn’t pass or was it just saving a few percent? Curious if you got a deal so good was worth the risk.

Last edited by Sebs; 02/18/21 01:22 AM.
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I buy used whenever I can. I feel like throwing money away with buying new when I can get the same things at about half the price.

Of course there is always more risk that something is wrong the product.

I have learned to mostly judge by my feelings when I buy something. Does it feel right to buy something from this person? Go on with it. Does it feel wierd/uncomfortable? In case of the latter just go home.

I bought my vpc-1 used. The seller said it was played very little, and he wasn't lying.

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Given my experience with a new piano and the repairs made during my twelve years of ownership ... I suggest that many likely near-term problems will go unnoticed when you see a piano.

The failures I speak of are loud notes or unresponsive keys, caused by dirty or defective key sensors. Everything's just fine until one day ... bam ... there's a problem.
This can be repaired, but expect to pay $200-ish for the work. With a used piano you'll have no warranty to cover the cost.

For this reason I choose not to buy a used piano. But if you do so I recommend staying with a relatively new unit, one less than five years old.

Sebs #3083791 02/18/21 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
Take the time to prepare well for the audition. That includes taking the time to compile a list of every problem related to digital pianos that you can think of. Make sure the seller knows that you are going to spend some serious time with the piano. And, do not let the seller distract you with idle conversation. A gentle "I need to focus on the piano right now" should be enough.

Take your time and cover all the bases. Don't feel like you are imposing on the seller.

Much of the risk can be averted by careful and planned inspection.

I have bought three used digital pianos and they were all great buys.

Were they deals that you couldn’t pass or was it just saving a few percent? Curious if you got a deal so good was worth the risk.

The first was a used Casio Privia PX-310 around 2015 with X stand and X piano bench. The piano was probably already 6-8 years old. It was in my daughter's community (several states away from me). We discussed over the phone things to look for, then she went and tested it, reported back to me, and we bought it. $175.

The next was a then current model Casio Privia PX-760. It was a return to one of the big, trustworthy, on-line sellers with warranty and return rights, so, not as much risk, and no pre-purchase examination was involved. Basically new, $500.

Next was a 1 year old Yamaha P-105 with double X stand, X piano bench (not Yamaha), and a nice aftermarket padded travel case for $300.

Next was a 6 month old, unused Kawai VPC1, perfect condition, $800.

The Yamaha and the VPC1 involved extensive pre-purchase, in person, examination/evaluation.

All of the above purchases got me quality instruments with no defects at bargain prices.

So, the riskiest purchase was the first. I had only my daughter's observations and evaluation to rely on. It turned out to be just fine.

Last edited by Ralphiano; 02/18/21 03:38 AM.

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U3piano #3083792 02/18/21 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
I buy used whenever I can. I feel like throwing money away with buying new when I can get the same things at about half the price.

My sentiments, exactly.

Originally Posted by U3piano
I have learned to mostly judge by my feelings when I buy something. Does it feel right to buy something from this person? Go on with it. Does it feel wierd/uncomfortable? In case of the latter just go home.

Our instincts, which many tell us not to follow so as to not be politically incorrect, are usually good, if we just listen to them.

I'm good at diagnosing things, recognizing wear and deterioration, and fixing things. So, I don't have to fear things quite as much as others do. My personal makeup makes purchasing used the only sensible thing for me to do. The only things I buy new are food, fasteners (screws/nails, rivets), and meals at restaurants. Oh, and underwear. laugh


Ralph

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Sebs #3083819 02/18/21 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
What has your experience been with buying used keyboards? I'm in the market for a second keyboard after hearing all the great stories and posts in the thread about multiple keyboards laugh

I found a used one but I'm a little hesitant... I'd save a nice chunk and they said it was very lightly used. Is there any risk that could be some issue I dont see when i test it out and notice it later on or is this a very low risk used purchase?

My experience is very positive. I paid less for my two close to mint Montage 6 than for just what a new unit costs. So I got one Montage 6 at each of my two studio setups for the price of one. I did the same with my VPC1, bought at a tad more than half its price but with about 400€ extra in software and 120€ extra in hardware. And now it is the center of my VST setup.

These are just some examples, I have more good experiences buying used.


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Sebs #3083847 02/18/21 08:51 AM
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I never bought used, but I have sold several that I bought and used. If my case is any indication -

I respected, cleaned, maintained and handled delicately every keyboard.
I followed all instructions and warnings.
Sold them with great regret (if I had space, I'd keep them all!) and the hope that the new owner will treat the instrument the way I treated them.

I know this post is not answering your question directly, but I'm sort of convinced that music lovers treat their instruments special, and if the Sales Advertisement shows any indication of such worship level care, I'd be inclined to reach out to the person and find more details. In today's world, many music learners quickly grow out of instruments and reach for their next level instrument, so if they didn't really mistreat their instruments, the instruments will work just fine.


A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.
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I have bought a refurbished FP90 2 years ago and I don't regret it, given I've paid it an extremely low price compared to even after-market standards (£899) and the only thing that's a bit scuffed is the cardboard box.

Before that I did buy a brand new PX160 and it had 2 significantly messed up notes that sounded louder and a lot more muffled than all others, I suppose due to damage during transport.

Luck always plays a factor, as there always are risks, no matter if new or used. Granted, a used piano carries increased risks. Are the increased risks worth taking? In my mind, if the savings in terms of $$$ are significant and as long as I can return the purchase if I'm not satisfied, the answer is yes. If the seller is a private, then I'd expect him/her to be able to guarantee (or prove in a short video) there aren't weirdly compromised notes, misaligned keys or any other tangible, visible issue that compromises the playability of the instrument and/or the musical quality you get from it.

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Great feedback. I think the biggest factor is how much of deal. It's only marked down about 25% I'm very much on the fence. Now if it was 50% off new price no hesitation. I do appreciate the feedback and sounds like many do buy used but they seem to be very very good deals.

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Whether its keyboards or whatever, there are many really good deals to be had, esp if you are patient. Similar to cars, the original owner loses a lot just by being the first. If it's a long drive, check before you make the trip to see if they'll come down on the price; as long as it's reasonable, many people are OK with that. Myself, when I offer something for sale, I put it up for a bit more than my bottom line price so there's some haggle room.

People often buy things that it turns out they don't use, so patience can yield some good deals for nearly new gear. If you can get the receipt from the original owner, that's often your ticket to warranty service.

I've had several boards that I bought used at a good price and a year or more later sold it for more than I paid, though that is rare.

In general, you can buy used with more confidence if it's a somewhat higher priced item to begin with, meaning its built to a higher standard.

If you're at all handy you don't have to worry about some of the more common problems that come up with keyboards over time. Dust/debris can get in between the keys and cause the sensors to stop functioning, dead keys, or mal-function, nothing but the loudest velocity sounding. Keys can break. Faders go bad.
If you're at all handy, you can fix these kinds of problems yourself, opening up the case is often the trickiest / longest part of the repair. I've replaced broken keys on several, replaced a fader bank (easy swapping out a part was all that was required), cleaned out the key sensors for dead keys, etc. Even buying new these things can happen: my new Motif XS7 needed several new keys and faders after several years. Dust covers for keyboards is a good idea!

Money is always an issue for me so I get the deal where I can. When looking for deals I sometimes look for used gear sold thru big box stores. These usually come with at least a 30 day return window, and if need be you can return it in person without having to pay return shipping if you live near the store.
Or I find something that has been refurbished, and in my experience that has always worked out well, and even those typically have some return window. Also, Amazon processes a huge number of returns and they have returns that came back to them without the box, so minus that and maybe the accessories that come in the box, you can get 20% or more off an item that comes with the full warranty and is basically new.

Last edited by Randyman; 02/18/21 12:48 PM.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Great feedback. I think the biggest factor is how much of deal. It's only marked down about 25% I'm very much on the fence. Now if it was 50% off new price no hesitation. I do appreciate the feedback and sounds like many do buy used but they seem to be very very good deals.

I don't know where you live and what DP you're looking at, but on the good mid or high-end DPs you just don't get 50% off the price for buying used in the UK/EU. Not even remotely close.

Last edited by Hecarim; 02/18/21 01:14 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Great feedback. I think the biggest factor is how much of deal. It's only marked down about 25% I'm very much on the fence. Now if it was 50% off new price no hesitation. I do appreciate the feedback and sounds like many do buy used but they seem to be very very good deals.
In normal times, a 25% discount is not super compelling, given no warranty, no service, no delivery, less consumer protection, used condition.

But given limited supply of new pianos this past year, buyers probably have a bit less negotiating room IN GENERAL. Maybe we are just lucky to find something in our town that is for sale.

That said, there still are some good deals to be had on the used market today, particularly in larger cities, if you can wait and have some flexibility on model. In December, there was a nu1 for under $2000 in Newer England; best price I have ever seen.

The VPC is rare on the used market and always seems close to new prices.

This snapshot provides a view of the current used hybrid market in the US; these are asking prices so you should always negotiate down.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...iano-market-snapshot-us.html#Post3082898

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Originally Posted by newer player
Originally Posted by Sebs
Great feedback. I think the biggest factor is how much of deal. It's only marked down about 25% I'm very much on the fence. Now if it was 50% off new price no hesitation. I do appreciate the feedback and sounds like many do buy used but they seem to be very very good deals.
In normal times, a 25% discount is not super compelling, given no warranty, no service, no delivery, less consumer protection, used condition.

But given limited supply of new pianos this past year, buyers probably have a bit less negotiating room IN GENERAL. Maybe we are just lucky to find something in our town that is for sale.

That said, there still are some good deals to be had on the used market today, particularly in larger cities, if you can wait and have some flexibility on model. In December, there was a nu1 for under $2000 in Newer England; best price I have ever seen.

The VPC is rare on the used market and always seems close to new prices.

This snapshot provides a view of the current used hybrid market in the US; these are asking prices so you should always negotiate down.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...iano-market-snapshot-us.html#Post3082898


Yeh I’m looking for Stage 3. Agree with you that 25% isn’t too compelling given all the things you state and I have to rent a car then drive all day etc. that’s why I’m on the fence but hard to find used nords in general. I know I just need to decide but I do appreciate everyone’s support. This forum is great!

Last edited by Sebs; 02/18/21 02:38 PM.
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I think that paying heed to the percentages has its limits. There are other important factors. Specifically (a) timing and (b) eagerness of the seller to part with the piano.

I made a great deal on a dining room set recently.
We were about to buy an new Amish-made table and chairs set for $4100 ... when I found an online listing for a similar table, chairs, china, and sideboard.
When new I estimate that set at $7000 or $8000. We didn't need the latter two pieces, but WTH, right?
The seller told me his wife wanted to "refresh" her dining room and they were expecting the replacement dining set in ten days.
So I got the "old" one for around $1400. In near perfect condition.

Yes, that's totally OT WRT pianos. But the point is made. An eager seller gets you a good buy.

PS: I did not negotiate the price. Instead I just paid the seller's asking price. Will that ruin my reputation on the board? Woe is me! frown

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Seller has offered a great price now. Those savings could cover cost of the stand, gear, etc. and stil save a few bucks too. I might go for it. I have no idea why I'm so hesitant probably just cause it's a big purchase new or used... It's a work horse keyboard that can gigged with so I highly doubt any issues with used and i could test it before hand.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
PS: I did not negotiate the price. Instead I just paid the seller's asking price. Will that ruin my reputation on the board? Woe is me! frown

What? Reputation is indeed ruined smile.

On a similar note, I had a great experience ~3 years ago, where I bought Kawai CA-67 in mint condition from someone for $500. And, the seller even helped me move it to my home. Seller had a Steinway in US. But, when they moved to UK, they purchased CA-67 in UK. They wanted to sell CA-67 when they moved back to US. They had a voltage converter for the differences in voltage (which was part of the deal). And, the seller (incorrectly) thought that the price would be significantly less than a regular 120V CA67 (or they didn't do enough research). So, they were asking for $500 - which I happily paid. I used it for a while until I got NV-10. At that point, I sold CA-67 for $1200 or so smile.

Osho

Last edited by Osho; 02/18/21 08:38 PM.

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Are you mechanically and/or electronically handy? If so I'd say don't hesitate for a minute to buy used. Most digitals are not difficult to repair if you have reasonable mechanical skills to take them apart and look for problems like binding keys or dirty sensors. Electronic problems will be harder to fix if you don't have some experience, but you should be able to at least isolate what's wrong with help from people on the forum if you know how to do basic things like use a meter. If you have no repair skills, you should make sure the price is really good because you run the risk of incurring repair costs. The other problem with used digitals is even if you know how to fix them, parts might not be available. I'd stick with the big name brands and get something no more than about 5 years old. I've had 2 used digitals that were great bargains, but I've had to make minor repairs on both.


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