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Piano dealers, hows the market?

Posted By: kokatla

Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 02:29 AM

I was hoping a few of the people here who own both local and online shops would be kind enough to answer a few curiosities of mine

1. How % of your sales are digitals compared to acoustic uprights and grands?

2. What % of your sales are under 15k?

3. Do you have regular showroom hours or by appointment only? Why?

4. Would you open a piano store again knowing what you know now about the business?

5. How was your 2018?

6. Average margin on a used piano?

7. Anything else interesting to note about the business?

Thanks to anyone willing to answer any of these questions. Its greatly appreciated.
Posted By: terminaldegree

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 03:04 AM

I doubt you're going to get a lot of honest answers to this on the forum.
However, if you get a subscription to the Music Trades, this sort of data is published in every single issue, divided up by different facets of the music industry (guitars, pianos, drums, etc.). It's not too expensive of a subscription, and keeps you abreast of most industry news in a timely manner.
Posted By: kokatla

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 03:21 AM

Probably. I am just a pianist thinking about opening a shop. I know google trends shows a downtrend from 2004, but in the last 8-10 years it seems stable, even if it is a lot lower than the 2000s. I have no affiliations to any manufactuer or anything.
Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 03:58 AM

With the possible exception of your third question, much of the other information you seek is probably confidential. I cannot imagine why a piano (or, indeed, any other) business would disclose such information publicly. Moreover, even if disclosure were to ensue, it seems to me that differences in geographic location, brands carried, size of store, debt, etc., would make the information of extremely limited utility in making a decision about opening a piano store.
Posted By: Norbert

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 04:17 AM

Quote
I am just a pianist thinking about opening a shop.


Don't!!

Norbert eek whistle laugh
Posted By: oldMH

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 11:59 AM

It is still a pretty dismal downward trend for US piano sales. Down about 70% from 2005. Down about 15% 2015-2017. Not sure what is behind the big collapse but doesn't seem like a promising industry to be entering. On the other hand, you only need to compete locally so if you can steal part of a large market from other retailers you may do very well.
Posted By: IosPlayer

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 12:16 PM

Digital, used, rebuilds, inheritances societal trends in music making. I would think globally keyboard playing is way up. More affordable and democratic for all now. Now the transition to more expressive keyboard innovation like Roli Seaboard and other MPEs.

I don't think the Piano will become a niche instrument like the harpsichord, but there is a lot of evolution and morphing still to come. There will always be beautiful acoustics for those who desire and can afford them. I hope folks will embrace the change as there is no thwarting it. I love that I can have a hammer action keyboard such as Kawai VPC1 or MP11 and have access to many high quality grands. These will only get better and more accepted in my view.
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 06:16 PM

I don't remember the origin of this quote, but "Do you want to know how to make a little money in the piano business? Start with a lot."

I would not crush anyone's dream, but I would say it would say you would need either need to very slowly build over at least a decade or start with very deep pockets and a key manufacturer while carving out some niche in an existing market. We've built slowly over 25 years. Prior to that, my father had already worked for almost 20 years for other dealerships as a dealer tech, concert tech, and service department manager.
Posted By: SoundThumb

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/07/18 09:30 PM

It seems to me that if you want to get into this business, you better be doing it for enjoyment and have a second job to pay the bills. Here in San Diego, there are two major piano dealers and one of them is now liquidating. And San Diego is a city of over 1 million people in a region of 3 million people. I have often marveled at walking into one of these stores and apparently being the only customer in the place,
Posted By: kokatla

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/08/18 01:03 AM

As it turns out, when you buy a 10k piano dealers are more willing to talk to you about the business. It's not a bad business to get into, despite the naysayers, from what ive gathered. Lot of upright sales, cheaper brands, digitals etc. For anyone else that was interested. Some do consignment, some dealers you buy up front. Why give any info? A better question to me is why not. If you can't compete you shouldn't be in business and how many people really have the money to go and open up shop? .

Whether I actually open a store is probably unlikely right now but eventually I might. Lots of easier businesses to get into with less investment for sure.
Posted By: Rickster

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/08/18 02:48 PM

This thread kind of reminds me of something Steve Cohen told me once regarding getting into the piano business. I casually mentioned in a thread that I thought I might get into the piano business when I retire from my day job. Steve Cohen sent me a PM and said that if I got into the piano business he would personally come to Georgia and kick my a**.

Being a long-time member here, but not as long as Steve, I took that comment as advice from a forum friend, although I could have been offended by the comment, which I wasn't, that the piano business was not necessarily a good business venture to get into nowadays. So, thanks, Steve, for the advice. I am retired now and have no intention of getting into the piano business.

I do think, however, that not so many years ago it was a lucrative/profitable and enjoyable business to be in and perhaps may still be is some locals for some long-time, established dealers. The way I see it, if you love music, love pianos and like people, it can be a good business to be in.

Moral of the story? There is still money to be made in the piano business, but perhaps not as much as it would have been in the past.

Wishing all the piano dealer members, rebuilders, and technicians out there all the best. We still need piano dealers... smile

Rick
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/09/18 02:20 AM

Sam that quote originated with Moses. Still true!
Posted By: FrankCox

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/09/18 02:58 AM

Reminds me of the story of the farmer who won the lottery.

"Well, sir, now that you have all of that money what are you going to do?"

"I'm jes' gonna keep right on farming until it's all gone."
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/10/18 07:42 PM

Originally Posted by oldMH
It is still a pretty dismal downward trend for US piano sales. Down about 70% from 2005. Down about 15% 2015-2017. Not sure what is behind the big collapse but doesn't seem like a promising industry to be entering. On the other hand, you only need to compete locally so if you can steal part of a large market from other retailers you may do very well.

Do you have a source for those number? The What Happened in 1980 thread only had data up to 2007. I'm sort of surprised that it's continued to drop so much, but only because I can't imagine there's that much more to fall. frown
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/10/18 07:53 PM

When I moved back to the US from Switzerland in 1998, I was searching for some sort of business that I could operate and live in my hometown (where there wasn't a lot of opportunity). I considered minimart type gas stations, and was a acquainted with a guy who owned two, so I asked him. He launched into a convincing, woe-is-me monologue about burdensome government regulations, trying to scare up employees, drive-offs, shoplifting, etc. Ironically, twenty years later, he owns sixteen stations.

My point is, don't expect straight answers from people about their financial business. If they're making money hand over fist, then they have an incentive to mislead you because they don't want competition, and when they're not, they have an incentive to mislead you because they're embarrassed.

If you want real numbers, then terminaldegree's advice to consult the trade journals is the better place to find them.

I suspect that the overall downturn in the piano business in western countries is very real. My gut feeling is that this probably would not be a good time to enter the retail piano business.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/10/18 08:30 PM

Originally Posted by FrankCox
Reminds me of the story of the farmer who won the lottery.

"Well, sir, now that you have all of that money what are you going to do?"

"I'm jes' gonna keep right on farming until it's all gone."



I lol'd. smile
Posted By: Norbert

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/10/18 09:56 PM

The only way to find out things in business is doing it. You need to accept whatever the results, good or bad.
There's no shortcut.

Norbert
Posted By: Thejumpsuitman

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 01:31 PM

Clearly the bottom is falling out of the new piano market in the U.S., and has been for decades... The numbers are in and speak for themselves.

What I wonder is how does the number of available used pianos affect the new piano market? Pianos remain in existence for decades after being built and purchased, and usually remain in “relatively” good overall condition since they are kept indoors, and in recent decades, in climate-controlled environments. There also seems to be an impressive number of “low mileage” pianos out there that were purchased for show or for a child who lost interest. While they aren’t perfect, they can often be brought back up to good performance level with relative ease.

Contrast this with the auto industry where hundreds of thousands of cars are built each year... and hundreds of thousands of cars are junked each year. There is attrition and more equilibrium since cars get totaled in accidents, blow engines or transmissions, encounter other costly repairs that outweigh their value, rust out, “ugly out”,depreciate massively and become generally obsolete. Few of these factors would affect a grand piano that may have been purchased new in the 1960s or 1970s and kept in someone’s formal living room, even if seldom played.

These used pianos I mention are at least part of the competition to the new piano market. Especially so when wear is minimal and the effects of time and aging are partly mitigated by modern climate control. Pianos do best in environments that are comfortable to humans, so that fact has benefited many pianos.

And there is one more major difference between pianos and cars... Most average people would not be able to tell a 1920’s piano from a new one if in the same condition, again making the case for used being the competition for new.
Posted By: edferris

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 02:46 PM

I could tell a 1920's Chickering from a new one because the original hammers were beaten down and gave very little dynamic range. True, they could have been replaced for less then the cost of a new Chinese grand, but the dealer wanted a good price for the Chickering as-is and it was just not worth the money in its condition. Same with the Chickering quarter-grand, the 1904 Sohmer, and the Starr parlor grand I looked at: they needed work, and with the prices a tech charges, they weren't worth fixing. Sure, if we set up a shop on a production basis for fixing old pianos, we can compete with new ones. I'm looking into doing this and shipping the instruments to China. But it's not being done, and Grandma's piano is not being fixed. I don't think the troubles of the new piano market are due to a glut of good old ones. There aren't that many playable old ones available. Not any more than there were fifty years ago. Fewer, because the post-Depression ones weren't as well-built as the earlier ones.
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 05:25 PM

Sadly, I suspect that the largest factor in the decline of piano sales -- at least in western society -- is that demand for them has all but disappeared.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 05:40 PM

Since all businesss in Norway must report income, salary of their daily leader, and this is publicly available, I did a quick chart of turnover of the 4 piano stores in Oslo, a city with a population of around 650 000.

The numbers reported here are in million NOK. 1000000 NOK is 119 000 $. In the chart 19K should be read as 19 thousand thousand, ie 19 million.

[Linked Image]

The purple colour is for a shop that sells mainly Kawai and Schimmel, with the occasional Bösendorfer and Fazioli.
The dark blue Seles mainly Bechstein and derivatives, with the occasional Steingraeber.
The middle blue sells mainly Yamaha, some Petrof and occasional Sauter.
The last one sells Steinway, Boston and Essex.
Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 06:00 PM

Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Sadly, I suspect that the largest factor in the decline of piano sales -- at least in western society -- is that demand for them has all but disappeared.


That seems to be real question then.

Why has the demand for pianos decreased?
Posted By: BDB

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 06:01 PM

Because people spend their time on computers and PianoWorld instead of playing pianos.
Posted By: steinwayman18

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 06:48 PM

Thanks for your questions. This is for our business Steinway Piano Reseller | Park Avenue Pianos

1. How % of your sales are digitals compared to acoustic uprights and grands?

We do not sell digital pianos. By percentage we sell 90 percent grands.

2. What % of your sales are under 15k?

Only about 5 percent of our sales are under 15k.

3. Do you have regular showroom hours or by appointment only? Why?

We work by appointment only. As this article on the changing landscape of the retail showroom points out, most buyers hear of their choice of business by word of mouth or the internet.

4. Would you open a piano store again knowing what you know now about the business?

Absolutely yes! We see it as a beautiful thriving area, where in addition to the financial rewards, there is an opportunity to constantly connect to artists.

5. How was your 2018?

Our best year yet.

6. Average margin on a used piano?

20 percent.

7. Anything else interesting to note about the business?

Things are definitely changing. Those dealers who embrace the online world and are about being flexible on a number of different fronts seem to be thriving. In addition, strong bonds and effort with the chinese community, both in the US and abroad, is well worth it.

Thanks to anyone willing to answer any of these questions. Its greatly appreciated.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 06:58 PM

Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Thanks for your questions. This is for our business Steinway Piano Reseller | Park Avenue Pianos

1. How % of your sales are digitals compared to acoustic uprights and grands?

We do not sell digital pianos. By percentage we sell 90 percent grands.

2. What % of your sales are under 15k?

Only about 5 percent of our sales are under 15k.

3. Do you have regular showroom hours or by appointment only? Why?

We work by appointment only. As this article on the changing landscape of the retail showroom points out, most buyers hear of their choice of business by word of mouth or the internet.

4. Would you open a piano store again knowing what you know now about the business?

Absolutely yes! We see it as a beautiful thriving area, where in addition to the financial rewards, there is an opportunity to constantly connect to artists.

5. How was your 2018?

Our best year yet.

6. Average margin on a used piano?

20 percent.

7. Anything else interesting to note about the business?

Things are definitely changing. Those dealers who embrace the online world and are about being flexible on a number of different fronts seem to be thriving. In addition, strong bonds and effort with the chinese community, both in the US and abroad, is well worth it.

Thanks to anyone willing to answer any of these questions. Its greatly appreciated.


Appreciate reading your reponses to the OP's questions. Any other dealers willing to respond?
Posted By: j&j

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 08:16 PM

Since I’m old I remember when having a piano in your living room and have one of your kids (more often than not the girl) taking piano lessons. A typical evening over at so-and-so’s included a short solo recital from family members that played. Christmas party always included playing Christmas songs. Now, I have a few friends and acquaintances that play and own pianos but we never play together. The music programs are always the first thing axed in the school budget here in the US.
Fortunately for the global piano market, learning to play piano and having the money to buy a piano has been growing like crazy in China. Maybe it’s the sign “you made it” like it was here in the 50’s and 60’s.
I’ve always wondered if the piano market is much like the guitar market. A piano dealer will probably sell 10 Cable Nelson uprights and 5 GBKs for every Bosendorfer. Music stores sell 100 ukuleles and 10 Epiphones for every PRS Custom they ring up.
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 08:18 PM

There are so many false assumptions being made in this thread that it would take hours to respond.

Some of the problems:

Piano shoppers want a wide selection of pianos that are in their price range. This necessitates carrying a substantial inventory, i.e say $500,000. I wouldn't consider that a small investment, especially when you need 2000-10,000 sq. ft. to display them. If one tries to specialize in order to keep the inventory investment handleable, one sacrifices large segments of the market.

The private used market is awash with good quality instruments in great condition. Since there are MANY, MANY, more pianos out there than there are buyers prices are forced down to the point where dealers can't compete.

The breadth of knowledge one need to accurately answer shopper' question is a major hurtle.

Oh, yea. If you believe that any dealership can survive on margins under ~33% you are hallucinating!

I could go on....

for days!!!

If you are serious about getting into the business PM me. There are several dealerships quietly up for sale. They would likely be your best bet.
Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 09:26 PM

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
There are several dealerships quietly up for sale. They would likely be your best bet.


Why are they up for sale?

Just regular retirement?

Or getting out of the business altogether because it isn't profitable?
Posted By: BDB

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 09:46 PM

Wanting to be in the piano business is not a good enough reason to get into it. You have to need to be in it.
Posted By: j&j

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 09:58 PM

Are there market research specialists for music stores, specifically for digital and acoustic piano retailers? I wonder if there’s panel discussions at Winter NAMM or MusicMesse? I have no intention of buying a piano store, but I am really curious about how a new store owner decides how much floorspace to rent, how to best display and show new pianos vs used and trade-in policies. lm glad my livelihood and retirement don’t depend on how I interpret the local economy and the piano retail market. I’d be a starving piano store owner instead of a starving musician or artist. I’m glad a had a day. So is my family 😁
Posted By: edferris

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 11:08 PM

Where are all these "good quality instruments in great condition"? I didn't find any when I was looking for one, earlier this year. I did waste a lot of time driving places to look at wrecks advertised on Facebook, Craigslist, and Ebay ("plays great", "regularly maintained", "only needs tuning". One of the latter had a jammed action and wouldn't play a note.) So how do the great ones get sold? Why don't the dealers have these "great" instruments for sale instead of back rooms full of Aeolian and worse baby grands?
Show me one current advertisement for a "good quality instrument in great condition", offered by a private party at a price that undercuts the average dealer.
Posted By: jarobi

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/11/18 11:54 PM

Originally Posted by edferris
Where are all these "good quality instruments in great condition"? I didn't find any when I was looking for one, earlier this year. I did waste a lot of time driving places to look at wrecks advertised on Facebook, Craigslist, and Ebay ("plays great", "regularly maintained", "only needs tuning". One of the latter had a jammed action and wouldn't play a note.) So how do the great ones get sold? Why don't the dealers have these "great" instruments for sale instead of back rooms full of Aeolian and worse baby grands?
Show me one current advertisement for a "good quality instrument in great condition", offered by a private party at a price that undercuts the average dealer.


Try this one: 2001 Steinway M I haven't seen a Steinway, that young, any where close to that price in my searching. Of course it could have been neglected. I don't think most buyers are looking for 100 year old pianos.

I think the point being made is that the availability of reasonably new used pianos cuts into the sales of new pianos, especially in a dwindling market.
Posted By: Rickster

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/12/18 12:22 AM

Originally Posted by edferris
Where are all these "good quality instruments in great condition"? I didn't find any when I was looking for one, earlier this year. I did waste a lot of time driving places to look at wrecks advertised on Facebook, Craigslist, and Ebay ("plays great", "regularly maintained", "only needs tuning". One of the latter had a jammed action and wouldn't play a note.) So how do the great ones get sold? Why don't the dealers have these "great" instruments for sale instead of back rooms full of Aeolian and worse baby grands?
Show me one current advertisement for a "good quality instrument in great condition", offered by a private party at a price that undercuts the average dealer

Well, the woods might not be full of them (as we say here in the south smile ) but they (good used acoustic pianos) are out there if you look hard enough and long enough. Also, you have to look diligently and often. Also, you have to be ready to buy when a good used piano comes up for private sale.

Also (sorry for all the also smile ) you have to discern whether the pre-owned piano up for sale is really a private sale or a used piano dealer/piano-flipper posing as a private seller. This happens a lot.

Ok, no more also.... smile

The 4 acoustic pianos I have now (3 grands and an upright) are examples of very nice used instruments that I looked long and hard for and seized the opportunity when it became available. I have no intention of selling any of them any time soon. I've promised one of the grand pianos to my 15 year old granddaughter whenever my son can find room for it in his house.

They are out there... somewhere... (X-Files?) smile

Rick
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/12/18 02:03 AM

GoodCuzStuf,
I suggest you find a piano dealer to let you try out selling pianos for them. Do it on commission only. You will learn more about selling pianos than we can tell you about on a forum, and find out what you like and dislike about doing so.
Posted By: edferris

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/12/18 03:21 AM

Sorry for all the posts that are really off-topic. But I had to say that "piano-flipper" is good. I know about "house-flippers"; I suppose flipping a grand wouldn't be more difficult.
Posted By: steinwayman18

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/12/18 04:13 AM

Originally Posted by jarobi
Originally Posted by edferris
Where are all these "good quality instruments in great condition"? I didn't find any when I was looking for one, earlier this year. I did waste a lot of time driving places to look at wrecks advertised on Facebook, Craigslist, and Ebay ("plays great", "regularly maintained", "only needs tuning". One of the latter had a jammed action and wouldn't play a note.) So how do the great ones get sold? Why don't the dealers have these "great" instruments for sale instead of back rooms full of Aeolian and worse baby grands?
Show me one current advertisement for a "good quality instrument in great condition", offered by a private party at a price that undercuts the average dealer.


Try this one: 2001 Steinway M I haven't seen a Steinway, that young, any where close to that price in my searching. Of course it could have been neglected. I don't think most buyers are looking for 100 year old pianos.

I think the point being made is that the availability of reasonably new used pianos cuts into the sales of new pianos, especially in a dwindling market.


If that Steinway Model M is legit I'm certain it will be sold within a matter of days.
Posted By: kokatla

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/12/18 11:54 AM

Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Thanks for your questions. This is for our business Steinway Piano Reseller | Park Avenue Pianos

1. How % of your sales are digitals compared to acoustic uprights and grands?

We do not sell digital pianos. By percentage we sell 90 percent grands.

2. What % of your sales are under 15k?

Only about 5 percent of our sales are under 15k.

3. Do you have regular showroom hours or by appointment only? Why?

We work by appointment only. As this article on the changing landscape of the retail showroom points out, most buyers hear of their choice of business by word of mouth or the internet.

4. Would you open a piano store again knowing what you know now about the business?

Absolutely yes! We see it as a beautiful thriving area, where in addition to the financial rewards, there is an opportunity to constantly connect to artists.

5. How was your 2018?

Our best year yet.

6. Average margin on a used piano?

20 percent.

7. Anything else interesting to note about the business?

Things are definitely changing. Those dealers who embrace the online world and are about being flexible on a number of different fronts seem to be thriving. In addition, strong bonds and effort with the chinese community, both in the US and abroad, is well worth it.

Thanks to anyone willing to answer any of these questions. Its greatly appreciated.


Thank you for the honest answers, I appreciate it very much. Do you think the 5% is because you sell a higher end brand such as steinway? A Yamaha or kawai dealer I would think a different %
Posted By: dhull100

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/12/18 01:04 PM

OP, be mindful that steinwayman18 doesn't have a traditional brick and mortar store. Rather, his is based on a different business model. I do not know enough about the piano business one way or the other to contribute further to this conversation.
Posted By: steinwayman18

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/12/18 01:53 PM

Originally Posted by GoodCuzStub
Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Thanks for your questions. This is for our business Steinway Piano Reseller | Park Avenue Pianos

1. How % of your sales are digitals compared to acoustic uprights and grands?

We do not sell digital pianos. By percentage we sell 90 percent grands.

2. What % of your sales are under 15k?

Only about 5 percent of our sales are under 15k.

3. Do you have regular showroom hours or by appointment only? Why?

We work by appointment only. As this article on the changing landscape of the retail showroom points out, most buyers hear of their choice of business by word of mouth or the internet.

4. Would you open a piano store again knowing what you know now about the business?

Absolutely yes! We see it as a beautiful thriving area, where in addition to the financial rewards, there is an opportunity to constantly connect to artists.

5. How was your 2018?

Our best year yet.

6. Average margin on a used piano?

20 percent.

7. Anything else interesting to note about the business?

Things are definitely changing. Those dealers who embrace the online world and are about being flexible on a number of different fronts seem to be thriving. In addition, strong bonds and effort with the chinese community, both in the US and abroad, is well worth it.

Thanks to anyone willing to answer any of these questions. Its greatly appreciated.


Thank you for the honest answers, I appreciate it very much. Do you think the 5% is because you sell a higher end brand such as steinway? A Yamaha or kawai dealer I would think a different %


GoodCuzStub, Thank you for your note. I think you may be right on the percentage issue. For us, we have a fairly lean business structure. For the last 16 months we've averaged 8 sales a month, which is already a lot of work for a small team (especially considering we need to buy an equal number of pianos). If we ramped up the volume with uprights it would be too much to handle, and not enough reward on a per piano basis.
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/13/18 03:28 PM

Originally Posted by j&j
Are there market research specialists for music stores, specifically for digital and acoustic piano retailers? I wonder if there’s panel discussions at Winter NAMM or MusicMesse? I have no intention of buying a piano store, but I am really curious about how a new store owner decides how much floorspace to rent, how to best display and show new pianos vs used and trade-in policies. lm glad my livelihood and retirement don’t depend on how I interpret the local economy and the piano retail market. I’d be a starving piano store owner instead of a starving musician or artist. I’m glad a had a day. So is my family 😁


There are market specialists for music stores. I am one of them.

Also, while many other posters to this thread are asking the wrong questions, your questions are well considered.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/13/18 10:42 PM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
GoodCuzStuf,
I suggest you find a piano dealer to let you try out selling pianos for them. Do it on commission only. You will learn more about selling pianos than we can tell you about on a forum, and find out what you like and dislike about doing so.


This is frankly by far the best and only answer to somebody wondering whether or not they should consider getting into selling pianos.
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/13/18 11:39 PM

Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
GoodCuzStuf,
I suggest you find a piano dealer to let you try out selling pianos for them. Do it on commission only. You will learn more about selling pianos than we can tell you about on a forum, and find out what you like and dislike about doing so.


This is frankly by far the best and only answer to somebody wondering whether or not they should consider getting into selling pianos.



I doubt that any dealer would let a novice experiment with serious prospective buyers.

Good prospects are the lifeblood of retailing and are becoming quite rare.
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/13/18 11:45 PM

Almost all are the result of retirement.
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/14/18 01:30 AM

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Good prospects are the lifeblood of retailing and are becoming quite rare.

The great thing about buying a melting iceberg is that each day you wait, the price goes down! thumb

btw, I agree with Ed and Keith: if you think you want to be in a certain business, then give it a try.
Posted By: steinwayman18

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/14/18 01:32 AM

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Almost all are the result of retirement.


Hi Steve, What about families buying pianos for their kids to study?
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/14/18 01:35 AM



Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Almost all are the result of retirement.


Hi Steve, What about families buying pianos for their kids to study?


I think he means the dealerships coming up for sale are the result of retirement.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/14/18 01:37 AM

Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
GoodCuzStuf,
I suggest you find a piano dealer to let you try out selling pianos for them. Do it on commission only. You will learn more about selling pianos than we can tell you about on a forum, and find out what you like and dislike about doing so.


This is frankly by far the best and only answer to somebody wondering whether or not they should consider getting into selling pianos.



I doubt that any dealer would let a novice experiment with serious prospective buyers.

Good prospects are the lifeblood of retailing and are becoming quite rare.


If you can't convince a dealer to let you sell for them on pure commission, and then absolutely kick ass selling pianos for them, you have your answer as to whether or not to get into it.
Posted By: steinwayman18

Re: Piano dealers, hows the market? - 11/14/18 01:40 AM

Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman


Originally Posted by steinwayman18
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Almost all are the result of retirement.


Hi Steve, What about families buying pianos for their kids to study?


I think he means the dealerships coming up for sale are the result of retirement.


Sorry! Didn't catch that.
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