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#3158672 09/22/21 01:05 PM
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I know you can't truly compare one used piano to another merely by model and year, but to get a very rough ballpark on how much one might expect to pay, are the listings on Pianomart a place to start for more common models?

Thanks!

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it's a market, so of course. the more data you have, even not identical year, the better idea you get of what a fair price is. the sellers would be checking listed prices for similar pianos, too, otherwise they would stick out if their price is not realistic.

In casinos comps means something else ha


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Originally Posted by YTF2020
I know you can't truly compare one used piano to another merely by model and year, but to get a very rough ballpark on how much one might expect to pay, are the listings on Pianomart a place to start for more common models?

Thanks!
Just recognize that some listings are by private sellers and others may be by dealers. Dealers will tend to ask more - although not always. Rather than a "rough ballpark" I'd say the listings will give you a "rough range." Of course what they ask for isn't necessarily what they actually sell for. smile


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smile

Thanks a lot! I'm definitely paying attention to dealer vs private party. At this point in the pandemic, though, we're focusing on dealers for convenience and education (and sound comparison because a piano standing by itself will almost always be better than our current one). But when you find an older trade-in piano and the dealer says "make me an offer", it's nice to be able to form even a vague idea of appropriateness...


I must have been thinking about real estate comps, which are probably of similar usefulness.

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From what I've seen of Piano Mart, the prices are inflated by dealers hoping to find a sucker and delusional private parties. One ad has been up for five years now.

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Thanks for the warning--I'll watch for that.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Of course what they ask for isn't necessarily what they actually sell for. smile

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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
it's a market, so of course. the more data you have, even not identical year, the better idea you get of what a fair price is.

Absolutely, it's a good place to get current market data. Another place to look would be the closed auctions at eBay, to get an idea of what prices actually clear the market. Those listings are rather scant, though.

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smile

EBay closed auctions. Good one!

Pianomart does have listings of "sold" pianos, although it doesn't tell you what they sold for and I don't know if it's reliable that they were in fact sold. But heck, even an upper end to a range is helpful.

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Related question - not sales prices but trade in...

I called the (very reputable) shop where I purchased my piano (1963 M&H Model A) about 5-ish years ago. They said they would give me the price I paid toward a NEW piano. I won't be buying a new piano, I would only be in the market for a used one. I wonder how I might be able to guesstimate what an expected trade in value might be?

When I made the purchase it was a huge step up from my previous instrument. However, I've improved since then and I'm not especially thrilled with it anymore. My RPT says I should consider new bass strings and possibly hammers sometime in the foreseeable future. Rather than do that, I'm considering shopping, but frankly, that's a pretty daunting thing for me.

Of course, selling this piano on my own would yield more money in my pocket but I know that can be a hassle. If I decide to do this, maybe I'd consider attempting to sell this one before buying another, so that if that turned out to be problematic, then I could switch tactics and include it in a trade in. If I did this, it would likely leave me without a piano between the time I sell this one and buy a new one.

Hats off to all of you folks who enjoy piano shopping but this is not my idea of a good time. My RPT is great and would inspect anything I'm considering, but that's an additional expense as well. I'm guessing that would be $150 or so, considering that there would be drive time plus inspection time.

Any suggestions on getting an idea of what a trade value might be? I realize that the tradein value would be less than what a sales price would be.


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Originally Posted by MH1963
Hats off to all of you folks who enjoy piano shopping but this is not my idea of a good time.
Only in certain scenarios is piano shopping a good time. Really, the fewer constraints you have-- budget, musical, availability -- the more it starts to resemble fun.

Originally Posted by the same author
Any suggestions on getting an idea of what a trade value might be?
My (perhaps worthless) ballpark estimates put trade-in values at slightly above 50% of retail for most pianos. Piano markets are sometimes weird, though. If you have an especially illiquid piano (e.g., an especially large or expensive one), you might be getting far less than that because of the dealer's cost of keeping inventory.

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If the choice is between losing 50% in trade-in towards a used piano vs getting 100% of price paid towards a new piano - if somehow you can finance the latter, even if you end up break even (interest payment equals the 50% difference) by the time it's paid off you will have owned a new piano

but of course you don't want a new piano grin


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
If the choice is between losing 50% in trade-in towards a used piano vs getting 100% of price paid towards a new piano - if somehow you can finance the latter, even if you end up break even (interest payment equals the 50% difference) by the time it's paid off you will have owned a new piano

but of course you don't want a new piano grin

I don’t think it quite works that way: when you take the ‘buy up’ option, you often lose your negotiating position on the new piano price.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by cygnusdei
If the choice is between losing 50% in trade-in towards a used piano vs getting 100% of price paid towards a new piano - if somehow you can finance the latter, even if you end up break even (interest payment equals the 50% difference) by the time it's paid off you will have owned a new piano

but of course you don't want a new piano grin

I don’t think it quite works that way: when you take the ‘buy up’ option, you often lose your negotiating position on the new piano price.
Agreed -- in these situations, something like Larry Fine's street price doesn't come into play; the dealer marks down from the MSRP.

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Interesting point about losing negotiation position if I do the ‘purchase price’ trade in. I need to look at what’s available locally and play with some numbers. The dealer is a Steinway dealer so they have instruments taken in trade, but generally not a lot I’m interested in (Hallett, Story & Clark, and a couple of Kuwaiis. unfortunately the Kuwaiti ones are white.) They have a Yamaha C7, I think that might be worth a look, but it’s early 80’s, and I’d like something under 20 years old. I have a Yamaha dealer very close but they’re not who I bought this one from.

I’m thinking a Yamaha, Boston or Kawai, 5’8” or maybe just a little larger. I have plenty of room, but the 5’8” Model A works very nicely in the room so I don’t want to go much larger, and definitely not smaller.

Of course, new would be nice, but I would prefer to avoid the immediate depreciation. I’m probably looking at trade value plus $8-10k, or whatever I can sell it for plus that amount.

Negotiations are not my forte, so I really need to be well prepared.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
I don’t think it quite works that way: when you take the ‘buy up’ option, you often lose your negotiating position on the new piano price.
House always wins, right? Lol
Yes, it depends on the numbers/details, but I think loyalty programs (of which this would be one) can be a win-win for seller and buyer. Say you pay above market price with 100℅ trade-in, and on the same day another customer buys an identical piano at market price - but you esentially have leased the old piano for free for 5 years. The dealer also would rather have you back instead of taking your business to a competitor, and they also assume lower risk by re-aqcuiring their own inventory rather than some other piano with unknown history.

Is it win-win? Depends on the numbers I guess.


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‘Leased the old one for free for five years’ is a very interesting way to look at it! I like that.

When I read about people new to the instrument agonizing over a piano choice, I often think to myself that they might want to consider it as a purchase for a few years, probably not a permanent choice. I’ve upgraded twice now, and both times got an instrument that was right for me at the time. As I improved as a player (I’m still not good), what I would choose has changed. If I was shopping today, neither of those upgrades would be my choice. But it’s likely that what I buy this time will be the last one I buy, so it does introduce some angst into the whole thing.

And of course knowing that I already have what many better players than I would love to have makes me feel a little guilt over having Piano Acquisition Syndrome.


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