Tips On Selling Your Piano
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Where and How?
Be prepared to answer questions from callers, like: What brand is it? What size is it?
What condition is it in? How old is it? When was it tuned last? What work needs to be done on it, if any?
Online classified ads can be useful, too. The advantages are:
- they are usually cheaper than print ads;
- you can write a much more detailed description;
- they can have a much larger audience;
- you can include an image of your piano;
- and the people looking at these classified ads are looking specifically at pianos as opposed to a bunch of other merchandise in a newspaper classifieds section.
2. Contact a Piano Technician - some piano technicians might be in the market to buy certain pianos that they can refurbish for resale. However, they are usually very particular about the kinds of pianos they are interested in purchasing. Other technicians may offer a consignment or referral deal, whereby they might help to sell your piano through their network of contacts in the interest of a referral fee or percentage of the selling price. The piano could remain at your home for viewing, or in other cases be taken to the technician's shop where it will be showcased alongside other pianos.
3. Try a New or Used Piano Dealer - if you take a look in the Yellow Pages, you will find out which piano dealers might be interested. Their ad will say something like: "We buy good used pianos".
If you are selling your piano with the intention of upgrading to a better one, most piano dealers offer trade-ins. However, you will almost always get a higher price by selling it privately on your own.
4. Call a Piano Moving Company - this is a last resort if all else fails. Many piano movers will buy used pianos, but don't expect to get too much. But if you are really just looking to get rid of the piano, at least they won't charge you to get it out of your home, and you might get something for it besides.
How much should I ask for my Piano?
Selling your piano privately to another individual is your best chance at receiving the highest price. You are limited when it comes to negotiating with a piano dealer or piano mover.
To find out the current market value of your piano, you can have a piano technician perform a comprehensive appraisal. This is the most accurate way to determine a piano's value, as it depends on the piano's age, the condition of its cabinet, structure and inner parts, and the market conditions in your area.
1. Tune your piano and make sure everything works reasonably well before you advertise it - this is a very simple detail that most people overlook. You might think: why should I pay to have the piano tuned and/or serviced if it has to be tuned/serviced after it is moved anyway?
Here's why: you will sell your piano faster and at a much higher price!
Most people who are shopping for a used piano know so little about its technical aspects, that when they encounter an instrument that is out of tune or has some keys that don't quite work properly, they are not sure whether or not the problem is major or minor, or how the piano will sound after it is tuned. Potential buyers will often reject a perfectly good piano because of relatively insignificant problems.
By simply having the piano at least tuned -and even better, also having minor repairs done
before selling it, you will eliminate any problems that might distract a buyer. Piano owners who do this always sell their piano faster and at a higher price than those who don't, easily recovering their expenses of tuning & minor repair several times over.
2. Be prepared to answer questions about your piano - What brand is it? What size is the piano? What condition is it in? How old is it? When was it tuned last? What work needs to be done on it, if any? Do you know the piano's history? Where it was purchased? Has it moved around? Is there anything special about your piano, or an interesting story behind it?
People have emotional reactions to pianos, and they love to hear as many details as possible. Your knowledge and confidence will attract potential buyers when they respond to your advertising, and the more they know about the piano, the more they will become interested in it.
3. Are there extras that may come with your piano? - a matching stool? Caster cups that protect the floors? Some sheet music that you will never use? Maybe a metronome that you won't be needing anymore? If it is a player piano, how many rolls of music? Or CDs? Or disks?
These extras can help sell the piano, and you can adjust your selling price accordingly.
4.Show your piano In a pleasing environment:
- dust, clean & polish the cabinet and the piano keys
- remove all objects from the top of the piano (the buyer may wish to look inside and access is from the top)
- make sure there is sufficient lighting so the buyer may inspect the piano's condition, and be able to see what they are playing when they sit down to the piano.
- try and make the room where the piano resides as attractive as possible. If the room environment doesn't quite match the beauty and quality of the piano, many buyers may be unconvinced of the high selling price of the piano.
- leave ample space all around the piano so the buyer can have enough room to pull out the bench, sit down and play or look behind the piano without any clutter getting in the way.
- have the room set at a comfortable temperature. A piano in a room that is too hot or too cold will not only make the buyer uncomfortable, but may also make them wonder if the piano has been unduly subjected to large swings in temperature and humidity (an older piano's worst enemy).
Privacy & Quiet
- the buyer is concentrating, and needs to hear the sound of the piano and focus on the details of their decision-making process. Children playing, dogs barking, televisions or radios blaring, or any other noise whatsoever should be non-existent.
- after answering the buyer's questions, offer to leave them alone for a while so they can play the piano and think without an audience. Let them take their time and call you back in to the room when they are ready.
5. Is your asking price realistic? - if you've followed all of the above tips and still can't seem to attract a buyer, perhaps your asking price is simply not a fair enough market value. Although you may have paid a great deal for it, pianos do depreciate. And unfortunately, the sentimental value you have attached to it may mean nothing to the potential buyer.