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Selling a Piano?

Piano Selling Obstacles

Selling a quality piano can be complicated, time consuming, and sometimes frustrating. I liken the sale of a quality piano with the sale of a house or car, but without the local demand for a house or a car. Chances are high that the individual purchasing your piano will be living somewhere else in the United States. While the local demand for quality pianos is small, the national demand is still high. Setting a price for a piano is an art. I tell my clients that for a particular piano, like a house, you could sell it in 10 minutes or 10 years, depending on the selling price you select. A quality piano selling with a price of $100 will sell in 10 minutes compared with that same piano selling for a price of $100,000 that might take years to sell, if ever. Once you select the selling price carefully based on the national market and your timing needs, and your next goal in selling a piano is to market it nationally so that anyone in the U.S. searching for the type of piano you are selling will see your piano. Once the potential buyer is found, the buyer has to be convinced your piano is the piano the buyer would like to own. The buyer will need to be convinced of how it looks, how it sounds, and how it feels. Photos and videos will help convince the buyer. Once the buyer thinks your piano might be the right piano, either the buyer or a local registered piano technician will come to your house to inspect the piano. Once the piano passes inspection, then the buyer will decide to purchase the piano. How the buyer pays for it is always a concern for both the buyer and seller. There is a leap of faith associated with transferring that amount of money to a seller, which is a leap a buyer sometimes cannot make. If the buyer takes the leap of faith and payment is made, national moving must be arranged, which may consist of coordinating multiple arrangements/transfers between local movers and national movers. Selling your piano is a complicated process to be sure.


Piano Consignment

Most piano owners do not want to deal with the above selling process, and they search for an intermediary, often a local piano dealer. Most piano dealers will sell pianos on consignment for a substantial fee, sometimes up to 40% or 50% of the sale price. They can command that because the process above is complicated for an owner, but is standard for a piano dealer. The piano dealer will bring the piano to their showroom, and place it alongside their inventory. The piano dealer should market it on their website, as well as locally, and nationally on sites like eBay and PianoMart for maximum national exposure. The piano dealer can command a higher price for the piano than an individual seller, because a buyer is willing to pay a premium for the comfort of buying from a piano dealer, who has the process down and a reputation. Before consigning a piano with a dealer, always understand what marketing strategies they employ to reach a local and national audience, what their current ads look like, how their website looks, how their pictures look, how the videos look and sound, how the payment and moving processes work, what term length you will consign it to them for, and whether you think a national buyer would feel comfortable buying a piano from them.


Picarzo Consignment Solution

I began consigning Steinway pianos as a favor for a friend. I enjoy everything about pianos, from playing them, to listening to them, to buying and selling them. I generally find that I really like the type of people who own pianos, and enjoy talking with them. I do offer a consignment service for a fee of 25% of the sale proceeds. Because most owners like to keep their piano until sold, the Steinway piano will stay in your house until the sale is made and only be moved when it is moved to the buyer – my goal is always to move the piano as little as possible. We will discuss a selling price that would accommodate your selling timeframe. For photos and videos, you can take the photos and video of a piano player playing your piano and send to me, or for an additional fee and travel expenses, I could come to your house to do that for you. I will add the photos and video to my website, eBay, CL, and PianoMart – anyone looking nationally will find your piano. I will talk with all the potential buyers and discuss serious buyers with you. I will work with the buyer to select and arrange for an independent inspector from the Piano Technician’s Guild to visit the piano for an inspection report. I will handle the money transfers from the buyer via wire transfer or financing arrangements. I will arrange for national and local moving at a time convenient for you. I will wire you 75% of the proceeds of the sale once I receive the payment from the buyer and additional marketing expenses and moving expenses are subtracted over and above the fixed moving fee I offer my clients.


Contact Picarzo For More Information on Selling Your Steinway Piano

My goal is to make the selling of the piano as convenient for you as possible while allowing you to keep more of the sale proceeds. Please contact me if you are interested in having me market and sell your Steinway piano on consignment, and I can forward you a consignment agreement template for your consideration. Selling a piano this way may take months, so if you desire an immediate sale, I also offer, at any time, to pay a wholesale price for your Steinway piano, which is usually roughly 50% of the current market price. Since I have a high standard for all the pianos I sell, I do reserve the right not to accept a piano on consignment if it is not a piano that I would wish to own. If you prefer to sell the piano by yourself, I am happy to offer advice over the phone.


Hopefully this information is of some assistance, and for whichever method or process you choose to sell your piano, I wish you the best of luck!

- Mike P.




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