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#1465782 - 06/30/10 03:22 PM How much for a registered piano tech inspection?
Brand Spanking New Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 7
How much can I expect to pay for a registered piano tech inspection on a used upright piano? I have called local piano techs (within 5 miles of where the piano is located) and received quotes from $30 to $140! Yikes! Any info would be greatly appreciated!

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#1465785 - 06/30/10 03:28 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Brand Spanking New]
Brand Spanking New Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 7
I forgot to mention that I am in the greater LA area if that makes a difference. Thanks.

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#1465788 - 06/30/10 03:36 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Brand Spanking New]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
The number I've seen tossed around here the most is $75-$100.

Depending on how old/expensive the piano is, this may or may not be worth it to you. I guess the way to determine that is by answering the question, "suppose you buy the piano at the advertised price. How upset are you going to feel if you get it home and your tech tells you the pinblock is shot and it won't hold a tune?" wink
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#1465792 - 06/30/10 03:40 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Monica K.]
Brand Spanking New Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 7
The piano is selling for $600. I would be pretty upset if I were to buy it, have it moved and then later find out that there is something significantly wrong with it. I definitely want a tech to check it out--I just don't want to be taken for a ride when it comes to the price. KWIM? smile

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#1465802 - 06/30/10 03:59 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Brand Spanking New]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
I am an advocate of a thorough inspection of a preowned piano. But in your case the piano is a newer Baldwin Hamilton for $600 dollars. There are always exceptions to the rule. If I were you I would go down and check out the piano maybe bringing a friend that plays or meet the tech there. Sometimes you have to take a chance in life. The percentage of risk in this case is very low. Now if you can get a tech to assess the piano for $30 why are even inquiring further. I guarantee you that if you don't move quick the piano will be gone tomorrow and your problem will be solved.

Call Pacos Piano & Organ movers. Francisco 562-755-3323 They have been picking up and delivering my pianos mostly Steinway grands for years in the surrounding Los Angeles area. They come to the SF valley a few days a week.
Good luck! wink


Edited by pianobroker (06/30/10 04:26 PM)
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#1465813 - 06/30/10 04:15 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: pianobroker]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3244
I recently paid € 120 ($150) to have a grand checked. That is including a full report. Had it once done for €70 or so but that was without written report. It also depends on how far the technician has to drive.
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#1465818 - 06/30/10 04:23 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: wouter79]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3244
Of course getting a tech report makes sense only if you have a good technician. Anyone can make a report but if it does not relate to the actual state of the piano... IMHO it's hard to believe you get a good technician for $30
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#1465837 - 06/30/10 04:50 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: wouter79]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
You could call someone from the list of local techs on http://ptg.org and ask for a quote. I think inspections vary according to what is required and how long it takes. There's a range from something like $75 - $125 for an on-site pre-purchase inspection intended to discover any obvious fatal flaws, up to more expensive written reports for use in a court proceeding to recover damages in a case of fraud or bad-faith dealings.

The purchase price of the piano is not the whole story. There's the expense of moving it, fixing it up and tuning it, and if it's really bad, the cost of moving it again and paying the dump fee. Not to mention how you would feel about it.

If they sell it out from under you, well, it's not the only piano in the world. And it's not the only good deal out there, either.
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Clef


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#1465907 - 06/30/10 06:41 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote:
Now if you can get a tech to assess the piano for $30 why are even inquiring further.


Because in many cases, especially when it comes to piano tuning, inspections etc., you get what you pay for.

I wouldn't even consider looking at it and giving a verbal suggestion for that price, it isn't worth my time. But on the other hand, phone advise is totally free.

A lot will depend on how much detail you want in the inspection. If you want someone to just give it a quick look-see they could very well miss something important like a split pin block or loose tuning pins. If they have no idea what they're doing, you're likely screwed either way.

I have an inspection list that I go through, a written one so that I don't forget something. It takes me at least a good 1/2 hour to check it out but, by the time I'm finished with the report, answering the customers questions etc., I've spent at least one hour. Quite often more. I can tune a piano in that same amount of time. Therefore, I charge a minimum of my tuning fee for an inspection.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1465971 - 06/30/10 08:49 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20751
Loc: Oakland
Some of us charge less than what we might charge for other service because we do not want to be the bearers of bad news after someone has bought a dud piano.

Piano inspections are a good deal for techs, as they often lead to loyal customers.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1465977 - 06/30/10 09:03 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: BDB]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3789
I concur with Jerry. I not only like a written report, but lately I may take some pictures as well, especially if the customer is not present.
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#1466483 - 07/01/10 03:21 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Bob]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
$600 Hamilton + $150 moving + $100 inspection = $850.

IF the inspection passes 100%, it is still a good deal. You'll just have to inspect the piano yourself first to determine if it is worth a second inspection by a professional.

Also bargain with the seller to split the inspection. It's in everyone's interest, plus, you can offer the seller a copy of the inspection report if you choose not to buy it. The seller can then show the report to the next potential buyer.


Edited by gnuboi (07/01/10 03:23 PM)

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#1466527 - 07/01/10 04:30 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: gnuboi]
FrankJoseph Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/09
Posts: 66
Loc: Redding, CA
$850 plus the 100.+ tuning after it is moved = $950. Some tuners will give a partial credit/rebate if you call them back for the actual tuning. Some even realize that the years'-long relationship may justify a low $50 inspection fee. But, ultimately, a tuner's time is just as valuable as everyone else's and they should be paid for their time and expertise. Who would buy a used car without having their trusted mechanic inspect it? Frank

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#1466600 - 07/01/10 06:37 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: FrankJoseph]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...Also bargain with the seller to split the inspection. It's in everyone's interest..."

I can see how this might look attractive, but I have to disagree. If you want an impartial evaluation from a tech, motivated by looking out for YOUR interests in the matter only, pay for it yourself.
_________________________
Clef


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#1466628 - 07/01/10 07:03 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10341
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I returned from the PTG National Convention last night. As part of my work on our new program, my opening line to each tech I spoke to was "How much do you chatge for a used piano evaluation?"

Prices ranged between $95 - $150.
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#1466636 - 07/01/10 07:19 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Steve Cohen]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote:
...Also bargain with the seller to split the inspection. It's in everyone's interest..."

I can see how this might look attractive, but I have to disagree. If you want an impartial evaluation from a tech, motivated by looking out for YOUR interests in the matter only, pay for it yourself.


Yes Jeff. I agree. On top of that, then, we as the techs, are stuck in the middle with the seller asking questions like, am I charging enough? And, the buyer asking different sorts of questions. The price would have to quadruple just to stay sane! ha It's bad enough that the seller always tries to weasel information out of us for nothing.... wink
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1467261 - 07/02/10 10:05 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Brand Spanking New Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 7
Thank you for all of the great information and advice.

Yes, I did go on to the PTG website and called several technicians, which is where I got the $30-$140 quotes. I ended up going with a tech that charges $85 and I was so, so happy that I did. The piano had a lot of issues that I missed when I took a look at it with my "amateur eyes"--it needs new hammers, has a few sticky keys and needs a new set of damper felt pads. On top of that, there is a rust issue. I wish the piano was in better shape, but I guess that's why it was only $600. I am so thankful I had a pro check it out.

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#1467287 - 07/02/10 11:03 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Brand Spanking New]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
You made a good choice. Good job.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1467787 - 07/03/10 09:27 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
FWIW, I had a tech evaluate a new piano for 1/2 the price of the tuning, since he felt it would take half as much time as the tuning. I got no written report, nor did I ask for one.

Hop
_________________________
HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

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#1468270 - 07/04/10 05:10 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Hop]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
I think it's a great idea to inspect registered technicians.....regularly!....
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#1468637 - 07/05/10 01:36 PM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
good deal

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#1472764 - 07/12/10 08:15 AM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Mark...]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Peter Sumners said:
Quote:
I think it's a great idea to inspect registered technicians.....regularly!....


Was this really a necessary reply Peter?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1472770 - 07/12/10 08:35 AM Re: How much for a registered piano tech inspection? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan


I can't speak as a "registered tech" as I'm not a member of PTG, but I don't presume your question to exclude non members, so FYI we charge $75 to evaluate a piano in our area...and $125 for ANYTHING that involves supporting a sale (i.e. written report) and/or insurance company (fire, moving damage etc)

As Jerry says, phone advice is free, but we've learned not to offer any opinions as to value. What can seem like a great price, can end up being way low when added needed repairs are done later...and we don't prefer to be blamed.

I've never once had anybody unhappy with either of those fees, since there is a fair amount of time involved. And, on rare occasion where the wasn't much travel and the buyer turns out to be either very young, or very poor, I'll waive my fee if the piano is a total junker...(its kind, and also gets me back on the road pronto)

RPD
_________________________
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