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#1990480 - 11/24/12 08:21 PM Questions re: selling a piano privately
Brent B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 348
Loc: Western/Central PA
Hi everyone,

I know that the following questions have probably been asked and answered before, but I can't seem to find the answers via the search function:

1. What is the best/safest way to accept payment when selling a piano privately?
2. Is positing on Craigslist a bad idea?
3. What are the red-flags that one should look out for (in terms of unscrupulous buyers) when selling a piano privately?

Thanks!

Edit: I just saw the link in the classified section about internet scams. But still need some advice on the best way to accept payment.

Brent



Edited by Brent B (11/24/12 08:33 PM)
_________________________
Estonia 190

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#1990499 - 11/24/12 09:17 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Brent,

I just thought I’d respond to your thread with my very limited piano buying/selling experience. I’ve bought about 6 pianos or so and sold 4, all private sales (though I am a perpetual Craigslist/eBay piano shopper smile ).

In regards to exchanging payment, I’ve presented the seller with payment in person and the movers (unless I moved it myself) were there with me. Of course, I paid the seller and acquired a bill of sale before the movers touched the piano. Same with selling… I asked for payment at the time of the move, or in advance (the buyer’s choice). It has worked out well so far.

I see that you own an Estonia, and I don’t know if that is the piano you are thinking of selling, but if a very large sum of money is involved, that makes it a little more difficult. The most expensive piano I have bought is my Yamaha C7 and the sellers (a church) agreed to accept a certified cashier’s check. I honestly do not like handling large sums of cash, but it seems more and more business is done that way nowadays.

If the sale involves more than $10K, you might consider a bank wire transfer or using an escrow service. I don’t know much about either.

I do not think using Craigslist is a bad idea, though there are some precautions that need to be heeded. It is free and has lots of internet traffic. So far, I’ve had good luck with Craigslist. There are a few weirdoes and lots of scam artist out there, but they are usually easy to detect. Usually, your gut instincts will kick in and you will know who not to deal with.

Red flags? “Hello sir, I would like to buy your item…” Oh yea, what item would that be? Beware of anyone offering to buy without looking at the piano, or sending any kind of cashier’s check for more than the sale price and requesting overpayment of funds be sent back. Beware of long-distance prospects. Always request a face-to-face transaction, unless a buyer hires a technician to represent them. Ask for references and identity verifications.

Use common sense… let your inner intuition guide you. If you are not comfortable with any dealings with someone, don’t do it.

Don’t know if this helps or not, but I hope it does.

good luck!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1990510 - 11/24/12 10:00 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 445
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
Answers:

1. Cash in hand
2. Craigslist is free and draws lowlife and bottom feeders.
3. Anything less than cash in hand.

Brent, why not advertise where those that know what you have shop?

https://www.pianoworld.com/placead.php is the place.
_________________________
'86 Baldwin SF-10

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#1990515 - 11/24/12 10:20 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
I am looking. Long-distance is very scary. Local ads in Craiglist have been a mix:

In town:
1. piano exactly as represented, very honest (and somewhat famous!) sellers in a wonderful neighborhood, but it wasn't my instrument

2. ridiculously overpriced Steinway that was a "core" piano.

A drive:
3. squirrely seller who appears to know nothing about what he is selling (see my recent post "craiglist blues.")

4. A boatload of pianos I have seen in person that are pretty much exactly as advertised, from a wholesale dealer.

I'll be selling a piano myself soon and I think it will be a lot easier if I restrict myself to local buyers. Maybe across the state border if they have a technician come. It's more possible when the price is under $5K.

I will not require cash but I want a certified check from a bank that I know, or most preferably from my own credit union.

Ten years ago I sold my Steinway L through an ad in the Orlando Sentinel. That was a breeze. An attractive Asian Tiger Mom brought her kid with her. A few days later she sent a mover with a check. We were both professionals, it was easy to see, and I did not worry for one minute.

Except that I still miss my L--and never really got over selling it.

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#1991250 - 11/26/12 08:49 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 443
Loc: Indiana
"Is your item still for sale?", or, "Thanks for getting back to me, I'm OK with the price, but I'm a marine biologist, and am offshore. I can't use my phone, but I will pay with PayPal" Watch out for all these signs, they are scammers. My ads always state "phone calls only, and NO PAYPAL". It makes no difference to these would be crooks. I use PayPal all the time, however if you agree, they will ask you all kinds of questions to determine a way to access your account and bank balance. One scammer even told me that she was with The World Health Organization. I replyed, just for fun, that I was a VP with the same organization and didn't see her name on "our" rosters. I love messing with them is I have the time!
_________________________
Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ

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#1991333 - 11/27/12 05:45 AM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
How is "Is your item still for sale?" indicative of a crook?


Edited by dsch (11/27/12 05:45 AM)

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#1991347 - 11/27/12 06:35 AM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
I have a lot of experience with this, so I will chime in. "Is your item still for sale" is DEFINITELY a red flag. It is indicative of a crook because it does not specifically refer to your item. It is a way for the scammer to send out broadcast emails on any new item that crops up on Craigslist without having to read each individual ad. I look for an indication that the emailer is asking SPECIFIC questions about my piano, and that he/she gives a contact number. Regarding payment, I set up an account specifically to receive wire transfers. I give the buyer the account and routing number for this account, then, as soon as the money appears, I transfer it out into another account. I have sold many pianos this way.
_________________________
Piano Technician/Tuner

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#1991359 - 11/27/12 08:01 AM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12141
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: CC2 and Chopin lover
I have a lot of experience with this, so I will chime in. "Is your item still for sale" is DEFINITELY a red flag. It is indicative of a crook because it does not specifically refer to your item. It is a way for the scammer to send out broadcast emails on any new item that crops up on Craigslist without having to read each individual ad. I look for an indication that the emailer is asking SPECIFIC questions about my piano, and that he/she gives a contact number. Regarding payment, I set up an account specifically to receive wire transfers. I give the buyer the account and routing number for this account, then, as soon as the money appears, I transfer it out into another account. I have sold many pianos this way.


Ah, ok, so you're referring to an email stating "your item" and not a person calling on the phone. My husband and I have bought many items on craigslist with our recent move here (we didn't take hardly any furniture with us), but never a piano. I can imagine that large sum of cash making anyone a bit nervous. Banks can easily do a wire transfer that is safe and secure for all involved. I think that would be the best route to go if they won't accept a cashier's check.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1991657 - 11/27/12 07:07 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 443
Loc: Indiana
CC2 and Chopin lover, Thanks for clarifying that piont about "is your item still for sale" You are right on. I list many unusual cars on Craigslist, and occasionally an antique jukebox or other antique furniture. The scammers seem to leave the cars and trucks alone, but unique, interesting pieces are their prey.
I have had folks who could barely write english try to tell me that they want to buy something, but the formula is almost always identical. Don't you figure? I always reply that cash in hand will buy the item, and to this day, NOBODY has ever followed through on the non-auto related units. I'm sure Craigslist works, but be very careful!
_________________________
Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ

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#1991659 - 11/27/12 07:19 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
thetandyman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 443
Loc: Indiana
One last post on this message, These days, even a cashiers check is not an assurance of payment. As Rickster mentioned, a wire transfer is fine, once it has been verified. Always, cash is OK. Or request that the piano will be available to be picked up after the funds have been cleared. Most people won't have a problem withese guidelines. If they do, take a pass.
_________________________
Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ

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#2030779 - 02/10/13 08:08 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
hootowl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/13
Posts: 20
Loc: Garnet Valley, PA
My first post. My Wife wants to unload her Kohler and Campbell upright and get a grand. I know nothing about pianos but I will learn as much as possible online.

There are no classifieds on this forum? Most everything I belong to has a dedicated classified forum.

Mike
_________________________
Kawai RX-2 BLAK Millenium III Ninja

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#2030813 - 02/10/13 09:40 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
hootowl - Welcome to Piano World!

There are classifieds on this forum. On the left side of your screen, you will see the commercial ads. Go to the bottom of the column and you will find "Quick Links." Click on "Sell Your Piano." The searchable classifieds are accessed from the intro page which first appears at PW.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2031393 - 02/11/13 05:33 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
try piano mart, ads get cross posted to the pianobuyers on line book...pay 3% if you sell it, otherwise free...

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#2031518 - 02/11/13 10:47 PM Re: Questions re: selling a piano privately [Re: Brent B]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 386
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Im not sure how it works in Florida anymore but you do not want to carry more than 1200.00 in cash in Tennessee, google policing for cash in TN. If you cross state lines into Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky or North Carolina then buy a piano regardless of private seller and get stopped coming back into TN look out. You can be at risk for a nice big juicy sales tax evasion fine.

You of course won't see that if a carrier is doing the move for you. State line counties to the north of here always have someone stopped especially with a pickup with furniture or appliances in the back since KY sales tax is only 6%

Lessons learned from Cashiers checks are don't accept them on weekends, call the bank it is drawn on. Just because it has a phone number doesn't mean it's to that bank. Verify and look for the water mark.

Cash ? Know your presidents. Someone tried paying us in 50s a few years back, The watermark president was Lincoln. 5 dollar bills washed off and re-printed with 50 ink. It was far better than the five dollar bill I have on my wall with the 20 dollar bill corners cut and taped at each corner.

Craigslist ? What is your time worth? You will get LOTS of no shows. We don't re-schedule no shows and doctors offices charge you anyway if you don't show up so. Move the piano up by the front door and keep the lookers right there in that space.

Lastly the cost of a mover has nothing to do with selling in my opinion. A buyer using the excuse that it's going to cost 300 to move the piano shouldn't cause you to drop your price or make you feel guilty about it.
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
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