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#1998198 - 12/12/12 05:52 AM Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Hello, after months of deliberation I am ready to purchase a piano from ebay from a reputable seller. The piano is in United States, and I'm in Australia. I have never purchase something so expensive off ebay before (30k +) so I'm not sure what would be the safest way to pay for this piano. ie, what if I pay for the piano in full and it never turns up? Also has anyone shipped a piano from overseas before? How much did the shipping company quote you? Thank you so much for any advice and sorry if this has been posted before.

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#1998201 - 12/12/12 06:21 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
You can pay through an online escrow company. Ebay has one they work with....google it. They hold the money until you receive and inspect the piano, then release the funds to the seller. You will pay several thousand dollars to ship a piano from the U.S. or Europe. Depends on the distance and conditions, (stairs/turns) at your home.
_________________________
Piano Technician/Tuner

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#1998204 - 12/12/12 06:28 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
We are in the UK and this came up the other day with a French customer. They wanted a Bank Guarantee which was impossible for the services we were supplying over a period of time. It would be ideal for your piano. The Bank guarantees to pay you the money if the piano does not show up by a given date, is not in good condition, whatever you specify. There may be other ways [PS as previous post]. PayPal? Complete all the arrangements with the seller before parting with a cent!


Edited by Withindale (12/12/12 06:32 AM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1998205 - 12/12/12 06:36 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Thanks for both your advice. I'm not sure if they can accept escrow company but I will definitely ask. I will also ask my bank about Bank Guarantee. Is there anything else I should be wary about before sealing the deal? It is a new piano, but it has been in the showroom for a couple of years. I'm thinking of asking for photos of the hammer felt (to see how worn it is), and even a video of something being played to hear the tone of the piano (even just a scale), what else should I be concerned about?

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#1998217 - 12/12/12 07:38 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1834
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
How about seeing if one of the US RPTs on this board could inspect it for you where the piano is now located tor a fee? That way you'd know its current condition before shipping commenced.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1998218 - 12/12/12 07:51 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Great idea ClsscLib! I'll look into getting a RPT to inspect the piano once I'm happy with the price of the piano.

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#1998704 - 12/13/12 12:40 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 531
Loc: Australia
Also, you will want to check warranty arrangements. Most warranties are underwritten by the importer into the country, but would only be relevant within that country.
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#1998707 - 12/13/12 12:44 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 531
Loc: Australia


A cheaper way of shifting it here??
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#1998728 - 12/13/12 01:37 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
This is also something I'm considering (shipping a piano from overseas to Australia), so I hope you will share with us your experience of doing this! smile I'm sure many of us will be interested.

For what it is worth, I have found out that musical instruments, in particular grand pianos, are not subject to a tariff:
http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/HT92AW2012.pdf (Stat code 52)

However it will of course be subject to GST (10% on the whole of purchase price + shipping + insurance).

Quarantine is the other thing to consider. From what I can gather, for manufactured wood products, it just needs an inspection.

Need to comb this website for more info:
http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import


Of course, the alternative is just pay a customs broker to handle all this.


Edited by Acca (12/13/12 01:46 AM)

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#1998740 - 12/13/12 02:34 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 531
Loc: Australia
You'll need a carrier when it gets here, you could contact them now - I'm sure they'd have information on processes.
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#1998832 - 12/13/12 09:41 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1793
What will shipping cost? What will the effect of a long sea voyage be on the piano, if you do not spring for air fare? Why are you buying a $30K piano in the US for shipping to Australia in the first place? Are there no good pianos already in Australia? Given the need to pay taxes and shipping, you could get an even more expensive piano that is already there, unless Australia is much more of a backwater than I think it is.

How come I am the first poster to be asking these questions? Where are all the skeptics on this forum? It seems very odd to me that anyone would buy a piano this way, given that it cannot be tried out before purchase. What if the piano does not meet your expectations? What are you going to do about returning it in that event? How are you going to get warranty repairs paid for by the seller, if any are needed?

If you have already answered all of these questions, or gotten answers from the seller, great. You have no doubt thought of all these questions, but I am posting this anyway.

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#1998858 - 12/13/12 10:36 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
Acca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 67
Australia is more backwater than you could ever imagine. All the prices you see on this forum, add 50 to 100%, and you will have an idea of what we have to pay. Even after shipping, insurance, transport and 10% tax, we can still save 20-40%. That's a very powerful motivator.

Many of the distributors in Australia have been used jacking up prices over the years because our currency used to be weak. Now that our currency is stronger than the USD, they keep the same prices, citing "costs" and Australia being a "remote location". Unfortunately for them, the internet is a great leveler, and we can easily see how badly we are getting ripped off now.

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#1998878 - 12/13/12 11:10 AM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1120
Loc: chicago, il
i purchased my C7 off of eBay, but i flew from chicago to LA to audition it. personally, i couldn't imagine purchasing a $30k piano without playing/hearing it first.

also, considering australia's proximity to japan/korea/china, wouldn't pianos made in those countries be somewhat reasonably priced down under? aren't there some good piano stores in sydney you could go to to try out pianos and negotiate price?
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

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#1999068 - 12/13/12 05:08 PM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3693
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Any way you slice it, Australia's piano market is very poor compared to the US. You guys have no idea how good you've got it - you are spoiled for choice and for price. Acca is perfectly right. If I lived in the US, I would have a grand piano by now. Because I live in Australia, it's a long way off. The difference is that great that it does make sense to consider shipping a piano in from the US - the difference in price more than pays for shipping it, and even would pay for a two way ticket and a vacation to go to the US and audition the piano. The only benefit we have is a generally strong economy - but that is of little relevance for the individual person with a modest income. Buying a piano from overseas is still a very nervous proposition however, due to the fear of getting ripped off. If I were buying from a reputable dealer like Rich or Norbert though, I wouldn't be worried at all.

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#1999391 - 12/14/12 12:14 PM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Nice to hear from fellow Aussies! The dealer said firm and won't negotiate on the original price listed. Is this common? I have made an offer anyway... not a ridiculous amount off the original price listed but I do have a budget on how much I can spend.

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#1999396 - 12/14/12 12:24 PM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
It's the total package including finance, transport and after sale services that matters. What service does the dealer offer his local customers with a piano?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1999399 - 12/14/12 12:35 PM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Just free transport to the shipping dock. The shipping cost I'll pay myself. I'll be paying it in full. I'll be getting a tech in their local area to inspect it first before I make the purchase. Still the owner is very firm. Anyway, I just left my offer and see what happens. In the meantime ill shop around.

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#1999429 - 12/14/12 01:47 PM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Just to clarify my penny's worth; when you have your tech's report, you'll have as complete a picture as you are going to have, and then you'll be in a better position to agree the final deal. You'll be taking on any pre-sale and after-sale service responsibilities, but is the free shipping to the dock in exchange for that?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1999522 - 12/14/12 06:29 PM Re: Help please, about to purchase an expensive piano off ebay [Re: albynism]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 321
Withindale. I pm-ed you

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