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#2018661 - 01/21/13 10:04 PM Piano purchases
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I'm just curious... You know, it seems like pretty much at least once if not a few times every day of the week, someone is looking to buy a piano on the piano forum section of PW.

Do you really think, that many people are buying pianos, new and used?

Well? I'm still not working! Going to the vet, er, doc tomorrow cause I've got infections now and yes, I've been taking care of them. Same thing happened with my stitches for my meniscus tear repair. So, I'm still bored to death...

So, what cha'll think??? smile
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2018685 - 01/21/13 10:56 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3297
Well, I know that it depends. Some dealers in my area have been having a hard time selling pianos. Some have even closed. But, the Steinway dealer doesn't seem to be having any problems....
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B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2018708 - 01/22/13 12:17 AM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
45 people peeking in here and only one response so far.👻 I'm just curious there's no way to tell what the ratio might be of people just talking about buying pianos versus those that ask Ask about them and do nothing at all. It almost seems like if that many people are really purchasing pianos out there then the sales figures would be up considerably higher than what they appear to be maybe?


Edited by Jerry Groot RPT (01/22/13 08:58 AM)
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2018850 - 01/22/13 08:17 AM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6139
Loc: Rochester MN
Yea But - A high percentage of the inquiries at piano forum are people asking about Craigslist & Sohne instruments or a gift from someone down the street. Consider that this is an international forum, with a very large membership, and we really don't get all that many newbie shoppers. We all get tired of seeing the same type of posting, over and over again, but consider their experience compared with our own. I think it is great that anyone is shopping for an instrument.

Jerry, I hope you meant "ratio."
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2018875 - 01/22/13 09:04 AM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Thanks for that correction Marty. I changed it. I use SIRI on my iPad while I'm upstairs. It doesn't spell very well and the iPad is so dinky that seeing on it isn't the best. My bad! As usual!

I had forgotten about that it was international.

My personal opinion of piano shoppers are that some post just for the fun of it. Others post for real but walk away from the confusion after trying to sift through all of the fighting and bickering about who's right on what brand piano and just give up say screw it. Or, they just go out and buy a digital instead because it's easier, get it over with mentality.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2018894 - 01/22/13 09:47 AM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2235
Loc: UK
Apologies if you think this is OT, but over on the, ahem, digital piano forum there's a lot of purchase activity. Home consoles and stage type slabs. People seem to really buy, post photo's, complain about expected and unexpected 'feechurs', and now with NAMM everyone is GAS-ing, and of course saying they could have come up with something better in their garage.

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#2018939 - 01/22/13 10:56 AM Re: Piano purchases [Re: spanishbuddha]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2331
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I get enquiries from people all the time but the majority of them are looking for a fillet mignon steak while sporting a hamburger budget.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2019034 - 01/22/13 01:18 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Yes Emmery, I too receive a lot of those types of phone calls."Do you know anyone that would like a free piano? Do you know where I can find a really good quality piano for three or $400?"

For me, those types of questions and calls are rather annoying stone age calls. As if the price of pianos or the servicing of them never rise.

Yes, I knew that digital pianos were selling very strongly. They have been for quite a few years now.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2019209 - 01/22/13 06:21 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
David Jenson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 1952
Loc: Maine
'Ever get a call where the shopper wants to go through every known brand of piano and get your opinion, then wants to think through the whole buying process in your ear? EEeeeYikes!
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2019270 - 01/22/13 07:44 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Oh yeah. Then there are the price shoppers. Interested in the lowest price there is and nothing else. Half the time, I don't even bother returning their calls. No offense to them but it sure is bothersome when they're more interested in cheap than they are quality.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2019325 - 01/22/13 09:36 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3789
I think Craigslist sells more pianos than the piano stores do. A large percentage of what the piano stores sell seems to be digital.
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www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2019335 - 01/22/13 09:50 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Ryan Hassell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 413
Loc: Farmington, MO
The music store for whom I tune, has been in business since the 1940s. The son of the original owners, now owns the store. He said back in the day, it was nothing for them to sell three or four new pianos a week. I even remember as a kid taking piano lessons there, the store was filled with pianos. He said in recent years, for his store, the market has collapsed for new pianos. (He was a dealer for Baldwin & Kimball) He no longer even keeps new pianos in the store. On occasion he will order one for someone. He has gotten in a several used pianos the past couple of years that he had me tune. Every single one of those have sold strangely enough.

I agree with Bob, I think more and more people are turning to Craigslist to buy and sell pianos. That has kind of flooded the market. At least around here anyway.
_________________________
Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO
www.hassellspianotuning.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hassells-Piano-Tuning/163155880804
ryanhassell@hotmail.com

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#2019343 - 01/22/13 10:08 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Pianos, indeed, are changing hands. They are also changing hands at low prices. We know that the peak of new piano sales in the U.S. was, what, about 35 years ago? The last time I checked, the units per year figure was down to about 20% of that peak level. Pitiful! Statistically, and ironically, that can be good for the piano service folks like us. Fewer new pianos sold, as the tremendous number of existing pianos ages, means repair work is more likely to be required. People are passing around the used pianos and they need work.

Still, the sharp decline trend in new sales is troubling. Less sales = less marketing = less awareness = less involvement = less lessons = (in the end game) less piano playing and no need for the pianos or the repairs. The trend for the general public's use of acoustic pianos may be along this road. The upscale music aficionados will remain, but for guys like me in non-urban areas, that is a very small market. Around here it’s all about doing good work for average folks.
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Lavender Piano Services
Established 1977
Tuning, Concert Maintenance,
Rebuilding & Restoration

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#2019917 - 01/23/13 08:55 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 381
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
I did a market research study on my own before moving our piano business out of dead Florida to Nashville TN in 2008.

I found 3 major markets and 1 off the beaten path market for strong piano sales. Naturally you want to go to where the musicians and music schools are.

Those cities then were

#1 Washington DC ( we didn't want to go there due to insane business taxes)

#2 Los Angeles CA ( too expensive to live, a cardboard box under a bridge is like 2K a month)

#3 Nashville TN ( which still has one of the highest Sales/Business use tax rates next to Canada) Very high commercial property prices but it seems to be working.

#4 Westminister VA ? ( Where??) yeah that is what I said too. Lots of piano players there though.

As far as the Hamburger budget thing goes I see it as 50/50 the Champagne budget folks are the same way. They want a 50K dollar Steinway for 50 dollars too, so what I have experienced is people are more cautious than ever with their money.

Used uprights ? the cut off regardless of brand seems to be 1500 ish but no one wants one for 400 so there is that range

Grands are a problem too because if its over lets say 5.5 ft people don't have room unless they have a music studio and as far as generic used it has to be less than 3200.00 or it will sit there.

Rental Rules and Regulations : lots of rental places have stricter rules too now with the housing crunch, you've got contractors that wont guarantee any home improvements to floors if you have a piano,pool table or juke box in your house. You almost have to sneak a piano up the stairs un-noticed at an apartment complex these days too.

Another up and coming market is stage shells. I get on average of 200 emails a week wanting shells built. We will take a standard antique upright that is shot zip off 18 inches and make it 42 inches tall, install studio casters and wham it's a 90 pound or less shell with a market value of up to 1500 for an upright. The bands want mass, something gothic and to be able to see over it

We make the grands on a build table and press the arches, everyone wants one they can dance on and the keyboard slide in area has to be 60 inches to get the rolands /yamahas to fit. Churches are all going digital or headed there so they want a huge cabinet to put on stage.

Someone out there that is slow may want to take a look into that market.You could make them and ship them via LTL carrier pretty easily.

J Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
since 1918
Lascassas TN.

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#2019952 - 01/23/13 09:49 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Here's an interesting article that Bob Maret sent to me today via email.

http://elissamilne.wordpress.com/2012/03...tes-of-america/
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2020208 - 01/24/13 09:08 AM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 617
Loc: Illinois
Thanks for posting that link Jerry. It was indeed interesting and made a lot of good points as to causes of the decline in the US. BTW I love the video at the end. ha
_________________________
Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.


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#2020358 - 01/24/13 01:31 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1598
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Nash. Piano Rescue
I did a market research study on my own before moving our piano business out of dead Florida to Nashville TN in 2008.

I found 3 major markets and 1 off the beaten path market for strong piano sales. Naturally you want to go to where the musicians and music schools are.

Those cities then were...

#4 Westminister VA ? ( Where??) yeah that is what I said too. Lots of piano players there though...



J Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
since 1918
Lascassas TN.



You sure about that? I've lived in Virginia since 1999 and I've never heard of any such place. Nor has MapQuest, for that matter.

Might you mean Winchester, VA?
_________________________


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

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2020369 - 01/24/13 01:41 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Haha Maggie, I didn't listen to it till now. It's funny! I posted the link on my Facebook page.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2020512 - 01/24/13 04:05 PM Re: Piano purchases [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Scott Schroeter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 40
Hi Jerry,
Glad to hear you're healing. To add to some of the points already made, you're asking this question shortly after Christmas when most people have incurred some credit debt. Many are also going to hold onto their money until they've done their taxes and know the damage that will bring. This is true almost every year. Beyond that our sales have been increasing year to year for three or four years. Not huge bumps but steady. Digital's certainly have cut into used piano sales but for those who would rather have the used acoustic over the new digital seem to think the best deal is the least expensive C-list clunker they can find that will be "easy" for a "tuner" to "fix up". Sometimes they're right, often they're wrong.
Hockey's back. Keep your head up!
_________________________
Scott Schroeter
Artist Pianos Ltd.
Manager
Technical Service Mgr.
www.artist-pianos.com
Yamaha - Kawai - Mason & Hamlin

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