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#2237735 - 02/26/14 12:12 AM I need your wisdom
mosspianotuning Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/10
Posts: 23
Hi everybody. Recently I have been thinking a lot about where I would like to go with piano technology. I started my tuning/moving business about 7 years ago and I now feel like I have established a solid and stable income with many repeat clients and contracts. I am 33 years old so I hope to have a lot of time left to do this work that I love.

I posted this hoping to get some advice from anyone willing to give it about rebuilding. I feel like I would really enjoy the work and feel that I am young enough to become respectably good at it if I start getting into it now. I love tuning and servicing pianos, but if I am lucky enough to work for 30 to 40 more years, I am trying to prevent myself from getting burnt on tuning everyday. Plus there is something unexplainable that amazes me about bring old pianos back to life.

I guess my question is; is rebuilding worth it? There is certainly substantial overhead and a lot of labor involved before the potential payoff. To clarify, I was thinking along the lines of rebuilding my own pianos for future sale and not taking on customer rebuilds.

Just wondering what the long time technicians who have been there done that have to say.

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#2237823 - 02/26/14 07:27 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 300
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
Shop space is a must, even if it is a room in your house (that's how I started). Bring in a console or spinet and fix it up and offer it for sale. Start with a low-priced or freebee off cl, that isn't beat to death. You will soon realize what work is needed to revitalize these and what they will bring in retail. You can also sharpen your skills at every tuning of verticals by tweaking the damper lift with the pedal and a few errant damper/key timing issues. Include some regulation with every tuning but be careful of what you do or by how much as it will affect something else. Early on, I adjusted lost motion only to discover that now the dampers were lifting early and some off the strings. Grands are more involved and can come later as you immerse yourself in piano technology. Attend seminars, learn always. It's a great life.

You also need a sense of what is marketable. Uprights generally are not unless they are of high quality but still do not fetch the slightly higher retail of consoles. Rent a Uhaul, then get a trailer for low overhead. You will also need able-bodied friends :-) but don't move precarious or difficult situations for safety reasons. Hiring movers negates your profit on these entry level pianos. I get moving equipment from New Haven Moving Equip. Co.


Edited by Jon Page (02/26/14 07:28 AM)
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2237832 - 02/26/14 08:10 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2150
Loc: Maine
Right away the topic heading knocked me out of the running. For "wisdom", you're gonna' have to look to that Jurgen (Supply) fella out there in the hinterlands of the West Coast. 'Sorry.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#2237862 - 02/26/14 09:37 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 288
Loc: Scotland
Jon's comments sound eminently sensible to me.

With regard to rebuilding for resale, everything has to be factored in to the costs, of course, including transportation, workshop heating/lighting etc. Would it be profitable?

Are you also contemplating extensive case refinishing, which is often needed? That would probably call for an additional workshop area and a whole additional set of skills.

Most potential customers won't buy a tatty-looking piano, even if the action is exquisite and the sound glorious. Conversely, many people seem to buy "restored" pianos that look pretty but play horribly and sound vile!

What prices can reburbished pianos command in your area? Can you pick up old pianos cheap enough to make the hours of work worthwhile? You'd need to pcik them up almost for free, I'd think.

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#2237866 - 02/26/14 09:44 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: Jon Page]
mosspianotuning Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/10
Posts: 23
Thanks Jon, you do offer some good advice. Like I said, I have been in the business for 7 years. During this time, I have established a stable customer base. I already do moving and I do have a small shop space and have good success reconditioning and selling entry level to mid priced uprights and baby grands. The furthest I have gone into rebuilding is hammer/damper replacement, the usual regulation, key tops and bushings, some oversize re-pinning. I am now thinking of expanding my knowledge and practice to pinblock and soundboard repair and restringing. There is more up front expense involved and more time as well. I am still deciding if its worth it as it is certainly a lot less involved to just continue tuning and servicing but there are a lot of older high quality American built pianos out there that I feel the craftsmanship out passes the new stuff and with everything coming from Asia now, I wonder if it is a good direction to head with my work to bring these older quality instruments back to life. I do think I would very much enjoy the work, just wondering if there is enough profit to survive on. Thanks again for your advice.



Edited by mosspianotuning (02/26/14 09:45 AM)

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#2237873 - 02/26/14 09:55 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4217
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: mosspianotuning
I guess my question is; is rebuilding worth it? There is certainly substantial overhead and a lot of labor involved before the potential payoff. To clarify, I was thinking along the lines of rebuilding my own pianos for future sale and not taking on customer rebuilds. Just wondering what the long time technicians who have been there done that have to say.


I have my own spare time projects that I build on spec but have noted a gradual decline in this type of request going back more than a decade.

I have not built on spec for some time now and only rebuild according to order.

Then of course something happens like last year when I sold not one but 3 vintage player pianos and rented another out.

Every area of the country is different and market fluctuations reflect that reality.

Your experience might be different. Start small and build up according to market interest.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2237885 - 02/26/14 10:31 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
gynnis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/14
Posts: 133
Loc: Florida, Connecticut
You might want to look at the "open heart surgery" pin block replacement that is illustrated for an old Chickering in these pages. I'm doing my own Chickering because I love the piano. Making a profit is more difficult. You need to know the core to buy for as little as possible, and minimize your effort. Not an easy task on old quirky pianos.
_________________________
Seiler 206, Chickering 145, Estey 2 manual reed organ, Fudge clavichord, Zuckerman single harpsichord, Technics P-30, Roland RD-100.

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#2237894 - 02/26/14 10:48 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2209
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I don't know if anyone else has noticed but making a profit in the piano business has become much more challenging in the last 15 years.

In fact profit margins in most retail operations have been declining in the US for some time. Companies like Amazon seem to be able to sell stuff with almost no profit and in some cases definitely at a loss and stay in business because investors love the growth rate. (It doesn't take a genius to give things away!). The increase of private, non-profit enterprises has been growing much faster than the economy for some time now. Many entry level jobs that have an advancement career track attached to them start out as un-paid internships.

In some sense capitalism is destroying the profit in markets. And it is not the government driving this other than tax policy.

I rebuild pianos for spec and it is a lot of work to generate leads. It is impossible to do the contact work that a full time salesmen does for prospects and work on the pianos at the same time.

I do rebuilding because I have developed the skills to evolve piano design beyond what manufacturers can accomplish. This sets me apart from the competition. If a pianist values both great traditional workmanship and soberly developed design advancements that produce a state-of-the-art piano-I am their man. That this also produces a piano with the greatest stability to tone and touch is an added selling point and is why I don't sell any new pianos.

Good luck to you!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2237898 - 02/26/14 11:03 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Ed Sutton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 42
Real estate costs as rent or mortgage will drive you under.
If your home, lot and building codes allow, you can explore rebuilding shop options without a monthly payment ticking over your head. Stay within the limits of what you can pay for with cash. Don't raid your IRA!

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#2237900 - 02/26/14 11:06 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Ed Sutton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 42
One more thought: if your tuning/moving/repair business is not generating savings for moderate expansion costs, you are not charging enough for your services.

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#2237914 - 02/26/14 11:39 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Building on what Ed brings up, whatever you do - grow it on your own steam. Don't spend a bunch of money you don't have on equipment and machines that "would really come in handy at some point". Make sure expenditures and investments are driven by need, not desire to be or have something.

The trick to a low-stress life in this business is to have low, low overhead and fixed costs: rent, utilities, (and heaven forbid: payments on loans for business assets). Don't enslave yourself to creditors.

That way, even if you have a bad month or two or three, you are not sunk. Or conversely, you can go south for a month and won't have huge bills to pay while you are vacationing, and making no money.

Mingle with rebuilders - attend PTG chapter meetings and conferences (there is one this weekend in San Francisco with some of the best west coast rebuilders). People are usually happy to share with others, especially in face to face encounters.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2237984 - 02/26/14 02:10 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: Supply]
Chuck Behm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote:
To clarify, I was thinking along the lines of rebuilding my own pianos for future sale and not taking on customer rebuilds. - mosspianotuning


I would encourage you not to rule out taking on customer rebuilds. In my experience, this is the most steady source of income - especially when you get a reputation in your local area for doing good work. We're always booked ahead for upcoming projects, especially for old uprights which we refinish and restore typically for $7,000 to $9,000. There are alot of folks out there who own their grandma's piano - often an aforementioned upright. Once they have seen what a vintage piano can look like (often in the home of a friend) they call me.

The other factor is with a customer rebuild, you can ask for a percent down, which helps defray costs. I require 25% down, so right up front I have a check for $2,000 or so to work with. I can pay my Schaff bills with this, buy whatever new tools I need, etc. When you're rebuilding a piano for a future sale, you're on the hook for everything you put into it until the day it's actually sold. Also, if it doesn't sell, you have another piano taking up room in your shop.

Finally, there is a huge amount of satisfaction in bringing back an instrument to life which is essentially part of a family. I hear so many stories about the history of the pianos we work on - the gratitude you receive for saving a family treasure means a lot.

Anyway, food for thought. I second what others have said about growing your business gradually. I went the other route - sunk a bunch of money in a shop, and while I don't regret it now, it was stressful when I still had monthly payments on my investment to worry about. Best wishes on whichever direction you go, Chuck Behm
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#2238047 - 02/26/14 04:32 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3350
Originally Posted By: mosspianotuning
Hi everybody. Recently I have been thinking a lot about where I would like to go with piano technology. I started my tuning/moving business about 7 years ago and I now feel like I have established a solid and stable income with many repeat clients and contracts. I am 33 years old so I hope to have a lot of time left to do this work that I love.

I posted this hoping to get some advice from anyone willing to give it about rebuilding. I feel like I would really enjoy the work and feel that I am young enough to become respectably good at it if I start getting into it now. I love tuning and servicing pianos, but if I am lucky enough to work for 30 to 40 more years, I am trying to prevent myself from getting burnt on tuning everyday. Plus there is something unexplainable that amazes me about bring old pianos back to life.

I guess my question is; is rebuilding worth it? There is certainly substantial overhead and a lot of labor involved before the potential payoff. To clarify, I was thinking along the lines of rebuilding my own pianos for future sale and not taking on customer rebuilds.

Just wondering what the long time technicians who have been there done that have to say.


If you want to get into quality rebuilding, know that there are a lot of companies that specialize in doing work for the trade. For example, you can send out that vintage Steinway core you have to any number of rebuilding shops and have them refinish it, install a new pin block, repair or replace the soundboard, refinish the plate, and ship you a ready to string carcass, and then you can rebuild the action yourself. Yes, that does take out some of the fun (frustration?), and costs more, but for a tech who is on his own and/or is just getting started, or only plans to do a few pianos a year, this makes a lot of sense! The PTG website has an excellent database .

_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2238056 - 02/26/14 04:47 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 300
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
Someone mentioned a Chickering grand. I have not found these to be profitable with a new block +, because around here, they will only command a certain price. Some pianos seem to have a ceiling for retail. You won't discover this until you realized $5/hr on what you thought was a home run and you'll find out what is marketable at a profit unless you're content making just enough to qualify for government subsidies.


Edited by Jon Page (02/26/14 05:03 PM)
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2238099 - 02/26/14 06:38 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
mosspianotuning Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/10
Posts: 23
Wow all I can say is I'm so glad I asked these questions. My gratitude to everyone who gave their 2 cents. A lot of ideas and options that I hadn't necessarily been considering fully. I'll be chewing on this one for a while smile

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#2238106 - 02/26/14 06:56 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21687
Loc: Oakland
I believe it is worthwhile to learn some aspects of rebuilding for the sake of understanding how a piano works and what repairs are worth making. The best pianos to start with, which will cost you the least money, are old uprights that people want to get rid of. Look for one with no major structural faults in the frame, bridges, and soundboard and no notes that have unisons that are badly out of tune. Restring it, replace the hammers and action and keybed felts. If it sounds and plays well after you are done, you should be able to recover your out-of-pocket expenses for parts and materials, if you do a good job. The value that is returned to you will be in skills and knowledge, if you take the time to do the job well.

Just stay away from Steinways, Baldwins, Kranich & Bach, and other pianos that have non-standard parts until you have generic uprights mastered!


Edited by BDB (02/26/14 06:58 PM)
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2238175 - 02/26/14 10:17 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 300
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
Uprights are labor intensive non-profit enterprises unless you are solely going for the learning experience. Restringing is expensive parts wise. You could be sinking $600 on parts and can only get $300-400 for the piano. Generally you'd only need to replace the bass strings and damper felts anyway. I suggest consoles or spinets which do not need restringing and realize a profit, slim that it may be, with damper felt replacement (or not). If you keep one available to work on, you can put in an hour or two before your first tuning or at the end of the day. Also it fills the times where you don't have appointments. Within a week, you could have a salable piano and only worked on it in that 'spare' time, I do this all the time. Your time will improve with each few pianos.
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2238187 - 02/26/14 10:47 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: Jon Page]
Chuck Behm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA

Quote:
"Uprights are labor intensive non-profit enterprises unless you are solely going for the learning experience. Restringing is expensive parts wise. You could be sinking $600 on parts and can only get $300-400 for the piano." - Jon Page


The last 3 uprights we did were for $6,000, $8,400 and $7,500. Granted, we average 150 - 200 hours of work per piano, so it's not as profitable as tuning by a long shot, but it's not what I would consider "non-profit." Plus, as the OP stated up front, it's a way to avoid burn-out. The 6k and 8.4k jobs were customer's pianos, by the way, and the 7.5k was an orphan piano which we took in to restore and sell. We have 3 more similar jobs lined up for this summer already, with 25% down on each job paid in advance.

I guess all I'm saying is don't rule out an entire category of piano (such as vintage uprights) just because others don't find the work rewarding or profitable. No one else in my area bothers to work on them, and that's why I have a steady stream of jobs lined up. Chuck
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#2238248 - 02/27/14 01:00 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21687
Loc: Oakland
I think that if you can only get $400 for a vintage upright piano that you have restored, your skills are sadly lacking. Maybe it is an indication that you have spent too much time working on spinets and consoles, and do not know what a real piano should sound like.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2238336 - 02/27/14 07:36 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 300
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
It's what the market will bear. The last upright I restored was a Bjur, which was of top quality and I got a good price for it. I had to give away a M&H screwstringer upright to a wholesaler who bought a beat S&S M, as good as the M&H sounded, no one wanted an 1890's piano. I do not want to warehouse vintage pianos, shop space it at a premium. Your market is obviously different than mine. People around here do not want uprights and those that do do not want to spend much. I sold a 20 y/o Yamaha U3 last year too, that's about the speed of things. Like I said, you have to know your market. Around here, it's more modern pianos. Look at my website to see the inventory that moves around here.

If you buy a Yamaha made prior to 1988, be prepared to replace the hammer spring loop cords. If you get a Baldwin or Wurlitzer made between 1974 and 1984, be prepared to replace the Corfam with Ecsaine (see my method in the p-teck archives). I work on spinets and consoles between grands and grand action optimization to fill the market need but select only those that realize a decent profit. I do more grand action work than anything else, lately it's been making 'rebuilt' actions more playable by applying Stanwood protocols, probably 'rebuilt' by guys like you :-)


Edited by Jon Page (02/27/14 03:42 PM)
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2238367 - 02/27/14 09:11 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 386
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Rebuilding your own inventory over rebuilding something you do not own should be your business staple. That way you are on your own time line , not on some crazy persons delusional expectation that they saw on the DIY network of like 3 days for a complete restoration. Instant gratification has replaced patience in the last few years.

I also wouldn't go crazy rebuilding everything in your inventory because those pianos have to be matched up to the individuals personality. In other words just because "Johnny" likes a piano " Mary" may think it is awful.

You may also want to do a " Half & Half restoration of an upright to display your skill level. Take an upright , run a tape line vertically over it and restore half including the finish leave the other side looking like it just came off the bombing range. Put that in your shop and use it to sell your products.

As far as space goes if you are truly crazy in love with the business you will never have enough room so do not worry about it. I've been looking at an old school which is about 200k sqft and my people tell me its fine but I would fill it up within a year so you just have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

Depending on where you live state regulation can blow the wind out of your sales really fast depending on what you are doing. Refinishing / owning a paint booth makes you a nice ripe juicy target. If you have the room and live in a rural area building a shop at your house is the way to go
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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#2238369 - 02/27/14 09:13 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: Jon Page]
Chuck Behm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote:
Your market is obviously different than mine. People around here do not want uprights and those that do do not want to spend much. I sold a 20 y/o Yamaha U3 last year too, that's about the speed of things. Like I said, you have to know your market. - Jon Page


Jon - You're absolutely right. What sells in one region of the country might not do nearly so well in another. I happen to live in a rural region - lots of farm families, and lots of folks living in homes that are what I would call "comfortable" but often not particularly modern. Many, many customers of mine have pianos which have been passed down. Oftentimes an interest is there to bring those pianos back to their original beauty.

In large urban regions, I would think this type of customer would be rare. More people on the go, on the move, and looking for a more modern touch for their homes. I'm just glad I'm in an area where older pianos are more likely to be viewed as worth preserving, and not as likely to be hauled to the dumpster (although some of that goes on).

I do believe that one key to bringing in this type of work (wherever you happen to live)is setting a precedent (as far as price), and showing people what's possible (as far as quality of work). If people have a chance to see a piano similar to their own really done up right, and they know what type of investment is involved, when they pick up the phone to call you there's really not a lot of arm twisting that needs to go on. By the time they place the call to you, the job is usually already yours, if you decide to do it. Chuck
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#2238400 - 02/27/14 10:29 AM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: mosspianotuning]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 300
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
Chuck, your clientele probably have large farm houses. Here, it's small Capes, not many people have the room for the larger imposing uprights. I generally do not buy anything before 1960 unless it is a decent grand. Some houses are so old that even spinets have a hard time getting through the narrow doorways.

Profit depends on what people are willing to sell them for, what work they need and what people are willing to pay for them. I've been doing this for forty years so I have the fixin' down pretty good and know the market.

Last summer I sold two old S&S uprights on ebay, to rebuilders; they need so much work with no market here. The 1866 sold to a buyer who shipped it to Japan and the 1890's one went to a young tech in NYC where there is a market for these.

I have about 20 grands waiting to spec on with 2 grands and 5 small verticals ready to go. Until something sells, I'm working on the pneumatics of my Chickering Ampico grand and a melodeon for someone along with action work of previous 'rebuilds'.

They don't move as fast as I was buying them before the last downturn. That's the reason for the overstock. I really need to move this stock to fit the SD10 I bought.


Edited by Jon Page (02/27/14 10:45 AM)
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2238751 - 02/27/14 09:52 PM Re: I need your wisdom [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
Chuck Behm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 705
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote:
"Rebuilding your own inventory over rebuilding something you do not own should be your business staple. That way you are on your own time line , not on some crazy persons delusional expectation that they saw on the DIY network of like 3 days for a complete restoration. Instant gratification has replaced patience in the last few years. - J. Christie


Mr. Christie - Respectfully, for the small owner such as the OP (or myself, for that matter) building from inventory isn't as practical as for someone such as yourself who has a huge number of instruments to choose from. If someone comes to you and says, "I would like such-and-such brand of piano, in such-and-such size, you would most likely be able to fit the bill. For me, 8 pianos would completely fill my shop - therefore having the inventory to fulfill the needs of someone coming in off the street is unlikely.

Rebuilding for others has many advantages for the shop owner with limited space and resources. Obviously, one doesn't want to deal with crazy persons who have unrealistic expectations, but one doesn't have to. One can pick and choose what pianos, and which piano owners, one wants to approach about exploring the possibilities of sinking time and money into a restoration or rebuilding job.

Just a thought. Oh, and the idea of a "half & half" restoration sounds like a great idea. Do you have photos of one you've done, or is this an idea you've toyed with but haven't done yet? Chuck Behm
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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