Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's?

Posted by: Kbee

Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 01:34 PM

Hi, I'm upgrading my 11-year-old daughter's piano. We currently have a free piano from Craig's list. She really enjoys playing piano and has won every competition her piano teacher put her in, so I think it's time to get a baby grand for her. The piano teacher wanted us to buy an Yamaha if possible.

My original plan was to wait for the local piano sale in mid March, but saw an Yamaha GC-1 for sale on Craig's list. It is manufactured in 2006 and the asking price is $8,500. We need to pay for the delivery and tuning.

Is it a fair price? The owner has an appraisal from a local piano store with the value of close to $10,000.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot!
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 01:37 PM

I would recommend spending a couple of hundred to have your own piano technician or another piano technician who is familiar with your local market, complete a comprehensive appraisal on the instrument, the appraisal document from the store notwithstanding.

There are lots of good used pianos in the marketplace and some of them would be Yamaha.

The name or make of the instrument is not the important part.
Posted by: Kbee

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 01:51 PM

Thanks for the reply, Dan. Her appraisal also includes a technician's evaluation on the piano. It was done by the largest piano store in our area. I'll have them move the piano if we decided to get it. That's why I didn't think of getting another technician to look at it.

We've checked the piano in person (no expert though). It's in beautiful shape and well taken care of. She is the original owner.
Posted by: Kbee

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 02:04 PM

Unfortunately our small town has a very limited marketplace of pianos. You either buy it from local music stores or get it from Craig's list. The ones on CL are usually older models, i.e. G1 from Yamaha.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 02:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Kbee
Her appraisal also includes a technician's evaluation on the piano.


Does this technician do work for the store? A conflict there if that is the case.
Posted by: Kbee

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 02:17 PM

Sorry maybe I'm not being clear. The piano owner paid to have the evaluation/appraisal done by the local store. The store does not own the piano.
Posted by: Kbee

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 02:22 PM

The piano's serial number is #6039694, just thought I should mention it.

Thanks smile
Posted by: BDB

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 02:41 PM

The chances are that there is nothing wrong with the piano. The price will depend on the local market. You probably should judge it on the basis of what the local store would want for a new one, and decide on a fair percentage of that.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 02:48 PM

Hi Kbee - Welcome to Piano World!

Did the "evaluation/appraisal" include a mechanical inspection by the store. I'm assuming (trusting) that it was done by a qualified technician. You might be able to obtain further info on the piano from the person who inspected it.

Going by the 2006-07 pricing "Supplement" to the "Piano Book" by Larry Fine, the price when the piano was new would be ~$17,000. That gives you another piece of info.

I'm not familiar with that particular model, so I'll leave it to others to comment on the asking price. With any sale, it is always worth some negotiation.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 05:46 PM

If the store which did the appraisal originally sold the piano to the current owner (seller), it could be fairly safe to assume that the value is skewed toward the high side. Short entry level baby grands are not known for very good tone. In the end, you have to buy the piano you like and like the piano you buy.
Posted by: Kbee

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 07:56 PM

Thanks for all the replies!! I checked with the owner, she said she paid $13,000~$14,000 for the new piano in 2007.

Yes, the appraisal was done by the store she bought the piano from. Actually, there is only one piano store (a few branches though) in our area frown

My house is not that big so not sure if a larger piano will fit in it. My searches leads me to this wonderful forum and that's how I learned about GC-1.
Posted by: Guapo Gabacho

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 08:15 PM

Kbee,
You can take anything a piano dealer says to the bank, but it must be their bank.

Treat buying a piano the same way you would a used car, just with more suspicion.
Posted by: Kbee

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/24/13 08:35 PM

Thanks, that's great advice. I really should bring my own technician to look at it, shouldn't I?

Feel so inadequate in my knowledge about buying a used piano, but my budget is not big enough for a new one. Don't have trained ears either.

Never gotten a used car, because I know I'd be like a lamb in the butcher shop.

Thank goodness I found this forum.
Posted by: miscrms

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/25/13 12:23 AM

As I think you've gathered, on a purchase of this size it only makes sense to get an independent opinion. That's not to say the owner's/store's appraisal might not be right on, but why chance it?

As far as increasing your confidence in feeling educated in your purchase, many have recommended Larry Fine's "Piano Book" and his pianobuyer.com website. The print book has many good articles on general piano topics, and the website has updated information available for free including a good overview of buying a used piano.

Your local library might have the "Piano Book", or if you buy it from Amazon using the link from this page I believe the PW forum gets some financial benefit from the purchase.
http://www.pianoworld.com/pianobooks.htm

Good luck!
Rob
Posted by: Kbee

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/26/13 04:24 PM

Thanks Rob. I'll be reading Piano Book. It's a new world to explore. I've talked to a technician as well.

The piano owner is quite firm on the price. Is it a fair asking price?
Posted by: Steven Y. A.

Re: Upgrading from an old free piano to a baby grand, Q's? - 02/26/13 04:34 PM

GC-1 is an exccelent choice. there are equvailent choices, too. but a slightly used grand like this is the bang for the buck.