Lost another one

Posted by: -Frycek

Lost another one - 04/25/10 04:09 PM

I just learned my tuner's been forced by lack of business to take a job driving a truck. It's not like we're overly blessed with qualified piano technicians in this area to start with. Sad. Very sad.
Posted by: JBE

Re: Lost another one - 04/25/10 04:50 PM

I'm sorry to hear that. I guess things are worse in your part of the country. I've been busy. If I were him I would rather move to an area where I could continue working rather than do something else.

I suppose there will be a lot of pianos needing work when/if we come out of this.
Posted by: Volusiano

Re: Lost another one - 04/25/10 07:40 PM

I wonder how long it'd take a tuner to get re-established in a new area since he'd have to rebuild his clientele base all over again from scratch...
Posted by: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: Lost another one - 04/25/10 08:34 PM

It would take a very long time for anyone, anywhere. I saw, "South Carolina Hills" from Frycek. I can only imagine: beautiful area but how could anyone line up enough business to make a living there? I see that JByron lives whee I grew up. The city of Los Angeles is broke and the whole state is broke. How I would love to move back to LA and muscle in on the recording industry! How I would love to do that in NYC too but then again, I wouldn't want to do either. I like it where I am: beautiful area AND plenty of pianos to tune, at least for now.

This is supposed to be an apolitical forum as I have recently been reminded but I do have to wonder what is going to happen. The Federal government and most of the state governments are so far over extended that neither can ever hope to pay what they owe. Not if all the wealth from the richest people were confiscated could they pay what they owe (from what I've heard). Even if that were done, then where would the jobs come from? Who is going to create the wealth needed for people to be able to afford to buy pianos, enjoy music and have the pianos serviced if most or all of the wealth is taken by the government?

100 years ago, there were over 300 piano manufacturers operating in the USA. Now there are 3. Anyone see a trend?
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Lost another one - 04/25/10 10:37 PM

Things are not going well in Gotham City. Fortunately I have a huge client file or the loss of roughly 40% of customers would have really hurt. I would NOT want to try to start a new business right now!

Yea, I see a trend, and it's not a good one.
Posted by: Dave Stahl

Re: Lost another one - 04/25/10 10:55 PM

Originally Posted By: David Jenson
Things are not going well in Gotham City. Fortunately I have a huge client file or the loss of roughly 40% of customers would have really hurt. I would NOT want to try to start a new business right now!

Yea, I see a trend, and it's not a good one.


I was thinking the same thing. It would be tough to get a business of any type of the ground right now, and piano tuning is not immune to that.
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Lost another one - 04/25/10 11:01 PM

It's been four years since I moved to ABQ (when my granddaughter was born!), and in this economy, it's hard to get new customers. I'm still working hard at it. To tune three pianos a day, for people who tune annually, I need to get 700 to 1,000 customers. Once I get 'em, it's fine. Unfortunately, this is the third time in ten years I'm starting up in a new state. Piano stores have been the traditional source for new customers, but that has slowed way down.

--Cy--
Posted by: Bob

Re: Lost another one - 04/25/10 11:52 PM

Here are some trends: Total acoustic pianos sold in the USA 2005 = 95,518

Total acoustic pianos sold in the USA 2009 = 33,060 a decrease of 65% in five years.

Source, this month's The Music Trades Magazine.

Meanwhile in 2009, 102,000 digital pianos were sold in the USA (source, Music Trades)

In the years from 1967 to 1983, annual USA piano production was around 200,000 units give or take, and a couple of years closed in on 300,000 units per year. http://www.cantos.org/Piano/History/marketing.html


2009 numbers represent an 83% decrease from the annual production 1967 - 1983.

We are in a declining industry (in the USA). All of us have to figure out how to compete better against digitals. It's our own survival at stake. When the economy recovers, acoustic piano sales will recover to some extent, but like a declining stock, we are in a trend of lower lows, and lower highs. We need to reverse that.

Posted by: Bojan Babic

Re: Lost another one - 04/26/10 04:07 AM

My friend who has a piano shop, has not sell not even one grand piano during last two years, and he has 7 of them there. He has to pay all the things, like he works normally, rents, gas, electricity, insurance etc, but nobody buy grands. He sold a few uprights, and he has a really rough time, considering that. I personally cover a large area in 3 states, and I have only 4 or 5 tunings a week. The situation is very serious here. I think that it is a great pity to have good tuners and techs moving to less demanding professions, because it takes years of devoted work to learn the job, and also many years to build the network of clients. I would not like to quit doing this wonderful job ever. Hope that the crisis will pass. My greetings to the tuners in USA and all over the world.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: Lost another one - 04/26/10 07:06 AM

Frycek:

Is your tuner willing to tune part time? That is what I do inn this very rural area.

Bill:

It is easy to balance any government budget without raising tax rates and without reducing the amount spent on services. Just turn on the inflation machine. The real dollars that are spent are reduced, the interest on bonds generally remains the same, and everyone is pushed into higher tax brackets.

All:

I don’t think it is fair to compare how the economy was just a few years ago with how it is now. We were living on a bubble then and in reality now.
Posted by: -Frycek

Re: Lost another one - 04/26/10 07:34 AM

Oh, he said he'd come tune for me and I imagine he'll still get some tunings from other old customers. It's just very sad. He loves pianos. He even loves my old square. His father managed to raise a family tuning.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Lost another one - 04/26/10 08:49 AM

"I don’t think it is fair to compare how the economy was just a few years ago with how it is now. We were living on a bubble then and in reality now." Jeff

'Likely not fair, but it's hard to avoid the temptation. I realized several years ago that Americans seemed to be living well beyond their means.

Reality makes a loud sucking sound that makes aural tuning difficult!