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Piano trade in value


Chris Link

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In a recent thread on acoustic pianos, I mentioned that I might be downsizing my Schimmel 6-10 LE as I downsize my living quarters.

 

If you look at used car pricing, you are given values for retail, private sale and trade in. About what percentage of the appraised value should I expect as a trade for a new piano? And what if my piano is worth a lot more than any new upright I would buy? (For what it's worth, the piano has done a helluva lot better since 1997 than my 401k.)

 

And I would like to give kudos to Robert Furst of the Blue Book of Pianos for his expertise and attention. He kindly updated my appraisal from 2011 gratis and has sent me several emails chatting about piano values, instruments I might consider, etc.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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That's a good question. I don't know if Larry Fine's stuff discusses this at all. Mostly, it's info for the buyer, such as values of pianos, depreciation, etc.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I just ordered the updated Fine book. From the piano blue book numbers, the new Schimmel of about the same size has a list price of over $62000! But, I paid a LOT less than list price when I bought mine.

 

Unfortunately, piano stores are disappearing. Two family-run stores have closed and a Yamaha-only store has come and gone since I last went piano shopping. The closest place to play a Schimmel or Bechstein is now 500 miles away. My choices locally would be Steinway, Yamaha or Kawaii from one of two dealers.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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I don't know the present worth of your Schimmel Dregs, but just generally speaking, at least out here in the LA area , it's not a well known brand compared to Yamaha, Kawai and of course Steinway. Even though manufacturing wise, it's a superior piano to those first two. But I'm assuming you know all of that already. ;)

 

Basically , I think it's going to be a tough sell. And I'm guessing you won't get fair value for it trading down to an upright. :(

 

I don't know what area of the country you live in but even out here, you have to be a pretty educated piano buyer to know what a Schimmel is.

 

If you were to put your 6' 10" on CL out here for example, your price would enviably be compared with a C6 or C7. Just because that's what most people know.

 

My suggestion would be to put an ad on that "Piano Mart " site. There might already another Schimmel grand listed that is similar to yours, where you can price check.

 

As far as getting an idea what's it's worth--at least in the eyes of dealer-- you might want to call Keyboard Concepts in Van Nuys out here. They are one of the biggest Schimmel dealers in the country. Since you might not be buying anything, they might try to blow you off. I can't guarantee if it would help, but use my name as a reference. I don't know all the sales guys over there now but I do know the owner, Dennis Haggerty, well.

 

If that doesn't pan out, give Pierre Julia @ Pierre's Fine Pianos a call in W. LA. And again tell him I told you to call for a price reference. He's a super nice guy and a more straight ahead guy in the sometimes shady "piano biz" , you will not find.

 

You also might be able to strike a trade with either dealer. They deal all around the country and ship anywhere. Of course you'd be playing a sight un-seen/played Yamaha U-whatever upright from KC or a Kawai upright from Pierre. The quality and sound on both are very consistent of course. I'm guessing both would like to have your Schimmel on their floor. Although it's just a guess as I'm not a piano salesman.

 

Sorry to hear you have to sell and downsize. I'm sure that's a smokin' piano !

 

It's just a hard time to sell an acoustic piano in this economy. Especially a higher end one and one that's 6'10". You also figure in people's general disconnect with acoustic pianos these days. :(

 

Best of luck with it all.

 

 

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, Dave.

 

I appreciate the advice. Maybe I'll just have to find a place where I can keep the Schimmel. It is a delight to play.

 

But, it seems a bit of the tail-wagging-the-dog to find a place to live that fits my piano. LOL.

 

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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But, it seems a bit of the tail-wagging-the-dog to find a place to live that fits my piano. LOL.
I don't think that's unreasonable at all. :idk::D

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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When I was researching what piano to rebuild and restore there were only three that the top restorers across North America were doing: Steinway, Baldwin and Mason Hamlin in that order. I didn't see anything else no matter how legendary they were, no Bechsteins, Bluthners or Bosendorfers. Obviously these three were the only ones that those pros in the business thought would bring enough money after the restoration costs to make it worth it. This was in 2004. The economy has certainly changed since then. At that time even old broken down ones that were worth restoring were still so expensive I couldn't afford one so I did a 5'8" 50's era Knabe. It's sitting in my living room now.

 

In this economy and considering the brand (and I totally agree yours is a great piano) I think you'll choke on what you would be offered as a trade. I'll give you the same advice I gave people when I was a sales manager at various car dealerships years ago. Try selling it yourself first to gauge where the retail level is in the market before talking to a dealer about a trade in. Then at least you have some idea of what he can pay vs what a potential retail sale would be.

 

Put it on Ebay and start with a reserve (not a Buy It Now, just a hidden reserve) you can live with including shipping and see where it goes. Set the opening bid stupidly low to get things started. You just want to get some action on it, you're still protected by the reserve. You never know, I could be totally wrong and you wind up selling it.

 

Selling something like this can be a long term deal so while you're waiting for bids also check out all the other similar pianos to see what they're doing. Remember on Ebay the only things that count are actual bids and sales. Asking prices mean squat.

 

As for appraisals and opinions you get as to value, that is all bullshit imho. They're not cutting a check themselves. The only real value is when somebody is making a real, serious offer backed up by cash you can actually see. In other words, I want it, we can go to the bank right now and I'll get you a cashiers check. Anything short of that is just talk. If somebody tells you what they think an expensive piano is really worth cash in hand most owners think they're full of it and will never talk to them again.

 

I really hate to say this but I don't think you're going to be very happy. I could be wrong but during the time I was in the car business I tried my hand at selling pianos with Sherman and Clay in LA. Their trade in offers were very low unless it was a Steinway and now they're out of business too.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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Yeah, I'm thinking I may just have to make my criteria for a new place to live is a big living room.

 

Or I could go the rote of the guy I knew who had a Bechstein grand (and nothing else) in his dining room.

 

Thanks for the replies.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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There you go, that would be my first choice. I just think you're gonna lose too much on a great piano.

 

Regarding dining rooms--I don't know about any other people, but my wife and I rarely, if ever, dine. Our "dining room" is my stereo room.

 

Unfortunately I don't listen to music anymore in there and my wife's on my case to do something about the wasted space of the room. Maybe we should have people over more often and start dining--on second thought...nah. She'd just invite her friends from work over and I'd have to sit there and listen to how great Justin Timberlake is, or some other mind numbing topic related to pop culture drivel. :cry: The more people I meet, the more I like just hangin' with my dogs. Seriously.

 

I vote for an Avant Grand in there personally. :cool: Or something functional like a sit-up bench..

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think you meant "hanging with my dogs" there Dave...

 

This will sure get the dog lovers in a snit. Otherwise I agree, I have few close friends as well. I just can't take useless, brain dead chatter.

 

Bob

Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
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