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Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here (Read 2604 times)

Offline ainmpiano

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Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
« on: July 11, 2016, 08:45:14 PM »
I am going to be trading in a brand new, in-the-crate (long story) K-600 for another piano (have not selected it yet). I had some troubles with this 2013 K-6, and Kawai is replacing it with a new, unopened K-600.

My - goal - is to wind up with a better piano (better key action, mellower, richer sound, fewer bizarre vibrations) for the least amount of money that I need to "step up" a notch. I was not happy with the K-6 (see above).

To do this in a financially intelligent way, I need to know if the trade-in value that the local piano store is offering me on my K-600, in exchange for another piano, is reasonable.

I know that the salesman holds most of the cards, and I do not like not knowing if a particular deal is a good deal for me, or is a good deal for the salesman.

I would be happy with another upright, perhaps a Yamaha (not a Kawai).

I do not have a trusted adviser to turn to, to explain the situation (the used pianos that I have played and am interested in), and get advice.

Thanks for any thoughts.
Mac

Offline quantum

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #1 on: July 11, 2016, 09:11:27 PM »
You could sell the new K-600 and get a used baby grand.  Any update on the ideas you had a few weeks ago on getting a grand?
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #2 on: July 11, 2016, 09:27:49 PM »
Thanks, quantum.

The only update is really my experiences looking at used pianos in the store recently. Which prompted my questions above.

The issue is...how in the world can one tell if one is getting a good deal?  Or just winding up trading in a piano and paying 7K out of pocket for a piano that would sell down the road for half of what I paid for it (overall - trade-in plus cash)?

I would be happy to stay with an upright; I just want a better one. Stable tone, etc.

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #3 on: July 11, 2016, 10:48:50 PM »
establish what the dealer would credit you from your mint, not even set up to play, upright. if you aren't satisfied with that upright, consider it might be time for you to take the leap to a small grand.  really did a lot for me, motivated many more hours of practice and play.  the other uprights that would possibly be significantly better than the k600 will often be in the same price range as used small grands.  what kind of inventory and turnover on used instruments does the dealer with your piano have ?  the busiest dealers in my area have a fair number of used grands (and nice used uprights from customers who bought grands) because they're selling new instruments steadily including the new digital/simulated units. the high end digitals now are in the same price range as used small grands.  is your dealer the only dealer for new kawai's in your area ?  if a nearby dealer has something you really like, you don't have much to lose by inquiring what is possible.

it sounds like anything other than taking possession of the brand new upright you don't really want is going to require further expenditure from you, so clearly the priority is finding a piano you'll love.  good luck with your tricky quest.

Offline quantum

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #4 on: July 12, 2016, 12:11:36 AM »
Are you buying a new piano to make a profit, or are you buying for yourself to enjoy.  If your new piano lasts, say 20 years, before any major repairs or want of another upgrade, then you likely have received what you wanted from the instrument: enjoyment.  The piano's monetary value after all those years of ownership is secondary.  

How many dealerships have you visited so far?  Seeing only one dealership is not enough, as you need perspective.  

You mention you are interested in Yamaha verticals now, why? What was your experience playing them?

I agree with huaidongxi, if you are interested in an improvement over your current K-600 you will need to be putting some money into it.  You are also at the budget point where a baby grand is in reach, and will also give you that upgrade you seek.  In the case of vertical to grand, a massive upgrade in the abilities of the action.  You have previously voiced your interest in grands, and IMO this is a path you should still investigate.

Have you located a local piano tech to evaluate pianos in your short-list?  The knowledge he/she would contribute will help in your decision.  
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #5 on: July 12, 2016, 11:16:27 AM »
> what kind of inventory and turnover on used instruments does the dealer with your piano have? 

They have a fairly modest inventory.

> is your dealer the only dealer for new kawais in your area ?

Yes.  There are two other major dealers in town. 
However, I am pretty sure that I do not want to stay with the Kawai brand.
Yamaha uprights are looking better and better, and they do sound good to me, and they play well.

> it sounds like anything other than taking possession of the brand new upright you don't really want is going to require further expenditure from you, so clearly the priority is finding a piano you'll love. 

Yes.  Thanks.

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #6 on: July 12, 2016, 11:24:02 AM »
> Are you buying a new piano to make a profit, or are you buying for yourself to enjoy.  

No, I want a piano to keep, one that sounds good.

> If your new piano lasts, say 20 years, before any major repairs or want of another upgrade, then you likely have received what you wanted from the instrument: enjoyment.  The piano's monetary value after all those years of ownership is secondary.  

A good point.

> How many dealerships have you visited so far?  Seeing only one dealership is not enough, as you need perspective.  

Two so far.

> You mention you are interested in Yamaha verticals now, why? What was your experience playing them?
I have played them in showrooms. I believe that they retain their re-sale value better than some other uprights, but a salesman told me that, so I have no idea if it is actually true.

> Have you located a local piano tech to evaluate pianos in your short-list?

I have, but the advice that came from him was not what I expected. After relating which used pianos I was looking at, I was told to find out the blue book value of the pianos in question, so I could "do the math". Since I cannot find out the blue book value of my K-600 trade-in, or the ones that I am looking at (no one seems to know), I am rather in the dark.

I do not want to buy another piano at an unfair mark-up, and walk out with something that instantly loses 5K in value, just so that a salesman can make a profit.

Thanks for all the information.

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #7 on: July 12, 2016, 11:53:10 AM »
Folks,
I should have provided some details.
The pianos that I have seen so far:
- Yamaha C2 (annum 2000) - The salesman's offer: My in-the-crate k-600 + 7,500 cash USD
- Petrof V (1940) - The salesman's offer: My in-the-crate k-600 + 6,500 cash USD
- Yamaha YUS5 (annum 2009) - The salesman's offer: My in-the-crate k-600 + 5,500 cash USD

I really liked the C2 and YUS5.
Part of the problem is that I told the salesman that my limit was about 3K out of pocket cash, but he ignored that and directed me to pianos well above that.
This feels like a one-sided game, rather than the dealer working with me.

Offline visitor

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #8 on: July 12, 2016, 11:58:03 AM »
If you plan to do this for least amount of extra out of pocket then you need to re think your approach as it is antagonistic to your goal

when you trade in, you are essentially discounting the sale of your instrument
 I don't even know why they call it trading in (trading usually means you are getting something of relative equal value in return, this is not the case in the transaction  you are looking at), it is not a trade, it is accepting a low ball offer.  you are lucky to get a whole sale price within 10 percent of what they can buy it directly from their distributor for.  
Find out in your region  or markets what they sell new for by price checking various dealers. Find out the are going for in the private individual to individual market.  

then get quotes on wholesaling it to a dealer (note the quote should be independent of any purchase otherwise they pad the trade in value because they make it back by discounting less on the purchase they plan on your making).
Then  see how far away you are from what you budgeted for the upgrade.

generally you will get more  for your  piano by putting in the work to list market and negotiate pricing on your piano to another individual .
you will  also get more piano for the money by buying used from someone else (just the like the person buying your piano gets a better deal than a similar instrument from a dealer, since even if you're is 'new' it's not retail new, so don't expect to get retail for it, you don't have overhead to recoup, you can likely ask for the high side or high end plus 15% of a private sale used average so long as it's still less than the low end of retail new)

what business sense does it make for a dealer or retailer or re-seller to pay to you more  than they can get from their normal distributor? The store has overhead to make up such as lease utilities insurance payroll commissions taxes and  profit etc

I believe  some  of the best uprights made that are surprisingly affordable relative  to the quality ( pretty much "heirloom" quality build) are Charles Walter pianos, sometimes you can find really nice MH uprights at a decent price too. The Charles Walter grands are expensive (but still better values vs similar condition Masons or American Steinways) but worth it and likely outside your budget but you would be surprised what you can find on the used upright side of things.




http://www.chicagopianos.com/052311_update/charles-walter.html
you might email these kids and see what they want for this, i think new these are about the cost of an decent quality Asian or even used premium Japanese Grand, so used you might be surprised how much of a deal they are
on the little bit small instrument
i have seen very nice /clean pre owned CW at dealer/retail in the under 4 thousand dollar range, at the 3500-4500 range, they are super attractive
http://pianomarketplus.com/pre-owned-pianos/#Charles R Walter



Offline visitor

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #9 on: July 12, 2016, 12:21:15 PM »
Folks,
I should have provided some details.
The pianos that I have seen so far:
- Yamaha C2 (annum 2000) - The salesman's offer: My in-the-crate k-600 + 7,500 cash USD
- Petrof V (1940) - The salesman's offer: My in-the-crate k-600 + 6,500 cash USD
- Yamaha YUS5 (annum 2009) - The salesman's offer: My in-the-crate k-600 + 5,500 cash USD

I really liked the C2 and YUS5.
Part of the problem is that I told the salesman that my limit was about 3K out of pocket cash, but he ignored that and directed me to pianos well above that.
This feels like a one-sided game, rather than the dealer working with me.

that's a deal breaker, I would let them know they didn't show you something that met your needs and budget so you'll be taking your business elsewhere to someone that can do basic math.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #10 on: July 12, 2016, 01:02:04 PM »
Of the list you showed us the C2 is the only one I would consider, not even considering economics ( which of course is what you asked about). I say that because it has versatility in appeal and you already like it as is !! So imagine voicing to your liking and regulating etc. The action is going to be above that of uprights you mentioned. You say want a piano that you can live with for a long time.  Assuming the C2 is in great shape, that's the piano I would consider. If it were me, I wouldn't even be looking at the others, just sayin. Ya know, upright action feed back and tactile feel just is not the same as a grand, period.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #11 on: July 12, 2016, 03:17:56 PM »
hfmadopter,

Thanks.  

By the way, the C2 is white. It looks fine, but my "expert" said that a white piano is the hardest to sell, for what that is worth. Maybe that means it should be discounted. No idea.

Also, my expert said he was very concerned about the C2's age vs. its cost. That is all I know.

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #12 on: July 12, 2016, 04:03:06 PM »
Visitor,

Thanks.
I looked into the Charles Walter in Chicago.
What I found:
Model 1520  Charles Walter  45  Studio  $5500  1985

Sounds interesting. But I have no idea what it sounds like.
There are a used couple CWs locally.
I do not know anything about CWs.
I may look at those.

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #13 on: July 12, 2016, 06:58:18 PM »
my completely biased impression, you would make your dealer very happy if you gave him 7.5 k $ for the white yamaha grand.  you are correct that white pianos have less resale value, so that piano will probably be in the dealer's inventory for some time if he doesn't significantly discount it.  ran across a price discussion from ten years ago on brand new yamaha c2's.  the source was a piano dealer.  in Japan, around $10 k., Germany 16 k., u.s. low to mid 20's.  yamaha knew they'd have to compete with euro instruments in Germany, where the consumers were more likely to favor their native makers of course.

if you are considering Chas Walter, which have a very good reputation (have not played one myself), also consider the 50 in. Mason and Hamlin upright.  the best were made in Boston prior to 1940 or in Haverhill after 1990.  gave some details on the other recent thread about comparing mason and hamlin, feurich, and boesendorfer.  since you seem to be interested in premium uprights, if you have the opportunity, you might as well try out the good German makers.  Bluethner, Bechstein, August Forster, Schimmel, Grotrian if you can.

patience and trying as many pianos as you can access gives you the best chance for reward.  buona fortuna.

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #14 on: July 12, 2016, 11:34:30 PM »
I really don't have a lot to add to the above -- although I might mention in passing that one of my pianos is a 1904 Steinway upright, still sounding wonderful...

Except this.  A piano is not a daily driver car.  Unless you are seriously thinking that a few years down the road you will be buying a grand to replace this piano, treat this purchase as something permanent.  "Trade in value" may be a consideration for that daily driver you bang around in, but it should never be one for a piano, at least not a real one (digital keyboards, maybe -- but there the trade in value is so low as to be irrelevant). 
Ian

Offline outin

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #15 on: July 13, 2016, 04:53:46 AM »
You seem rather confused about many things, which is not surprising...buying pianos isn't easy at all...

Anyway, some comments from my own experiences:
- At many markets (mine included) some Yamahas do maintain their reselling value really well. But only the best models, not the cheaper one's made in Indonesia or whereever.
- You must understand that every time you buy something new (not used) the minute you carry it out of the store the value drops a lot. This makes sense because when buying new you must pay for the sellers full sales margin. This is what pays for their expenses and gives them their profit. It's not the same  when you buy used. Similarly, even if your Kawai is still in it's crate, it has lost much of it's value after it was sold to you. Just like with other expensive items, a little used is often a better deal than completely new. Of course with pianos you also need to know that it has been well treated.
- It is always more profitable to sell privately than to a dealer because of the above. The private person has to consider how much they have to pay if they bought it new from a store instead. The dealer offered 6000e for my Yamaha U1 when buying a grand (which I think was very reasonable), but I could easily get 7000-7500e if I sell it online to a private buyer.
- It is financially better to buy from a private person, but then you must take into account transport costs, void of any guarantee and other things often provided with good dealers.
- The prices of new and used pianos at dealers are usually well negotiable. Make an offer as low as you dare and see what happens. Acoustics don't sell that well in many markets, so the dealers do have to think about the costs of keeping them for a long time against getting rid of them for a lower price.
- Spend more time investigating the dealers at your area and trying out different pianos (both grands and uprights) until you know what you really want. Talk to the dealers a lot and ask questions, even difficult ones. Do remember that they run a business and need to make profit to survive, but don't take everything they say as the final truth. Unfortunately many dealers have am attachment to certains brands and ideas that they honestly believe in, but they are not necessarily completely objective :)

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #16 on: July 23, 2016, 10:25:01 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.

Sorry for the delay in posting. I was on vacation.

Here is the final act in this drama:
After much discussion and thought, I am going to trade in the K-600, with some out of pocket money into the bargain, and get a new Kawai GL-30.
I was able to work out a deal (with Kawai and the local Kawai dealer) that was not unreasonable.

Let's hope this turns out to be a good step up.

I don't have the GL-30 quite yet.
Mac

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #17 on: July 23, 2016, 10:46:29 AM »
congrats. you will very likely find it's a huge step up for your playing in both sound and responsiveness.  small grands of that size can really deliver a big sound ; a good one like yours will deflate the claim about premium large verticals surpassing small grands, though at 166 cm. and 312 kg. it's at the upper end of 'small'.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #18 on: July 23, 2016, 08:13:42 PM »
Other than the fact they are all pianos, the GL30 should be no comparison. It has Millennium III action and full length concert grand key sticks/cores. If you don't like it there isn't much better to get than that, at least in terms of action. Course we all have our own idea of what good is, some around here would have Carnegie Hall putting in a 1920's upright to have something good. Barring that sort of anomaly,  you should be good. Or that you like classic grands perhaps, what ever. But be sure to let us know and Congratulations, that's quite a score after a time of upset !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline ainmpiano

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Re: Trading in one Piano for Another - In the Dark Here
«Reply #19 on: August 04, 2016, 05:56:10 PM »
hfm,

I got the GL-30, and I love it.
Finally, playing it in my home made me realize (fully) the difference in the action from the K-6, not to mention the sound.  Wow.
Thanks.
Mac