Frequently Asked Questions about Consigning Your Piano
Q1: Do you take any kind of piano?
A1: Just about. We take any kind of piano for which there is a market.
Q2. How long will it take to sell my piano?
A2. This depends on many factors. The average is around 120 days. But if your piano is a high-demand color such as black or mahogany and a popular size (baby grand or console upright) it will generally sell sooner than the average. On the other hand, if your piano is oak or white, or a larger size (and therefore more expensive) it can take longer to find the right buyer.
Q3. I would like to donate my piano to a worthy cause. Do you know of a good place to donate it?
A3. Yes. We have a non-profit organization (Piano Pathways) that provides musical instruments and instruction to underprivileged kids. You will get a donation receipt for your taxes, and a needy child will get the gift of music. Visit the Piano Pathways website to find out more.
Q4. How can I determine the market value of my piano?
A4. The market value of a piano depends on many factors, the most important of which are the condition of the piano (wear, blemishes, repairs needed, etc.) and the local market for the piano brand and model. If you are consigning the piano for sale with us, we will advise you on what would be an asking price that will cause your piano to sell within a reasonable time frame. We can also advise you on repairs or refurbishments that could be cost effective in improving the saleability of your piano.
Q5. Why shouldn’t I just sell my piano on the open market?
A5. You can do this. Probably the best place to advertise it is on Craigslist.com. Ebay is not generally a good place to sell pianos because it is rare that a person will buy a piano sight unseen. You can also advertise in local papers (Penny Saver, etc.) but the advertising fees will mount if the piano does not sell right away.
If you advertise on Craigslist you should be sure to post your ad with several very high-quality photos so that prospective buyers can clearly see the cosmetic condition of the piano furniture. You should also make sure the piano has been recently tuned. If the piano does not have a matching bench, this should be clearly stated in the ad. It is also a very good idea to insist that the buyer have the piano professionally moved. This protects you from liability should the piano be damaged or (heaven forbid) the buyer be injured in the moving process while still on your premises.
The key to selling on Craigslist is persistence. You should renew your ad frequently. And do not neglect your safety. Make sure you have several people present whenever a prospective buyer visits.
Selling your piano with us on a consignment basis is simply an alternative to the time, inconvenience and personal risk of selling it yourself.
Q6. My piano tuner says my piano is no longer “tunable.” Will you still take it on consignment?
A6. Unfortunately no. Usually when a technician declares a piano to be not tunable it means that the pin block (the many-layered block of wood that holds the tuning pins) has dried out and become cracked inside such that it no longer holds the tuning pins tightly. There are some short-term fixes that a technician can do to remedy this problem, but since it is important to us that the pianos we sell are good long-term investments for our customers we do not accept such pianos.
The only exception to this is when the piano has such intrinsic value that it is cost-effective to replace the pin block and re-string the piano, a rather expensive proposition usually only done when a high-value piano is completely reconditioned.