Buying advice

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

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aayjaay
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Buying advice

Post by aayjaay » 16 May 2013, 19:49

Hi, this will be my first time buying a piano. I'm looking for an upright under 120cm in height that would cost under ~£800. There's a dealer where I live with quite a selection which but I'm wondering whether it's better to buy on eBay where the pianos seem to be cheaper. However, there's the risk of not liking the piano because you didn't try it before. Also, the budget gets reduced a ~£100-200 because of delivery. Any thoughts on which is better - dealer or eBay? Where will I get the best quality for the least money?

Thanks.

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Buying advice

Post by Colin Nicholson » 16 May 2013, 23:22

A dealer will be your best port of call if you dont know much about pianos. Some pianos on Ebay may be OK.... but some are complete rubbish, and only fit for the skip.

There's no such thing as "best quality for the least money".... you will have to put your hand in your pocket for best quality. For least money = least quality.... simple algebra, and remember,,,, "buy cheap -- buy TWICE" !! (and there's no such thing as a FREE or £50 piano worth anything at all, except as a piece of furniture)

Try about 3 different shops.... OR, if you see a piano on Ebay, make sure it is local - and contact a local piano tuner to check it over. I checked one over today (Bechstein Model 10 for £695) ,,,,,, usual wear & tear, plain front/ sconces missing but brackets on.... leathers etc worn, yellow ivories/ out of tune (sharp & damp).... probably worth about £300 ish.

Thats a bit of a leap from £800 to £100? .... for a half decent upright, you should aim around the £800 - £1000 to start with. Try and look at overstrung & under-damped/ full iron frame.... there's loads out there.
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Withindale
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Re: Buying advice

Post by Withindale » 17 May 2013, 10:45

Unless you can verify the work has already been done or is not required, budget for several hundred pounds worth of work at the very least to service, repair and regulate any piano you see on ebay. Only a very small percentage are worth a look, although that will depend on what you want.

aayjaay
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Re: Buying advice

Post by aayjaay » 17 May 2013, 16:15

You guys misunderstood me - what I meant was my budget is around £800 but that gets reduced a couple of hundred pounds to £600 or £700 because of delivery if I buy on ebay.

I have some more questions:

- how much would I expect to pay for delivery (I'm only assuming it's a couple of hundred) but if it was a few hundred miles, what would it roughly be?

- also, are the used pianos in a dealership in good condition and regulated and fully working?

Cheers.

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NewAge
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Re: Buying advice

Post by NewAge » 17 May 2013, 17:43

Excellent advise here so far.
I know that when one gets piano-buying fever, it's difficult not to rush into it with the desire to make a purchase as soon as possible.
You may want to take a deep breath, and reconsider what you really want, and what you really need. If you hold off for say another 12 months, it's possible that you will be able to afford a slightly more expensive (£1000+) piano, which assuming it's checked out by a tech should be a superior instrument.
As already stated a cheaper Ebay piano is very often a piece of furniture that makes some sounds, not a true musical instrument - although there are occasional exceptions. Piano forums abound with tales of remorse from piano purchasers!
Take your time and get some recommendations for a reliable dealer.
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: Buying advice

Post by vernon » 17 May 2013, 20:15

If you go to a reputable shop you will get a good modernish piano for under £1000 that is in good order and backed by the repution of the shop.
Private sales and ebay beckon disaster..
We occasionally get a super old straight strung, with full iron frame, concert pitch for a monkey*£500)
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

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Johnkie
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Re: Buying advice

Post by Johnkie » 17 May 2013, 23:07

Wow Vernon ..... you must have some very clever monkies in your part of the country. What grade do they reach ? :lol:
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Re: Buying advice

Post by Withindale » 18 May 2013, 11:09

This George Russell at £575 is within your budget if still available http://www.caradine.co.uk/pianos_for_sale.asp.

When I visited our local dealer the best bet was a Knight at £1750, far better value than all the others at higher and lower prices. I still preferred the upright I found on the internet for next to nothing but the monkey said it needed new castors, new music desk, some veneer repairs. polishing, hammers reshaping, action regulating, strings resetting, key dip changes, etc.

Good luck with your quest.

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