Video #3: To Buy New or Used

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Take a step-by-step video tour of the piano buying process.
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Video 3:  To Buy New or Used - That is the Question

(save $ by comparing pricing, financing, maintenance costs, moving, and a lot more)

Should I buy New or Used Piano?

When people decide to buy a piano, invariably one of the first questions they asked is: "should I buy new or used?". There are lots of pros and cons and we're going to go over them one by one. 

The first one we're going to talk is about new. Let's admit it, it feels great to be a first-time owner and the way a new piano looks when it's in your home for the first time. Well, that's just hard to describe and because it's brand new you know it's in perfect working order. Even if by chance something is wrong - it's under warranty. 
When you buy new, you have the opportunity to finance, no huge lay out of money and that's a nice option. Now the great thing about going to a piano store is that you're going to have lots of different pianos to try out. Plus, you'll see more pianos in a couple of stores on a weekend than you'll see in three months going from home to home looking at used pianos. When you buy from a store there are deals you can make that you can't with a private seller like trading in your old piano. Some dealerships will let you rent a piano and if you decide you like it you can put the payments towards the purchase or if not send the piano back. Let's say in three to five years you want a better piano, most dealerships will take the piano back at full retail price and allow you to put the money towards the new purchase. 
Finally, when you buy from a store you don't have to worry about getting the piano home - moving is included. That's worth around three hundred and fifty dollars and getting it set up that's also taken care of the first tunings included saving you a minimum of one hundred dollars. Sounds good now. 

The downside of buying new piano

The downside of buying new. Dealing with salespeople is one of the biggest turn-offs to buying new. Salesmen know each piano bottom line and to convert you into a sale they'll tell you factual irrelevant and sometimes false information. 
One thing they're sure to talk about is the pianos ironclad warranty but that warranty is only as good as the manufacturer behind it. If you buy a no-name piano, chances are your warranty is backed only by the dealer. While that might be okay for now, if the dealer happens to go out of business you could be stuck just like it is with any loan. When you finance a piano if you calculate in the interest you'll probably end up paying more than the full retail price. Also, sales tax is one of the things that people always forget. Depending upon your state chances are what you'll pay in sales tax will more than offset the free moving and tuning you're going to get. 
Lastly, depreciation as with anything new. As soon as the piano mover leaves your home your piano is going to depreciate by around twenty-five percent. When we talk about buying used unless a piano has been rebuilt and restored my rule of thumb is: "the newer the better". I'm a big supporter of purchasing nearly new pianos because pianos can live for a very long time. In my mind, if you can buy a piano that's 15 years old that has depreciated forty percent what's the point of buying a new one? 

Reasons to buy used piano

Let's look at some other reasons why you may want a used piano. In any economy, there are lots of pianos for sale. But in a poor economy, there's an overabundance and this big supply helps keep prices low. Because of the price depreciation of new pianos you're going to save tons of money. Just take a look at the price of a 2011 piano with the same make and model from 1996. Ever hear the saying "cash is king"? Offering cash is another way. You can leverage your position and drive the price down even further. Remember, you're also going to save money because there's no sales tax, depending upon your state. That can save you a lot and offset the cost of moving and tuning. Dealing with Mrs. Parker won't be anywhere near as stressful as negotiating with a professional salesman. In addition, because you're doing research and gathering the information you'll have a much better grasp of piano prices than she will now. 
The bad part about buying used. Obviously, the biggest question when you purchase something used is its condition, what kind of repairs it's going to need. Because if something's broken with the used piano you're going to be the one to have to pay for it. To figure this out you're going to need to have a piano technician check out the piano structurally mechanically. And for finished problems, not getting a piano appraised before you buy it could end up costing you thousands. Finding a good use panel will take your time. You're going to look at ads, talk to more people, and travel a lot more than just walking into a couple of stores. There's not going to be any financing you're going to pay for the entire piano upfront. You're also going to pay for moving. This is always the buyers' responsibility, not the sellers'. Depending upon how big the instrument is, how far it has to be moved and how many steps to are between the sellers' house and your home. You should expect to pay three hundred and fifty dollars or more. 
Lastly, once the piano is settled in your home the piano will need to be tuned. Expect to pay at least one hundred dollars for this.
Well that was a long list of pros and cons. We hope it would be helpful.
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