“Every customer asking us to sell their piano ALWAYS represents it to be in excellent shape. “Just like new” is something we hear all the time. I’m often amazed that people who know little to nothing about the complicated inside workings of a piano will take it upon themselves to pronounce the instrument in excellent shape when they really do not know. This might work when one private party sells to another private party, (as the old adage goes, “Let the buyer beware”) but it will not work for an ongoing retail business with a reputation to maintain. We can’t make casual, generalized statements as to quality and expect to stay in business. Customers have a right and a need to know exactly what they are spending their hard earned money on and what other additional expenses they might incur due to the previous owners neglect, or misuse of the product.
This beautiful Kawai Grand piano recently came into our store with the same owner representation, “Perfect shape – just needs a little tuning.” For the most part, the piano was in very good shape but it hadn’t been tuned in some time, requiring we not only tune more than once, but also to perform a pitch raise. This means the piano will need to be tuned 2 to 3 times before it will again hold proper pitch for the time we would consider “normal”. All of a sudden we are investing $400 to $500 in maintenance that should have been performed over the years but wasn’t.
This piano came with a little extra unexpected bonus – a LOT OF CAT HAIR inside the piano. Don’t get me wrong, cat’s are great but the best place for them to roam is not inside the piano, laying over the keys and strings.
The only way we were able to properly clean this instrument was to remove the entire piano action, move the piano outside of our store, then use an air compressor to blow out the several years of accumulated cat hair, along with small bits of kitty litter and cat food that had fallen from between the cat’s toes over the years. We also had to clean the strings to remove accumulated stain, that while didn’t affect the tone, didn’t look good.
The piano is now truly in excellent shape. When purchasing from a reputable dealer, the buyer should have to “beware” of the many issues that might crop up when buying from a private party.
Come by Bill Jones Music and check out the selection of pre-owned pianos. You will be impressed. “