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I've purchased two used grand pianos sight unseen and unplayed. I was familiar with the brands and got them at a really good price, and I felt it was worth the gamble; and, it was, both times. I still have both. Both pianos were several hundred miles away, and would have been difficult for me to travel to look at them.

I would not have paid full, retail price, or anywhere near it, sight unseen. I'm not really a gambling man, but some things are worth the gamble, although there are limits to everything. smile

Again, I would not recommend it (buying a piano sight unseen) to anyone else. But I had some very good pictures and some very good communication with the private-sale owners. I have, however, tried to not make a habit of it... smile

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
I was in exactly this position when I was still in China. So I got someone to audition some pianos for me. She chose one, I bought it, and it is as good a machine as I have ever played on.

Having said that she is an international concert pianist and took with her the technician who tunes for her and the concert halls in Sofia. So between them they were always going to make a better decision than I would.
Phillip a long time member like you did this and you were successful! Well I like that.(and no desperate fantasies involved) 👍

Thank you.


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I'm actually looking on Ebay off and on for the right project grand (i.e turn of the century 6-7 foot art case grand) to do up. Of course there's a risk the sound won't turn out to be exactly what I love but it will still look great smile and it helps that I already have a grand piano I love!

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Originally Posted by Rickster
I've purchased two used grand pianos sight unseen and unplayed. I was familiar with the brands and got them at a really good price, and I felt it was worth the gamble; and, it was, both times. I still have both. Both pianos were several hundred miles away, and would have been difficult for me to travel to look at them.

I would not have paid full, retail price, or anywhere near it, sight unseen. I'm not really a gambling man, but some things are worth the gamble, although there are limits to everything. smile

Again, I would not recommend it (buying a piano sight unseen) to anyone else. But I had some very good pictures and some very good communication with the private-sale owners. I have, however, tried to not make a habit of it... smile

Rick

Very well put. If the story doesn't hang together keep looking, and be prepared to put the odd thing right.


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Originally Posted by Aritempor
I'm actually looking on Ebay off and on for the right project grand (i.e turn of the century 6-7 foot art case grand) to do up. Of course there's a risk the sound won't turn out to be exactly what I love but it will still look great smile and it helps that I already have a grand piano I love!


No luck at the London piano auction? Just curious. As that would be my first hunting ground.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Originally Posted by tre corda
If you have not played or seen a piano in real life, on eBay would you buy it based on appearance or brand? Perhaps the piano is overseas and it is not possible to see it.

Yes, provided the deal was truly outstanding.

However t would have to be be a 'cash on collection' sale like all/most ebay sales where delivery is not included , i.e. I would have a chance to check it before actually handing over the readies.

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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by tre corda
If you have not played or seen a piano in real life, on eBay would you buy it based on appearance or brand? Perhaps the piano is overseas and it is not possible to see it.

Yes, provided the deal was truly outstanding.

However t would have to be be a 'cash on collection' sale like all/most ebay sales where delivery is not included , i.e. I would have a chance to check it before actually handing over the readies.

I concur/agree about the "cash on collection" if/when buying sight unseen. Where I'm from it is called "COD", cash on delivery. I would not have felt comfortable at all paying up-front, before delivery, although there was a certain level of trust between myself and the private sellers.

And, as mentioned earlier, both grand pianos I bought sight unseen, I paid cash on delivery, so I had possession (on my property smile ) of the piano(s) before I parted with my money; and, I had a signed bill of sale.

Again, I was well pleased with the pianos, and, in fact, I was delighted when I first sat down and played them. Besides, the piano adventure alone was worth something... smile

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Many people spend many hours sometimes over several days playing a piano before the decide to buy a piano. So for that type of buyer I think COD is only slightly helpful compared to paying before delivery.

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unless it would be reputable piano for silly money not. I have seen few month ago Feurich on ebay.de sold for like 200 EUR. This yes, otherwise not.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many people spend many hours sometimes over several days playing a piano before the decide to buy a piano. So for that type of buyer I think COD is only slightly helpful compared to paying before delivery.

I'm thinking that most dealers require payment in full up front before delivery. There may be some dealers, but very few, most likely, who are willing to deliver a piano and let you try it first before payment. But these are instances where retail/market price, or very close, is what the piano sells for. So, the dealer is making a profit either way.

Again, and I speak for myself when I say this, I would not pay retail price, or anything close, for a piano sight unseen. I think in most cases, someone looking for a nice piano to play and enjoy and keep for a while, are willing to pay a higher price, up front from a dealer, for the right piano.

Other people, who want a nice piano, but have a limited budget to spend, might be more apt to buy sight unseen, for the right price. These individuals have educated themselves and know a little about the market and what certain pianos sell for. IOW, they've done their homework.

In regards to buying pianos sight unseen, I've read here on PW on several occasions where this is how some dealers do business, and acquire their used inventory. But they also buy the pianos at a very low price, and likely well below wholesale. They know the market and the ins and outs of the business and do it for living, day in and day out...

Sorry to be so wordy, but I'm on my second cup of coffee this morning and just getting wound up... smile

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Dealers certainly can acquire their inventory sight unseen, but that is not the same risk as a single pianist doing it. Dealers have the tools, experience and manpower to repair any unforeseen problems: dealers are proportionally risking less $$$ in buying unseen. It is just less risky for a dealer.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Dealers certainly can acquire their inventory sight unseen, but that is not the same risk as a single pianist doing it. Dealers have the tools, experience and manpower to repair any unforeseen problems: dealers are proportionally risking less $$$ in buying unseen. It is just less risky for a dealer.

You are absolutely right, and a very good point.

Rick


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Dealers certainly can acquire their inventory sight unseen, but that is not the same risk as a single pianist doing it. Dealers have the tools, experience and manpower to repair any unforeseen problems: dealers are proportionally risking less $$$ in buying unseen. It is just less risky for a dealer.
And when a dealer buys a piano they are only interested in its condition and not whether they personally like its touch and tone. A piano can be in excellent condition but not appealing to a buyer's preferences for touch and/or tone.

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not even for free...

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Originally Posted by maucycy
unless it would be reputable piano for silly money not. I have seen few month ago Feurich on ebay.de sold for like 200 EUR. This yes, otherwise not.
Here is a Feurich upright, which looks similar to mine.If you read the full description the piano has really done some traveling.That is off putting because you do not know what affect that would have.It is priced too high, even though it has been restored.The Feurich you mention for 200EUR sounds a good price, not too much risk.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/373583305274?hash=item56fb4cda3a:g:KiIAAOSw2z9gNRA8

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by maucycy
unless it would be reputable piano for silly money not. I have seen few month ago Feurich on ebay.de sold for like 200 EUR. This yes, otherwise not.
Here is a Feurich upright, which looks similar to mine.If you read the full description the piano has really done some traveling.That is off putting because you do not know what affect that would have.It is priced too high, even though it has been restored.The Feurich you mention for 200EUR sounds a good price, not too much risk.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/373583305274?hash=item56fb4cda3a:g:KiIAAOSw2z9gNRA8
Also an old Feurich grand.I hope it has been restored.(the price?)
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/264299853010?hash=item3d897fb4d2


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.


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If it is good piano from some good manufactory I'll take it! Of course you need to take a close look to the ad itself more, but the filters on ebay allow you to understand whether a fraudster is in front of you or not.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Aritempor
I'm actually looking on Ebay off and on for the right project grand (i.e turn of the century 6-7 foot art case grand) to do up. Of course there's a risk the sound won't turn out to be exactly what I love but it will still look great smile and it helps that I already have a grand piano I love!


No luck at the London piano auction? Just curious. As that would be my first hunting ground.

I have been looking since they restarted auctions in summer this year. There have been some art case pianos but rather too ornate for my taste. I'll know when I find the one.

As an aside, there was am 8ft 5 Schiedmayer grand that was on Ebay not that long ago. I corresponded with the seller and it was 100 years old or so. Tuned but not had any work for the last 40-50 years. Had always belonged to the family. Apparently belonged to a concert pianist grandparent and then been loaned out to an opera singer who passed away and the family members decided to sell it as no one had the interest or space to take it back. The family also had a Bluthner concert grand that belonged to said concert pianist which they were planning to keep! I was seriously considering that (mostly based on the provenance especially if there were some letters that they could throw in) but a local piano dealer swooped in and the auction was pulled. There are too many old pianos with a story and I wish I could save them all sometimes smile. At least this one will live on.

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Originally Posted by Frank Dryer III
If it is good piano from some good manufactory I'll take it! Of course you need to take a close look to the ad itself more, but the filters on ebay allow you to understand whether a fraudster is in front of you or not.
But the information about the piano in the ad may not be correct even if the seller is completely honest. It's not uncommon to read something like "only needs a tuning" for a piano needing lots of major work.

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"tuner said that it is in such great shape that nothing would need to be done in our lifetime" [quote]

In other words tread carefully.

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