Step by Step Guide to Buying a Piano
Step Four: Establish Your Priorities

 

 

Early in the buying process, it helps to think about what is important to you.  The more you know about what you want, the easier it will be to rule out pianos that don't fit your values and priorities, especially if you are being exposed to various sales presentations as you look at pianos for sale.

Ruling out the things you don't want is sometimes the easiest way to narrow down your search so that the choices are more manageable.  

If someone else is involved in this decision, it might help to involve them when you set these first priorities..  The more you know about each other's values and preferences early in the process, the more likely you are to save time when you go out looking.  If you want, each of you can fill out this form and print it out.  It might be helpful to know what each other's expectations are.

It can be helpful to spend some time thinking and discussing with any other people, who are part of your decision team, what personal values you have.   After all, even if you follow an experts advice, if the piano doesn't match your values and accomplish what is important to you, you will probably not be satisfied.  You will be the one living with your decision.

You may find that you re-evaluate your priorities several times during your search.  This is something that is normal to the process of buying a piano. You will not know what the options are when you first start the narrowing down process.  You may have overlooked a particular type of piano that you would just love if you had known that it was available and attainable.  There have been over 11,000 different brand names of pianos manufactured over the past 100 years.  There are more cabinet styles, wood grains and possibilities than you have probably ever been exposed to.  You may also find that price and other limitations you have established for yourself will affect how you prioritize things.  For example, if you have a limited budget, you may find that you have to move quality and tone down on the priority list, because it may simply not be possible to obtain the highest quality and best sounding pianos in your price range.

When your piano decision involves more than other people significant to you who are not doing all the research with you and don't know all the work you have done on the project of buying, some times it helps to communicate things to them using this and the other forms in this guide.  When you start out, you can establish priorities.  As you discover more, you may change those priorities.   Keeping track of the changes and explaining to them why you had to change the priorities can ease a lot of potentially difficult situations.

This is also helpful if you have asked someone to help you find a piano or consult with you about your needs.  They may have given you recommendations, or be conducting a search based on the priorities you last gave them.  If you don't give them an update, then they may not be able to help you as fully as if you had given an update.  

The following categories represent the different things that buyers often think about when considering what piano to buy.  Grand pianos can cost more than $100,000 and uprights more than $20,000.  Unless your budget and space is unlimited, you will probably have to sacrifice some things you might like to have in order to keep your purchase within the limitations of your budget, time and circumstances.  Establishing which of the following categories is most important to you will help you know what things you prefer not to sacrifice in your choice of a piano.

Read the following definitions and then organize your priorities in the form below. 

Definitions:
 

 
  Quality: the level of quality you want the piano to have in its design, materials & construction.   
  Durability:  how long the existing parts that affect the pianoís performance will last without replacement.  
Tone: how well the piano sounds
  Touch: how well the piano keyboard and pedal responds and feels to the pianistís touch.   
  Appearance: how the piano looks, its color, style, wood grain, sheen, the look of the keyboard, plate and strings.  
  Serviceability: how easy the piano will be to service and find replacement parts for in the future.  
  Investment Value: How good a value this piano is when compared to other pianoís on the marketplace today for the same cost. Also, how likely the piano is to appreciate over time.   
  Resale Value: The ease and probability with which the piano will sell on todayís market (with a selling period of 120 days) from a private partyís home or a dealerís showroom.  
  Time to Delivery: How long it will take from the time you buy the piano to the time it is received.  This may be important to consider if you plan to have upgrades to a piano done before it is delivered to your home.  
  Fits My Price Range:

 

Whether the piano fits the budget that you initially began with.     
  You may need to search through the Pianos for Sale list, organized by quality, by tone, by touch, by durability, and by appearance, to get an idea of what you can afford to consider an important priority.  

 

  1. Which factor is the first (highest) priority for me in a piano that I buy?

    The following issues are important to me about this.


  2. Which factor is the second priority for me in a piano that I buy?

    The following issues are important to me about this.

     

  3. Which factor is the third priority for me in a piano that I buy?

    The following issues are important to me about this.

     

  4. Which factor is the fourth priority for me in a piano that I buy?

    The following issues are important to me about this.

     

  5. Which factor is the fifth priority for me in a piano that I buy?

    The following issues are important to me about this.

     

  6. Which other factors are also important to me?

    Quality
    Durability
    Tone
    Touch
    Appearance
    Serviceability
    Investment Value
    Resale Value
    Time to Delivery
    Fits My Price Range

    The following issues are important to me about this.

     

  7. Which factors are not important to me?

    Quality
    Durability
    Tone
    Touch
    Appearance
    Serviceability
    Investment Value
    Resale Value
    Time to Delivery
    Fits My Price Range

    The following issues are important to me about this.

    Today's Date:  Time:

    My Name: 

        

 
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