Welcome to Living Pianos. The subject today is about what college piano sales are all about. You’ve probably seen them at your local college or university, and then the next year they have them again. And you wonder how they have so many pianos to sell! Also, you wonder, if these are college pianos, what kind of condition could they possibly be in. (We’ve all seen school pianos!) Well, I’m going to tell you what these sales are all about so you can determine if it’s something of interest to you so you can decide if you’d like to investigate them for yourself.
This is a very common practice. They are events held at colleges, universities and also in conjunction with arts organizations. The way they work is with an arrangement among a piano dealer, a piano manufacturer, a finance company, and an institution, typically a school. The arrangement is made to loan several new pianos (perhaps 6-8 pianos) for a year at no charge. In exchange, the institution agrees to open up their facility (and more importantly their mailing list) to have a limited time piano sale which is marketed with tens of thousands of dollars of advertising. The piano store then engages piano movers to move dozens of other pianos from the piano store into the school, performance venue, or other facility for the sale.
If you research this online, “What is a College Piano Sale”, you will find a lot of opinions on this practice.
These sales are generally held in conjunction with Yamaha, Steinway, or Kawai. If it is a Yamaha event, there will be mostly Yamaha pianos there. If there is a specific model of Yamaha piano you are after, it can be a good place to get a decent price on the piano without the hassle of negotiation which is typical in new piano stores. However, the expense of moving the pianos in and out, along with the heavy promotional costs precludes spectacular deals at these events. It is also not a place where you have much time to try out instruments. They try to create a buying frenzy by limiting time, and fostering an urgency for a buying decision before the pianos are sold (even though most of them go back to the store after the sale is over).
So remember: if you are looking for a new piano, and know what you want, a college sale can be a good way to go. But for narrowing down what you want, you are better off shopping around first. Let us know your experiences on LivingPianos.com and YouTube! Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.
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