Pianotech

1.  Consignment fees

Posted 20 days ago
Good afternoon my learned colleagues
Recently I have completed a re-pinning & re-stringing, and some action work on a 1956 Baldwin F. The owner would like to sell piano, but does not want to move it back to her residence, as said residence is also for sale. ( I really don't want to move it back in there either, as getting it out was an exercise in mental gymnastics) So long story short I am "storing" this instrument until it gets sold.
My question for you all - What is a reasonable and customary commission for keeping a piano on consignment?

------------------------------
Thane Yennie
Cheyenne WY
307-871-8718
------------------------------


2.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 20 days ago
Thane

a customary fee is 30% of the selling price less any work you've done to make the piano saleable.  Since you've already been paid for that work, there is no additional expenses.

The 30% does not include transporting the piano but you could offer a free tuning.


------------------------------
Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
Mililani, HI 96789
------------------------------



3.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 20 days ago
Hi Thane,
 
I've come out pretty good with a 10 percent fee.  Moving and repairs are extra.  The fee covers communication, ad placement, and show time.  Any other expenses like storage, tuning, repairs, guarantees, moving, etc. are extra.  Get a contract.  In the event of a loss  ......  loss of the owner, loss of the piano, loss of storage space, etc. cover your butt with a contract.
 
"In the event of .............. the piano will ...............  "





4.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 19 days ago
Thane,

1)  Is the owner asking you to sell the piano for them?

2)  Do you have control over the price?

3)  Do you have tons of room in your shop such that it is of no consequence to you having it there for weeks, months,...?

4)  Consignment sales fees can be anywhere from 20% to 50%.  It all depends on the circumstances.

Pwg

------------------------------
Peter Grey
Stratham NH
603-686-2395
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
------------------------------



5.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 19 days ago
Thank you for the input.  The work completed was paid by third party.  So any work I do on the piano while it is in my shop is a matter of tweaking the regulation and tuning it once in while to expedite the string settling process.  Basically keeping it in an playable condition, should a prospective buyer wander in.
Is the customer expecting me to sell it for her? Not is so many words, but I have been marketing the thing, just to get it out of here.  No control over price.  My shop is 24' square, and I have two more grands (6') that I am currently working on.

------------------------------
Thane Yennie
Cheyenne WY
307-871-8718
------------------------------



6.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 19 days ago
Thane.

Regardless of the percentage of the sale price you decide, on every important clause you need to put in the contract, ( and yes, you need a written contract, signed by both parties), is that in the event the owner of the piano wants the piano back, you need to be paid for storage for the time the piano took up space in your shop. I pay $65 per month for a piano in storage at my moving company, and that is for the piano to sit on its side in a storage closet. If this piano is set up, taking up shop space, you are entitled to the amount of space based on the rent you pay for your shop. You have a shop that's 24 square feet. If that piano takes up one quarter of your shop, you can charge one quarter of the rent. If you own the shop, you had to pay for it somehow. Use that as a base.

I took a piano on consignment once, without the storage clause. The customer wanted to have me sell the piano for more than I thought it would sell for, but she insisted. Four months later she wanted her piano back. I found out later she was having her house remodeled, and needed to piano out of there. I wound up as her storage locker for 4 months, and all it cost her was the moving fee both way. 

You might also want to consider putting a time limit on how long you are willing to try to sell the piano. How long is up to you, but you can start with 6 months. After then, they either need to pay you for storage up to then, or remove the piano.

Are you trying to sell the piano at a reasonable price?  Have you compared prices of other similar pianos in your area?

------------------------------
Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
Mililani, HI 96789
------------------------------



7.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 19 days ago
Wim made a lot of good points, don't leave anything undocumented. Especially don't expect the seller to remember any verbal agreement accurately, they will remember what they think you said/meant.  Would the prospective buyer expect you to warranty it?

Monthly storage charge is added to your commission, especially if they want a price beyond marketability. I don't know what the conditions are like in your area but around here, piano sales are extremely bleak and prices are way down.

------------------------------
Regards,

Jon Page
------------------------------



8.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 19 days ago
I'm beginning to get the idea...there is more involved here than simply a business transaction.

Yes?

Here is an idea (just an idea):

Thane: "I would LOVE to be able to do this for you, but my shop really only has room for the two pianos I'm working on now, and yours makes three.  It is far more likely to sell in your house (or someone else's) and I will steer buyers in your direction and they can ask me any question they want about it. It just cannot stay here (I don't want it to get damaged accidentally)...the mover can bring it or put it in storage till you can take it. Here is his number, I've already discussed it with him..."

Basically you just want to be done with it...

By expressing your sincere desire to help, but the impossibility of it continuing like this, it can help overcome some of the emotions involved. (Sometimes)

Pwg

------------------------------
Peter Grey
Stratham NH
603-686-2395
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
------------------------------



9.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 18 days ago
Once again thank you for the input. PWG I really like your ideas on how to expedite this whole process.  I will let you know what is the final the resolution.

------------------------------
Thane Yennie
Cheyenne WY
307-871-8718
------------------------------



10.  RE: Consignment fees

Posted 19 days ago
If you sell a piano on consignment, as a professional, you also guarantee the piano. If the buyer finds a problem months or even years later, they will call you and not the owner. Keep that in mind when setting your fee.

------------------------------
Philip Jamison
Philip Jamison Pianos
WEST CHESTER PA
610-696-8449
------------------------------