• Recycled pianos. I am a piano recycler. Each of my pianos would have been thrown in the dump had I not salvaged it. These pianos were either dropped off trucks or down stairs, were in fires or floods, were vandalized in schools, were neglected in church basements, were left outdoors or in damp barns, or were simply not being played any more. I spend hours of time and many dollars for parts in order to make these pianos work and look nice. Pianos are like bicycles: either fix them and use them or recycle them for parts. My goal is to upgrade each and every one to prime playing condition.
• In use rather than in storage. My collection has grown so large that it would take me maybe nine years with no pay to rebuild them all. Consequently I focus on the pianos that people are particularly interested in at the time. I would much rather have these pianos being used than sitting idly in storage.
• Free pianos. If you know anyone who has no money and wants a free piano, I am giving away the pianos that do not fit in my storage unit; if these pianos are not moved into a dry place, they will be destroyed by the weather and will have to be scrapped.
• Describe what you want. Although you are welcome to come out to my place on Whidbey to select the piano you want, it would be far more convenient for you to describe what you want and to let me pick the best one I have available at the time.
PRICED ACCORDING TO CONDITION
As you can guess, not all these pianos are in the same condition. Consequently, I have scaled their rental prices accordingly. If the piano doesn't work, it's free to borrow. I offer free tunings and repairs on my rentals as long as you are paying rent. If you have a free piano and would like it fixed or tuned, you have the choice of hiring me to work on it, or of paying a minimal rent, such as $5/month, and I will tune it for free. So here is a list of categories:
FREE: The piano doesn't work, or the piano is outdoors under a tarp and is salvageable.
$5 / month: The piano has been cleaned, works, but has problems, or is stored outside.
$10 / month: The strings and pins are in good condition.
$15 / month: All the key covers are there, but some notes might not work well.
$20 / month: All the clicks and squeaks and broken parts have been fixed.
$25 / month: The piano has been fully regulated, adjusted and is in good condition.
$30 / month: Any worn-out parts have been replaced.
$35 / month: The piano even looks nice.
$40 / month: This is one of my best pianos.
$50 / month: Grand piano in relatively good shape.
$75 / month: Grand piano average price.
$100 / month: My best grand piano.
• Benches are $1.00/month extra. Because I have very few benches and good benches are hard to come by, the extra dollar helps me keep track of where my benches are.
• State sales tax must be added to whatever fee is charged.
TUNING & REPAIRS
• Your first tuning is free.
• Additional tunings are $25.00.
• Miscellaneous repairs are free, as long as you are current with your payments.
• If you would like the piano you are renting to be upgraded, I am willing to schedule the time to work on it at your place, after which your monthly payment will be altered accordingly.
• I have a busy schedule, so call ahead to set up an appointment for me to come.
• Unless I hear from you, I assume your piano is fine and you are happy with it.
• When you wish to terminate your rental, please give me sufficient notice.
• If you find another person who would like to take over the rental of your piano when you are finished and we can move the piano directly from your place to theirs, let me know. I will give you a discount for the referral.
• I will still need your help getting the piano from your room and onto my truck.
• If you have to move but want to keep the piano, call me and we'll schedule a time to move the piano to your new place. I charge half-price for a move like this.
• Call as far ahead as possible. I am very busy, so if you are in a hurry and you want me to move your piano, you might have to wait a month, and I don't like to move pianos in the rain, late at night, or without help. I have an excellent mover who is experienced, efficient and available to move pianos upon rather short notice, who charges fair rates (but much higher than mine), and who knows a lot about pianos. Either way, we will get a piano moved out.
• Moving is $100 flat rate, including in and out round-trip for up to four steps.
• For more than four steps, the price is $150.
• You supply help moving the piano in and out. Normally one helper is sufficient. Usually it takes one or two other people besides me, although with stairs or tight corners on stair landings sometimes three or four extra people might be necessary.
• The moving fee for my rentals must be paid up front upon delivery.
• Please call ahead because I book up several weeks in advance.
• There is a three-month minimum for any of my rentals. If you move out the piano in a shorter period of time, you still pay for three months. There is no outer limit as to how long you wish to rent.
• I am not a licensed, bonded or insured piano mover, although I have moved several thousand pianos with no significant incidents. If the piano is damaged, I will fix it. If your property is damaged, I will fix it. I work on good faith and trust. I am careful, methodical and experienced, and we will discuss the move before we do anything.
• Exceptions to this rate:
o There is a mileage charge for extra travel distance.
o If the move is extremely difficult I will charge by the minute. We will discuss this before the piano is moved.
o If it is pouring rain and the move must happen that day, the rate is doubled.
o If you cannot help, I might be able to supply helpers for an additional $20.00/hour/person.
o If neither of us can supply help, or if you are in a hurry sooner than I can make it there, then you will have to pay to hire an outside professional mover.
PIANO RENT PAYMENT PLANS
There are several options for making your piano rent payments. We each have a record of the date it was moved in, so when it is moved out we can figure who owes whom for any extra days either way.
• Automatic withdrawals. Set up your account for automatic
monthly withdrawals from your debit or credit card. This is by far
the easiest way to take care of your regular payments, and is my preferred
method. Automatic withdrawals provides both of us accurate records on our
computers, saves you from remembering to mail a check, and saves me time
from sending notices.
• Bill-payment service. Another option is to arrange with a bank or a company that will automatically mail a check to me each month.
• Post-dated checks. Write a series of post-dated checks, one for each subsequent month, and hand them to me or mail them to me.
o Each check cannot be cashed until the date you write on the check. This is a great system because it saves the renter time and stamps, plus by pre-paying in advance it is one less bill to have to remember to pay; and at my end it saves me time sending out reminders.
o The problem with this system is that when the supply of checks is gone, it is easy to forget to send more.
• Lump payments. Pre-pay for recurring blocks of time, such as once every three, six or twelve month. If I know that you are paying for several months at once, there will be no late fee during the months when no payment was received.
• Month-by-month. If you aren’t certain how long you will be renting, or you are not sure when you will have any available money each month, send a check or money order as you can each month. Remember that if you miss a month, a $5.00 late fee will be assessed for each missed month.
• Late fees. If you skip a month there will be a $5.00
late fee added to your amount due for that month.
o In other words, if your payment is not received by the last day of any given month, you will be assessed a $5.00 late charge; this will happen any month that shows a past balance due.
o If a month goes by without payment, you will receive a reminder phone call, an e-mail, or a reminder notice in the mail. If you fall three months behind, you will be asked if you wish to continue renting. If you wish to terminate at this point, you still must pay the back rent that is due.
o In the event that you get behind on your payments, continue paying at least the monthly rent each month, and we can work out the past due amount later.
o If money is an issue and you can't afford to pay money, then we could
- work out some sort of barter or trade for your skills, services, or objects
- you could come to my place and work it off
- supply me with a long list of ready piano customers.
• Barter. In the case that you have no money but you do have a skill, service, product or object that I could use and that would amount to an equivalent trade, then we could do either a partial or a 100% exchange.
• Unusual circumstances. If you are having financial problems
and have nothing to trade, let me know and we can work something out.
o Even if you have absolutely no money and nothing you think you can trade, you could come out to my place and work it off at $8/hour.
o I am open to alternatives. I also have several businesses, and business referrals are worth a lot to me. Each referral will reduce your debt.
o If you truly need money, I honestly could use help with some of my businesses. Get together with me and we can discuss being business partners if you seriously would like to make some extra money.
o In the event that I must retrieve the piano, I will continue to bill you. I do expect to be paid for the length of time you have my piano. Please communicate and keep in touch.
• Reminders. Most of my customers are set up on automatic monthly withdrawals. In case you need to be reminded, I send monthly reminder notices via e-mail. If you have no e-mail, I will call you via telephone. If you would like me to send you monthly reminder notices via USPS mail there is a $1.00 charge for this service. Most people simply remember and send their payments on their own. If you actually need to be reminded, then I recommend that we set automatic withdrawals from your card.
• Purchases. If, after renting a piano for a while, you
wish to purchase it, let me know.
o Generally I never sell my rentals, but in the event that you become particularly attached to the piano you are renting you may purchase it.
o Rent payments do not apply to the purchase of any of my pianos. If you wish to purchase one of my pianos, the transaction will be separate from the rental agreement. In other words, even if the piano is in your home, consider it moved back to my shop and we are starting over. For example, if the piano is for sale for $500, no matter how many months you have been renting it, when you are ready to purchase it you must then pay $500 in order to own it. Thereafter you are on your own for tuning and repairs. I will be glad to continue servicing your piano at my normal rates, as I do with my other piano customers.
o To view my pianos you are welcome to make an appointment to come to my shop on Whidbey Island. Call ahead so I know when you are on your way. Have in mind a rough idea of what you are looking for in terms of looks, touch and tone. Call for directions.
o The minimum amount my rentals sell for is $100, and the prices go up according to the piano’s internal and external condition. An average range is between $600 and $1200.
o You are welcome to come to my shop and select and purchase a different piano from the one you are renting.
o One of the many reasons why people rent is so that they have a piano to play while they are shopping around for the ultimate piano they wish to own. Renting buys you time to shop around at various piano stores, ads in the paper, and listings on the internet. Call me and I will help you select, inspect, purchase and move a piano from someone else. I charge to make house calls for estimates and for moving pianos.
# stairs, tight corners
monthly payment range
floor surface (wood/carpet, etc.)
length of time considering renting
I will also need the following from you:
physical address & mailing address
name, phone, e-mail address
landlord's name & phone
driver's license or SS #
Contact me by phone:
(206) 324-5055 (Seattle)
(360) 730-7992 (Whidbey)
or by e-mail: