Thursday, May 16, 2013

What’s Your Book – Or Piano Worth?

What if something you believe has value is deemed worthless by others? Hey, wanna buy a piano?

I learned that sometimes you can’t get others to pay what you think something is worth when I tried to sell our family piano.

This Baldwin Acrosonic is in decent physical shape but the 1952 piano hasn’t been played in at least a decade.  It’s been sitting, covered, in our garage, since we moved into our house 9 ½ years ago.  The house came with a piano, so my wife and I never brought the family heirloom upstairs. 

My two young kids occasionally bang on the keys of the house piano, but don’t seem interested in getting lessons.

Maybe I should sell both, but the house looks better with a piano in it.  I suspect most pianos go unplayed.  It’s just one of those things that you acquire, but rarely use. 

The problem is that I can’t get anyone to buy the piano.  I wrote a form letter to 37 nearby piano stores – within a 30-minute radius of me.  I only got a reply from three people.  One told me they don’t buy used pianos.  Another said their name has “piano” in it but they’re a funeral home.  So much for searching on Google. And the last guy told it like it is – no one’s paying big bucks for this.

Apparently, at 61 years, it’s not old enough to be a valued antique by piano standards, but it’s old enough to be out of its prime playing prowess.  So I have a dud on my hands.

Plan B is to put it on Craig’s list or eBay, though I’m wary of letting my fate rest in the hands of savvy online bidders.  I could hand out flyers in the neighborhood, hoping someone who doesn’t know much wants to buy a monstrosity. 

It’s a bit disappointing and frustrating to think that something like a piano is worthless. But maybe it’s only worth, not what I want it to be or think it can be, but what others are willing to pay.  Then again, I just need one person to buy it, so I have to believe someone will pay something.  I guess I’ll have to work harder and smarter about finding a new owner for this musical instrument.

Our books can be like that piano.  We think, hope, and demand that others will buy our books.  Sometimes we are ignored or shunned.  But we must persevere and find out buyer.  It may take a while and some effort – and some pride-swallowing, but it’ll happen.

Know anyone who wants to buy a piano?


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013 

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