I agree with Nancy Fratti one hundred percent! Many owners of an
instrument simply do not know it's condition and value unless, they
are into the restoration business themselves.
Not long ago, I responded to an advertisement for a "magnificent" electric
player piano. I had visions of a pristine Ampico or Duo-Art. The owners
were beaming and very excited. This was their prized possession.
What I found was a very old upright piano, situated on a breezeway open
porch and exposed to out-door conditions. The case of the piano had been
painted a brilliant orange!
The happy owners flipped a switch, and at first, I thought an ambulance
was passing by. A concealed vacuum cleaner motor loudly emitted it's
shrill sound. Notes banged away, on a piano which obviously had never
been tuned. It was accompanied by a terrible clicking noises. (Moths
had eaten 90% of the felts.)
Still, the owners proudly stood by their piano with a big smile, thinking
it was the best. They had never heard a good player piano play. Through
lack of experience, they thought all player pianos should sound this way.
To them, it was still their "Magnificent" player piano. Oh yes, their
asking price? $5,000.00!
It is easy to see that the uninformed person could gather this
information and use it in a price guide. Apparently they do!
It was a very difficult task to be very tactful, and not hurt the
feelings of these proud owners.