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MMD > Archives > May 2000 > 2000.05.10 > 03Prev  Next

Dealing with American Piano Supply Company
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,

It's a fact! APSCO is not interested in dealing with the general public.
They never have been interested in dealing with the general public and,
according to the owner, they very rarely will deal with the general
public (see note below). WHY? According to Ed Schadler there are two
basic reasons. One, they don't want to chance losing the business that
comes from the professional community. (If they sold supplies to the GP
at the wholesale price it would be more difficult for the professional
community to make a profit on those parts.) Two, they don't have the
time or the personnel to answer questions that come from people who
don't know exactly what they want to buy.

Even when you're making your living working on pianos you don't
automatically qualify for an account at APSCO. When I opened my account
some 20+ years ago, I was required to provide three references from
established piano businesses or stores for whom I had worked. (At the
time, it felt like a Catch 22. I needed parts to do work but I had to
have worked for established firms or technicians to get parts.) I was
told that the references were required in an effort to protect the
general public from unqualified or unscrupulous individuals attempting
to capitalize on the fact that APSCO sells everything at the wholesale

Ask any piano technician how many times a month he gets calls from
people who want to buy a piano string or a bridal strap.  Most of the
time the people who call aren't even aware that piano wire comes in
24 different diameters. They don't know that bridal straps come in
three types and three lengths. Now multiply any given number of such
requests by 50 (states) and you begin to see why APSCO is simply not
interested in dealing with the general public.

The reason I posted the contact information about APSCO was mainly
because there was an area code change. Also, I have heard, although I
have no proof, that if you send APSCO an order using their part/item
numbers and a cashiers check for the full amount plus the cost of
shipping, they will fill the order.  Obviously, you'd have to contact
someone who has an APSCO catalog to get the proper numbers, and that
person would have to be willing to tell you the wholesale price, and
you'd have to be willing to send them enough money to adequately cover
all the costs including shipping. You could also call in the order and
pay for it with a credit card.

I never said it was easy to buy supplies from APSCO. I was, however,
surprised to find that there aren't any articles in the MMD Archives
that plainly state that APSCO doesn't deal with the general public. So
I apologize if I unintentionally mislead anyone. Now APSCO's policy is
a matter of public record.

NOTE: Ed Schadler told me this morning that on rare occasions they will
sell things like piano benches and piano bench covers to people who are
sent to APSCO by local piano dealers. However, they sell the items at
the list price, not the wholesale price.


John A. Tuttle
Brick, NJ 08724

(Message sent Wed 10 May 2000, 15:26:21 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  American, Company, Dealing, Piano, Supply

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