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Old 08-01-2005, 07:58 PM   #1
Richard Mao
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana, USA
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Default Renting bagpipes?


Parents don't want to spring for a set of pipes for their kid right now (they're still not sure the kid won't lose interest in six months... based on past history, I guess)... but the student has qualified/reached a level of readiness.

Sooo.. I have a set of Delrin pipes... already tied in with a Livingston (small) Ross bag... (I don't want to sell these pipes)...good chanter, well reeded both drones and chanter.... that I'm willing to loan/rent to the student for the six month "test period."

May I have your input on what a fair, keep-em-honest rental rate would be (say on a monthly basis... with expectations that the rental would run six months).

Is your perspective from that of a renter or a rentee? Is your perspective from actual experience or your opinion?

(I would have to have the parents sign an agreement for full agreed-upon-in-advance replacement cost in case of theft or destruction of the set of pipes while in the family's custody)

The parents are enthusiastic about this arrangement... knowing full well that money spent on rental of my pipes... will NOT be applied to the purchase price of any set they bought in the future.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Let not your playing depend so much on the state of the art,
learn instead to rely on the state of your heart.
Peking Piper Paraphrase Marc Matz

Richard Mao, The Peking Piper ( PekingPiper@mao.org )
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:45 PM   #2
FD Piper
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

I guess I was spoiled. My instructor had a set to loan me that was an extra. This is something he and his father did. I also do not know if you have any other need or purpose for the pipes. Also, it will set a possible precedent for future students, either way you opt to go.

What are the sticks worth? Then add the cost of the bag, cords, reeds, cover, etc. separately - these costs add up really quickly to add a quick $300-400 or so. I would add these costs. This would be the replacement value of the pipes. Some people may say you can buy a complete setup for $xxx with these items, but if you want a certain bag, reeds, cover, cords, then you toss the cheap stuff that usually comes with it.

Regarding rental for the pipes, I would look at $10 to 15 a week, payable a month in advance ($40-60/month). Then limit the time to 5 or 6 months. Time for the parents to then get off the pot.

Also, call a local school band supply house that rents to your local high school band student. What do they charge? I recall about $90-100 a month for my kids instruments. That might be a good gauge.

Just a thought.
FD Piper
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:24 AM   #3
Holy smoking keyboard!
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

Most music stores that rent instruments count the rental fee towards purchase of an instrument.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:17 AM   #4
Dick Sands
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

I ran a quick search in Google and came up with a lot of data that analyzes to Purchase Price divided by 36 = monthly rental. As has been mentioned before, most every one of the shops applied rental to purchase price. Those without explanations basically quoted a figure of between $15 and $30 per month based on the price of the instrument.
The sites also mentioned a security deposit that seemed to be equal to about 2 months rent.

Having said all that, what I'd do is come up with a figure of like $15 per month plus a $30 security deposit and limit the rental time to say 9 months (like a school year). I would be inclined to plow the rental income into an instrument that I could offer as rental/purchase in the future. I would not, however, be inclined to get myself into a retail business. I was thinking more in terms of helping others to support the piping habit.
I've been invited to a fight. Do you suppose they are forming a pipeband??
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

It would seem that if you aren't particularly interested in selling the pipes, the amount of money risked is the value of the pipes (and the brain damage in replacing them.) As a practical matter then, if the parents deposited the replacement value with you, and you returned itheir deposit less the cost to replace the reeds when the set was returned in good condition, it would be fair. On return, you could charge a minimal amount against the deposit, the reed cost, and say $10 per month. It's never about the money, until its about the money. I think its fair for you to have it, hold it, and get some small return, when it comes back in good shape.
The older I get, the more certain I am, that everything should be made from blackwood, beeswax, reeds, shellac and bits of string...
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

When my son was in the band at St. Thomas' Episcopal, they rent pipes to the kids who either can't buy their own or don't want to. I believe they rented them for $150/yr. (it might have been $100- I can't remember, exactly) We didn't rent since we had our own.
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:51 PM   #7
David Marshall
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

I understand RG Hardie has some form of rental or rent to own program in Scotland. It would be interesting to see if someone does it here.

How about someone contacting MBNA credit cards and setting up a program. 24 or 36 months finance term on a $1200 US set of pipes. $45 to $60 per month.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:18 PM   #8
Matt Kelley
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

I like Zarb's idea. Or, what if you have the parent's buy a set of drone reeds and the kid can use one of your old chanter reeds that sounds pretty good and go from there. The pipe bag souldn't be a big deal since with good care it'll last a long while.

I don't see a reason to make a profit, especially with the bagpipe. I don't know, if it were most any other "classical" instrument, I might rent the instrument...but with the pipes, we're almost a family because our community is so small, so why make it about money?

I've got an extra set of pipes on loan to a girl in my band while hers are away for repair. No big deal...I wasn't playing them much, and it's an instrument, it should be played, not just sitting around.

Agree with the parents that, if something happens to the pipes, that they will pay the costs to repair/replace.
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Old 08-05-2005, 01:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

I would like to rent a set of DN 6 for 35 a month. HAHA
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Old 08-05-2005, 02:16 PM   #10
David Marshall
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Default Re: Renting bagpipes?

I think another thing that could be popular is the donation of equipment to bands and organizations that have charitable status. I'm not sure of the rules in the UK or the US but in Canada it is pretty straight forward. The organization can give you a tax receipt for the fair market value of the item. This is called an "in-kind" donation. There are a few rules to ensure it is not a scam to over inflate the value of the asset. You might want an appraisal done by a legitimate retailer or pipemaker in case the tax man requests it.

Everyone wins. The band gains a set of pipes, the student gets a set to play and you get a tax receipt for likely more than you could have sold the pipes for.
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