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January 15, 2021

The owner of a Melbourne piano business with roots stretching back over 100 years found last year’s COVID lockdown actually contributed to sales, even as other companies were forced to the wall.

John Martin, owner of Wertheim Pianos in South Melbourne, says that in April 2020, he noticed most of the city’s piano outlets were shuttered. The veteran music maker realised there was an opportunity to open his store to online customers using a digital currency he had just signed up to—Qoin.

“All the piano shops were shut at the time, and no one was doing anything, so in the lockdown I started selling some pianos on Qoin,” he says.

“I found it was really good, mainly because I had a lot of excess stock.”

Qoin a natural progression from the Bartercard platform

Wertheim Pianos originally began manufacturing in Germany in 1875, before opening a state-of-the-art piano factory in Melbourne in 1908. John Martin’s World of Music marketing and buying group took over Wertheim Pianos in 2002.

John was turned on to Qoin from his positive experience using Bartercard, one of the world’s largest business-to-business trading platforms. When they introduced Qoin, he found it suited his business perfectly.

John says the ability to trade his goods over the winter months with Qoin had sustained his business, boosting turnover by more than 50%.

“Qoin has been so good to me, especially the way it’s increased in value. It’s really saved the business during the lockdown,” he says.

“I found I got some very good customers, and some of them have come back to me or referred people. Others I was selling to 40 years ago when I first entered the music industry!”

“So I’ve been doing that for other people, mainly in my industry where I feel it can really help them. It’s been an excellent experience, I’ve really enjoyed it,” he says.

“I’ve met some fantastic people, the Qoin community are really cool people.”

Plans for Qoin sales internationally

John already distributes pianos internationally, and is planning to expand his Qoin sales when the currency moves into other countries.

“I am hoping that when Qoin goes into places like India and South Africa, I can sell my piano brands into those areas. My long term plan is to grow with Qoin and grow an international business,” he says.

“And I think there’s big opportunities for other people in Australia. If you’ve got a good Australian business, the next step should obviously be on taking it international.

“Because one day you’re going to want to sit back in an arm chair and read a book, you know?”