Do you have an old piano sitting around that you want to sell? Perhaps it was passed down to you by family members, or you no longer have the space for it. But no matter what the reason, here’s how to sell your piano:
- Assess the condition of the piano (keys, tuning, wood finish, etc)
- Address any major issues (missing strings or keys) before trying to sell)
- Google the make and model number of the piano for basic information
- Research the selling history of your make and model on online reseller sites like eBay
- List the piano for sale in multiple places (Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, etc)
- Also, consider selling or consigning it at local musical instrument stores
Whatever the reason, selling a piano can be overwhelming, and it’s normal for you to have many questions. Should you get it tuned before selling? Does the wood need to be refinished? How do you determine its actual value?
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll review everything you’re supposed to know about how to sell a piano. From determining its worth to making it as valuable as possible, we’ll cover all the tips and tricks to ensure a successful sale.
So, grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine), sit back, and dive into the world of piano selling together!
How Do I Know How Much a Used Piano is Worth?
As a former DJ, musician, and music lover, I’m often asked about selling used musical instruments. If you have an old piano you no longer want or need, it’s essential to know its worth before trying to sell it.
Various factors determine the fair market value of a piano, including its brand, age, condition, and market demand.
Some piano brands are more well-known and respected than others, affecting their value. High-end grand pianos brands like Steinway & Sons, Bosendorfer, and Mason & Hamlin are generally worth more than lesser-known brands.
Pianos with low brand-name recognition will naturally fetch less money even if they are in great shape.
Like any other musical instrument, pianos can wear down over time, so life expectancy will be a factor for would-be piano owners. However, older pianos can also gain value due to their historical significance, rarity, or unique features.
The piano’s condition is the most critical factor in determining its value. Generally, pianos in excellent condition that have received regular maintenance are worth more than ones with significant problems that are worn out, out of tune, or missing parts.
If your piano is really out of tune, consider hiring a piano tuner before listing it for sale.
Finally, the value of a used piano is also influenced by the current market demand for that style, brand, or age of the piano. To research the value of your used piano, several online resources can help. Sites like PianoMart and Craigslist can give you an idea of what similar pianos are selling in your area.
It’s also good to consult a professional piano appraiser or technician for a more accurate valuation. Consider any necessary repairs or maintenance when determining a fair price to sell your piano. A piano that has been recently tuned or had other work done will be worth more than one that requires significant maintenance.
Additionally, be realistic, and don’t hesitate to negotiate a fair asking price with potential buyers. With the proper research and preparation, you can get a good deal for your used piano.
— ꧁•⊹٭𝚂𝚑𝚎𝚟٭⊹•꧂ (@shevauneuron) July 7, 2022
What Are The Different Types Of Pianos That You Can Sell?
Acoustic pianos are timeless classics, offering a classic sound and deep bass that can be enjoyed for generations.
Its strings are struck by hammers, producing beautiful tones and resonance. Acoustic pianos come in upright, grand, and even some electronic versions.
A grand piano is the quintessential symbol of luxury and sophistication.
These instruments often feature ornate designs, intricate detailing, and exquisite craftsmanship, making them highly desirable for many homes. Grand pianos are more expensive due to their size and larger soundboard, but they offer a rich and powerful tone that cannot be replicated with digital instruments.
But even with the label of grand pianos, there is a wide range of sizes and price ranges.
In a recent article, I do a detailed comparison between grand and baby grand pianos, covering sizes, prices, sound, and more! Just click that link to read it on my site.
Upright pianos are one of the most popular types of acoustic instruments out there today due to their affordability, portability, and ease of use for beginners and advanced players alike!
Upright models typically range from 48″ to -60″ in height, allowing you to tuck them away into small places when not in use or quickly move them around if needed, compared to grand pianos, which are much heavier and harder to maneuver.
The bad news is that there are probably a lot of old upright pianos already for sale in your area.
So even if yours is beautiful and in good playing condition, you may still have to price yours low to match the going rate of the used-piano market due to the higher competition.
Digital Pianos offer the convenience of modern technology with the same traditional feel of an acoustic piano.
They often feature weighted keys which simulate the feeling of playing on an acoustic instrument while providing greater portability due to their lack of need for tuning or maintenance like an acoustic piano needs.
Anyone in the DC/NoVA area in the market for a grand piano? I’m selling a positively gorgeous mahogany 5’10” Vogel by Schimmel in perfect shape. Just appraised for $19k, willing to sell for $12k/obo. If you know anyone in the market, please refer them to me! Thanks!! #piano ♥️ pic.twitter.com/ZpMNPIiEo2
— Heather Lawver @🏡 (@LawverSays) May 11, 2019
What Should I Do to a Piano Before Trying to Sell It?
The first step in selling your instrument is determining its worth. Selling a piano is more complicated than simply putting up a “for sale” sign and waiting for bids. Before you sell your old piano, you must ensure it is in good condition and appealing to potential buyers.
Preparing the Piano for Sale
Old pianos with dusty keys, a yellowed finish, and out-of-tune strings are unlikely to get any offers from the general public, let alone fetch their total value. Therefore, it is a good idea to ensure that your piano is clean and well-tuned before you list it for selling purposes.
Therefore, cleaning and tuning the piano are the two most vital things you can do to make it more sellable.
Cleaning the piano involves removing dust, grime, and other debris from the keys, hammers, strings, and soundboard. A soft brush or cloth to remove the dust is recommended, followed by a damp cloth to clean the keys and other parts.
However, avoid using water or other cleaning products on the keys, as it can damage the ebony, plastic, or ivory keys.
Tuning a piano entails adjusting the tension of the strings and aligning them to the correct tune, as well as regulating mechanical components such as hammers, dampers, and pedals.
A well-tuned keyboard will sound crisp, clear, and in harmony, whereas an out-of-tune one will sound like an explosion of clashing sounds. Therefore, hiring a professional piano dealer is advisable to do the job right.
Investing in Repairs or Cosmetic Updates
After the piano has been cleaned and tuned, decide if you want to make any repairs or aesthetic improvements, like refinishing the wood or replacing any damaged keys. These changes can improve the piano’s look and performance but piano repairs or restoration can be expensive and time-consuming.
Replace broken or missing keys to make your used piano more playable and appealing to prospective clients. Similarly, if the finish is worn or scratched, refinish it to restore its shine and beauty.
However, suppose the piano has major structural or mechanical issues, such as a cracked soundboard or worn hammers, it may be better to sell it at a lower price, donate your piano to a charitable organization, or just get rid of your piano by any means necessary.
Finding a Reputable Piano Technician
Whether you tune, repair, or update your piano, you must find an experienced, skilled, and trustworthy piano technician. You can start by requesting referrals from friends, family, or your local piano store. You can also check online reviews or professional directories to find a qualified technician.
When choosing a piano technician, ask about their qualifications, experience, and credentials, such as their membership in professional organizations like the Piano Technicians Guild. Please also ask about their pricing, availability, warranty policies, and maintenance and care recommendations.
Can I Sell a Piano Online?
With the rise of online marketplaces, reaching potential buyers is easier than ever. That being said, selling a used piano online to the private market has pros and cons.
- Wider reach: By listing your piano on online classifieds like a Facebook marketplace, you can access a larger pool of potential buyers than you would if you sell locally.
- Convenience: Online marketplaces make it easy to post listings and communicate with potential buyers.
- Shipping: Pianos are heavy and delicate instruments that require careful handling. Shipping them can be challenging and expensive.
- Scammers: Unfortunately, there are scams associated with selling online. It’s crucial to be vigilant and take the appropriate safety measures to protect yourself from this circumstance.
Tips for Taking High-Quality Photos and Writing an Adequate Listing Description
- Clean the piano before taking photos. Dust and dirt can detract from their appearance.
- Use good lighting. Although natural light is ideal, if you use artificial light, ensure it’s bright and even.
- Take multiple photos from different angles to showcase the piano’s features.
- Write a detailed listing description, including information about the piano’s asking price, make, model, age, and condition.
Handling Shipping and Payment
- If you’re selling locally, arrange for the buyer to pick up the piano. Ensure they have adequate transportation and are prepared to move the piano safely.
- If you’re selling to someone who lives far away, consider hiring a professional piano mover. They will have the experience and equipment necessary to transport the piano safely.
- Ensure you agree on a payment method with the buyer before completing the sale. Cash, PayPal, and bank transfers are all common ways to pay for large items like pianos.
STEINWAY SALE: A 1922, Steinway Model O grand piano with a black case and spade legs. Piano reduced for a quick sale. Owner wants to sell
WAS: £15,500 NOW: £10,000 Audio here: https://t.co/oHPH5JGHwU pic.twitter.com/7czCiAy581
— besbrodepianos (@besbrodepianos) April 17, 2019
Will I Get More Money Consigning a Piano at a Local Dealer?
While consigning a piano at a local piano dealer can have benefits, weighing the pros and cons before deciding is essential.
Generally speaking, consigning a piano at a local dealer may result in more money than a private sale on sites like eBay or Craigslist. This is because dealers often have more resources to market and advertise your piano, as well as a larger customer base.
But first, consider whether the dealer has experience selling used pianos. A dealer who specializes in pianos is likely to have more expertise and connections in the industry than a general antique dealer.
And they may already have a large base of prospective buyers.
You should also find out what commission the dealer charges for consignment, which can vary widely. Some dealers set up to 40% of the sale price, while others charge a flat fee or a minimal percentage.
To find a reputable dealer, ask for recommendations from friends or acquaintances who have sold pianos. You can also look for reviews online or contact local music stores for referrals.
Once you’ve found a dealer that fits your criteria, consider signing a consignment agreement outlining the sale terms, such as commission rate, selling price, and length of the consignment period.
When negotiating with the dealer, clearly communicate your expectations and ask for their advice on pricing the piano competitively. Consider getting the piano tuned or repaired before putting it on the market, as this can increase its value.
Ultimately, the success of the consignment process will depend on finding a dealer you trust and working together to determine a fair selling price for your piano.
Do Pianos Go Up or Down in Value?
Like most musical instruments, pianos tend to depreciate over time, but certain factors can increase their overall worth. Rarity, historical significance, and celebrity ownership can improve a piano’s value.
For example, a piano once owned by a famous musician will likely fetch a higher price than a similar piano without that association.
To predict future trends in the piano market, staying up-to-date with industry news and sales data is essential. Additionally, understanding the demographics of piano buyers can provide insight into which types of pianos are in high demand and which styles may become more popular.
To price your piano, make sure you know how much your piano sells for new. Even if your piano is a really quality piano, it will be essential to price yours at least 20-30% below the best price you can find for a brand-new one.
Does the Age of My Piano Affect Its Value?
Understanding the history and provenance of a piano is crucial to assessing its value. Has it been restored or modified? Is it in playable condition? These are essential questions to consider when evaluating an older piano’s value.
Finding potential buyers who appreciate vintage instruments is essential when selling an older piano. Online marketplaces, specialty music stores, and piano enthusiasts can all be great resources for finding the right buyer who will understand the historical significance of an older piano.
Properly assessing and marketing an older piano makes it possible to fetch a reasonable price for these unique instruments.
By following the tips and resources provided in this article, you can feel confident in selling your used piano for a fair price.
Remember to research the market value of your piano, prepare it for sale, and consider your options for selling online or through a local dealer. Whether you’re looking to downsize or want to see your beloved piano find a new home, many buyers would be thrilled to add a beautiful instrument to their collection.
So take the first step today, and start exploring your options for selling your piano. Take the time to understand your instrument and research — with the right approach and attitude, you can successfully sell your piano in no time!
How do I value my piano?
To determine the value of your piano brand, you should have it evaluated by a professional appraiser or piano dealers. They can assess its age, condition, and size to help you know an accurate market price.
Do pianos have good resale value?
Pianos have good resale value because they are a unique, expensive instrument that often appreciates over time.
Do people still buy acoustic pianos?
People still buy pianos; many seek out pre-loved instruments for their vintage charm and sound quality, primarily if they’ve been well-maintained and regularly tuned.