Should I Buy An Old Piano? (and How to Buy a Used Piano)

Buying a piano can be a daunting endeavor, as a piano can cost a significant amount of money. An average piano can cost at least $5,000 to purchase in many situations. High-end models could reach the five-digit price mark. You could consider financing for a piano, but that would boost its price after a while.

You can always purchase a used piano if you’re looking for a less-expensive model. But you’ll need to review a few things surrounding your used piano before you make your final decision over what you want to purchase.

WHY BUYING A USED PIANO IS A GOOD IDEA

There are many good reasons why a used piano would be ideal for your playing desire:

  • You can find used pianos from many places. You could find one from a piano store, or you could get a referral from a friend or family member.
  • The price will be lower than what you might expect. You could spend about half as much on a used model as you would on something new.
  • A used piano will continue to produce a good sound when maintained well. The timber used to build a piano will create a more mature sound as it ages.
  • A used piano will not depreciate in value as a new one can. Because a piano is older, it will have already undergone the depreciation process.
  • It is easy to maintain a used piano. You can get it tuned as necessary, and you can replace different panels and other parts if the need arises.
  • You might be able to try out a used piano before you complete your purchase. Many sellers are willing to let you try something to see if it sounds well and it fits your playing needs, giving you extra peace of mind before completing the order.

HOW OLD CAN A PIANO BE?

You’ll need to watch how well your piano is built before you make a purchase. To start, you should look at the age of the used piano for sale.

An old piano for sale can be a few decades in age. An average acoustic piano will have a lifespan of about sixty years. The timeframe is due to pianos having thousands of moving parts. These pieces will break apart over time, and you can only replace or repair so many things before the piano is no longer functional. Be sure to note how old your piano of interest is before completing your purchase and to see what the potential repair costs would be and that they don’t add up to anything too high.

CHECK THE CASING

The casing around the piano can show how well someone might maintain and handle the piano. You can review the casing around your piano to see that it is functional and doesn’t have any imperfections. Look for broken or loose pieces, and be sure everything is properly aligned in your piano of interest before using the model.

Watch for any smells coming from the casing. These might be signs that something in the piano is damp. Mold could develop in some damp spaces inside the piano.

REVIEWING THE INSIDE

Open the inside of the piano when looking at how well it works. Check for cracks around the frame and soundboard. Any imperfections might negatively influence the tone and how well you can tune the piano.

TALK WITH THE SELLER

Your seller should be able to answer a few questions about the used piano that interests you. Ask the seller about these things surrounding the piano:

  • The piano’s age
  • The serial number; this number displays where and when the piano was made
  • How often the piano is tuned
  • Whether the owner has moved the piano in the past
  • The quality of the environment where it was stored, and if there were any instabilities
  • How often people play with the piano
  • Any ongoing concerns of note surrounding the quality of the piano, including prior repairs

PRICE POINTS

The party selling the piano might offer an appealing deal, but that price may reflect what the owner thinks about the quality of the piano model. A cheaper used piano model might not be as useful as something that costs extra.

A used piano that costs less than $1,000 might not be useable. You’d have to contact a piano technician to review the piano’s quality to see if it is worthwhile.

A piano worth less than $2,000 will likely be a few decades old. You should still find a high-quality model, but it might require extensive maintenance and monitoring to ensure it can stay functional. It may not last as long as you wish either.

Most used pianos will be available for around $2,000 to $4,000. The value will be better than what you’d find if you were looking for a new model.

Don’t bother looking for a grand piano if you’re trying to find something cheap. While you can find used grand pianos on the market, you’ll likely spend at least $8,000 on a used grand piano. Anything used that costs less might be poorly made or might require extensive repairs that could make the model more expensive than it appears.

OTHER POINTS OF NOTE BEFORE BUYING

There are a few final points to see before buying a used piano:

  • A used piano must be tuned at least twice if it hasn’t been tuned in the past few years. Extra tuning is necessary to ensure the sound is stable once more. You can make a better decision about your piano if the model has been tuned well enough.
  • While someone might be willing to assist you in selling a used piano, you’ll likely have to move it yourself. A seller might refer you to a professional who can assist you in safely moving the piano.
  • Be sure you tune your piano about a month after your purchase and move your piano. You’ll need to let your used piano get used to the humidity and temperature of its new site. The wood inside the piano can respond to some of the humidity changes.

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