Shopping For A Used Piano

Even a free piano will come at some expense. It will need to be moved, tuned, and most likely repaired. Be sure to find a piano that is worth the cost. Much like buying a used car, you will need to check under the hood. The safest way to avoid a lemon is to have a piano technician check under the hood for you. I am available to inspect a piano for a fee of $100. But feel free to call or email me if you just have a question about piano shopping. I will gladly offer guidance free of charge, and can usually weed out the real lemons without even needing to see them. is a great source of information when shopping for a used or new piano.

Things to consider when shopping:

Budget - If your budget is under $5,000, it makes more sense to buy used than new. If buying a used upright, you can find a better deal at Craigslist than you will at a piano dealer, but there is greater risk involved. Craigslist is a less reliable source of used grands, but still worth checking. Don't forget to leave at least $300 in your budget to have the piano moved and tuned.

Age - Although a piano can be serviceable for over 100 years (without being rebuilt), it will only function smoothly for about the first 40 years. This is a rough estimate since every piano will deteriorate at a different pace depending on the climate, quality of the instrument, how frequently it was played, and how well it was cared for. Whether intentionally or just due to a lack of information, the seller will often provide false information about a piano's age and condition. Be sure to always verify a piano's age by obtaining the serial number. In most cases, the seller should be able to supply you with this if you direct them to lift the piano's lid and look for a number printed on the iron plate near the tuning pins (usually 5-8 digits). If you email me the piano's make and serial number, I will gladly inform you of the piano's age.

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