Get Your Piano Valued - Find Out How Much It's Worth.
Editor's comments/ This article explains how to get a correct valuation for your piano and things you should never
do when determining your piano’s value.
The time has come when you need that space in the corner of your living room and you have an old, BIG piano that has been
sitting there, untouched, for many years.
You wonder how you can get rid of this piano.
Maybe it is worth something?
How much will it sell for?
How do you find out the value?
It is VERY OLD, so maybe it is an antique? In fact, could it be worth a
These are questions that I get asked on a daily basis, so I decided to write this article to help out everybody in this
Now, what I should say first is that the common belief that an old piano is an antique and worth a lot of money is simply
Generally, the older the piano is, the less it is worth. The reasons it’s worth
less is because a piano is classed as a musical instrument – not a piece of furniture – which means the value of a piano depends almost
entirely on the condition and quality of the parts on the inside. The piano’s cabinet – no matter how nice it looks on the outside –
usually has very little bearing on the price.
So a beautiful looking piano that is over 100 years old that has brass candlestick holders, intricate engraving, original
parts inside and beautifully shaped legs is more than likely worthless. In fact, you would do well if someone took the piano away from you
for. Usually you would have to pay around £60 to £90 to have the piano removed from your house and dumped.
I know this sounds a little harsh, but it is reality. I like to be honest and tell you exactly how it really is.
A fairly new piano doesn’t automatically mean that it’s worth a lot more either…
If your piano is a famous brand like Bechstein, Bluthner, Steinway, Yamaha, Kawai, etc. and is less than 20 years old, then it
will usually have a fairly high valuation.
Modern pianos that have been made in Germany, UK, Japan, or Czech Republic are usually high quality.
Pianos made in China are usually made from cheap materials (there are exceptions to the rule though). I have seen pianos that
are just 5 years old that look great on the outside, but the parts on the inside are completely worn and the sound is very
Here is a list of the best piano brands.
So how can you value your piano?
The only way and the CORRECT way, is to ask a professional piano tuner/technician to come and take a look at your piano. Make
sure the tuner is a member of the Piano Tuners Association (PTA). Members of the PTA have passed a high level tuning test and also
completed general piano repairs. They are experienced and the only real piano experts.
Do not ask your piano teacher or pianist friend to value, or choose a piano for you. Piano teachers and pianists usually no next to
nothing about the inner workings of pianos (there are always exceptions to the rule though).
A piano tuner will usually charge you for a valuation. The cost can be anywhere from £20 to £50 depending on your area and the
piano tuner’s expertise.
It is well worth it though…
You will get your piano examined by someone that knows what to look for. Once you get that valuation you will know exactly how
much you can sell your piano for. Sometimes the piano tuner will even buy it from you.
Be careful if you ask a piano dealer or shop to value your piano. The
shop is usually interested in buying secondhand pianos and will probably give it a low valuation in the hope that they can buy it off you on
Never call someone that advertises that they buy pianos. You usually see these adverts in Yellow Pages or
your local newspaper.
The ad will say something like this:
“All types of pianos bought.
Highest prices paid in cash.
Call for immediate collection”.
These guys make a living from picking up decent pianos from next to
nothing and selling them on to piano shops or private buyers for a high profit. So you can guess that they will value your piano extremely low and find as many faults as possible to justify their low offer. Some of these faults may not
You will not be able to value a piano yourself, unless you have the time to go on a piano tuning and repair course for at
least 2-3 years. The only way to know how much a piano is worth is by acquiring the expertise knowledge.
Pianos consist of at least 5,000 parts – MUCH more complicated than a car – and if one part is overlooked it can be the
difference of valuing a piano at a high price or a complete write off.
A good looking piano, casework has been French polished, the sound is OK but the piano needs tuning, the parts inside look
new, the piano is not that old, no problems seem apparent. This piano could be valued at a fairly high price?
If the tuning plank is cracked - this is usually very difficult to see – then the tuning pins will probably be loose and will
not hold the high tension of the strings. This piano will need a new tuning plank, new pins, and new strings. This could cost anywhere from
£1000 to £2500 depending on the work involved.
There is a crack at the bottom of the soundboard. To see this, you have to take the piano’s bottom board out and check the
soundboard thoroughly. Again, this can easily be missed if you don’t know what to look for. You also need to know which type of soundboard
crack is serious, and which type is not an immediate problem.
So give your local piano tuner a call, it is a safe bet and usually
worth spending the valuation fee. You can find a list of piano tuners
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