Estimating Your Piano’s Value

How To Determine Your Piano Value


When you are trying to determine your piano value, there are numerous factors to consider. Getting an exact figure is difficult because of the various factors of the piano’s model, manufacturer, and age. Although these details can be determined, it is the overall condition of the piano that plays a big part in its value. Compare it to getting a car valuation. You take into consideration the make; model and year of manufacture to get a ballpark figure, but if there are scratches and dints all over it, then the value of the car will significantly decline; same concept applies to evaluating your piano value.

Firstly, you may consider a qualified piano technician. They can take an in depth look and give you a detailed evaluation of your piano. In this case, you can get a professional opinion and if you are interested in selling, it provides the buyer with assurance of its value.

However, let’s take the cheaper option for now, and give you a free guide that will help you determine your piano value and teach you some of the things to look for.

Step 1 Of Determining Your Piano Value

Look At The External Condition of Your Piano

Determining the superficial (external) condition of the piano is the first thing you need to look at. The exterior of your piano is the prime thing a prospective buyer will inspect. This will then give them an idea of the overall condition of the piano.

These are the most important things to look for to judge the exterior of your piano and ultimately your piano value:

  • Damage To the Wood: Have a close look at the wood finish and assess whether there are any scratches or cracks or whether there has been any sun damage. This can be an indication of further damage to the internal parts of the piano.
  • Condition of the Piano Keys: The appearance of the piano keys will contribute significantly to your piano value. If any of the keys are discoloured, chipped or broken, or if the piano is out of tune, it will impact on its value.
  • Condition of Pedals: The condition of the pedals is important because this is an indication of the long-term care of the piano. If they are rusted or stick, then it is a sign that the piano has not been carefully looked after.
  • Strength of Piano Legs: It is really important to ensure the safety of the piano and anyone around it, and any potential buyer will find this incredibly important. If there are any weak or wobbly legs, then it is important to get them fixed.

Step 2 of Determining Your Piano Value

Look at the Internal Condition of Your Piano

Secondly, it is important to determine the internal condition of the piano, as this will be crucial to your piano value. It isoften very hard for you to evaluate, unless you have a good idea of what to look for. Lets start with a few quick tips to help you out:

  • Check whether the strings inside the piano are worn-down or rusty. It is also worth looking at whether the strings have created deep grooves in surrounding wood or hammers.
  • Check whether the Hammers inside are worn – this can be determined by loose felt on the hammers. It is important not to try and fix this yourself with glue, as the felt is attached to the hammer by tons of pressure and damaging the internal parts will decrease your piano value.
  • Check for damage to the soundboard – this is the large piece of wood underneath a grand piano and if cracked or warped, it can lead to strange buzzing and rattling sounds.

Step 3 of Determining Your Piano Value

Determine the Specifications of Your Piano

Having a general idea of the overall condition will help you to determine your piano value. Next, you must look at the specific details: the manufacturer, the serial number and the date the piano was manufactured. The first place to look for this is on the paperwork you received when you bought the piano, but if you’re anything like me, it will have been lost moments after it was bought, so lets find out this information directly from your piano.

  • Locate the Piano’s Serial Number – The serial number is often engraved on an internal metal plate located near the keys, or possibly hiding underneath the keyslip. If this is not easily found, don’t remove anything yourself as you may damage the piano. At worst, you may need to contact a piano technician who can safely remove particular parts to find out your serial number.
  • Find out the Manufacturers Details – The name of the piano is usually displayed quite easily. If it is not shown on the front of the piano, then have a look under the lid, underneath the body, or at the back of the piano.
  • Determine the Date of Manufacture – Knowing the age of the piano will generally be an important factor in determining your piano value. You may be lucky and find the date written next to the manufacturers name. If this isn’t the case, the best option is to use your piano’s serial number and manufacturer’s details (from above) and put a search into Google, as companies often will put this kind of information on the Internet.

Step 4 of Determining Your Piano Value

Once you have collected all of this information, it is recommended you find a resource that evaluates the different data and gives you an estimation of your piano value. This can be done online through particular piano value companies. Our top recommendation and best resource available is an up to date version of The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano, which is updated regularly (once or twice a year). It has a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon and has been the standard consumer reference for Piano Business in Canada and the United states for over 20 years. It is the only book of its kind. It provides practical information on every aspect of new or used pianos, and offers reviews on particular manufactured pianos. It is an extremely valuable resource for any piano owner. Whether buying or selling, it will give you the best tips on how to determine your piano value, and how to get the best price. Follow the Piano Book Link above and go straight to Amazon, and have a look at all of the positive reviews on this book. It is a great option to help determine your piano value and Amazon offers the cheapest price that I could find online.

**Optional** Step 5 of Determining Your Piano Value

Gain Advice From A Piano Technician

Although it is not critical to gain the advice from an accredited piano technician, it can often be very valuable. They are likely to give you the closest evaluation to your potential piano value, and if you receive a note of appraisal, you are much more likely to sell your piano at the price you want. A piano technician can also offer you advice and help regarding any repairs required before you decide to sell, as often getting something fixed will increase the value of your piano. If you’re interested in buying a new piano, a professional can also provide you with some insider tips on the best pianos and manufacturers on the market, and what products to stay away from.

Determining your piano value can take a little bit of work because of the numerous factors involved. However, it is vital to have basic information about the model and manufacturer, and determining the condition of your piano, to help with calculating your piano value. It is one of your most prized possessions and can be of great value, so make sure you do a little bit of research, and invest a little bit of money into a good resource like the piano book, or do some in-depth research online to ensure you get the best price possible for your piano.

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