• The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Piano

    21 Feb 2017 | Blog
  • A piano’s value depends on a number of factors, a used piano will have a longer list of factors to consider. “Used” doesn’t always mean economical, so it’s best to set a budget while getting a good idea of what you want in an acoustic piano.  Below is a list of Pros and Cons to help you decide if buying a used piano is the best option for you.

  • CONS

    1. Getting Ripped Off - Some sellers will be selling a piano for a higher price than what the actual piano is worth especially if it's damaged in some way.  This is why it's important to know what you're buying and how to look for defects that can bring the value down.  it’s safe to assume that not every private owner has known how to care for their instrument through the years. The safest way to ensure you don't get ripped off is by hiring a piano technician for a little extra money.

    2. There's No Warranties – A used pianos normally doesn't come with a warranty unless they are less than 2 years old and you're buying it from a piano store. Most warranties (for new pianos) last between 5 and 8 years, thus, you need to ask about the warranty if the used piano that you are buying is less than 4 years old.

    3. Shopping can be Stressful and Confusing - If you're not familiar with piano's buying a used one can be a stressful process since you don't what you're looking for and how to get the best value for money.  There's a lot of information you need to find a quality piano, my guide on what to look for will help but if you've never looked a piano before the best option is to hire a piano technician.

    4. You need a Flexible Budget - A high-end used piano will cost you more money up front, while a good, lesser-known instrument may need some extra work such as a tune-up or a few repairs.  Don't be surprised when you look in the classifieds to see a wide range of prices usually starting at around $800 on up to $35,000 and over. 

    5. More Susceptible to Stress – Used pianos are more susceptible to stress because they have experienced a lot of usage throughout the years. Repetitive moving, loud playing, and fluctuating climates can cause numerous issues with tuning. Therefore, the value of the piano will decrease even more over time.

    6. Potential for Mold Growth - Mold growth can impair health, especially in children. Left in certain temperatures and room conditions, a piano can quickly and easily host bacteria and mold colonies. When visiting a used piano, be conscious of any unfavorable piano room conditions and if there's been previous owners ask where they kept the piano. 
  • PROS

    1. The Voice of a Used Piano Ages Well - While the timbre of a well-kept piano may evolve over time, it shouldn’t develop a contrasting tone which can happen with some poorly made pianos. Make sure you schedule regular tune-ups to help maintain sound quality.

    2. Saves You Some Money - Used pianos are cheaper than brand new pianos. The key is to find a quality used piano so you either need to know what to look for or you should bring a reputable piano technician with you to look over the piano you're thinking of purchasing.

    3. You May Come Across a Great Deal - Some private sellers are in a big rush to sell their instrument possibly because they have to move quickly, they need a quick cash infusion, they're no longer interested in play or they inherited it and want to quickly sell everything and may not know what the actual value of the piano is.  However, you need to be cautious; low piano prices are often too good to be true. As I mentioned before it's important to either be very knowledgable about pianos or you should bring along someone who is.  I've written an article on what to look for but it's still a good idea to bring someone along that has trained eye.

    4. Owning a Piano with a bit History behind it is great for a conversation piece - Owning any piece of furniture that's got a little bit of history behind it especially something a little mysterious is a fun conversation starter for owners.  Of course you should make sure the piano's history is a positive one, no one wants a piece of furniture that gives you the willies. A properly-kept piano has a life span of 30-60 years, so don’t be surprised if you learn the current owners purchased the instrument a decade or two ago.

    5. Aesthetic Value -  A used piano can be a very beautiful piece of furniture, especially if it has been well looked after. More often than not, there are no additional expenses to maintain the exterior, but inspect it closely for any issues before you purchase.

    6. Large Selection to Choose from - There is a huge number of used pianos for sale out there so if you have the patience and knowledge you can probably find a quality piano that suits you and your budget if you know what you're looking for.  Sampling is a great way to get to know pianos, and you should test as many as possible. If you’re unhappy with the sound of a piano, don’t be afraid to move on. This time must be spent discovering your personal preferences, and learning to appreciate quality. As I keep mentioning make sure you either have throughly researched everything and know what you're buying or pay a little extra money to have a reputable piano technician look your options before you make an investment. 

    Read our guide on how to buy a used piano and what to look for.

  • Calgary Piano Movers

    When you do finally buy your piano make sure to give Calgary Piano Movers a call.  Our team of specialized movers has over 24 years experience moving pianos.  We treat your instrument just like our own so we'll ensure that it gets to your home safely.  Please feel free to check out all our client testimonials confirming that we're the best piano movers in Calgary.  We look forward to hearing from you to get a free quote call us at (403) 805-3427.