Used Piano Appraisals: How to Inspect & Find Pianos for Cheap

acoustic grand piano

Used Piano Appraisals: Know how much your piano is worth. Here’s how to inspect a used piano, and tips and suggestions to help you find pianos for cheap, discounted prices.

Piano Appraisal simply means the process of finding out how much a Piano is worth.

Normally done by a piano appraiser for a small fee, you can save that cost if you decide to do it yourself for your piano. Of course, you will need to spend time trying to research on the piano make that you would be appraising and you will also need to speak to prospective buyers to get an idea of how much it could be worth.

In case you come across a piano that seems to fit in your budget, you still need to inspect the piano thoroughly, especially if its an acoustic piano.

Inspecting a used piano

While the piano’s exterior may look like a shell, it plays an important role in the quality of the sound produced. Damage to the exterior means its not going to look a lot aesthetic (depending on the damage). Besides, it could also be an indicator of more serious problems in the inside.

With digital pianos, unless you have lots of features, you really cannot check a lot of things. you’re not going to open the keyboard and see the electronics inside. However, with an acoustic one, you can actually check a lot of things. Just opening the lid can reveal a lot of things.

In general, look out for the following when inspecting an acoustic piano:

How Are the Piano Keys?

Piano keys get used the most and take a regular beating. If the keyboard is showing its age on the outside (Chipped or Crooked ), it may have problems on the inside as well, which you’ll need to check.

To check the keys, strike each key a few times (softly as well as hard). Look out for the following:

  • Buzzing sounds and strange vibrations.
  • Notes that don’t hold their lengths.
  • Off-pitch notes.
  • Keys that sound like two notes playing at once.
  • Notes that don’t play at all

How’s the Finish of the Piano?

Cloudiness and cracks in the piano’s finish is often caused by humidity, and can be a serious threat to the piano’s health. If weather damage has affected the exterior wood, you can safely assume that the fragile interior wood has been compromised. Check all sides of the piano for cracks, scratches, and discoloration (a symptom of sun-damage); also watch out for misshapen and warped wood; these can all harm sound quality.

These are not so important on a digital piano, because the sound is generated electronically through speakers!

Do The Piano Pedals work Fine?

Foot pedals should ideally be producing a clean, balanced tones. However, if the piano has moved places frequently, has not been maintained well, or has not been played for a long time, it can become detached from surrounding parts; pedals that don’t move at all are an even bigger problem. If something has gone wrong behind your pedals, other areas of your piano may soon exhibit signs of damage.

Get Online

First thing is to go online, especially eBay and check if your model is already listed there. If it is, it becomes easy as you can check out what the users are willing to pay for that model. If you cannot, then you will need to do some searching on the search engines. Hopefully, you should be able to find out more.

Offline search

As part of the piano appraisal process, visit music stores and schools and try talking to people there to find out if they need a piano. You will be able to collect lots of information from there. You can even ask if there is any piano appraiser who would be willing to do a free piano appraisal for your piano. Keep a track of the kind of offers people make; it will give some indication of what your piano is worth.

Acoustic Piano Appraisals

Clean your Piano

You also need to make sure that your piano looks clean and polished before you start showing it to others. Any repair work that is needed should be fixed. This way you can make sure that the user does not pick up any excuse to bring down the price. So make sure you spend some time and effort on the looks of your piano.

Be flexible

If you want to sell your piano, you should be prepared to be some what flexible when it comes to selling your piano. If there are no buyers ready to buy at your asking price, maybe you need to reconsider your selling price. You will definitely get a fair idea after doing your research as to what can be an acceptable figure for your piano.

All these steps will give you a good understanding of how much your piano could be worth. It will even provide you with the necessary confidence and knowledge so that even you can offer your services as a piano appraiser to your friends and relatives.

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The steps mentioned above will give you a good understanding of how much your piano could be worth and what to look for in a used digital piano. It will even provide you with the necessary confidence and knowledge so that even you can offer your services as a piano appraiser to your friends and relatives.

You may also want to read this post on How to know the value of a Piano, and don’t forget to read the Resources section there.

Here are some more suggestions on what to check and where you can find used electronic pianos.

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