Nearly every piano shopper considers purchasing a used piano. The two most important considerations when considering a used piano is:

“What condition is it in today?”

“How long is it going to stay that way?”

How Do Pianos Age?

Pianos are remarkable machines. The good ones last for generations and even when they are tired and worn out inside, they still look pretty good. Knowing what to look for is the first step in finding a great used piano and avoiding money-pits. We also recommend getting a thorough appraisal of any used piano you are thinking about buying.

And, consider that you may find a new piano for close to the same price as used!

Over the years, dozens of countries and hundreds of companies have produced pianos. It’s safe to assume that, all things being equal, a new piano will perform better and last longer than an old piano. Why? Because every piano building technology continues to improve, especially wood curing and metallurgy.

Pianos are made mostly of wood. Time and temperature take a toll on the structure of every piano whether it’s the seasonal changes here in the Midwest or potential mold and rust in humid climates. Plus, the main mechanical part of the piano, the action, wears over time just like any other machine.

Bargain or Health Hazard?

We see pianos with black mold and rodent droppings more often than you would think. While we agree that it’s great fun to find a deal, there are some good reasons while an old piano should be carefully evaluated. By the time you have the piano appraised, pay the movers to deliver it and get it tuned and/or repaired, you may be close to the price of a new piano!

Many people are pleasantly surprised at the tremendous quality and value of the Steinway-designed pianos, like Essex and Boston.

At Steinway & Sons, Madison, the price difference between new and used may be closer than you thought!

What’s inside that used piano could be dangerous.


More Used Piano Hints

  • Get a thorough written appraisal from a qualified technician, not a tuner, before purchasing a used piano.
  • Beware of anyone who tells you that a used piano is better than a new piano.
  • If someone claims they’re selling a rebuilt upright, walk away.
  • The only reason to buy a used piano is because they cost less. There is no “antique” value to old pianos.

Feel free to ask any other questions you have on the topic and we’ll be happy to respond.