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We get calls almost every day from someone that wants to sell their piano. So you may ask what kind of pianos do you buy at Piano Organ Depot and your affiliate site www.PianoFarm.com. I have written this article to answer this question.

First: Let me say we do not buy older style upright pianos. The reason for this is very simple. By time we pay to pick them up and fix them tune them and then turn around and sell them, we could not even get our labor out of them. This is a sad reality. We usually always have to charge to remove them. If you have an older upright piano and need it removed you can call us and we can give you a quote on what we would charge to remove it. Usually we have to charge the move. We do not charge anything for disposing of the piano. We only charge the moving fee to remove it from your house. Then we evaluate what we can do with it. Either we recycle it for parts, or in rare cases we fix the piano and sell it or give it away and charge for tuning and moving again.

Second: We are always interested in purchasing Older Vintage Steinway Pianos, Baldwin Pianos, and Mason Hamlin Pianos or Vintage pianos like, Bösendorfer sometimes Knabes or Bechstein. Call us if you have one of these.

Third: We do buy some newer Yamaha, Kawai pianos or sometimes other current model pianos. However we certainly cannot pay what these pianos are selling for retail since we have to invest in picking them up, tuning them and then delivering them again. Remember we are a dealer and we can purchase these pianos new from the manufacturer, Unless we can get a like new piano for well below what we would have to pay to buy the same piano new, why should we buy it?

I would always suggest trying to sell the piano outright before you call us. If you do sell the piano we would be happy to provide you a quote for professionally moving the piano and tuning it. We realize you want to get as much as you can for your piano. To do that you have to wait for the right buyer and that takes time. Most people sell to us because they do not have the time or the patience to sell their piano outright. They donít want to waist their time. Time is money and some people would be better off spending that time doing what they do for a living rather than trying to sell a piano when they are not in the piano business.

Fourth: Sometimes we will take a piano in on consignment or trade in. This is one way you can get a higher price for your piano, but again you will have to wait until it sells to get paid. We also do take pianos in on trade if you are looking to upgrade your piano. Sometimes people are scaling back and want a digital instead of a larger upright. We often have people who are retiring and moving and canít move their piano across the country. The cost of doing so often is more than the piano is worth. We often can trade the piano in and give some monetary value in the trade and get the client into a nice digital piano that can be easily shipped across the United States economically. We often have digital pianos in boxes ready to ship out. We sell the highest end digital pianos made in the world, 75 % of all the digital pianos sold in the word are represented by the brands we carry.

FIFTH: Here are the hard cold facts about the used piano market: digital pianos (Please note not keyboards) but quality digital pianos are getting to be so good that they are replacing the lower end used acoustic pianos (i.e. uprights, spinets, older consoles).

Every acoustic piano needs to be serviced at least once a year. There are over 6,000 parts that wear and go out of adjustment on an acoustic piano. The cheaper and older the piano the more these parts need adjusting and repair. In fact if you call a technician and they tune and repair your piano for you, donít be surprised that in 6 months it needs to be tuned again. I have seen pianos that need to be tuned every month to sound right. It always amuses me when people jump around from tuner to tuner thinking it is the tunerís fault that their piano sounds bad in 10 months after it was tuned. I had a high end Mason Hamlin piano that was one of the greatest sounding and playing pianos that I ever played but it needed to be tuned every two months depending on the climate humidity and tempature sometime every month. This piano sold for $17,000.

We have a recording studio in our store, I tune their piano every month. When I do a recording everytime I record I tune the piano. The smaller the piano the more often it needs to be tuned. So having said this a person can get into a quality digital piano starting at about $1000.00. So every used piano is competing in this market. Someone will say, "well they are just not the same.. " No I would say they are better, they may not look better but they are. Maybe the day that old acoustic is tuned it seems better that a digital. But remember the digital piano never goes out of tune and the ones we sell will last 20 years without any service. The ones we sell also come with a in home 5 year part and labor warranty. I am talking about the products we sell but probably what I am saying is not true about 90% of the other brand X digital pianos out there.

Please beware: every piano will need to be serviced at least once a year and most twice a year if in fact all they need is tuning,. On an average that is $200 a year so in 5 years the digital is free. So having said this usually we cannot buy a older spinet or console for more than what we would pay for a new digital. Nine out of ten pianos we sell today are digitals. In fact (usually) until you get into a new Console, or a new Grand Piano or quality used Grand Piano you are probably not going to get a better instrument dollar for dollar than the digital pianos we sell. The digital pianos we sell you cannot buy in Guitar Center or Sams Club or Walmart, or any of these places. Most people when they think of a digital piano they are thinking about these instruments which are really toys compared to what is available today.

FINALLY HERE IS MY ADVICE: Just like a car there are three different prices you can get for a used piano. There is dealer retail price which will be higher because a dealer can offer delivery, free tunings, backup warranties etc, the next is consumer retail which is lower than what you would expect to pay in a piano store but really it is not, because if you paid for the move and tuning and repairs, I have found that 90% of the time our price beat the consumer retail price, and then thirdly there is dealer wholesale price which is lower than new wholesale and below consumer retail. If you are trying to get a lot of money for your piano I would say try and sell it yourself. If you need to sell it quick and it meets the criteria I outlined above you can call us to see how we can help you .

I hope this article helped you and feel free to email us if we can be of any further assistance.


Frank Bissol

Owner of Piano Organ Depot and www.PianoFarm,com our line store.