Join the club. How many of us would like to have a really nice grand piano but really don't have the cash. Of course we could put another mortgage on our house, sell the car and walk to work in order to buy a six foot Steinway.
I have seen advice in books on buying a used piano that narrow the field so much that it would be very hard to find a reasonably priced piano for a young child or adult to learn on. It's best to be reasonable when looking for a lower priced piano. They won't be the best but they will work and allow a new student to begin the journey.
Many People give pianos away so keep looking if you have the time
Spilling something in a piano can cause serious damage depending on what is spilled and where it lands. Damage risk is higher for a grand piano. Because of this danger, a list has been compiled to avert danger.
If liquids spill in the tuning pin area and soak into the wood around the tuning pins it could render that area of the piano untunable. The cost to repair a damage like this could cost up to two thousand dollars.
If a spill falls into the action area inside the piano, moving parts could be damaged and require replacing. This kind of spill could cost up to one thousand maybe more.
The piano is a delicate but robust machine and requires some mindful consideration and care to keep it running well.
Don't Panic...Follow Plan Below
Is there a bluebook?
As a matter of fact there actually is a blue book for pianos. It can be found on the internet and the address is none other than bluebookofpianos.com. (see our Links page.) The drawback is it will cost you about $20.00. That's a pretty good price for the information. You can also find the age of your piano at Blue Book.
There are other ways to find out the value of a piano that may be less expensive, but not as as accurate or as easy as the blue book site.
Bear in mind that piano sale prices in retail stores are always higher than private sale prices.
Another option is to hire a qualified piano technician to give you a written appraisal. This will cost a good deal. There will be the service call fee and perhaps another charge for the written appraisal. If you can have the technician tune the piano on the same visit, perhaps the charge would be minimal.TOP
Sailing The Seas Of Pianos
There are plenty of resources for those navigating the rough seas of a piano purchase. The key to reaching your destination is patience and perseverance. If you have never played the piano you will need to enlist an experienced piano person. This could be a teacher, good player, piano technician, or someone that knows about pianos and the piano market in your area. Don't be overtaken by the beauty of the exterior. Concentrate on the moving parts inside. Then, after you are happy about how it plays decide about how it looks. If you are a piano player then you are sailing with the wind. You know what you like. You can narrow your search by playing several instruments. In order for you to sail into port safely the best course would be to hire a qualified piano technician. He will give the piano a good examination. Then have a serious conversation with the technician to make sure you know what you are getting. Another thing to ensure smooth sailing is to find Larry Fine's book "The Piano Book". Study it and make yourself familiar with pianos. Learn the different types of pianos, the parts, manufacturers, pitfalls and good points. This will prevent you from having to sail against the wind. Have a safe journey!
Most pianos do not have financial antique value. On the other hand, they tend to keep their value. This means that a piano will sell in a store today for about the same price that it was purchased for new. As an example, upright pianos purchased today for $100 to $500 sold for the same price in the first part of the last century. With the changing world economy and the poor quality of some newer pianos, I'm afraid, this keeping their value thing is not going to hold true for much longer. For the really good pianos it may hold true. We'll have to wait and see.TOP
If your piano was in a fire there are several things to ask:
If the answer is yes to the above then the piano may be damaged beyond reasonable chances or successful repair.
Light smoke damage can be succesfully restored if the following is accepted.
Light humidty damage could be successully restored with the same condideration found above under light smake damge
Smoke damage contains oils from the fire along with other chemical residue from burnt household and building products.
Funds set aside for piano repair could be used to buy another piano with much better chances of longevity.
If the piano has sentimental value many of the above considerations might be accepted to keep an heirloom and have it restored after a fire.
If you own a valuable piano be sure to insure for replacement value without repair consideration. That way the insurance company will not choose to repair at a lesser value. Replacement only if possible. Unless it's an heirloom you will need to insure for a complete restoration. Get appraisals and estimates for restoration. Make sure you understand your insurance policy in these regards to not be taken by suprise.TOP
If you want to give a piano away or dispose of it here are some options:
Moving a piano is difficult and can be very dangerous. If a professional is hired it could be costly and probably more costly thatn the piano's worth.
The buyer will need to tune the piano which can be a hefty fee for an old neglected piano.TOP
Student Piano or a Desk
Are there piano lemons? The quick answer is yes. We know there are automobile lemons and lemon laws to help us deal with them. There are no piano lemon laws. Webster's has a definition: lemon #3 [Slang] something that is defective"
Pianos are in reality a sort of machine. There are levers, springs, weights etc, not to mention all the thousands of adjustments that affect how it functions. The piano is also furniture which incorporates engineering with aesthetics. I can say for a certainty that I have seen pianos that were not designed or manufactured very well. Since making and selling pianos is about profit for the most part, quality can sometimes suffer for the greater goal of paychecks. Hey, we all need one.
Even major piano manufacturers with well respected names have put some pianos into the market that show a lack of quality control. It's an unavoidable fact of mass production to meet the needs of the people. If you want a piano that was made by a small group of artisans concentrating on quality and beauty well, that would cost a lot of money. There are pianos made that way today. Most pianos though are mass produced for the average person who wants to learn to play or enjoy piano music in their modest home.
Many defects will not be noticed until the piano is bought and paid for. If you buy a used piano there is usually no recourse such as a warranty to right the wrong.
Poor lemons, their name thrown to the gutter to be used to represent something lousy. With a little work, some sugar and presto, we have lemonade. So, something sour "can" be made sweet. This is true with pianos too. If we have purchased a piano lemon, chances are good that we can make it worth keeping at least for a time or maybe longer. Get an estimate, take a big swallow and make a decision.
Any trained or skilled piano player can do the torture test. It involves the following: