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What To Consider When Purchasing A Pre-Owned Piano

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Are you considering purchasing a second-hand piano for your home? If so, there are some things to consider before handing the cash over to the owner.


Do you know if the person selling the piano is selling it at a reasonable price? Some sellers list pianos without doing any research into the actual value of the instrument, which could work to your benefit or cost you more than it should.

Find the serial number on the plate that is typically located around the turning pins. Use the serial number to search online or contact a piano expert to learn the true value of the piano. You should be able to find values for the piano in different conditions – excellent, good and poor conditions, typically.

Note: You may be able to get a great deal on a piano that is in lesser condition, and with a refinishing job completed, you could have the beautiful piano you want.  


The appearance of the piano shouldn't be the determining factor as to whether you purchase it or not. You can have any piano refinished to restore its aesthetic beauty, but if there are mechanical issues, they can be a bit more complicated to repair.

Open the piano and test the hammers and inspect the strings. Each and every hammer should strike every string. If they don't this is likely not the piano to invest in. Look at the spacing between the strings, are they evenly spaced? Do the strings line up with the dampers?

Remove the bottom board to inspect the lower elements of the piano. Look for mouse droppings and insect damage, as well as the condition of the pedal mechanisms. If you see any signs of rodent or insect issues, or the pedal mechanisms look worn or corroded, this is likely not the piano to invest in.

Look for warped wood or corroded metal from top to bottom. If you notice warped wood or corrosion, it is likely that the piano was not stored in the best environment and could be damaged from excessive moisture.


How does the piano sound? Play a little song and see if you love the way that it sounds. Every piano has a different sound than another, so be sure that you enjoy the sound that this particular piano gives before deciding to purchase it.

Note: Pianos do need a good tuning from time to time, so if it seems out of tune, don't exclude it from your considerations.

Using the above considerations will help you to find the piano that you love to fill your home with music. Still unsure of the purchase? Contact your local piano expert or a company like JFC Furniture Refinishing for additional advice and assistance determining the condition and value of the piece you are considering.