Piano Scams You Should Be Aware Of

Piano Scams You Should Be Aware Of

Do a quick search online for “piano scams” and you’ll find many different complaints about how people lost money by trying to buy or sell a piano. 

Ultimately, they can all be lumped into three categories:


The first involves trust. We all want to believe people are inherently good. That’s not always the case. 

If you’re purchasing from a private owner, are you sure you’re getting a piano in good working condition? Are you sure it’s the piano they claim it to be? 

Private individuals often push pianos in lousy working condition onto people, claiming ignorance when asked about playability. “I don’t know” or “It’s been sitting in the corner for years” is often their reply. If you don’t understand much about the working condition of a piano, it can be difficult to determine how functional it is in just a few moments of time. 


When people refurbish a piano, it’s often necessary to replace the name decal on the piano. Did you know they are easy to buy?

That’s because rebuilders and refinishers have a legitimate need to be able to brand a piano as they finish their work. Unfortunately, less than scrupulous refurbishers often try and make a piano look more valuable than it really is. Imagine if you saw a Steinway label on a piano that really wasn’t a Steinway? Would you know the difference? Would you pay the price? 

Stretching The Truth

There’s a third way that’s slightly different from the fake piano from above. Over the years, piano manufacturers have folded into one another again and again. New piano manufacturers have also opened up in many other countries around the world. 

With all of this “intermixing”, it’s sometimes hard to tell quality based on name. For example, The Baldwin piano is an American company that has produced pianos for decades. Yet Howard pianos were built under the Baldwin brand, and are considered a lower production line. Could Howard pianos technically have a Baldwin brand? In theory. But it would be a misrepresentation of the true origin of the piano. 

Know Your Source

The world of pianos is changing. That’s why it’s more important than ever to know your source. 

If you have questions about purchasing a piano you can enjoy for years to come, stop by and chat with a member of our sales team. You’ll be confident about your final selection, and know you have a quality instrument that will be a joy to play.