What’s Your Piano’s Bluebook Value?

What’s Your Piano’s Bluebook Value?

Have an old piano and are wondering about its value? Did you recently inherit a piano and wonder if its worth restoring to enhance its value?

We get questions like this all the time.

If you are trying to determine a fair value for your piano, it can be a difficult process at best. There are many things that go into the process of determining its value. Things like:

  • Local market – a piano from a dealer in New York City will cost more than from a dealer in a small mid-west town
  • Supply and demand – there is more demand in a large city filled with musical opportunities than in a small rural town
  • Quality – quality of a piano is determined both by the internal and external features of the piano, as well as the manufacturer, when it was made, and the care it received

What’s Your Piano’s Bluebook Value?Yet if you head online, you’ll find all kinds of sites that offer you bluebook value of a piano, charge you a small fee for “coaching” to tell you what you should pay for a piano, or even offer to appraise your piano to tell you its worth.

The problem is most of the time, this is pure guess work.

Traditional bluebook values for items like cars are easier to track because a car has a title that follows it through its life. The title will show the make, model, year, color, etc of the car, and assess its value based on all events that occur around that car. Its easy to track.

Not so with a piano. Pianos don’t have titles, they aren’t registered, and there is no way of tracking all the detail that followed a piano throughout its life. So where do sites like these get their information?

If you are in the market for a piano, there are a few ways to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Work with a reputable dealer that knows pianos. When you buy from online sites and individual sellers, you have no idea the history of the piano, its care or its ability to create quality music. A dealer makes sure every piano that is sold meets certain qualifications and will provide quality sound in the future.

Compare pianos. When you call on an ad from Craigslist, what you see is what you get. You buy, you haul it away, you deal with the consequences. You purchase as is and will have no idea if it’s the right piano for you, your learning abilities, or the location you will place the piano. All of which make a huge difference in your ability to stick with playing the piano for a lifetime.

Quality can quickly be compromised if the piano isn’t well cared for. If an individual is selling it, how well was it maintained? Did it exist in a storage shed or a garage for years before it was cleared away? Has it been tuned in the last year (or even decade for that matter)? Even when you push and pull to get it into the back of your truck, bounce it around as you move it into your home, all of that can take its toll on the sound quality.

If you don’t have quality sound, you are less likely to continue playing because you simply won’t be able to “hear” something that makes sense.

If you want to give yourself or your family the best chance at success, make sure you buy a quality piano from a reputable dealer.

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