Prices of Used Pianos (US$)
 Private SellerDealer
Vertical, pre-1950, average brand0-300300-750600-1,0001,000-1,500N/A
Vertical, pre-1950, better brand150-500400-1,000700-1,5001,200-2,000N/A
Vertical, pre-1950, best brand500-1,0001,000-3,0002,000-5,0003,000-6,00010,000-16,000
Vertical, 1950-1980, average brand200-600400-1,0001,000-1,5001,200-2,500N/A
Vertical, 1950-1980, better brand400-800700-1,5001,000-2,5002,000-4,500N/A
Vertical, 1950-1980, best brand700-2,0001,500-2,5003,000-5,0004,000-7,0007,000-10,000
Vertical, 1980-Use Depreciation Schedule
Grand, pre-1950, average brand, 5'0-500700-1,5001,000-2,5001,500-3,500N/A
Grand, pre-1950, average brand, 6'500-1,2001,500-2,0002,000-3,0003,500-4,500N/A
Grand, pre-1950, average brand, 7'800-1,5001,500-3,5003,000-5,0004,000-7,0008,000-10,000
Grand, pre-1950, better brand, 5'500-1,0002,000-3,0002,500-4,0005,000-8,000N/A
Grand, pre-1950, better brand, 6'1,000-2,5002,500-4,0004,000-7,0007,000-10,00012,000-18,000
Grand, pre-1950, better brand, 7'1,800-3,5003,500-7,0006,000-10,0008,000-15,00018,000-30,000
Grand, pre-1950, best brand, 5'3,000-6,0006,000-9,0008,000-15,00015,000-20,00015,000-25,000
Grand, pre-1950, best brand, 6'5,000-8,0007,000-15,00012,000-20,00015,000-28,00028,000-50,000
Grand, pre-1950, best brand, 7'7,000-10,00012,000-18,00020,000-35,00020,000-40,00035,000-65,000
Grand, 1950-1980, average brand, 5'500-1,2001,500-2,5002,000-4,0003,000-5,000N/A
Grand, 1950-1980, average brand, 6'800-2,0002,000-3,0003,000-5,0003,500-7,000N/A
Grand, 1950-1980, average brand, 7'1,500-2,5002,500-4,0004,000-7,0004,000-8,0008,000-12,000
Grand, 1950-1980, better brand, 5'800-2,0002,000-4,0002,500-5,0005,000-9,000N/A
Grand, 1950-1980, better brand, 6'1,500-3,0002,500-5,0004,000-9,0008,000-12,00012,000-22,000
Grand, 1950-1980, better brand, 7'3,000-6,0005,000-10,0008,000-15,00010,000-20,00015,000-30,000
Grand, 1950-1980, best brand, 5'4,000-7,0007,000-10,0009,000-18,00016,000-21,00017,000-25,000
Grand, 1950-1980, best brand, 6' 6,000-10,0008,000-15,00012,000-20,00020,000-28,00028,000-50,000
Grand, 1950-1980, best brand, 7'8,000-12,00014,000-20,00018,000-30,00020,000-40,00035,000-65,000
Grand, 1980-Use Depreciation Schedule

Depreciation Schedule for Pianos

There is no universally agreed-on depreciation schedule for pianos, but one such schedule is provided on page 57. The percentages given represent what the unrestored, used piano is worth relative to the actual selling price today of a new piano comparable in quality to the used one in question. The values computed are meant to reflect what the piano would sell for between private, non-commercial parties. We suggest adding 20 to 30 percent to the computed value when the piano is being sold by a dealer unrestored, but with a warranty. These figures are intended only as guidelines, reflecting our general observations of the market. "Worse," "Average," and "Better" refer to the condition of the used piano for its age. A separate chart is given for Steinway pianos. Other fine pianos, such as Mason & Hamlin, may command prices in between the regular and Steinway figures.

Prices of Used Pianos

The valuation of used pianos is difficult. Prices of used pianos vary wildly, depending on local economies, supply and demand, and the cosmetics and playing condition of the instrument at hand, including the amount and quality of any restoration work done. As if this weren't enough, it's almost a certainty that no two piano technicians or piano salespeople would return exactly the same verdict on any given piano's value. Art being what it is, beauty is in the eye and ear of the potential purchaser, and values are very much subjective.

These disclaimers aside, we've tried to assemble some used-piano values as general guidelines for shoppers. We asked a number of knowledgeable piano industry professionals to give their opinions of prices for used pianos in each of our categories, then reconciled their varied responses to produce a price range for each category. We also consulted the online service, though the prices listed there are asking prices, not selling prices. The chart is organized by categories of vertical and grand piano broken down by age (pre-1950 and 1950-1980), quality (Average, Better, Best), and condition (Worse, Average, Better, Reconditioned, and Rebuilt). For prices of pianos made since 1980, we suggest you use the depreciation schedule accompanying this article.


FALL 2009 -- page 58

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