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 Pianomart.com, 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.

The price ranges given reflect the wide possibilities a buyer faces in the used-piano market. At the low end of each range is a price one might find in a poor economy or a "buyer's market," where supply exceeds demand. At the high end, the prices are consistent with both a better economy and a higher demand for the type of instrument indicated. In some categories, the prices we received from our sources varied all over the map, and we had to use a considerable amount of editorial discretion to produce price ranges that were not so broad as to be useless as guidelines, and to retain at least a modicum of internal consistency in the chart. For that reason, you should expect to find some markets or situations in which prices higher or lower than those given here are normal or appropriate.

Prices of Used Pianos (US$)
 Private SellerDealer
 WorseAverageBetterReconditionedRebuilt
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

 

SPRING 2010 -- page 64

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