If the piano I am getting needs repair and I invest the money into the piano, shouldn’t I be able to recoup the money when I later sell the piano?

Unfortunately, not always. It depends on the nature and cost of the work, and on the value of the piano. The question to ask is whether the work to be done increases the value of the piano, and if so, by how much. Basic maintenance work like tuning and action regulation will not usually increase the value of the piano, whereas major work like restringing or replacing the soundboard will. (Of course, you should have the basic maintenance work done anyway or else the piano may be unpleasant to play and may deteriorate.) You should also consider the cost of a new piano of the same brand, or of a brand similar in quality, stature, or reputation. That’s because the value of a used piano will generally be tied to, and limited by, the cost of a comparable new one. You will usually recoup the cost of any good work you do on a piano like a Steinway or other top-rated brand because of their high value (both new and used), but for most other brands, your ability to recoup your expenses will be limited. That’s one reason why, except for sentimental or historical reasons, most older pianos are not completely restored.

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