7 things to know when locally buying a Used Grand Piano For Sale

Kevin Busse Feb 06, 2024
57 People Read

Should I buy a used baby grand piano?

Buying a used grand piano is an exciting experience, but it can be easy to overlook critical details that will compromise your piano playing experience.

This blog post will discuss what to look when you verify the listing, inspect, and get a price on grand pianos.

At the very least, avoid the "21 Worst Piano Brands to Buy at a Bargain: Peer Reviewed."

What should I look for in a Grand Piano?

  • How to verify if the listing is too good to be true?

  • Inspection/test

  • Aesthetic

  • Maintenance history

  • Be picky!!

  • Price

  • Personality

Checklist for grand pianos

Should I trust a used Grand Piano?

There are several ways to find a legit deal, find a dealer, a local music store, social media posts, Craigslist etc. but is it too good to be true?

Dealers and music stores are companies that are going to give you the best choice of pianos along with greater trust than just about any random person selling a grand piano they are trying to get rid of.

If you see grand pianos listed on your friends social media, you will at least be able to verify that it is the piano listed and there is a basic level of trust from being an acquaintance.

If you see the grand piano listed on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay etc. pay very close attention to the details and maintain a level of skepticism and verify each detail listed, including serial numbers, brand of the grand piano, and the overall color/finish of the piano.

Generally, if you receive an email about someone giving away a relatively new used Yamaha, Kawai, Mason & Hamlin, or Steinway piano for free or for sale to someone who will appreciate it; it’s a scam.

grand piano scam

How should I inspect a piano?

Once you are face to face with the piano, it's time to inspect it.

The most important thing is to play ALL of the keys to ensure they are working properly and that none of them are sticking or making an unusual sound.

After playing all keys, proceed to play all of the pedals.

Listen for any odd sounds throughout your review, if something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s a good time to listen to your instincts and speak up!

Bottom line:

If something doesn’t quite seem right, inquire about what you notice or ask to have a piano technician take a look at the hammers, whether it has been reconditioned, and the overall performance of the Grand Piano before making a final decision.

If there is any question of quality or reparability, experienced Piano Tuners may be found near you on the Piano Technician’s Guild website @ www.ptg.org

How should I inspect the finish of a piano?

Here are routine inspection items piano technician’s often look for when inspecting the outside furniture of a piano.

Value oriented defects:

  • Sunfading of the finish

  • Whether the appearance looks “milky”

  • Chips/dents/gouges

  • Deep scratches that you can feel with a fingernail

  • Busted case parts like hinges, missing bolts, falling apart etc.

  • Cracks on the soundboard or rusting of the strings

    piano sun fading

Consider the overall condition

One of the first things that should be considered before purchasing a used baby grand piano is the condition of the instrument.

Speak with the customer to learn the maintenance record that the owner is aware of.

Things to ask…

  • Has the piano been safeguarded from temperature and humidity extremes?

  • Has the piano been regularly maintained/tuned?

  • Has the piano has been rebuilt?

  • What's the age of the piano?

  • Are there any functional issues or general problems?

    baby grand piano defects

How picky should I be with a Piano?

Whether or not there is an actual issue with the piano, it is important to pick up on perceived performance imperfections.

Uncovering imperfections can be a great indicator in finding grand pianos that aren’t up to your standards or should be avoided.

Keep in mind that there are countless grand pianos for sale that need new homes.

With this in mind, holding out a little bit longer can add tremendous value to your future piano should you eventually choose one.

Which pianos retain their value?

The price of a used baby grand piano will vary depending on its size, condition, brand name, and whether or not it has had work done by a technician or a rebuilder.

5 of the most common brands you’ll find used pianos worth a premium are…

  • Yamaha

  • Bechstein

  • Kawai

  • Steinway & Sons

  • Mason & Hamlin

  • Bösendorfer

  • Fazioli

yamaha grand piano

Take into account if any repairs need to be done; this could significantly increase your final cost when you have the tuner over for the first time.

If possible, it’s always best to have an experienced piano tuner check out the instrument or have a quick phone call before committing to purchase—their expertise can help you determine if the asking price is fair based on its brand, condition, and age.

Personality, Character, and Charm

A used baby grand piano comes with its own unique story and character.

Many of these instruments have been around for decades, having been owned by multiple people throughout their lives, each leaving their own mark in the form of scratches, dings, or other imperfections that add to the charm of each individual instrument.

Then again, positive attributes like color, sheen, tone, playability and size/length of strings all play a role in determining whether it’s the right piano for your space.

Ultimately, sound quality and playability should be your deciding factor if the intent is to start piano lessons when choosing between different used baby grand pianos.

grand piano being played

Conclusion:

Buying a used baby grand piano requires careful consideration and research in order to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for at an affordable price point without sacrificing quality or longevity.

After finding one through a music store or dealer, social media or classifieds like Craigslist, these steps help ensure that your next purchase of a used baby grand piano will meet your piano needs!

If you’re considering purchasing a pre-owned instrument, ensure a positive outcome and consider all these factors before making your decision!

Extra:

Yamaha GB1K Baby Grand Piano Review: 2023