How to Quickly Sell a Piano: Selling Guide for Used Pianos

Kevin Busse May 10, 2024
117 People Read
Sell your piano

How do I sell my piano quickly?

Selling acoustic pianos online to a private buyer can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Especially if you don’t know what the fair market value is for your old piano. Additionally, which strategies are all available in piano sales to ensure the piano sells.

Here are some common ways to get a fair price for your piano and make sure that you get the most out of your sale.

Unless it's a Steinway Piano, you're going to have to try a little harder to get it to sell.


1. Provide Maintenance History and all other information about the piano

Document piano information to sell your piano

The first step is to gather as much information as possible.

It's within your control to find information like the Brand, Model, Serial number, and to take pictures of the piano.

The used piano market typically doesn't provide much meaningful information about each piano, so if you are information heavy in your description,  you'll have a major advantage for your local listing.

Jotting down the maintenance history is the best way for the public to become interested in your piano.

Knowing when it was last tuned may demonstrate to potential private buyers that the piano is in decent condition.

What, when, and where other work has been done is a common way for potential buyers to judge what kind of money has been invested in the instrument.

Bonus:

Collaborating with a piano professional can take your information description to the "next level".

If there were any repairs or upgrades that were made by a professional technician, the tech will have a better idea of these critical details to give the information you provide online a boost.

This will increase the interest from potential customers in your piano, and you're more likely to get a fair price.

list details about your piano to sell it

Which information should I include to sell my piano?

Your listing should include as much detailed information about the piano that you can think of to relay to the potential buyer.

  • Which name out of the piano brands? (Yamaha, Young Chang, Mason & Hamlin etc.)

  • The model number

  • The serial number

  • Whether it has a player system

  • Whether it is a digital piano only

  • Ivory keys or plastic keys

  • Size of the piano

  • Has it had a recent piano tuning?

  • Whether you will pay for a first free tuning?

  • Is it in great working condition?

  • Does it have tight tuning pins?

  • Will you offer a 5-year warranty?

Piano Information for selling that requires some research

Measure the size of your piano

Accurately measure the size of the piano and list this information so potential piano owners will not feel fooled if it is a different size than represented in the ad.

Bring the matching piano bench to your neighborhood Hardware store for great product advice on how to spruce it up if needed.

List the age (or estimated age) of the piano because this often is a great way to differentiate from old pianos.


Include the type of finish - The most common piano finishes are...

walnut

Walnut piano finish

polished ebony

polished ebony piano finish

satin ebony

Satin Ebony piano finish

polished mahogany

Polished Mahogany Finish


2. Make Your Piano Ready To Sell (Improve its condition)

piano tuning

If your piano is in need of repairs or tuning, make sure these issues are addressed by a piano technician before listing it for sale on any platform.

You should also consider giving it a thorough cleaning so that it looks its best when potential buyers come to check it out in person.

Cleaning and possibly shining up the outside cabinet with products appropriate to it's finish can improve the perceived value of your piano to interested piano buyers.

These simple steps will help turn it into a good piano.

How do I increase the value of my piano?

  • Clean the outside (and inside) of the piano

  • Get a tuning

  • Get a work evaluation for the piano

  • Do the work described in the evaluation

  • Get it tuned a 2nd time so it sounds its best

  • Lastly, focus on the finer details like voicing and furniture/cabinet repair


3. Take at least 10 photos in unique areas

  • Overall photo of the piano as a whole

  • Serial number/model on the plate

  • View of the whole soundboard

  • Lateral picture 2-3 hammers exposed in the action

  • Close up of the 88 keys (only)

  • Pedals

  • Lid closed vs. open etc.

  • The brand listed on the fallboard

Any piano store will say that it’s a good idea and best practice to upload 7-10 photos for each piano which will give prospective buyers a better idea of the condition and quality of your piano.

Take photos from different angles to show the inside of the piano, a picture of the serial digit number of your instrument to show prospective buyers.

Take photos of your piano to sell

Take Quality Photos

Once you have a price range in mind, the next step is to take quality photos of your instrument from different angles and upload them to your listing.

Getting a picture of the serial number is especially important so that people can verify its authenticity for well-known brands like Steinway & Sons, Yamaha, and Kawai etc.

This may be the most important piece of information for local dealerships.

This will all give potential buyers an idea of what condition your piano is in and help them make an informed decision about purchasing it.


Sell your piano online fast!

Sell your piano online

There are several places where you can list your instrument for sale, including Craigslist, eBay, Reverb.com, and Facebook Marketplace.

Each platform has its own set of requirements and guidelines but there are some common ways to ensure that you get the most out of your piano sale.


Research Selling Prices - Get a fair price for your grand piano or upright piano

Before listing your piano for sale, do some research on what other similar pianos have sold for recently so that you can get an accurate appraisal of the piano worth and list it at a fair market value accordingly.

This will give you an idea of how much money you can expect to get for it and help determine whether it’s worth listing or not.

Online resources like eBay, Reverb and Facebook Marketplace are great places to check out prices for used pianos in your area.

You can also look up local listings on Craigslist or contact a local music store for advice on pricing.


How do I get the best price for my Piano?

price of your piano

Whether you’re looking to sell your piano privately or through a dealer, there are some common steps to take in order to get the best price for your instrument.

  • Get your piano clean

  • Hire a technician to tune and fix any problems

  • Take 7-10 photos

  • Repost your listing every few days on a multiple websites at a competitive price point with other similar models

  • List all of the known maintenance history

  • List Serial number and model of the piano

  • Describe how the piano is in newly excellent condition noting the functionality and the form of the instrument

  • List the piano for a fairly significant value, then lower it every week until it sells



Piano Stores/Dealerships

Sell your piano at a piano store

Consider calling your local piano dealer to discuss trading-in or giving away your piano.


How can I get rid of my piano?

Another option is to call or submit your piano's information to your local piano dealer or local piano store. Start a conversation with their experienced sales staff.

This may require more information than just photos; they will likely want specific details such as age, type of wood used in construction, and any other special features that set it apart from similar models.

However, this could be beneficial if you want to get quick cash for your instrument (provided it is an eligible piano they will buy) since dealers will likely offer guaranteed cash than individuals who are shopping around looking for cheap models.


How NOT to sell your piano?

A couple places that typically DON'T take pianos include (but may especially if you can deliver)

  • Goodwill

  • Salvation Army

  • Home of the Sparrow

  • Thrift stores

  • Churches


Disposal

Piano Dumpster fire

Most consumer goods are thrown out without a second thought after just a few years.

Most pianos last decades and decades, but it's still sad when they are worn out beyond use or they're no longer good for the asking price.

Having said that, it is perfectly okay to dispose of a particular piano that once had a life for a long time in someone's home.


Conclusion:

Selling a piano doesn’t have be intimidating or stressful - with some research and preparation you can get the best price for your instrument quickly and easily!

Make sure to do thorough research on current market values so you know how much money people are willing pay for similar models in your area.

Take quality photos from different angles and provide maintenance history when relevant so potential buyers have more information about the condition of your instrument.

*By following the other important tips— listing details about maintenance history, make & model, cleanliness, functionality and researching where potential buyers may look—you can rest assured that you will end up successfully selling your piano online!

With preparation and proper research beforehand, selling your piano should go smoothly without too many unexpected surprises along the way!