Piano Sellers Guide
Selling a piano at any time can be a daunting process. In today’s tough economic climate, it is even more difficult. Basically, there are two main approaches to selling a piano. First, you can try to find a dealer who will either buy it from you outright or sell it for you on consignment. Second, you can sell the piano yourself. To sell your piano through us, click here.
What Is Your Piano Worth?
Before selling your piano, the first thing you must do is determine what your piano is worth? Since pianos are subject to the laws of supply and demand, their value fluctuates with changes in the market. Today, there is a surge of high quality piano manufacturers from Asia while we are experiencing a worldwide economic downturn. In short, the supply of quality new pianos is high. At the same time, in today’s tough economic climate, there are many people who decide that they need to sell their piano to help them financially, which means that the supply of used pianos is also high. When the inventory of both new and used pianos is high and demand from the buyers is low, the value of all pianos declines, especially used pianos, which do not have any underlying economics that drives their price. New pianos are priced based on the cost to manufacture, ship, and sell them. Even when demand is down, there is a limit to how low pianos can be sold so that the dealers and manufacturers remain in business. Used pianos have no such theoretical limit. Hence, the value of a used piano can fluctuate wildly.
Do Pianos Hold Their Value?
One of the mantras of the piano industry is that pianos not only hold their value, but can appreciate in value. Many high end piano makers estimates that the value of their grand pianos actually increase. If you look carefully, however, you find that this applies to pianos that are owned for a lengthy period of time. When you purchase a new piano, it does not hold its value immediately. It decreases in value in much the same way that a car depreciates when you drive it off the lot. Unlike cars, however, pianos do not depreciate to almost no value after about 150,000 miles of use. Instead, pianos can typically be used for several decades or more and, as such, continue to have a value that can be larger than their purchase price. The reason is that new pianos increase so substantially because of inflation that an older piano values becomes based on the cost of a new piano, not on the original cost. In short, pianos do hold their value, but you likely have to own them for a minimum of five to 10 years, depending upon market conditions. In today’s tough economic climate, for example, it highly unlikely that pianos purchased even five years ago will retain their original value.
Selling A Piano Through A Dealer
Whenever you go to a dealer to sell your piano, you must to take into consideration that the dealer will pay you a wholesale rate if he buys the piano outright, or if he sells the piano for you on consignment. In today’s tough market, furthermore, you also have to consider that most dealers are being offered far many more pianos than they can either buy or keep in their stores, so there is a reasonable chance that the dealer will decline to buy the piano or to put it on consignment. Furthermore, the price that a dealer will offer for a used piano reflects the likelihood of selling it in the market. As such, you can expect an offer from a dealer to reflect a substantial discount from the original sales price, especially if it is a piano that was purchased several years ago.
Selling On The Open Market
The way to maximize the amount you will get for your piano is to sell it on the open market. While you can try to sell it on eBay, there are relatively few used pianos purchased site unseen, which makes eBay a poor vehicle for used piano sales. One of the best venues for selling pianos used these days is Craigslist.com, which is a free classified advertising service that operates in most major metropolitan regions. You find pianos by going to the musical instruments category and searching for pianos. Craigslist is also the best way to determine actual market values because you can see exactly what others are asking for pianos that are similar to yours. In addition to Craigslist, you also might try other classified ad publications, like PennySaver and your local newspaper. Since these charge a fee, however, your expenses can start to run up if your piano does not sell quickly.
Be Patient, But Persistent
The best advice we can give is to use Craigslist and be patient, but persistent. If your piano doesn’t sell at first, just keep listing it at a competitive price until it does sell.
Sell Through Us
We are selective about pianos we sell through consignment because we have limited floor space, but if you have a quality piano that you would like us to sell for you on consignment, to trade-in on a new piano, or to sell to us at wholesale, please fill out the Sell Your Piano form. We will contact you quickly with the utmost respect and discretion.