Many people have gone through times in their lives when they didn’t have the proverbial two nickels to rub together. In other words, broke and desperate. That experience may have included shopping for a cheap used car. Too often what was being sold cheap wouldn’t run at all, was unsafe to drive, and/or was a bucket of rusted metal. That leads me to the subject of this article: How much can you expect to pay for a secondhand piano?
There Are Advantages
SoCal Pianos wants to be very clear: There’s nothing wrong with buying a secondhand piano. In fact, there are advantages including:
- Less upfront cost than new
- Someone has already paid the depreciation so it will hold its value
- A good choice for a student who may or may not stay with the hobby
Now let’s dive into the subject of piano cost to find out what’s realistic.
What You Can Expect
Everyone wants to find a great deal but just like with those junker cars I talked about, there’s usually a reason why something is being sold cheaply. Here are a few guidelines for a variety of piano cost ranges from your friends at SoCal Pianos in Ontario, CA & Palm Desert, CA (appointment only at both locations)
- Under $500.00: Feel free to do your own research but you have better odds of winning the lottery or winning in Vegas than you do of finding a good sounding piano in this price range. If you think you have found something make sure it is thoroughly checked by a qualified piano technician before turning over the cash or writing the check.
- Under $1,000.00: Repeat the above warning with the reminder you are taking twice the financial risk.
- Under $1,500.00: With luck this will buy you a reconditioned spinet or console from a dealer. It has likely been reconditioned. You can reasonably expect the piano to play properly and hold a tune. Do not expect a piano with great sound quality and it will almost certainly be at least forty years old.
- Under $2,000.00: More of the same but for this price you may get a more attractive cabinet and it may be a few years newer.
- Under $3,000.00: This is really the starting point for finding a decent musical instrument. This piano cost range should buy you a console or studio upright that has a good sound.
- $3,500.00- $4,500.00: Now you are entering the price range where you can find a piano for an advanced student to grow with for a period of time. In this price range the pianos are similar to what you find in the practice rooms of universities and music schools.
- $4,500.00- $5,500.00: When you step up a bit more, you’ll be able to find newer models that will potentially have a warmer and richer sound. This is likely as much as you need to spend for a used upright piano.
- $7,500 to $25,000+: This very large price range encompasses mostly grand pianos. The higher the price means a newer piano and typically a name brand (Steinway, Mason and Hamlin, Yamaha, and Kawai).
Three Rules to Live By
- If you can’t afford to spend at least $7,500.00 on a secondhand piano do not even look at grand pianos. Spending less than that will likely mean you are buying a grand piano requiring very expensive repairs.
- Have ANY secondhand piano inspected by a trained professional before agreeing to buy it. The only exception is buying from a well-known piano restoration house like SoCal that will provide you with a warranty.
- A GOOD UPRIGHT IS A MUCH BETTER PIANO THAN A BAD GRAND PIANO…AND IT’S GOING TO COST MUCH LESS (yes, I put that in all caps for good reason).
Don’t Hesitate to Call
There is always an excellent selection of secondhand pianos in all price ranges at SoCal Pianos in Ontario, CA & Palm Desert, CA (appointment only at both locations). The expert staff will be happy to work with you to determine what’s best for your piano cost budget. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.