Evaluating FREE Used Pianos

There’s good news and bad news.

The bad news first. Pianos are going out of style. Due to the exceptional quality and workmanship in the early 20th century, and the huge proliferation of the instrument, there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of old pianos in the world that are not being used, sitting in people’s basements, waiting for the dump. Add to that, the fact that the demand for pianos has dropped, competing with video games and digital pianos. It’s hard to imagine that at one time, the lowly piano was the King of the home entertainment world.

The good news is, many of these pianos are still good instruments, and with some time and knowledge, you can pick up a good instrument for cheap. How does FREE sound? Go ahead and check it out. Go to kijiji.com or craigslist.com in your city and look up “free piano”. You’ll see what I mean.

Why are these pianos being given away? Surely they must be garbage, right? Remember what your dad said? “There’s no such thing as a free lunch, son.” Well, your dad was right. Except in this situation, you get your free piano (less moving and tuning and minor repairs) by spending your time looking at many different pianos, armed with knowledge, until you find that special piano, the one that will make an awesome instrument that the owner doesn’t want anymore.

Why would someone give away a piano with value? Well, there are a few reasons for this:

1) They don’t know the value of it. It may have been given to them by a relative who passed away. They’ve kept it for a while for sentimental reasons, but now they want a new flat screen T.V., right where the piano is!

2) They have to sell it fast. There is a small demand for pianos, and a huge supply. I tell people who call me about selling their piano, that if they need to sell it fast, like in less than four months, I suggest advertising it for free on kijiji or craigslist.

I created this checklist for my customers so they could evaluate their own pianos and see if there is any value in them. You can use it to find out if a piano for sale has any value and may be worth picking up for a dime, or enlisting the services of a qualified piano technician (Go to ptg.org and click on “Find a Technician”).

I hope you find the list helpful. I wrote it so anyone could use it. No need to know anything about pianos. It will help you increase the chances of finding that diamond in the rough, but will not eliminate the possibility of buying a dud. Make sure to get it checked out by a qualified technician to be sure.

Click the link below to view the document.
Used Piano Check List – Revised 2014

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2 Responses to “Evaluating FREE Used Pianos”

  1. Myrlin says:

    Great used Piano list (as far as i can tell anyways). However the following I’m not sure I understand as it seems contradictory. The word’s in the brackets seem backwards… seems like it should be “select No if it is easy to play soft, select Yes if it is easy to not get a sound”.

    “Try pushing some keys down slowly. Is it easy to push down and NOT get a sound every time? (Select NO if it is hard to play soft, YES if it is hard to not get any sound)”

    Thanks for the great list. (and articles)

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