Used Piano Pros & Cons

What to Consider Before Buying a Pre-Owned or Refurbished Piano

Used Piano Pros & Cons

A piano’s value depends on many factors, and used pianos have a longer list of factors to consider. “Used” doesn’t always mean economical, so it’s best to set a budget while getting a good idea of what you want in an acoustic piano.


  1. The voice of a quality used piano ages well. While the timbre of a well-kept piano may evolve over time, it shouldn’t develop a contrasting tone (which happens with some poorly-made new pianos). Be sure you can schedule regular tune-ups to help maintain sound quality.
  2. You could stumble upon a great deal. Some private sellers are in a rush to sell their instrument – whether because of a move or disinterest – others might not be price-savvy, or may simply want to sell a great piano for a low price. But be careful; low piano prices are often too good to be true. If you want to risk buying a suspiciously-priced piano, bring a Registered Piano Technician along for the visit.
  3. The history behind an antique piano is alluring if not mysterious; just be sure it’s been a positive one. A properly-kept piano has a life span of 30-60 years, so don’t be shocked to learn the owners purchased the instrument a decade or two ago.
  4. Sampling is a great way to get to know pianos, and you should test as many as possible. If you’re unhappy with the sound of a piano, don’t be afraid to move on. This time must be spent discovering your personal preferences, and learning to appreciate quality.


    1. A flexible budget is best. A high-end used piano will cost you more money up front, while a good, lesser-known instrument may need some extra work (or at the very least, a fresh tuning). In larger markets, expect to see used pianos for $800 on the same page as a used piano for $35,000.
    2. You could get ripped off. While this is also true on the professional sales floor, it’s safe to assume that not every private owner has known how to care for their instrument through the years. Know how to check for common signs of piano damage, and seriously consider hiring a professional to accompany you during your searches.
    3. Mold growth can impair health, especially in children. Left in certain temperatures and room conditions, a piano can quickly and easily host bacteria and mold colonies. When visiting a used piano, be conscious of any unfavorable piano room conditions.
    4. Used pianos are more susceptible to stress, because they’ve experienced more of it. Repeated moving, fluctuating climates, and even loud playing can cause problems with tuning, and can all lower the value of a piano over time. Be sure to get a clear history of any acoustic piano you might consider; 8 questions to ask before buying a used piano.

      Beginner Piano Lessons
       ▪  The Piano Keyboard Layout
       ▪  The Black Piano Keys
       ▪  Finding Middle C on the Piano
       ▪  Find Middle C on Electric Keyboards
       ▪  Left Hand Piano Fingering

      Reading Piano Music
       ▪  Sheet Music Symbol Library
       ▪  How to Read Piano Notation
       ▪  Memorize the Staff Notes
       ▪  Illustrated Piano Chords
       ▪  Musical Quizzes & Tests

      Piano Care & Maintenance
       ▪  Best Piano Room Conditions
       ▪  How to Clean Your Piano
       ▪  Safely Whiten Your Piano Keys
       ▪  Signs of Piano Damage
       ▪  When To Tune Your Piano

      Forming Piano Chords
       ▪  Chord Types & Their Symbols
       ▪  Essential Piano Chord Fingering
       ▪  Comparing Major & Minor Chords
       ▪  Diminished Chords & Dissonance
       ▪  Different Types of Arpeggiated Chords

      Getting Started on Keyboard Instruments
       ▪  Playing Piano vs. Electric Keyboard
       ▪  How to Sit at the Piano
       ▪  Buying a Used Piano