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A guide to buying used pianos

Used Piano
Published: 5 February 2022
Noah Markson

With the right quantities of love and care, used pianos can work just as well as a newer model. They can be more cost-effective too. A passion for music and playing an instrument should be accessible to everyone, and thankfully reselling sites, and piano stores, make this possible. However, without the appropriate knowledge or experience, it can be difficult to assess the value of what you’re buying. Here, we discuss the benefits of buying a second-hand piano, and whether it is worth buying a new or used piano, as well as explore how older used pianos compare to newer equivalents.

Should I buy a new or used piano?

When buying a piano, one of the first decisions to make is whether to opt for a new or used model. The allure of a new one can be tempting, with its manufacturer’s warranty, a longer life expectancy, and less chance of inheriting defects. New pianos can naturally seem like an obvious choice, but for some the cost is prohibitive.

Not only that, if you decide to sell it later then often you’ll find its value has depreciated significantly. 

If you are looking to buy a second-hand piano, you will soon realise that there is a wider range of models, in different styles and finishes, on offer. Second-hand pianos generally cost a lot less than a new model too. Usually, you discover that a restorer has detailed the used piano to a standard that rivals a new instrument. 

For those hoping to encourage their child to develop a new musical hobby, but don’t want to commit to spending thousands on an instrument that may go unused, a second-hand option is tempting. Plus, if you decide to sell it after a year or two, you won’t have to worry about depreciation. 

What are the drawbacks?

There are potential drawbacks to consider too. Used pianos rarely have a valid original manufacturer’s warranty, and because of their age are more likely to have developed hidden defects. Unless a piano has been completely restored, you are likely to encounter higher maintenance costs and a shorter life expectancy. To ensure you have a quality product on your hands, it would be wise to have a piano technician examine and potentially restore your used piano

Used Pianos

Are old pianos better than new ones?

All high-quality crafted pianos are built to last, but when it comes to a comparison between an old and new piano, the answer isn’t so straightforward. An older model can not only have a wonderful aesthetic elegance but can also sound wonderful for many years if it has had regular care and maintenance. 

Even older pianos that have been neglected can be restored to their former glory, sounding and looking better than when they were new.  Newer used piano models, on the other hand, look, great but can require a lot of work to optimise their sound potential.

Whether you are looking at an older used model or a modern second-hand one, in both cases the quality is determined by the skill of the technician that has worked on it

What type of piano?

Determining which is better comes down to what you are looking for, and what you expect from your instrument. Acoustic pianos, for instance, will have a unique voice whether they are old or new, so it is important to always try before you buy. If there is one thing to take away, it is that used pianos can still have years of life, beautiful sounds, and memories in them. 

Finding a good quality second-hand piano for the right price, and only having to clean up a few minor imperfections, is perhaps the ideal outcome when buying second-hand, allowing you to enjoy the gift of a piano without breaking the bank.

used pianos

Get in touch

As one of the UK’s leading piano dealers, we are proud to offer an extensive range of pre-owned acoustic upright and grand pianos. Each piano goes through a comprehensive regulation and set-up process in the same way as new pianos and, when necessary, parts are replaced or renewed. These pianos receive at least two in-house tunings so we can assess their stability, and once we are satisfied that they are structurally sound, they are made available for sale. Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell your piano, why not read our blog post on “How to sell your Piano“.

To find out more about our second-hand upright or grand pianos, you can visit our website or get in touch with us by calling 020 7935 8682. Our stock of second-hand pianos is continually changing, so get in touch to find out more about our new arrivals.