Let's start with the hard news: selling your piano will be tough.
Even though pianos are substantial pieces of furniture and make wonderful music, piano buyers want their piano in new condition, or made by a very recognizable brand.
Piano manufacturing and popularity were at their height just before World War II. Pianos made between 1900 and 1940 – especially in the 1920's – are often considered to have a distinctive quality which reflects that period. After the World War, manufacturing techniques and changes in the consumer market moved the piano world in to a new period.
Steinway pianos have the strongest resale value. They simply have the longest-running reputation for manufacturing high-quality pianos. Other strong brands rise and fall, but Steinway has been doing this reliably for over 100 years.
Other recognizable vintage brands include Chickering, Mason & Hamlin, and Knabe. These manufacturers were strong Steinway competitors in times past. Other brands such as Baldwin, Sohmer, Bosendofer, Ibach, Wurlitzer, Yamaha and Kawai are currently well-recognized. This recognizabliity can help a piano sell.
You may be able to get several thousand dollars if any of the following is true of your piano:
If your piano is old or not an easily recognized brand, it's probably worth well under $1,000. If you've never heard of your piano's brand, chances are excellent that no one else has either. It'll be tough to make much money on it.
A common misconception is that an old piano will have value as an antique. Sadly, simply being old doesn't make it valuable. This is true of pretty much any object that's old. Antiques only have value if collectors want them, and collectors are usually looking for very particular and rare features.
Pianos are big and heavy. Moving then is obviously an inconvenience. This affects a piano's value. A professional mover could charge up to $1,000, and since common pianos are worth $1,000 or less, these offset each other. Many people discover that they have to give their piano away just to get it out of the house, and even then they have a hard time finding any takers!
We'll need you to give us specific information about the piano using our form: Inquire About Selling a Piano