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The Hood Magazine

Pianos: A Guide to Buying Used

Oct 26, 2017 12:31PM ● By The Hood Magazine

By: Jay Tripp, Schoppert’s Piano Gallery

Many times when parents are looking at starting their children in piano lessons they explore the option of buying a “used” piano. One of the concerns they have is “I don’t want to spend the money on a new piano if my child doesn’t stick with it?” If this is you, please keep these following tips in mind.

1.  Buying online. Yes, or no?

Buyers are very emotional people. We tend to see something that “looks good” or “beautiful” and we get excited because we can visualize it in our homes; picture the kids playing on it, etc. Not everything you read is true. When you are selling something, do you ever describe your item as “in poor condition,” “doesn’t work,” or “good luck with buying this”? I’m guessing not. Pianos can look amazing from the outside, but there are 12,000 parts in a piano…..over 5,000 of those parts move. You have to be cautious when buying a piano online if that’s truly the path you decide to take. If you find something you like, hire a piano technician to take a look at the piano and help determine if it’s truly a “good used piano.” If not, you’ll end up with a non-functional piano and then you’re stuck with an expensive and “amazing” piece of furniture.

2.  Ask for a service record.

Just because a piano hasn’t been played doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be serviced. We still go through our humid summers and dry winters, which affects the wood and materials of the piano. Tuning a piano once a year is okay, but pianos really should be tuned at least twice a year. Not tuning a piano can dramatically shorten the life of your piano and cost you thousands in repairs.

3.  Shop local if you can.

Find a local piano dealer(s) in your area and pay them a visit. They’re going to have the expertise and knowledge for you to make an educated decision on what to purchase for your family. They will also have used inventory on hand that has been checked out by a technician, along with providing the service to the piano after you purchase. A good store will guide you in the buying process, but remember: it’s your piano. Make sure you don’t feel pressured. Make the process a fun one. Have the whole family along. If the children are involved in buying the piano, they’ll take ownership of their lessons. 

Piano is something your kids will have with them for the rest of their lives. One of the keys to their success in piano is “quality of the instrument.” Happy shopping!!!