Get it appraised. It’s really the only way, unless you know what you’d like to get for it, regardless of its actual market value. Some companies offer a free Steinway appraisal if you’re selling a Steinway Piano.
It is an impossibility to begin to discuss even a “ballpark” range for most used pianos without it being dismantled and in front of the person being asked to evaluate it. Pianos can contain upwards of 12,000 parts, 10,000 of which need to move within their neighboring parts with tolerances of
You can describe how beautiful the case is… its magnificent history in your family and how well it was cared for… how much of an antique it is (almost always a detriment)… but neither you, nor we, can tell in an e-mail or a telephone exchange if the piano has developed a cracked pin block, tuning instability, bridge cracks or other countless internal atrocities — capable of inflicting thousands of dollars in repair bills.
It is also for these reasons that buying a piano privately can be so dangerous. It is more often the case that the seller simply doesn’t really know the condition of their piano and what problems it has developed over the years. Find a reputable technician in your area who is qualified in appraising pianos and employ his/her services. Appraisals can range between $60-100 U.S. dollars and will help determine value from any one of the following perspectives:
- selling it to a friend or relative
- selling it on the open market
- replacing it with a current, identical make/model
- replacing it with a current, similar make/model
- trading it in
- donating it to a non-for-profit institution
- restoring it / assessing damage
- insuring it
So while we enjoy helping folks with pianos and piano-related topics, helping establish the value of a piano that we physically don’t have in front of us is something we can’t do.
No accurate assessment, nor even a “range” could be achieved by an on-line or telephone conversation. In fact, the odds of good advice coming from anyone who would be willing to partake in such a discussion would be a crapshoot at best. If you are in New York, we can give free advice by directing you to a technician we know in your area — just drop us a line for more information.