The Basics of Selling and Shopping for a Used Steinway Piano

Over the years I’ve discovered that there can often be quite a bit of confusion on the part of prospective piano owners regarding the price at which to purchase a Steinway Vintage Piano. I have also found that many owners are unclear regarding how much cash they should ask as for when selling a Steinway Piano . Before I proceed, I would first like to conjecture as to the meaning of the term, “vintage” piano.

What does the term Vintage imply?

For me, the term vintage implies that the piano is not a new piano but that it is a piano (as a special grape would be off the grapevine) that has been attended to and cared for over the years and due to its age and history, has perhaps some additional value beyond that which can be shown or represented, through the standard retail pricing scales. Pianos as a consumer item lend themselves to this kind of colorful “vintage” characterization more that most other consumer items that I can think of except for furniture antiques and cars.

Steinway Facts
The following facts, examples and rules of thumb are intended to give you a feel for the approximate values of varying vintage Steinway piano models.
1. Steinways are the benchmark of value and the ultimate name and manufacturer of consequence for all the pianos ever manufactured, past and present.
2. The theory is that a completely remanufactured standard model of Steinway Grand should be worth or cost about 80% of what a comparable or identical new model, cabinet finish, wood type, etc would cost.
3. The theory is that Steinways are always an excellent investment, always going up in value.

Models and Some Pricing Information for New Steinways
Model S is 5’1”.
Model M, 5’ 7” comes in Mahogany, Walnut, Ebony and Satin Finish and the price range for new runs from about 53K to 56 K.
Model O, 5’11” come in Mahogany, Walnut, Ebony and Satin, and cost from 53K to 66K.
Model A
, 6’2”, Mahogany, Walnut, Ebony, 60K to 75K.
Model B, 6’11”, Mahogany, Ebony, Walnut, Satin, 67K to 84K.
Model D, 9’, Mahogany, Ebony, Walnut Satin, 99K to 120K.

The Pitfalls of Shopping for a Steinway
Given all the encouraging statistics and benchmarks for purchasing a Steinway Piano, the average consumer may think “what is there not to like or I can’t go wrong purchasing
a Steinway. That may be the case if you are purchasing from an reputable and ethical dealer, however I have seen many people get burned in purchasing used Steinways from
from other private individuals and especially on EBAY.

The key to not getting burned is to work with an experienced piano tuner, (Piano Technician) in order to determine the degree and extent of restoration needed to bring it back into new condition. In this manner, you can calculate how much the piano is really worth by allowing for the money you will have to put out. If the seller is reasonable, he/she will work with you in this process. If the seller is not reasonable, then it is probably for the best that you continue look for your future used Steinway elsewhere.

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