When obtaining a second hand piano, the first point of order is to determine the price range you will be looking for.
At price ranges lower than $500 there are no guarantees regarding the state of the instrument. Before a decision on a possible purchase can be made, the instrument should be checked out thoroughly. Available pianos within this price range, are often in a poor condition, and often no longer functional. This goes for all pianos offered for sale, below $1000. The risk of buying junk decreases with the price.
Within a price range of $1000 and $1500 the odds of finding a reasonable piano, increase. There still is a large luck factor involved, but in case a purchase is made through a dealer, chances are good, to obtain an old, but functional piano. Pianos that fall within this price range, would be restored to a point, that one can expect it to work properly, and there may even be some limited warranty given on the purchase.
The same holds true for used pianos up to $ 2000, and only if purchased through a dealer.
Between $2000 and $3000, one can expect to find pianos in decent condition. Most likely the offered pianos will be no older than twenty years, should be working well, and the quality of sound should be good. Of all brands, Yamaha would be the recommend one to go for, in terms of price and quality.
Pianos in good condition that are functional, well sounding and suitable for professional use, would be found within the $3500 to $4500 price ranges, of which Yamaha once again would be the brand to go for. These types of instrument will be of similar quality then the instruments used in rehearsal rooms at schools. When going after a piano, ensure it is no older then a manufacturing year of 1975.
When looking to obtain a piano below the $7500 price range, grand pianos will be out of your reach. In case you do find one, take extra care in checking it out, or you may find yourself being faced with repair and restore costs, far greater than your budget allows. In these cases it is recommended not to risk it and ignore grand pianos entirely as an option.
With a budget up to $ 10,000, anything is possible, and no particular type of piano outside your reach. It is still recommended in case of buying a grand piano to thoroughly check it out before purchasing it, for the same reasons as mentioned before, but chances are much better for finding one in a decent state and of decent quality.
In the price ranges above $ 15,000 one can expect decent pianos, no matter the type. Whenever possible it is recommended to always purchase a second hand piano through a dealer, as in such a case consumer laws of your country apply, which at least gives you some rights regarding your purchase, buying direct from a private owner, comes with a lot of risk, since those types of sales, hardly have any consumer protection at all.
Overall, it could be said that the cheapest option, is most likely to prove to be the most expensive one ultimately, as repairs and restore actions, may turn out to be much more costly then a decent quality piano would have cost you.
In case your budget truly does not allow for purchasing a piano within a price range that would likely provide one of a decent quality, renting a piano may be a more suitable option until you can afford a proper piano of your own. In any case it is always wise to have the piano you fancy checked out before the purchased by a skilled technician.
If you’re interested in either buying or selling a piano, please check out our piano classified section!