How TO Buy a new or used piano or digital keyboard

pianobuyer.com by Larry Fine is the best source available for purchasing a new or used piano

 

Steinway

www.steinway.com

purchase new or used upright or grand pianos, digital pianos, rentals, technicians, and more resources

 

pianopiano.com

many inexpensive options, good service and easy delivery/pickup

fun tool to help choose a piano - https://pianopiano.com/quiz/

 

RENTALS

  • best if you can try the piano out and get a feel for the instrument before renting

  • if you can't, make sure the place you rent from has great reviews and states their delivery and return policies clearly

  • You may have to pay upfront fees for delivery, return, and a visit from a technician to tune and adjust the piano once it has been delivered. Check with the company to make sure you know what fees will be charged in addition to your rental fee.

  • Like with regular home movers, you will be charged per flight of stairs

  • can rent to own - some companies offer rent to own where you can apply whatever you pay in rent towards the purchase of the instrument. 

NEW PIANOS

  • go for a reputable brand from a local dealer.

  • visit the showroom and be able to try out the piano before you buy or rent

  • It can be exciting to visit a showroom, which can sometimes cloud your judgment, so take time to evaluate the piano with open ears and a calm state of mind.

  • Give yourself around an hour or more so you have time to fully evaluate pianos and talk to the salesperson

  • ask if the seller offers incentives like being able to eventually trade the piano up to a nicer model, free tuning packages (like offering 4 free tunings, or something along those lines), or other perks

  • Don't rush unless you absolutely know the instrument is the one you want. The seller may allow you to hold the piano if you put down a deposit on the instrument. If you choose not to purchase the instrument, the deposit should be fully refundable. 

  • Don't be afraid to haggle a bit. Find out if there are any discounted instruments, and never be afraid to ask for a lower price. You may not get it, but at least you tried!

 

USED PIANOS

  • Dealers are the safest choices, as they will typically have a guarantee or warranty of some sort. 

  • However, dealers may be more expensive than going it on your own and looking in classifieds or the internet. 

  • BUYING ONLINE

    • When buying online, you want to be able to see and hear the instrument before purchasing. 

    • I would be very cautious of purchasing a piano I wasn't able to try out first. 

    • BUT with the recommendation of a reputable seller or technician OR musician who is knowledgeable, I would consider it 

    • If buying online, make sure the seller is reputable. 

      • Look at their website and anything else you can find online. 

      • Even though a piano dealer website might look pretty bad, they might be a great company. 

      • Look for verified reviews, and check their online presence. to make sure they are a legit operation before conducting a transaction. 

  • SEARCHING THE CLASSIFIEDS

    • If you want to go the DIY route, you can save a good amount of money, and you'll likely have more latitude to negotiate price

    • but you're responsible for everything from inspection to delivery, maintenance and more. 

    • Plus there are a lot of scammers and charlatans out there who will sell you a low quality or even damaged instrument, so you will really need to evaluate the seller properly before even agreeing to see an instrument. 

    • steinway, pianobuyer.com or pianopiano.com have classifieds, but you'll still need to apply common sense and evaluate your prospective new instrument well before putting pen to paper or paying anything.

  • GET IT INSPECTED!

    • pianos are like cars and houses. You shouldn't buy either without having a mechanic or home inspector evaluate it first.

    • Hire a local piano technician and expect to pay around $100-150 for an evaluation

  • DIGITAL VS ACOUSTIC

  • HOW MANY KEYS?

  • WEIGHTED VS SEMI-WEIGHTED vs SYNTH vs. WATERFALL

  • WHERE TO LOCATE YOUR INSTRUMENT 

    • enemies of the piano are mold and humidity fluctuations, direct sunlight, drafts, heaters/fireplaces

    • any scenario where the piano is located close to drafts, moisture, heat or direct sunlight will be bad for the instrument in the long run

    • Regulate the humidity and temperature to the best of your ability

    • place in the center of the room if possible

    • the piano lid opens up to the right side of the piano as you are facing the keys. If a piano is located by a wall, Make sure it is placed so that the piano opens up towards the room, not the wall

    • do not use the instrument as a piece of furniture to store things on, and never place drinks or liquids of any kind on the piano!

  • WHAT WILL YOU NEED IN ADDITION TO THE PIANO?

    • piano bench - should allow you to have your arms parallel with the keyboard while your shoulders are relaxed

    • light for reading music -  if room lights aren't enough, purchase a lamp that will fully illuminate the sheet music

    • storage for sheet music and books - either a piano bench or shelf, etc.

    • a music notebook and pencil - for taking notes on music you are learning, writing your own music, etc. 

    • a metronome - mechanical ones are fine, but digital or metronome apps have more features for practicing and can be fun and useful motivational tools for practicing.

    • cloth and cleaner for exterior (be careful of the finish!), and a way to collect dust from the interior

    • IF YOU HAVE A DIGITAL PIANO OR KEYBOARD YOU MAY ALSO NEED: 

      • a keyboard stand if not included

      • music stand if not included

      • sustain pedal (some models have digital version of the three main piano pedals - una corda, sostenuto, and damper

      •