How to Sell Your Piano


If you find you need to sell your piano, there are some different avenues that you can take.

  • Consignment Depending upon the value of your piano, it may be possible to consign it at a local piano store.  If your piano is a famous brand like Steinway or Mason-Hamlin, a store may want to consign it for you.  Be aware that they will take a sizeable commission for doing so.  Read any consignment agreeement carefully so that you know exactly what to expect.  Some agreements take a percentage of the sale price, and others will allow for a negotiated price, above which the store keeps the rest.  Often a dealer may have to perform repairs, do regulation, and tune the piano to get it ready for sale.  Find out if you will be responsible for paying for these services if the piano doesn’t sell.  While it is up for sale, be aware that you won’t be able to give your friends or relatives a special price.   Sometimes, a buyer might offer less than the asking price.  The dealer may call you to ask if you’ll be willing to take less.  Be sure to formally sign a revised agreement in that case.  Your agreement is a legal document, but a phone conversation is not.
  • Sell to a Technician  If your piano isn’t a famous brand, and if it isn’t a grand piano, stores aren’t likely to consign your piano.  In the past, some stores would outright purchase pianos for sale.  I don’t know if this is still the case, but you can always ask.  Some technicians purchase pianos to fix and resell, so calling around a few local technicians might be another avenue.  I have done this a few times, but normally I don’t get involved in direct sales.  I prefer to let real sales people do what they do, and I stick to tuning and repairs.
  • Craigslist  Nowadays, Craigslist is where the vast majority of pianos get sold.  You have to expect that buyers are bottom-feeding, looking for a bargain.  Indeed there are bargains to be had.  That means that you may not get near top dollar for your piano.  Plus the fact that there are so many for sale there, a cheaper piano price will sell faster than yours.  You may want to have the piano serviced before the sale so that it will be easier to sell.  Offer a free move (build this into the price.  Call one of the piano movers from the referral page for a ballpark price for a move).  You might offer a free in-home tuning (shameless plug here!) after delivery.
  • Online Consignment Websites  There are also online sites that offer pianos for sale.  Try, or www.PianoWorld.  Your piano will be listed by serious seekers, and there’s not as much competition there.  There is a charge for listing them, but it may be worth it.  The price must reflect the fact that a shipping charge will be incurred by the prospective buyer who lives far away.  If you have a high-end piano or a valuable antique, this option may be advantagious to you.
  • Rent your piano  Another idea is to advertise your piano for rent.  You might know a neighbor or friend who would be willing to rent your piano, or advertise it on Craigslist as a rental.  You can call me for details on how to do this.  Some repairs might be necessary, as well as a tuning.  Maybe a “rent to own” agreement could be offered.  If it doesn’t work out, you get the piano back, and keep the $$$’s.  Make sure you include a disclaimer on any damage that might happen on the piano.  Careful- don’t lose a good friendship over it!
  • Donate It  Lastly, a donation of your piano is a way for some less fortunate student to fulfill their dreams of owning a piano.  Father Joe’s Catholic Charity, Goodwill, or other thrift organizations would love to get your donated piano.  Be aware that they won’t take it if it’s junkyard material.  It has to play and be in reasonable shape.  Also, second-hand stores might be willing to consign or purchase your piano.  Might be worth a phone call.

So, good luck finding a new owner of your piano.  It’s hard to let it go, but maybe you’re looking for a better one.  Maybe you don’t have room, or you’re moving and can’t take it with you.  If you get stuck, give me a call.  Maybe I can help find a new owner in one of my clients.