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Grand Piano Appraisal

Grand pianos are by far the most difficult to determine a general value without specific information such as the brand name, age, and general condition. Brand names that were made yesteryear in the USA have recently been made in other countries like Mexico, Korea, Indonesia, and China. Piano manufacturing is changing exponentially. For 80 years, most pianos were made in the USA. It moved to Japan for 40 years, Korea for 20, and now Indonesia and China.
If you think it is a bit confusing now, wait another 15 years.

The name of the piano should be on what we call the “fallboard” or the cabinetry that covers the keys when closed, or exposes them when open.

The name should also be on the metal plate inside the piano.

If you cannot find a name anywhere on the piano, Click Here

You will now need to locate your Serial Number.

These are  usually found on the “Plate” near the tuning pins between the bass and tenor sections as shown below.

These are  usually found on the “Plate.”

Or it may be somewhere else on the plate near the tuning pins.

Or it may be somewhere else on the plate near the tuning pins

It can also be found on the “beams” of the plate stamped on the side.

It can also be found on the “beams” of the plate stamped on the side.

 

It may also be found stamped into the soundboard under the strings at times.

You will need to search around for it on the plate or soundboard.

You will need to search around for it on the plate or soundboard.

 

Step 2: Download this handy PDF document and find the age of your piano based on its manufacturer and serial number.

It is highly unlikely that you will find your exact serial number on the PDF document. Find the name of your piano on the listing.  The numbers are in 5 year increments. Find where your number falls between, and you can estimate within 5 years as to when your piano was built. 5 years is close enough to help determine the general condition.

Example: You are looking up an Estey Piano, serial #102634.  Your piano was built about 1933-1934. The number falls between 90100 and 122000, between 1930 and 1935.

(Numbers below as shown on PDF Chart)

1930-90100
1935-122000

If the grand piano was built between 1910–1935, you need to check something. Click here.

How many legs does the grand piano have?

How many legs does the grand piano have?

 

Three legs? Continue with this page, or click if it has four legs or six legs.

Here are some tips on determining the approximate value of your grand piano.

Where to Start
The first thing to do is Google it with the Brand Name, size or model and the age of the piano. You can usually get a good idea of what it may be worth by doing an online search for others who are selling or have sold a piano of the same brand and similar age. e-Bay has a useful tool that will tell you what the piano actually sold for, rather than what the piano is listed at.

Ask your piano tuner/technician what they think it may yield on the market. If the piano has not been tuned or serviced in decades, and has not  been treated it with value… it may not have any value left. You can get an idea of the condition of your piano here.

Contact a piano dealer who carries the brand of piano you own, and find out what they sell for brand new (or restored). Ask the salesperson how well they retain their value. When you are looking in a retail piano store, understand that their pricing usually includes a guarantee and sometimes delivery.

A young piano (0–30 years old) should be in excellent condition, if you have maintained it properly and kept the finish in good condition. If not, you must factor in the repairs and or maintenance needed to bring the piano up to par.

If the piano has not been tuned in a long time—over 5 years—it may need a pitch raise, or 2 tunings. This will cost $250-$350 in most areas.

If the piano needs touch up or cosmetic repair, a touch up service call usually runs from $200–$350 in your home. If the piano needs to be shipped to the restoration shop for extensive work, it could cost a few thousand.

Whatever the neglect or damage may be, you will have to calculate that into a realistic market value.

Don’t forget shipping costs. The average cost to move a grand piano down the street is $275–$350, and as much as $1,900  or more nationwide.  Why does shipping affect the selling price? Would you buy a $1,200 piano that will cost $1,200 to move?

General Formula for Older Grand Pianos

$$ How much the piano could sell for in mint condition
-$$ The cost of getting it into mint condition
_____________
$$ The estimated wholesale value (if you sell to a dealer)
x Two or Three
_____________
$$ The estimated retail value (if you sell to an end user)

Possible Repair Costs

Grand Pianos 30–50 years old are likely to need work especially if they have not been maintained. This might include tuning and cosmetic work as described previously, as well as the following:

Action Work
Reconditioning: $500–$1400
Regulation: $400–$1200

Refinishing
Depending on size and choice of finish $4,800–$8,000

Grand Pianos 50–80 years old may need extensive Belly Rebuilding ($4800-$7800) in addition to the work mentioned above.

Grand Pianos 80+ years old will very likely need all of the above as well as all new action parts and or the soundboard and bridges replaced:

Full Action Replacement with regulation: $5,500–$6,500
Replace Soundboard and Bridges: $4,900–$6,500

For more information on the restoration process, click here.

Most older pianos with unfamiliar names need so much work that there is only value in the piano if it is in good playing condition. CLICK HERE to learn more about how to determine the condition of your piano.

I would like a more accurate appraisal.

If your piano has been restored, you will need a more accurate appraisal.

Where can I sell my piano? Click Here

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