While you can find second hand pianos offered by a number of sources, it is important to not settle for the first one you see. I learned that there are several key factors to consider before plunking down my hard-earned cash. One of the most important factors was to look into the age of the piano. I also wanted to make sure I understood everything about the condition before agreeing to the deal. Here are some tips that helped me obtain the information necessary to make an informed decision.
Manufacturer and Serial Number
Before getting too excited about coming across a great buy in a used piano, I made it a point to collect the serial number and the maker of the piano. Typically, this information is found on a small metal plate located on the back of the instrument or some other discreet place along the body. Once I had the information in hand, it was an easy task to find out a little about when the piano was manufactured and even a little bit about the reputation of the company that made the instrument.
I was lucky enough to have access to a local expert who was willing to research the history of the piano, based on the manufacturer and the serial number. Depending on where you live, a local museum may offer this type of assistance. Most piano and music shops will also know how to go about locating information about the instrument and will do so for a modest fee. There is even a good chance that you can find the information using online resources that won’t cost a dime.
When I did find out the age of the piano, I also was able to obtain additional information that helped me make the right decision. In many cases, a full description of the manufacturing process is part of the basic data provided. This meant I was also able to find out about the type of wood used to create the body of the used piano and information about where the ivory for the keys was obtained. Since all these factors impact the market value, it helped to find out all this information.
Along with getting to know the history of the used piano, it is also important to have an expert assess the current condition of the instrument. Since I know a little about pianos, it was easy for me to spot the more obvious signs of wear and tear. Still, I needed help with evaluating the condition of other key components.
I made it a point to contact a local piano tuner. The tuner checked the condition of the soundboard and verified that it was in good shape. The tuner also inspected the pedals, the pegs and the hammers to make sure they were fine. He even took a look at the strings to make sure they didn’t need replacing.
Calling in the professionals is very important. By doing so, I was able to avoid buying any piano that was not as great as I thought. These experts were able to help me find a used piano that was right for me and was worth the asking price.
Take Your Time
Buying a used piano is a major investment for most households. It certainly was for us. That makes it all the more important to take your time and make the right selection. We did and ended up with a good quality piano that we are still enjoying as the kids enter high school.