How Well Do Pianos Hold Their Value?

Piano Keyboard Guide

If you are new to the world of pianos and are on the hunt for one, you may have a few questions, such as whether or not pianos depreciate over time. The simple answer is that yes, pianos do depreciate over time. However, there are a lot of factors that come into play that determine just how much they depreciate.

Knowing this information about piano depreciation will help you when it comes to buying a piano, regardless of whether or not you are buying a new or used one or trying to sell one that is already in your possession.

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What Causes a Piano to Depreciate?

As mentioned previously, there are a variety of things that can determine just how much a piano will depreciate over time. The main characteristics that cause a piano to depreciate are the brand and model of the piano, the overall condition of it, the market, and how old it is.

If you buy a used piano, it will obviously depreciate more quickly than a brand-new one. This is especially true if you try to sell one to a dealer. Chances are that you likely won’t get back what you paid for, but you will still get something in the long run.

How Much Do Pianos Depreciate?

Pianos tend to depreciate as the years go by. In just the first year, a piano can depreciate to 78% of its total value. After two years, this goes down to 75%. They continue to depreciate by 5% over the next few years. After about 20 years, a piano will have depreciated to 40% of its original total value.

These numbers aren’t exact, and the condition that your piano is in also has to be taken into consideration. This means that if you plan on selling your piano eventually, you should try your best to keep it in the best condition possible. However, know that every time you play it, it adds more wear and tear to it and causes it to lose more value.

You will also want to keep in mind that just because a piano has depreciated to a certain number, say $1000 for instance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what you’ll get for it. Typically, an inspection is done by the buyer to make sure the piano isn’t damaged to the point where it can’t be used and that it’s tuned properly. Other things such as supply and demand also tend to affect the way pianos depreciate over time.

Because pianos are so inconvenient to move due to their weight and size, this may also affect how much they sell for and many people just end up giving them away. Be sure to take all of these things into consideration when trying to sell a used piano.

Which Pianos Hold Value the Most or Appreciate?

In order to get a good idea of which pianos tend to hold their value the most over time, you can try to think of them in terms of cars. Luxury cars tend to hold their value the most, and the same goes for pianos.

Upright pianos tend to depreciate the most in value over time. This is because over the years, the value of upright pianos isn’t much and many people will actually end up giving them away, especially if they are moving and don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of moving the piano.

Unsurprisingly, grand pianos hold the most value as they are the crème de la crème of pianos. Grand pianos are the “luxury cars” of pianos — specifically Steinway pianos, which are the most expensive pianos around and hold the most value.

What Causes Piano Value to Rise?

In very rare circumstances, a piano’s value can rise as opposed to depreciate. As mentioned previously, used pianos will depreciate more quickly. High-quality luxury pianos, on the other hand, may increase in value, especially if they are Steinway, Fazioli, Bosendorfer, and Yamaha pianos. This is because the quality of the pianos speaks for itself and they are not affected by things such as the market.

A limited-edition piano is another one that will appreciate in value over time, for obvious reasons. The fewer there are of this piano out there, the more value they will hold. On the other hand, if a store has several of the same piano for sale, chances are that their prices will drop over time, especially if their inventory isn’t moving.

In other instances, pianos may have unique features and characteristics that make them hold their value. This includes special finishes or an engraving of some kind.

How Much Is My Piano Worth?

If you own a piano and want to determine how much it’s worth, there are a few things to consider. For one, determining what type of piano it is and how old it is. Another thing to consider is the material used to make the piano and whether or not there is significant wear and tear or damage on it. Lastly, you’ll want to find out what the demand is for that particular piano in your area as this will also help you determine just how much your piano is worth.

Again, if you have an upright piano, chances are that it won’t be worth much in the next few years. This is especially true if you bought it used. Older upright pianos are worth close to nothing, although you could get lucky and find a buyer willing to pay you a small amount for it. Ultimately, grand pianos hold the most value, although some models may lose their value over time too.

If you have a good-quality piano on your hands, such as Yamaha, Steinway, and Kawai, you can expect it to be worth more. A good way to compare your piano’s worth to another is to simply look up that particular brand and model of piano and see what those other pianos are going for.

Although time isn’t always on your side when it comes to selling a piano, there are exclusions to this. For example, antique instruments that still have their original soundboards on them may be worth more than you think. Pianos that are from the pre-1950s and have ivory keys on them also tend to sell for a pretty penny.

When trying to sell your piano, take into consideration the damage it has on it over the age or build as this will matter more. You’ll have a tough time selling a piano with water damage, dents, or scratches on it, no matter the brand.

Do Digital Pianos Also Depreciate?

Believe it or not, yes, digital pianos do depreciate over time. This is primarily due to the fact that a newer model is always coming out that replaces the former one but has better features and improvements done on it.

On the plus side, this is good for anyone who is starting out on a digital piano or looking to buy a cheap used one. A digital piano that isn’t damaged but is simply last year’s model will work just as well as a new one, but you’ll only end up paying a portion of the price for it.

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