The best way to determine the value of a used piano is to hire a qualified piano technician who can provide an appraisal upon examining the piano in detail. Alternatively, a person can attempt to determine the value on his own by inspecting the condition and determining the specifics of the piano.
The benefits of hiring a piano technician include his ability to provide the seller with a note of appraisal, which ensures both the seller and buyer are getting a fair deal. Additionally, a piano technician is more likely to spot a specific problem with the piano that could significantly reduce its value. Once the problem is repaired, the final value typically offsets the repair costs, netting the seller further profit.
When determining the condition of a used piano, the most important step is to inspect its exterior, which normally reflects the overall condition of the piano. No matter how superficial, any traces of damage to the exterior can reduce its value. A seller should check the state of the piano keys and pedals in addition to examining the sturdiness of the legs and any damage to the wood finish. Finally, a seller should determine the name of the manufacturer, the date of manufacture and the serial number. With that information, the seller can look in a guide, such as "The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano," to ascertain the piano's value.