How to Get Top Dollar When Selling Your Piano

They say that as a musician, your instrument is a part of you. Like a limb or your very soul, your instrument is irreplaceable and will forever hold a special part in your heart. However, there comes a time in every musician’s career that their instrument must be replaced or sold.

For pianists specifically, this process can be incredibly exhausting and in-depth as most people looking to buy a piano are putting in thousands of dollars and expect to get quality from it. However, with a bit of know-how and preparation, you can sell your piano for exactly what you want in no time. But, what are the main tips for cleaning and detailing your piano before selling, where and how should you market your piano, and how can you use the beginner’s ease of piano playing for kids to your benefit when selling?

To answer the question of how to get top dollar selling your piano, the main things to keep in mind when selling your piano in order to get exactly what you want is cleaning it thoroughly, detailing the piano to make it look as new as they day you bought it, taking great photos, using great pros of piano playing in your ad, and using an eye-catching title and description to entice even the most unsure buyers guaranteed. For cleaning and detailing, you will want to concern yourself with the actual finish and type of piano you have and what cleaning products are best for these different qualities. When it comes to selling your piano, the photos should be taken in nice lighting, the title and description can always be written by a talented friend if need be, and the location you sell your piano will surely affect its value as well. Taking these things into account specifically is sure to lead to a great sale for all parties involved. 

For a breakdown of each of these things as well as a bonus pro to selling your piano to a parent or married couple planning to have children, we’ve compiled everything you need to know to sell your piano at top dollar guaranteed below.

What are the Main Tips on Cleaning a Piano up?

The most important things to do in order to get top dollar for your musical instrument are to clean it, to detail it, and to use the right selling places online.

When cleaning your piano, the main things to take into account are whether it is an acoustic or digital piano, what kind of finish it has, and what products are apt for these particular aspects of your piano.

For instance, in our digital piano and acoustic piano comparison cleaning guide, you will see that digital pianos are inherently easier to clean as they have more electronic parts than they do hammers and internal parts which require individual cleaning processes. However, the thing to note is that digital pianos have electronic pieces that can be damaged by moisture so fast-drying cleaning supplies and non-ammonia cleaning supplies are best.

Similarly, when discussing the different piano finishes and how to properly clean them, you will want to find if your piano is satin, high-gloss, or open pore. If your piano is satin finished, this means that smudges and oil from fingerprints is likely to seep into finish grooves and make it far easier to simply dust or polish. This is why satin finishes must not be over-polished and must be cleaned using microfiber cloths and non-corrosive polishing materials. If not done correctly, you will break down the satin gloss and damage your piano in doing so.

If the piano has a high-gloss finish, you will want to use a water-based piano polish to clean the piano as well as a microfiber cloth to not damage the shine of the gloss itself. Using wax, solvent, or ammonia-based cleaners is sure to haze over the gloss or damage it over time.

Lastly, if your piano has an open-pore finish, using an oil or petroleum-based cleaning polish is best as it keeps the wood grain looking beautiful and protects it from natural elements likewise.

The Best Places to Sell Your Piano Online

Selling your piano online is difficult as it requires a bit of salesmanship and skill. You will need to know how to market your piano and where to sell it online as well. For marketing, you will want to have a local piano shop review the piano and give it a condition rating that you can use in the pictures of your piano. Take photos at an angle and use proper lighting to make it look neat and large. Next, post an enticing and eye-catching title on your ad and give a thorough description of your piano as well as certain pros to buying your piano and a piano in general such as the tone quality or the fact that piano is a great beginner’s instrument for all ages.

When selling your piano, you may also wonder where you will receive the most money selling it and why. While local stores are a great place to try, they may undercut its value to make a profit when reselling the piano. This is why it is best that you take into account where you sell your piano online and to whom you are selling it.

While there aren’t that many online piano-specific selling locations other than PianoMart, the best places to sell your piano are actually Reverb, Facebook Marketplace, private buyers from musical instrument selling groups online, and Honest Instruments.

Reverb and Honest Instruments are great places to sell your piano as they usually have local buyers so you don’t have to ship your piano across the country or overseas. They also are made up of actual musicians meaning they know the price of your piano and won’t be as likely to undercut you or try to finagle you.

PianoMart is also a great solution but this does require shipping which some pianists are not particularly fond of as it is costly, dangerous, and could lead to your instrument being damaged in transit. Although you can get shipping insurance, no one wants to see their beautiful piano get destroyed even if their money is reimbursed after the fact.

Lastly, Facebook Marketplace and private sellers on Facebook instrument buying groups are great options because they offer you local delivery or pickups, they usually allow you to control the situation better, they give you the ability to meet the seller, and they also offer you an opportunity to ask for more than you want and be able to barter until you come to a deal that you are both happy with.

Using Detailing to Increase Selling Price

Just as car dealerships detail their vehicles before selling, detailing your piano is a great way to make it look as new as possible before posting it on the market. Fortunately, the Cory Piano Detailing Kit is a great and fully comprehensive kit for piano detailing at a reasonable price online.

When using this kit specifically, the key is to use every element to its full potential to make your piano look as new as humanly possible. For the Key Brite cleaner, you can use this on your ivory keys to give them a shine once again and to remove any smudges or marker stains from marking your keys when teaching piano to others.

Then, you can either use the satin or high-gloss polishes as discussed above as well as the coconut wood cleaner for open pore piano cleanings. This will be sure to leave the outside of your piano looking perfect and shiny just as the day you bought it.

Lastly, the harmony detailing oil is best for cleaning the interior of acoustic pianos as it provides a protection to the wood grain as well as a lubricant for the various wooden parts of your piano with ease.

Since the value of the average piano increases by 1 to 2 percent each year, it’s no wonder why simple detailing is sure to also increase your piano’s value before selling as well. A better looking piano no matter how old is sure to be worth more than one with years of damage and neglect.

Why is Piano Considered the Best Instrument for Kids to Learn?

When selling your piano, you may also want to play into the fact that piano is often considered the best instrument for children to learn. However, for you to use this point, you have to first understand why this is said to begin with.

The answer is simply due to the fact that piano offers the basic fundamentals to chord building, music notes, and scales as well as easy wins to keep children coming back for more. When a child learns a song in one day such as hot cross buns, they are more likely to want to learn more and continue succeeding at the instrument. This means instant gratitude is far easier to supply to children with a piano.

Furthermore, according to Piano Gallery, “When kids start learning music, it can be hard for them to distinguish between high and low notes. A piano keyboard makes this much easier to learn and understand because everything is laid out visually in a way that kids can plainly see. From left to right, it starts low and goes high.”

By using these things to your benefit when selling your piano, you may be able to encourage parents or middle-aged buyers to consider purchasing your piano for top price as this is an instrument that not only lasts a very long time but can be passed down to their children as well.

In conclusion, selling your piano is never easy as it takes a ton of forethought, preparation, and understanding of the market.

However, with a bit of prepping and effort, you will be sure to sell your piano for exactly what you hoped to make and be able to turn that money towards another passion of yours in no time. For more piano cleaning tips and tricks sure to be of service along the way, check out our piano cleaning supplies section today!

Josh Olswanger

I've been playing and writing music since the age of 13. My father is a piano tuner/technician of 40 years, and I've been musically involved in all aspects from composing, to recording, producing and playing live for most of my life. I've always had a fascination and appreciation for all types of music and musical instruments, so creating this site is a perfect outlet to share my knowledge.

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