Pre-Owned Piano Shopping: Avoiding 4 Common Mistakes

Pianos are a significant investment, and many people turn to pre-owned pianos as a more affordable option. However, not all used pianos are created equal, and there are some critical factors to consider when shopping for one.

In this article, we will go into the lifespan of a piano and provide tips on avoiding common mistakes when purchasing a pre-owned instrument from piano stores.

The Lifespan of a Piano

1. The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Like any other instrument, the lifespan of a piano largely depends on the care and maintenance it has received over the years. Regular tuning, cleaning, and addressing any necessary repairs are crucial in maintaining the overall health of the piano. 

With proper care, a well-crafted piano can last for generations, providing beautiful music for decades.

2. The Age of the Piano

While it is true that some older pianos can still be in excellent condition, age should be considered when evaluating a pre-owned piano. Generally, pianos have a lifespan of about 50 to 80 years. 

However, the quality of the materials and craftsmanship can significantly impact a piano's durability. High-quality pianos may still perform well even after 100 years, while lower-quality pianos may only have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years.

3. Signs of Wear and Tear

When examining a pre-owned piano, pay close attention to any signs of wear and tear. Inspect the soundboard, strings, hammers, keys, and pedals to check for any signs of damage or significant wear and tear.

These could indicate that the piano may need significant repairs or has not been well-maintained, which could affect its performance and lifespan.

How to Steer Clear of  Errors When Buying a Used Piano

1. Not Researching Piano Brands

One of the most common mistakes shoppers make when looking for pre-owned pianos is not researching the different piano brands and their reputations. Some brands are known for their quality and craftsmanship and have a history of producing durable, long-lasting pianos. 

Take the time to research various piano brands and read reviews from pianists and technicians to help guide your decision-making process.

2. Skipping the Inspection

Buying a pre-owned piano without having it inspected by a professional piano technician is a risky move. A qualified technician can assess the piano's overall condition and determine if any repairs are needed. 

This information is essential in evaluating the piano's value and negotiating a fair price. Skipping this step can result in purchasing a piano with hidden issues that may require costly repairs down the line.

3. Focusing Solely on Price

While it's understandable to have a budget in mind when shopping for a pre-owned piano, focusing solely on the price can be a mistake. The cheapest option may not always be the best value, as it may require additional repairs or not provide the sound quality and performance you desire. 

Likewise, a more expensive pre-owned piano may not necessarily be in better condition than a more affordable option. Consider factors such as the piano's brand, age, and overall condition when deciding, rather than just the price tag.

4. Ignoring the Sound and Touch

When shopping for a pre-owned piano, it's essential to play it and listen to the sound it produces. The sound and touch of a piano are highly subjective, and what may be pleasing to one person may not be to another. 

Make sure you are satisfied with the piano's sound and touch before purchasing.


Purchasing a pre-owned piano can be a wise investment if you take the time to research different brands, have the piano inspected by a professional technician, and consider factors such as age and overall condition. By avoiding common mistakes and focusing on the quality of the instrument, you can find a pre-owned piano that will provide you with many years of enjoyment and musical growth.

At RKassman, our mission is to assist you in discovering the ideal, reasonably-priced piano in Berkeley that aligns with your requirements and tastes. Our extensive selection of digital, upright, and pre-owned pianos from leading brands guarantees that you'll find an instrument fitting your budget and personal style. Explore our offerings!