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Piano Buyer's Guide - part 8

New v Second Hand


The market for used pianos is several times the size of the market for new ones. Let's look at the merits of each choice:

New Piano / Advantages

- Manufacturer's warranty

- Little chance of hidden defects

- Lower maintenance costs

- Easier to shop for

- Usually more local choices

- Longer piano life expectancy

- Greater peace of mind after purchasing

New Piano / Disadvantages

- Higher upfront cost

- Significant depreciation loss if resold within first few years

- Limited choice of attractive old styles and finishes

Second Hand Piano / Advantages

- Lower upfront cost

- Greater choice of attractive old styles and finishes

- Can be more fun and interesting to shop for (if you like shopping for old things)

- Restorer may detail instrument to an extent that rivals new piano

- Piano likely to be already significantly depreciated, resulting in little or no loss if resold

- Some excellent used young quality instruments available

Second hand Piano / Disadvantages

- No manufacturer's warranty (though there may be a dealer's or restorer's warranty)

- Greater chance of hidden defects (unless completely restored)

- Higher maintenance costs (unless completely restored)

- Shorter piano life expectancy (unless completely restored)

- Can be maddeningly difficult and confusing to shop for

- Need to pay technician to examine and appraise it

- Usually fewer local choices

- Possible need to size up restorer's ability to do a good job