When it comes time to sell your piano, whether you're trading it in on a new one or selling it outright, there are several things you can do to simplify the process and maximize the piano's worth. Here are some tips:
The easiest way to sell a piano is through an acquaintance. Let your friends know that your piano is for sale. Many instruments change hands quickly this way, with no advertising necessary.
Another possibility is selling it to a piano store. If you're planning to buy a new piano, it's common to trade in your old instrument. But retailers also buy pianos outright or will sell yours for a consignment fee (usually around 35%).
This saves you the trouble of advertising and showing it to prospective buyers. However, a store can only pay you a wholesale price, since they must pay to pick the piano up, do any necessary repairs, provide service and delivery to the new owner, and still come out with a profit.
If you have the time, energy and skill, you can often get the best price selling a piano yourself. The most common way is through a classified newspaper ad. Word your ad simply, including the brand name, piano type (spinet, console, studio, full sized upright, or grand), age and condition. For grand pianos, specify the length in feet and inches, measured from the cabinet's front edge (below the players wrists) to the lid overhang at the back of the curved case.
To best determine a fair selling price, hire a professional piano technician for an appraisal. This will give you the most accurate idea of its worth, saving you time and money. If your piano has been recently serviced, an accurate appraisal might be possible over the phone for a lesser fee.
Have the piano tuned. An in-tune piano sounds better, which means it can be sold more quickly and for a higher price. Don't worry that it may need tuning again after it's bought and moved.
Take care of minor problems. Piano shoppers are usually wary of instruments with sticking keys, buzzes, or pedals that don't work. Such problems are usually minor and easily corrected, so the repair cost will be money well spent.
Improve your piano's appearance as much as possible. Cleaning the keys and cabinet can greatly increase the eye appeal of a used piano.