Buying a piano directly from an owner is definitely a much more value-for-money option than getting one from a dealer’s store. However, the biggest downside is that your piano will have no warranty. So you have to make sure that the piano that you are getting is in good condition. This might sound difficult for a person who doesn’t know anything about piano, but it’s actually not difficult at all! Anyone can do it.
Although professionals have a whole checklist of detailed points to tick, you only need to follow some important points to make sure you get a decent piano.
1. Check keys and inside of the piano for any visible mold.
Mold is a fungus that will grow in humid conditions. It is dirty green in colour. If there are a few small spots of green located in the piano, it’s generally fine, although not that visually pleasing. But if you open up the piano and see all the wood and hammerheads to be infested with mold, it’s going to have an adverse effect on the sound quality and might cause health problems in time to come.
2. Check consistency of key heights.
Make sure all the white keys are at the same level, not some jutting in or out. The same goes for the black keys. One good way to check this is to play all the notes once then check the level after that.
3. Check with owner if heater is always on.
You would want a piano that is always heated internally to keep all the moisture away. This is to prevent the growth of mold. If heater is always on and you still detect a lot of mold, it could either mean the humidity of the location is just too high or the owner is lying.
4. Check the pedals.
You should feel resistance when pressing down any of the pedals but at the same time they should feel smooth and quiet.
5. Check for serial number.
Ask the owner for the serial number and locate it on the piano. Most legitimate brands give each of their pianos a unique serial number and imprint it somewhere on the piano. These serial numbers tell the age of the piano.
With this knowledge equipped, you are ready to make your used piano purchase. If you are still unsure, you may bring along a professional technician for the piano assessment.
Want to also know why piano tuning is important? Click here to find out why.