Do Pianos Depreciate In Value? Statistical Analysis Included

Picture Of Grand Piano

Buying a piano is an exciting feeling as you are not only purchasing a musical instrument but also, potentially a staple for your home. Today we’re going to analyze whether or not pianos depreciate once you purchase them & also provide some percentages.

In short, yes, pianos do depreciate over time, how much they depreciate is determined by brand/demand for it, the overall piano market, and the condition.

Note: There are rare cases in which your piano can actually appreciate over time, and we will get to that later in the article.

One of the main reasons I wanted to write this article is to educate buyers on what they can expect if they’re buying a used piano or if they’re buying a new piano.

What Makes Pianos Depreciate?

Here is a quick video that breaks down depreciation from an accounting perspective.

If you’re curious as to why your piano depreciates, it’s very similar to buying a car off a dealer lot. Piano dealers, just like car dealers, need to turn a profit.

Everyone knows that as soon as they drive the car off the lot, it’s going to depreciate. This is very similar with pianos. With this being said, you can still resell your piano to a buyer for a similar price if it was taken care of.

Here is a list of factors that will cause your piano to depreciate. I’ve labeled it with numbers to mark the importance of each.

  1. Brand/model of piano
  2. Overall condition
  3. Overall market
  4. Age

*Selling a piano to a dealer is never going to amount to anything close to what you paid, it’s more of a convenience thing as they will come and pick it up for free and perform the necessary maintenance.

Now that we have an idea for why pianos depreciate over time, let’s take a look at just how much below.

Note: Used pianos depreciate much faster than newer pianos. This is typically because they are usually in much worse condition.

How Much Do Pianos Depreciate?

This table below shows how much the piano is worth from its original price on average. These are approximations that assume certain wear & tear over time.

1 Year2 Years3 Years5 Years10 Years15 Years20 Years
Piano Depreciation Guide

Pianos typically depreciate to 78% of their value in the first year alone. After this, you can see it slowly continues to decline for 20 years, reaching its final number of 40% of its original value.

As you can see, after the first couple of years, pianos will depreciate by about 5% per year.

Remember, the more wear & tear on your piano, the more it depreciates. With this being said, there are some things you can do to slow the depreciation.

Because pianos are often very heavy, used pianos are sometimes given away for free. If you’re someone looking for a used upright piano, be sure to check Facebook marketplace and other avenues.

Another thing to remember is that a piano that has depreciated to $1,000 in value, is usually not going to sell for that. This is because there will most likely need to be tuning and inspection to ensure none of the hammers or strings are damaged.

Moving pianos is also not cheap and it usually drives the price down.

Which Pianos Depreciate The Most?

Upright piano

Like most things, more expensive pianos typically do not depreciate as fast as cheaper ones. On average, upright pianos will depreciate the most in value.

I was actually given a Story & Clark upright piano for free years ago & in all honesty, it worked great. So why did I get it for free? Well, it was over 30 years old, weighed over 800 pounds, & it needed a tuning.

Older upright pianos are often worth little to nothing and people who are moving, usually will look to just give them away if they’re no longer playing them.

Which Pianos Hold Value The Most Or Appreciate?

Grand pianos typically hold value the most. This is mainly because they are so expensive that they are considered a valuable asset. Steinway pianos are generally the most expensive and they tend to hold their value the most.

Do Digital Pianos Depreciate?

Even the best digital pianos absolutely depreciate. This is mainly due to the fact that newer models come out which replace them with more features & usually improvements.

With this being said, this leaves an opening for buyers to search for used digital pianos. As long as the instrument isn’t damaged and it has been taken care of, this route can be very effective for buyers. You can save hundreds of dollars by buying something that is only a couple of years old.

Proper Maintenance

Pianos that are taken care of drastically hold value more than ones that are neglected. If you own a piano, you need to make sure you are tuning it as needed, preventing cats or other pets from damaging it, and keeping it in a good climate-controlled environment.

If you are taking good care of your piano & cleaning it, this will only benefit you in the long run. It will also look nicer, making your property look nicer as well.

Wrapping Up

I hope this guide helped you understand piano depreciation and answer all of your questions. If it didn’t, leave a comment below and I will get back to you with answers.

  1. Hi there! Your brief explanation about moving process and how it could influence the overall price of our piano is something I’ve never thought about. Nonetheless, I’m sure my next door neighbor would totally appreciate this information when she makes some further planning sooner or later. She’ll be donating the grand piano at her living room to a music conservatory downtown some time before Christmas.

  2. MODERN Pianos depreciate. Proper pianos go up in value.
    A pre WW1 Bechstein is worth more than a post war one. The sound is infinitely better
    Why ?
    Because during the was all the wood that was ‘lying around’ – maturing and drying and aging got used for lining trenches and as pit props in tunnels and mines.
    After the war there was no old wood left, so they had to start again and used much younger wood, which does not produce as good a sound.

    1. This is complete nonsense. A New C. Bechstein is a FAR better instrument than a pre WW1 instrument. They use Italian Red Spruce from the Val De Fiemme that is second to none. Also a new C Bechstein 228 sells for approx $100,000 and a 1912 Bechstein B might get you $15-20k. They do not appreciate.
      Get your facts straight instead of speaking an uninformed opinion based in speculative nonsense.

  3. “Which Pianos Hold Value The Most Or Appreciate?

    Grand pianos typically hold value the most. This is mainly because they are so expensive that they are considered a valuable asset. Steinway pianos are generally the most expensive and they tend to hold their value the most.”

    This is PARTLY true. Typically yes grands hold their value the best EXCEPT concert grands (9’) which actually traditionally are very challenging to sell. A Steinway D typically depreciates steeply and is often one of the best deals to be found in a premium instrument if the buyer has space for it.
    Also, Steinway’s DO have one of the best resale values, but that’s because of marketing and its association as a luxury brand. They are typically NOT considered the best instruments by professional pianists (and they are also not the most expensive pianos—Fazioli, Bosendorfer, C. Bechstein, and Steinhraeber and Sohne for instance are moderately to significantly more expensive). Steinways are the Rolex of pianos—definitely not the best but definitely the most recognized luxury brand.

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