High-quality pianos can come with notable price tags, so many in the market want to ensure that this large purchase is an investment that will hold its value. With proper care, a piano will depreciate only slightly; in some cases, notable brands have even appreciated over time.
Acoustic pianos from quality brands (think Yamaha, Steinway & Sons, Bechstein, and Bösendorfer, among others) hold their value best. Digital pianos are subject to more quickly diminishing values because of constant technological advancements. New models are released regularly, and the digital components wear out a little bit more quickly than their acoustic counterparts.
How long do pianos hold their value?
Just like driving a car off the lot, a piano loses a fair portion of its value within the first year. A piano will lose about 20% of its value in the first year and is then followed by a somewhat steady decline of about 2-5% annually. In comparison to cars again, a piano holds its value significantly better: a car loses about 15-20% of its value annually. In five years, a car will only hold about 40% of its original value; a piano takes 20 years to reach that same milestone.
In some cases, a piano will hold its value so well that it seems to even appreciate in value. This is usually due to inflation, but few other investments can promise such a steady hand.
Here are some things to look for to ensure a sturdy investment:
Choose a soundboard that is made from solid wood rather than foam board or composite materials. The soundboard determines the tone and resonance of the piano, so high-quality materials are requisite.
There is a multitude of different finishes available, but your piano’s value will hold better with a more timeless finish like polished ebony. Classic and enduring, the elegance of polished ebony holds its value well
How do I maintain my piano’s resale value?
After choosing a high-quality piano, regular maintenance is required to ensure that the quality of your piano stays intact. Things like regular tunings and cleanings are mandatory to maintaining the value of your piano.
Yamaha maintenance guidelines suggest annual tunings, but a piano’s strings stretch a lot during its first year, so they recommend two tunings within that time frame. A piano’s tuning refers to three technical maintenance tasks: regulation, tuning, and voicing.
Regulation helps ensure keys are adjusted and leveled and the touch is appropriately responsive. Tuning corrects the pitch of each note and voicing helps balance volume and tone by adjusting the hardness of the hammer felts. All in all, this process ensures the piano stays in tip-top shape for musicians for years to come.
Temperature Controlled Storage
Keeping your piano in a regulated environment is important. Fluctuating temperatures can swell wood and eventually lead to warping. This will also cause the piano to go out of tune faster and potentially permanently damage its musical capabilities and overall appearance.
Avoid direct sunlight as UV rays will fade the piano’s finish.
Daily care and gentle use are also required to maintain a piano’s value. Protect the piano from scratches or stains, dust regularly, and keep keys clean. Sticky hands or not-so-gentle fingers pounding keys can cause them to stick and compromise their playability.
A piano is a worthwhile investment for any home. With proper care and attention, a piano can hold its resale value perfectly well–and can last for generations. More importantly, the joy of making music is immeasurable.