15 Questions to Ask When Buying a New Piano

It can be exciting to buy a new piano for your household! If it’s your first time buying a piano or if you’re preparing to find the best piano for your needs, this list of questions to ask when buying a new piano can help!

1. What can you tell me about this brand of piano?

Is it known for quality or as a budget brand? What is the longevity of the brand? The best piano brands, like Yamaha, have stood the test of time. It’s usually better to stay away from obscure brands or brands renown for being of poor quality. Your salesperson should be able to give you the lowdown.

2. Are there comparable pianos of the same style/size at different price points?

If so, what differences in the pianos make the pricing different? Yamaha, for example, has their beautiful CX series, such as the popular Yamaha C2X grand piano. However, they also offer the GC series which which offer comparable pianos but with materials and labor sourced less expensively for an overall cheaper price, such as with the Yamaha GC2 grand piano.

3. Is there a price difference between different cabinet finishes?

If you’re flexible in the style of piano, it can be a good idea to ask about any price increase/decrease based on cabinet finish. Most piano models are less expensive in polished ebony than they are in polished mahogany or walnut.

4. Is there a warranty available for this piano?

Many new pianos (and sometimes used pianos) will have limited warranties. Note that these warranties are often only eligible when the piano is purchased from an authorized dealer.

5. What is the price difference if I go slightly up (or slightly down) in size? 

The general rule of thumb is that with material quality being equal, the bigger the soundboard, the better the sound of the piano. Knowing your options slightly up or slightly down in size can help you make the best piano buying decision for your budget.

6. Which are your most popular piano brands and why? 

Your piano store will likely have 5 or 6 pianos that tend to sell out more quickly than others. While this is not the only litmus test for the best pianos, it can help give you a starting point. Different piano buyers usually have priorities on a scale low-budget to high-quality. Decide where you are on that scale and ask which models tend to fit that range.

7. What is the best piano for my level of playing experience? 

Upper-intermediate and advanced piano players will have different sensitivities to touch and tone than someone who is a beginning piano player.

8. Do you have a trade-up program? 

Some piano stores will offer a trade-up piano so you can feel comfortable purchasing a “starter piano.” These programs often allow you to upgrade your piano as your playing skills grow.

9. How easy is it to maintain/repair this piano? 

A piano dealer will likely only offer piano brands that are well-known and which most technicians can service. However, if the brand isn’t familiar then you’ll want to make sure it won’t be impossible for your technician to find parts if needed.

10. Can you play a few different styles of songs for me?

If you already play the piano, then by all means, rock out all on your own! But if you don’t play the piano yet but want a good feel for the sound of the piano, ask your salesperson to play a few different styles of music for you. This will let you experience the piano’s tone in more than one style.

11. How do I care for this piano? 

Just like anything else of value, the better you care for something, the longer it will last. Understanding how to maintain your new piano (from polishing the finish to keeping it tuned) will help protect your purchase.

12. Am I getting a floor model or a new piano out of the box? 

Most piano stores take impeccable care of any piano on their showroom floor. They’ll likely tell you if you’ll be getting a new piano or a floor model, but if not, it may be worth asking so you know if the piano you’re getting is the exact same piano you’re playing in the showroom or if you’re going to get a brand new piano out-of-the-box.

13. Do you offer free delivery? 

The piano is a delicate instrument, so it’s important to make sure it is moved only by professionals. Professional piano movers know how to move your piano without damaging it (or your walls). After all, one cracked soundboard or bridge can mean the end of (or costly repair to) your beautiful new instrument.

14. Is a free tuning included with my purchase? 

After a piano is moved, and after it settles into a new setting, it will likely be out of tune because of the move and any temperature fluctuations or differences. Most piano stores will offer free tuning after your new piano is delivered.

15. Do you have any special pricing available at this time? 

Even if your piano store isn’t offering a piano blowout sale, there are often discounts or rebates available. Don’t be shy to ask if there are any special deals available or if there are any add-ons (like a piano polish kit) that they can throw in.