5 Tips for Pawning Antique Pianos

February 25, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles

What is black and white and dusty all over?

The antique piano taking up half the living room.

For people looking to make some extra cash, pawning or selling a musical instrument is a great place to start. Unlike modern instruments, however, antique pianos have a longer checklist to meet before their value can be determined.

We have five tips that will ensure any owner gets what they are worth.

1. Determine the Market Value

Knowing how much an old piano is worth on the market can be difficult for owners with sentimental value.

Calling antique shops or music and instrument professionals can help owners get a better understanding of what their piano’s market value is.

Once a high bid and low bid are determined it will be easier to understand how much a pawn shop will be willing to pay. Keep in mind, they will only spend 40-70 percent of what it is worth at it’s lowest bid.

2. Make Repairs

For owners who are able, replacing strings and keys, tuning, or other repairs will increase the value of a vintage piano.

Antique pianos will usually have keys made of ivory, which will turn yellow over time. You can have missing or broken ivory keys replaced by restoration professionals.

Pawn shops are buying a used piano with the expectation they will be able to sell it. Making those small repairs can be the difference between having a pawn accepted or turned down.

3. Paperwork for Antique Pianos

Having the original paperwork for an antique piano adds to its authenticity. Pawn shops and customers who are buying a used piano will be more likely to spend more if it is proven to be worth something.

For owners who do not have the original paperwork, check for a brand name or serial number inside the piano near the soundboard.

4. Include Accessories

What use is a piano with no bench?

When pawning or selling a piano it is best to include extras like the bench, tuning equipment, and so on. This will create more incentive for the buyer.

Pawn shops will see the set as a complete package and be willing to spend more for it.

5. Know How to Barter

Going into a pawn shop means preparing for the lowest bid and knowing how to barter for more. Before getting estimates from pawn shops, owners should know how low they are willing to go for their piano.

Using the market value price and acknowledging the usual percentage of what pawn shops are willing to pay can help owners gauge that dollar amount.

Pawning or Selling

Deciding whether to pawn or sell an antique piano is up to the owner.

When reaching out to a Pawn Shop ask about their different pawn loan options and how much they are willing to loan or buy for antique pianos.

If you’re interested in learning more about the pawning process or want to know what your options are, go to our FAQ page!

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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