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Piano Toolkit - 6 Free PDFs

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Are you trying to sell your Steinway piano? 

Look no further, we’ve put together a checklist of all the things you need to do to successfully transition your piano to a new owner.

From seller options to common online scams, this article will prepare you to handle all of the ins and outs of selling a piano online. Let’s get started!

1. Understand what you have

The first step in understanding your piano is to identify the model and serial number.

finding a Steinway piano serial number

Slide out the music desk, and you’ll see this triangle (in the photograph above) with the serial number (Some older Steinways have it engraved elsewhere).
With the serial number, you can determine the year via this free Steinway Piano Serial Number Lookup

The condition of your Steinway and its “year” tend to have the most significant impact on its worth. 

Remember that Steinway is a luxury piano brand. Like a luxury car brand, Steinway’s marketing tactics determine the product's value.

Recently, Steinway ran a smear campaign against older models, calling them “Steinwas” – thus, the value of older Steinways has decreased. Something to keep in mind!


2. Fully document your piano and decide where to sell it

Do you want to sell your Steinway directly to a client on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, or Craigslist? Or would you prefer to sell to a used Steinway dealer?

Here are a few options for where to sell your Steinway piano:

Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist

Pro: you may get a bit more money ultimately for the piano

Con: you may pay extra for the price of tuning, touchups, piano delivery, handling the aforementioned logistic (pro-tip, your time is money! )

Steinway piano reseller

Pro: you will not need to pay for or manage the tuning, touchups, or delivery costs and negotiations

Con: you might get slightly less for your Steinway, as you are not a store with warranty guarantees 

Regardless of your choice, you need to take photos of your piano so your buyers know what to expect. Here are a few tips for a successful Steinway “photoshoot”:

  • Make sure they are clear. Use different angles, like the front and sides. Add a photo of the soundboard and strings, and the serial number/model.
  • Don’t send or post too many photos, and no zip files.
  • Are the photos distraction-free? Everyone loves pets, sculptures, and plants, but it’s important to prioritize the visibility of the piano.

Lastly, be sure to provide clear and honest information to the buyer. 

If there’s some wear and tear, or a missing string, say so. Most Steinway piano resellers are used to fixing these issues.

3. Money matters

You’ve done the leg work. You finally get the offer. What next? 

First, verify the offer is from a legitimate buyer. The internet is full of scammers, so looking out for common scams will help save you a ton of headaches and hassles. 

One common scam – the buyer will offer to send you a cashier’s check with too much money. They’ll say it’s so you can give some money back to the movers. But, by the time the check has been sent and you attempt this, you realize the check is fake. Look out for this one!

Here are some more red flags:

  • The buyer is not willing to have a conversation with you over the phone. Always double-check the buyer’s identity with social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, their business website, etc).
  • The buyer is not on iMessage, because it could be a Google Voice scam…
  • Trust your gut. Feel suspicious about the interactions? Verify their identity more!

Feeling good about the deal? Accept the offer or bargain.

So you’ve successfully verified the buyer’s reputation? Decide if you want to take their offer.

If you feel your Steinway is worth more, negotiate. You can even go to multiple buyers. If they’re all reputable, you’ll likely be offered similar amounts. 

Lastly, be wary if one seller is offering you significantly more than multiple others – it could be too good to be true!

4. Coffee is for closers

Congratulations! You’ve sold your Steinway. Enjoy the check headed your way, and treat yourself to a nice cup of coffee. You’ve earned it!

If you’re looking to buy a Steinway rather than sell one, click here to check out our post on how to buy a Steinway piano.

And of course if this post helped you in any way, let us know!

Shoot us a DM on Instagram at @tonebasepiano, we’d love to hear your thoughts :)

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Happy playing!

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