Buying from a Piano Dealer

1. Secondhand Piano Dealers

There are several types of secondhand piano dealers.  Many piano dealers in Singapore are also certified piano technicians qualified to ascertain the condition of a piano.

Some dealers carry a wide range of pianos with varying quality to fit every budget.  Others carry only good Japanese makes that fetch better secondhand prices. Still others carry mostly older imported Japanese pianos or reconditioned instruments. Find a shop that suits your needs and budget.

Good secondhands which are quite new are not easy to find. So if you come across a good one that fits your budget, it is well worth considering.

Imported Secondhand Pianos

These are usually more than 10 years old, lightly to moderately used and come from cooler climates more suited to the instrument. As such, some of these can be in reasonably good condition.

Buying from a piano dealer, the instrument is often spruced up by cleaning, given any necessary minor servicing and touched up.

Imported instruments may cost a little more than others of similar age already available locally due to shipping costs and work done. However, this is still much cheaper than buying a new piano.

Climate issues

Instruments made for export to Singapore are often made to be durable in our weather. Long term effects of changes of climate are hard to tell. If buying a used piano made for another climate, make sure that there is a reasonable length of warranty to meet your needs.

Buying secondhand imports

If you would like to buy an imported instrument from Japan, it is good to buy from a dealer that offers warranty on parts and service. Change in climate can affect the piano adversely.  There are companies that offer up to five to ten years warranty.

Free tunings are usually part of the deal and this saves you the trouble of finding a tuner for the initial period.

Testing a Secondhand Piano

Playing a familiar piece is good to get acquainted.  After that, I would play on every key to make sure the action is all good and view the inner inside to make sure hammers are not overused and deeply etched.  Test the pedals to see if each is functioning correctly. 

Always negotiate a good warranty period - many dealers are offering long warranty periods up to ten years giving buyers a good peace of mind.

For more tips on buying secondhand pianos, click here.

2. Firsthand Shops

Newer secondhands may be occasionally found in firsthand shops like Yamaha and Kawai which resell instruments traded in by local buyers who are upgrading their pianos.

There are usually only a few units to choose from.  Again, a fairly new and well-maintained instrument of a good make is worth considering.

Usually, there is often a short warranty but a quality instrument of less than 5 years often does not give any trouble for at least another 10 years unless it has not been well-maintained by the first owner.

Free tunings may save you the trouble of finding a tuner for the initial period.

Buying from a Private Owner

You may buy a used piano or secondhand piano from a private owner or a dealer.

Newer, good secondhand pianos are very popular as they offer quality at a reasonable price. If you are at the right place at the right time, you may be lucky to buy a good secondhand from a firsthand buyer.

There is no warranty or free tunings but fairly new and well-maintained pianos of good make are virtually trouble-free for many years.

Request to view the piano to see if it meets your standards.  You may ascertain the purchase age and maintenance of the piano with piano receipts.  If all is in order, engage a qualified piano technician to check on the piano.  You will need to arrange for the transport of the piano if you agree on the deal.

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