This can be an exciting process but also a sad one, because too often people discover their piano holds far more sentimental value than actual.

Many times people realize their piano is only worth $100-200 dollars, which sounds like an easy sell, but it’s not always. Keep in mind, the buyer is going to need move and tune your piano after buying it, so there’s an automatic $300-400 cost they will have to spend on top of the purchase, making it too costly after factoring in the purchase price, even if you’re giving it away!

This is why many people post online “FREE PIANO, you just do the move.”

Here’s the main reason your piano may have no value

  1. Make and Model
    1. Just like cars, pianos have different makes and models and were built with a certain heritage and quality. Some are beautiful tanks with sold parts delivered straight from the manufacturer. Others are mass produced versions designed for retailers. Doesn’t mean their bad, but for the original price point to be affordable for the consumer, means parts had to be cheaper, and usually those pianos don’t hold up as well, and don’t resell well.
  2. Length since last tune
    1. Pianos should be tuned every year. This keeps the strings stretching and staying vibrant as well as the tuning pegs being tightened securely in the pin block. When too much time lapses between tunes, the strings can lose their ring and the pegs can loose their hold in the pin block making the piano unpleasant to listen to and unable to hold a tune.
  3. Environment
    1. This is a huge one. Pianos are made of wood which swells and shrinks season to season. In order for the wood to work well with all it’s metal parts, it has to remain in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, possibly near a humidifier from time to time. Some pianos have humidifiers built into them. This keeps the wood at the proper softness so it doesn’t dry out and crack. Once the wood starts to crack, the sound board goes bad, the pin block needs to be replaced, and you’re looking at several thousand dollars of repair. Unless your piano is worth $5-10-20,000 on up, or has incredible sentimental value, it’s not worth the $2500-5000 price tag to repair. This is very sad for everyone because a busted soundboard or pin block or a piano that cannot be tuned, is just a heavy piece of worthless furniture.
  4. How often is it played?
    1. This matters too. Many people call telling us that their piano is rarely played, thinking it’s a good thing. It’s not. Pianos have thousands of moving parts and they need to be used and moved time to time to keep them flowing, and sprinting freely. When they’re not played, parts get tight and stiff and hours of maintenance and time is needed to get it playing smoothly again.
  5. Sticking Piano Keys
    1. This can be due to climate, lack of being played or just a penny. You really don’t know until you take the piano apart. But sticking keys majorly devalue the piano because the purchaser has to hire Herrema & Sons (hurray) Piano Co. to take it apart and fix it. This is something we factor in when considering our Free Removal Service or possibly purchasing it from you. Often times the time it takes to move it, tune it and fix keys doesn’t off set the minimal purchase price for the consumer of us, which is why we’ll come remove it for free in that case.
  6. Cabinet body
    1. Some minor chips and wear and tear is normal on old pianos, but remember, it’s still a piece of furniture you have to look at every day, and a scratched, worn, chipped, faded finish is unpleasant to look at and needs to be touched up. We can spend several hours to a couple days sanding, staining and repairing cabinet bodies in order to sell them again in our showroom. If your piano body is unappealing, most online shoppers won’t want to bring it into their home and don’t have the time or knowledge to refinish it. We can refinish and repair but it takes time, and once again, if your piano needs body work, we generally cannot offer you money for it, or a free removal.

What do I do if my piano isn’t worth selling?

You could post it online, but we don’t recommend it

You’ll often see this add “Free Piano, you just do the move.” You’re totally welcome to do this, but from our history and others we can tell you it can be a headache and waste of time. You’ll go through a lot of calls, spam and missed appointments. Don’t go the Craigslist route. Save time and just call Herrema & Sons Piano.


If you’re piano isn’t worth anything, you don’t want it or need it, we don’t want it, and you can’t find a home for it, we can still help! Believe it or not, we remove pianos almost daily, as so many of the thousands and millions of pianos made throughout the last hundred years have lived their life and are not worth restoring or spending the money to move and tune. So many customers get stuck with these giant, heavy items in their house, and need help getting them out. AND WE DO THAT! We offer piano removal for West Michigan customers. Most Spinets and Uprights cost $99-199 to remove, while grands run $200-300 on average.

**Keep in mind, we only offer this service if the piano is in the Greater Grand Rapids area, on the main floor, and less than 5 stair-steps at the entrance. We don’t take pianos out of basements, unless there’s a walkout entrance**