How to Sell or Donate Your Piano

Are you moving or renovating your home and want your unused piano to go to a good home? Are you looking for some advice on how to sell it?

We pride ourselves on finding the best solution for you, even if that is to recommend you sell it yourself for a higher profit, work with a different store that specializes in your type of instrument, or coming up with a novel way for us to sell your piano for you. We pride ourselves on doing what’s best for you and your piano.

To keep things simple and safe, on any piano that we purchase or accept as a donation, we do pay for professional movers to pick up the piano.

 

Before Contacting Us…

Moving is not as expensive as you may have thought. A piano-only interstate move typically runs about $1,000, but if it’s professionally packed onto a moving truck with the rest of your stuff, it can be significantly less. A local move will typically be around $200 to $400. Don’t give up something you love simply because moving it seems intimidating!

Make Sure your friends or neighbors aren’t interested in the piano, and that your family won’t be offended if we take in your piano. Is anyone else interested in giving piano one last try, especially if they try some of the free resources on our website? Once we start working with you on your instrument, we’d like to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

Step 1 – Email Us

 We won’t make you fill out a long, complicated form – an email to brendan@familypianoco.com will suffice.
Try your best and we’ll follow up with any questions we have. 

BRAND – generally located on the wood above the keys.

SIZE – To the closest inch. The only important variable is the height in upright pianos (from the top of the lid to the floor), and length of grands (from rounded end, up to and including keys.) 

HISTORY – When was it last tuned? Do you remember the tuner’s name? How long have you owned it? Do you know how many other owners? 

PICTURES – simple cell phone shots are FINE. We’re looking for a couple photos of the outside of the piano (including back of an upright or underside of a grand, if possible), and a few of the inside. Please send photos of any damage you notice, because we will CERTAINLY notice when it comes in.

SERIAL NUMBER is a 5-7 digit number that will tell us the year of manufacture and is extremely important. (See the accompanying video – How to Find the Serial Number of Your Piano). If you can’t tell if a particular digit is a 1 or 7, for example, please note that.

MODEL NUMBER will typically look like G157 or U121, but may be “M” or “L” for other pianos – usually near the tuning pins.

YOUR CONTACT INFO – your name, email, phone number(s), what town the piano is in currently, etc.

WHAT YOU ARE EXPECTING – If there is a specific amount you’re looking for, communicating that upfront speeds up the process. Is consignment an option? Are you trading in this piano? Is donation an option? Does this piano need to be moved out quickly?

Please Note

We cannot always make an offer to purchase a piano, or even accept a particular one for donation, based on fluctuating market demand, inventory levels, and available space – however, we try to come up with a win-win scenario.

If we cannot make an offer, we will help you the best we can, often by sending you a long list of all the resources we know for finding your piano a good home, along with some adviced based on the email you sent us.

We are NOT a tax-deductable organization. If you’d prefer to work with one, we can put you in touch with such an organization (but often times, you need to pay the pick-up fees, just so you know).

We are not currently purchasing or accepting digital pianos right now. The changes in technology, customer expectations, and the requirements of fully learning any instrument we sell make this difficult proposition.

Step 2 – Discussion

We work hard to quickly put together an offer that’s fair to you
and works within our inventory strategy. We call and discuss this with you.

Advantages of a Direct Sale

  • Typically for lower-valued instruments, especially for most used uprights.
  • We typically pay with a check or a direct PayPal deposit into your account before pick-up.
  • Very quick, simple process

Advantages of Consignment

  • Typically the only option for higher-end instruments, esp. grands.
  • Can be 3-9+ months before piano is sold and you’re paid – depending on consumer tastes.
  • Often times, you net more for your wait.

Once we iron out a win-win arrangement over the phone, we’ll put together a sales or consignment agreement for your signature, usually via email or physical mail.
We will also make any arrangements for payment, as appropriate.

The Best Reviewed Piano Store in Chicagoland

Our valued clients have given us the most 5-Star Reviews of any piano retailer in the greater Chicagoland area.

Step 3 – Pick Up the Piano

We pay Kevin’s Piano Moving to safely and professionally pick up your piano

Kevin’s Piano Moving is out of Antioch IL. They have two trucks and a well-trained team that travels all over the Kenosha County, Lake County, and Cook County area, sometimes beyond. Ultimately, because they’re a separate company, they will be the ones to schedule the move directly with you; we have no control over their calendar. They can usually schedule pick-up within 7 moving days, often less, depending on how many other moves they need to accomodate. They usually do Monday through Friday and usually offer a 2 hour moving window – for example, Tuesday morning, from 9 am to 11 am. The piano is then promptly delivered to our showroom, so we can start working on it.

Once The Piano Gets Here…

What our refurbishing process looks like.

We Make It Look It’s Best

Clean & Repair The Case

Overseen by our shop manager Julie Dodds, one of the best case touch-up experts in the Midwest, we make sure our pianos are not only clean inside & out, but look the best they can be.

  • Dissemble piano as much as possible
  • Blow out all the dust, wipe down all the parts
  • Vacuum under the keys and in the action.
  • Polish metal pedals, knobs, hinges, etc.
  • Buff out minor scratches and case imperfections
  • Repair any and all chips, especially at corners.
  • Color-match any necessary fills for signficant scratches.
  • Inspect for any remaining possible flaws to fix.

We Make It Feel It’s Best

Regulate the Mechanical Action

Adjusting the mechanical action for all 88 keys improves the feel of the piano. Students have more control for playing softly and loudly, so they can develop proper technique. We have a roughly 30-point checklist for each piano. A few highlights:

  • Tighten up screws throughout the action.
  • Level the key height & dip (how far down it goes)
  • Lubricate pivet points for reduced friction
  • Shape the hammers by gentling sanding away worn-in grooves
  • Fine-tuning the timing of dampers
  • Standardize distance of hammers from strings
  • Adjust backchecking, lost motion, let-off & other subtle mechanisms.

We Make It Sound It’s Best

Tune the Piano Multiple Times

There are over 200 strings on each piano for us to tune. Our expert tuners use the best of their ears and tuning software to efficiently give our customers a quality tuning that will last.

Every Piano Tuned – We work hard to have every piano in stock tuned & regulated, so that when you try out different pianos, you really know if you’re going to like it or not.

Final Inspection – Once you pick out your piano, we do a final tuning and inspection right before delivery, so you can enjoy your piano from Day 1.

Free Tuning – With every piano, you get a credit for a free tuning from us. When you’re ready, we’ll send one of our expert tuners to your home to make sure your piano is sounding and playing it’s best.