Digital Piano Buyers Guide: Tips on Purchasing a Used Digital Piano

This digital piano buyers guide is useful for anyone searching on purchasing a used digital piano.  For those who are looking on purchasing a used piano, whether is be digital or acoustic, it is very important to test out the piano before buying it.  Many people these days make the mistake of putting in an offer at an online auction or through Craigslist before seeing or testing out the piano live.

Unfortunately with online selling, there are pros and cons.  The pros are that many times you will find a quality used digital piano at a very reasonable price, the cons is that you may get duped if you aren’t careful.   I broke this article into two parts which are scouting the pianos and viewing the pianos.

Scouting the Pianos

Get the Model and Serial Number:   One thing you should do before inquiring about any online digital pianos is to get the model, serial # and year of the instrument.  If one doesn’t know these they are very easy to find by searching on the piano.  Many times someone will inherit a digital piano and not know anything about it.   If they cannot give a specific model, which are usually marked somewhere on the unit, I would at least ask the brand and get the approximate age from the seller.

Double Check Prices Online:  One thing I like to do before even taking a step further is looking up the product online.  By either using a piano blue book of some kind or checking a similar model through eBay or Amazon you can find an approximate price for the piano.  I have attached a button above that will take you right to the used digital pianos section to cross reference if you need.

Print out Pricing: One thing I like to stick in my pocket before going to see or purchase a piano is a print out of the price of a similar model online.  Customers asking for a certain price will almost always come down somewhat.  If you have someone that is asking an outrageous amount for a used digital piano that you really love, I would bring some evidence to back up my pricing.

Viewing the Pianos

Viewing the Items: Craigslist can be tricky sometimes as you never truly know what you are getting yourself into.  A nice voice over the phone may not be so nice once you get there.  ALWAYS take another person with you when viewing a piano or anything else from Craigslist live.   If possible try to take someone that has some knowledge of digital pianos and let them know your strategy so they can remind you of anything that you may have forgotten from this digital piano buyers guide.

Play the Piano: One thing that many people often do is see a pretty piano and buy off of impulse.  While most people on online sites are legit, some are getting rid of something because it doesn’t work properly.  I would inspect the interior of the piano and sit down and try out every key and setting.   Also, always check the sustain pedal as these seem to be one of the most common things that buyers overlook when looking at a used digital piano.

Make an Offer:  I always make a much lower offer then what I am willing to pay for something.   It is always nice to get a feel for your seller as to how much they want to get rid of this product.   If they are moving or need money real bad, you may be able to get your piano for a great price.  If it looks like they are just “spring cleaning” and have money to spare, your negotiations may not go as planned.   If the piano is in real good condition and you want to purchase it I would knock about 20% off of asking price and be willing to go up to the price asked depending on what similar models sold for.   For instance if I could get a Korg Stage Piano that in good condition goes for $1,000 I would offer $800 and hopefully come to terms somewhere between those two prices.  Only bring out your pricing that you have printed out if the seller is way off on prices.

Walk Away if Necessary:  One problem that many buyers make is that they fall in love with a product and overspend.   One strategy I use that works a good portion of the time is to put in my 20% offer and stay firm.  If the seller balks at that I will give them my name and phone number and let them know that if they can’t sell it I am interested.  More then 50% of the time you will get a call in the next couple days after that with the seller giving in to your offer, especially if they are in the need for money.

Overall I think that this digital piano buyers guide is a good reference for anyone looking to buy a used digital piano.  While this isn’t a “set in stone” strategy, I feel that this it is good for anyone looking to buy a higher priced instrument online to use these tips.