In our modern world of “everything going digital, true piano players are becoming more scarce by the minute and that can make finding a piano both easy… and difficult. Easy because more and more people are giving up their passed down uprights and spindles to make more room in their homes and difficult because it can be hard to assess a piano properly simply going on looks alone. If you are looking into buying pianos online here are 4 pro tips that can ensure that you don’t get a lemon…

1. Ask to see pictures of the inside of the piano.

You have probably already seen how lovely the outside of the piano you are interested in is. The buyer put their best face forward. However, when a seller does not show the inside of the piano complete with hammers and strings… it can be a red flag. It can, however, also mean that the seller isn’t a pianist and does not know to show these things. If they are not shown – ask. You need to see the inside to know what needs assessing. If at all possible, see the piano in person. If not, this is the second best option.

2. Remember that you will have to tune the piano regardless.

If the seller advises you the piano is out of tune… if that is the only issue – ignore it. Anytime a piano is moved, it must be re-tuned. This is really a non-issue and you should not pass up a good deal simply because a piano is already out of tune. You will need to tune it anyway so you may as well jump on the gravy train if the piano looks worth it to you.

3. Ask someone to play it.

Ideally, you will test out your own piano. This will help you get a feel for what keys may stick (which requires a different kind of adjusting than tuning), and it will also tell you if you like the sound of the piano itself. For instance, the sound of an upright is very bassy. Meanwhile, the sound of a smaller piano is often very light and airy. There is no right or wrong here. If you cannot play it yourself, ask the seller if they mind playing if on a video for you. Most will be happy to oblige. If they don’t want to be filmed, ask them to simply take an audio recording.

4. Know a pianos worth.

If you are a beginner or are buying for a child, you are more likely to be swindled. Remember that uprights are usually the cheapest types of pianos on the market. This is because they are one of the very first models, are extremely bassy and hard to move. However, for rockabilly players, they shine brightest. It all depends on what you want, but a good example of a nice price if that most uprights only cost around 100 bucks unless they have a special design or are incredibly rare.

Buying pianos online can be challenging, but when you follow these four tips, you will come away with a piano that you will love… and play… for years to come.