Getting rid of grandma’s old piano is not as easy as you may think. If you were hoping to make thousands of dollars by selling your 100-year-old unwanted inheritance, think again. Only very few upright pianos are worth that much.
The best options for getting rid of an old piano are donating, repurposing, or selling it.
Pianos are not one of those things you can simply drive to the dump. It’s big and heavy. Various parts are not biodegradable and could actually be harmful to the environment.
That being said, there are dumpsites that will allow you to dispose of it, but at a charge. You can also pay for it to be removed and disposed of through several private companies.
As a piece of furniture, a piano has no value whatsoever. If it can’t be played, it is simply an elaborate doorstop at best. If the piano has a cracked soundboard, warped wood, or has not been played in decades, chances are it’s useless. So, what to do now?
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Donate Your Old Piano
Piano adoption (yes, it’s a thing), is one way to get rid of your piano. This would be an ideal option if you have an instrument in decent working order that just needs a good tuning. This way you get to make someone else happy, and your piano goes to a “better place”, without you spending any real money.
Of course, if you have a friend or family member in need of a new piano, you could simply donate it directly, but be honest and upfront about any damage to the instrument to avoid family feuds or a full-scale war against a friend.
Selling Your Piano
Certain brands of piano, such as Bechstein and Steinway & Sons, can often be quite valuable, provided they are in good condition. Unfortunately, there are literally thousands of generic instruments out there that may seem an antique to you because of their age, but that is really worth nothing.
Sell It Through a Piano Tuner or Expert
Contact local piano tuners or piano builders to have a look at the instrument and give you an estimated value. Be prepared that it could be significantly less than you hoped for. If the dealer or tuner likes the instrument, they will collect it, service and tune it, and resell it for a significantly higher price.
Sell It Yourself
Have a look at the local classifieds pages and get an idea of what pianos go for. Try and do some research on your piano brand and come up with a price. Advertise it on Craigslist or other sites and hope for the best. You may have to drop your price a bit in the end though.
Some people convert their old worthless pianos into fancy fountains, planters, or a very unique bird feeder. A very popular option is of course converting the piano into a bar.
If you are into DIY projects this could very well be the perfect solution for you. Have a look at this site to get some ideas on how to make an old piano a focal point in your garden. There are also several videos on YouTube to guide you on creating a very unique and eye-catching bar for your home.
Removal and Disposal
If none of the above options interested you, and you simply want to get rid of the old wooden elephant in the room, you still have a lot of options. There are several companies in the USA that collects and disposes of your piano.
This option will cost you though. Many factors are taken into account: weight, size and location are the main concerns. Flat rates can range anywhere from $80 to a whopping $2,000. Many companies charge an hourly rate per person involved in the removal. These rates are usually $7 (at the very bottom end) and up.
That means, if you have six guys removing your piano at an hourly per person rate of $10, and it takes them 3 hours to get it out, move it, and dispose of it, you will have spent $180. Remember, they will start charging from the minute they head out to your home until the entire process is completed.
Now you know what to do with your old piano only one thing remains: Always take your time and rethink the decision. Once it’s overflowing with flowers under the Fir tree, or it’s gone with the wind, there is no turning back.