If you’re looking to buy or sell a Baldwin piano, then there’s no doubt that you’ve likely wondered where the Baldwin upright piano value marketplace stood in terms of the estimated worth for these old school instruments. In this article, we’re going to examine this topic in depth, as we explore ways you can identify the worth of Baldwin pianos.
New Baldwin Upright Piano Cost
Before we dive into the used piano marketplace, let’s first dive into suggested retail prices for new Baldwin pianos. A brand-new upright Baldwin piano will run you between $10,000 – $14,000 dollars, depending on the finish and model. The frame of the piano is made of solid wood and, just like furniture, some woods are more expensive than others. You’ll see this reflected in the different model numbers too, with higher-end models featuring higher-end wood like rosewood and walnut, plus more expensive fit and finishings.
Not cheap, but definitely not as expensive as a grand piano, which could cost upwards of $75,000! Plus, most retailers can put you on a payment plan, so don’t expect to whip out your debit card and put $14,000 on it.
Another trick is trying to wait around for a lower price. You can’t really haggle for a new instrument in a music store, but if you want the best bang for your buck, you can wait around for a sale. Often times, music stores or other piano retailers will give seasonal discounts or promotional sales every once in a while. Check out their websites during Black Friday, Christmas, or Labor Day. It may be worth waiting a few months to knock off a couple thousand from the purchase price.
It will still be expensive, but just remember, pianos are made to last a lifetime and if you take care of your piano, it will. Purchasing a piano is an investment and, who knows, maybe something that you will pass on to your children and grandchildren.
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Used Baldwin Upright Piano Value
Just like a vehicle, pianos depreciate with age. And just like a vehicle, many people still choose to go with a used piano, especially if they are looking for a first instrument for themselves or a child.
Used pianos can be tricky to price, however.
It can be tempting to purchase a used instrument from an estate sale or an online website like Craig’s list or Ebay, but your safest bet for a used Baldwin is to check out your local music store.
A music store, especially one geared towards pianos, will have technicians on staff to test and repair their instruments, as well as give you an honest assessment of its worth. They will also be able to offer you some kind of warranty or maintenance plan for your peace of mind.
Still, the price range will run the gamut, depending on the age and condition of the piano. Here are a few prices to show you what I mean.
This is a used Baldwin piano offered by Alamo Music Center. It is a walnut upright with a price tag of $3,000. If you’d like to see video of a Baldwin Acrosonic Upright piano being played, check out the video below:
Here’s another Baldwin upright by Alamo. This one comes in a very attractive satin walnut finish, and comes with an asking price of $3,000.
Over at Jim Laabs Music Store, you can buy a Baldwin Hamilton Professional piano. It’s an ebony satin upright for $2,885. While these uprights so far have hovered around the $3,000 mark, Jim Laabs actually allows you to make an offer for this piano. So, the value of this instrument could conceivably be reduced if you haggle correctly.
Now over at Faust Harrison Pianos, they have a really attractive ebony upright by Baldwin available. They state that this instrument is from 1993, the tone is clear, and the touch is very responsive. For a Baldwin piano that appears to be in wonderful shape, the asking price is $4,590.
Let’s now head over to Stilwell Pianos, where they are offering up a Baldwin upright from the year 2000. With an oak satin finish, this Baldwin is selling for $2,490.
Now, these are of course just some quick examples of used Baldwin pianos up for sale. With that said, I think it’s pretty safe to say that a Baldwin upright piano is worth between $2,000 and $8,000, depending on when it’s made of and its age and condition.
But those don’t have to be set prices. While most music stores do not often haggle, you might be able to find a used piano at an auction or featuring a “best offer” option (as we brought up earlier). And while it is easier to find auctions and “best offers” on the internet or certain online auction sites, just know that these places may not have piano technicians on staff. So do be aware of that..
Again, there are plenty of times that a piano will go on sale if that price is still a little steep for you. So, if you are willing to wait and risk the chance of someone else snapping it up before you, you can bide your time until a sale.
If you find a used Baldwin that catches your eye somewhere other than a music store, feel free to make the owner an offer. That will go over much more easily than it would in a music store. Before you do, though, be sure to ask the following questions:
1) Was this piano maintained regularly? If not, there could be damage that could be potentially expensive to repair.
2) Who played it? If it was a professional musician or grown music student, you can be pretty certain it was taken care of. If it was a 7-year-old, you can be much less certain.
3) How many times has it been moved? Every time your piano is moved, there is risk of damage. More so if it was not maintained afterwards.
4) How old is it?
Once you have this info, your best bet is to look up a piano technician or tuner and see if you can offer a small fee for some of their insight. It could be worth it to come up with a fair price and save you from either overpaying or spending thousands of dollars for a piano you have to replace in a year or two.
So, how do you know what a piano is worth?
You can get an estimate from its brand and serial number, but there are certain things that affect a used piano’s value much more than brand or model number.
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What Can Change a Piano’s Value
So, what changes a piano’s value?
If you are looking for a good deal or perhaps looking to sell a piano of your own, there are many things that factor into a piano’s value, but the main things to start looking for are age and condition.
While pianos can last generations, they are made up of many, many moving parts and those moving parts need to have regular maintenance and be properly kept to keep them in great playing shape.
A piano that has been sitting in garage for fifteen years, or in a place where it was exposed to heat and humidity, will likely have many issues, no matter how good it looks on the outside. Strings can rust, felt hammers can deteriorate, wood can rot, and moving parts can break or get stuck. Just being a pianist is usually not enough to reliably assess damage to an instrument either.
A professional piano technician will be needed to see if the piano is damaged beyond repair, or just simply in need of some TLC. Just like you wouldn’t buy a lemon from a car lot, you do not want to purchase a piano in a state of disrepair.
Other less important factors that affect the price are brand name and model. A Baldwin, a Yamaha, or Steinway will automatically be worth more than a piano with no brand name or an obscure one. However, just how much more will again depend on the piano’s age and condition.
There are very old “golden age” Baldwins that can be worth quite a bit to the right collector. To have been kept in playing condition, though, they usually have had many of their parts replaced. A 100-year-old piano with all of its original parts will not sound nearly as nice and, though it might be valuable to a collector or have sentimental value — think Grandma’s old piano — it will not have much value to you as something to learn with.
If you absolutely want the charm of an older piano, just be aware that the older an instrument is, the more regular maintenance it will need. Look for one that has been well taken care of or restored.
With that said, if you’re also interested in a more modern Baldwin upright, check out the video below, which features a 1987 Baldwin being demo’d for your viewing pleasure:
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Using a Baldwin Upright Piano
Even after hearing all of the information on Baldwin pianos that yours truly could come up with, the final decision is, ultimately, down to your preferences and your budget.
I may be a little biased in my assessment since my first piano was an upright Baldwin, pictured below:
My Baldwin was about ten years old when I received it — I was its second owner — and it played beautifully. It has been through numerous tunings since then, two moves, and my own training. Despite all that, it still rings out just as crisp and true as it did the first day my parents brought it home. The pedals have never stopped working, the keys have never faded, and the wood’s finish, (except for the bench, which my younger self thought would be a good surface to iron on) still shines.
My parents purchased a quality instrument for me to learn on, though neither they nor I had any idea at the time. I have had my piano for almost thirty years and don’t plan to ever part with it. I love my Baldwin and if you are looking for an instrument to call your own, you can’t go wrong with Baldwin Piano Company.
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When examining the Baldwin upright piano value on the marketplace, it’s easy to see that there’s no set price for how much these pianos sell for. With that said, hopefully our dive into the estimated value of these instruments will help you make a better buying decision.
This article was written by Sara and edited by Michael.
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