Pianos can be expensive investments. And when you invest in something like a Lester piano, you certainly want it to maintain its value. But will that actually happen? What is a Lester piano really worth?
Well, that’s exactly what we aim to find out in this Lester piano value article, as we put this old school piano brand under the microscope to help you find out what your piano is likely worth (or what you can expect to pay for one, if you’re in the market for a new piano).
Lester Piano Value – What Is It Really Worth?
In their prime, Lester pianos were made to be lower-priced options for in-home pianos, so the value was a bit lower than other models at the time.
Although it will depend on the condition and the depreciation factor, an average value for a Lester piano today will probably range between $500 and $1000 on average, according to Lindeblad Piano Restoration. This price is based on unrestored models, however—restored models (those that have had significant work done on the body, exterior equipment, and interior equipment) can be worth up to a whopping $20,000.
Although the price above is an average, a more specific figure will depend on the particular product you have. Lester has several different pianos, so we’ll look at the average value of a Lester Betsy Ross Spinet, a Lester Baby Grand, a Lester Regent, and a Lester Grand Piano.
Although they were one of the more popular Lester products, spinets, in general, have a lower value than other pianos, so a Lester Betsy Ross Spinet will probably not be worth any more than $500. They may even hover nearer to $300, depending on the condition and age.
A Lester Baby Grand in good condition is going to be worth quite a bit more than a Spinet, and may be worth up to $2000-$3000 unrestored if the quality is high enough.
A Lester Regent will be closer in value to a Spinet, averaging at about $470 unrestored and in decent condition. It was made to be a more affordable piano of comparable quality, though, so it may go for more if the condition is good enough.
Finally, a Lester Upright Grand Piano can range from $500 to $2000, if the condition is good enough.
What Affects the Value of a Piano?
Before we can accurately determine any piano’s value, we need to figure out exactly what affects the value of a piano. Much like cars, the value of a piano depreciates over time, as general wear and tear and regular use take their toll on the equipment and insides of the instrument.
Now, this wear and tear is not as immediately noticeable on pianos as it is on cars. As soon as you drive a car off the lot, it’s going to instantly be worth less. But a piano can remain in good condition for quite a while before it starts to depreciate.
Frequent maintenance and tuning can mitigate any loss to the value, but it can only do so much before time catches up to it. Additionally, the current piano market and the brand can also affect depreciation.
Another big factor that will affect the worth of your piano is its condition. Think of it like buying a used car—a vehicle with a couple of scratches is going to be worth much more than a vehicle with a substantial dent in one of the side doors.
The same is true with pianos. If you have an instrument with a completely intact body that has a couple of scratches, perhaps some nicks in the wood, it’s going to retain most of its value.
Opposite that, if you have a keybed with several sticky piano keys or yellowing keys or outright broken keys, it’s going to be worth much less than other comparable instruments.
Finally, the age of a piano affects its value. In the above link, there’s a rough schedule for depreciation; after ten years, generally the piano will be worth about 55% of its original value.
On your piano, there should be a serial number that will help you determine its age. If you can’t find it after an inspection of the outside body, lift the top to check inside the rim and on the top of the internal equipment.
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Appraisal—Worth It or Not?
An appraisal is basically a situation in which a piano expert or virtuoso comes to inspect your piano to determine its value. Some experts will do it for free, and some will charge you for their time, depending on the services they offer. If you’re looking to sell or determine the value of a piano, it’s an optional step—but it might be helpful.
Personally, I would recommend having your piano appraised by a professional if:
- You don’t have much experience with pianos
- You cannot locate the serial number
- Your piano has a significant amount of damage (what may be cosmetic damage to you may be a dealbreaker for a potential buyer).
However, I would strongly recommend that if you choose to have your piano professionally appraised, you try to do your research first to ensure that your appraiser doesn’t try to lowball you, especially if they’re a potential buyer.
Appraisals are usually done in your own home (as in, you don’t have to transport the piano anywhere) and you can do it around your schedule. Find an appraiser in your area who has good reviews or has been in the business for several years, if you can.
Now, please don’t confuse an appraiser and a tuner if you’re new to the piano world. While an appraiser’s job is just to look at the current status of your piano and determine how much it may be worth with its current damage, the job of a tuner is to actively work on the inner equipment of a piano—to tune the strings and adjust hammers, if necessary.
If you’re selling a piano, I’d highly recommend having it tuned before potential buyers ask to hear it or inspect it themselves; it has a higher chance of selling.
Although Lester piano values depend on many factors, it’s not impossible to determine the worth of your specific piano. The company manufactured pianos for several decades before they finally shut down, and even now its pianos can be relied upon for quality and endurance—they’ve withstood the test of time!
Although value as a number is going to be subjective, there’s no doubt that you have a little bit of treasure in your house with one of these products.
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