We all love our pianos, but sometimes, you may need to sell your beloved instrument. And if that’s the case, and you happen to own an impressive Wurlitzer, it becomes imperative to understand your Wurlitzer piano’s value?
But how do you do that, exactly? Well, learning how to answer some key questions about the piano will help properly estimate the value of the instrument and ensure you get a fair deal.
So here’s how you can decide whether it is worth it to buy or sell one of these beautiful instruments.
Do Wurlitzer Pianos Depreciate?
As with any investment, there are things to consider when determining the value of a Wurlitzer. A piano depreciates as soon as you purchase one and bring it home. The market assumes that used pianos have been played regularly, which deteriorates their components and lowers their value.
There are a few rare occasions where a piano may depreciate less than expected, usually due to lack of use, condition, or the rarity of the piano in question. Also, grand pianos tend to depreciate less quickly than uprights, simply due to their quality and desirability.
What Style of Wurlitzer Is It?
This brings us to our next question. What style of Wurlitzer are you appraising?
Generally, acoustic pianos are produced for everyday people to be able to purchase and use in their homes. They tend to have a lower price point and don’t have the quality or performance capabilities of a studio model or grand piano. The style of your Wurlitzer will have a lot to do with determining its value.
What Type of Piano Do You Have?
There are three main types of pianos: spinets, uprights, and grands.
Spinets are the smallest type, usually around 36-39 inches tall, and will be worth the least money. Uprights include consoles and studio styles.
Consoles will be a little larger, averaging 40-44 inches in height. Studio styles are the tallest variety and more suited to professional players.
Grand pianos have a horizontal design, are made of higher quality materials, and will bring the highest value.
How Old is the Wurlitzer?
Now that you have determined the type of Wurlitzer, you also need to consider the age.
If you are unsure of the origins of your piano, try to look around for the serial number. It may be located inside the piano. There are numerous online resources designed to help you use the serial number to determine the age of a particular piano.
For example, total-piano-care.com has a handy guide to help you estimate the age of your Wurlitzer based on the serial number. But keep in mind that older does not always translate to a higher value.
Gather the Details
If you are thinking about buying a Wurlitzer, ask the seller what they know about it. The information they provide will help you estimate its value.
Has it had more than one owner?
Has the piano ever been moved? Moving a piano can increase the wear on its delicate internal mechanisms.
Has it been tuned lately, or ever? If it is in desperate need of tuning and you intend to play it, consider that you will have to pay for this service. A piano that has not been tuned in a long time will need more than one service to bring it into perfect pitch. It may also cause the strings to break.
What is the Condition of the Wurlitzer?
There are other things to consider when assessing the value of a Wurlitzer piano, such as a need to evaluate the piano’s condition, including any cosmetic problems with the finish.
Does it have noticeable wear and tear? Are the legs in decent shape? Does it have a bench that is in good repair and matches the piano? Are the keys in good repair and all present?
These are all important questions, and will certainly play into the amount of money you can expect to get back on your original piano investment.
How Good is the Sound Quality?
You also need to assess the sound quality. If you have access to the piano, you can of course look inside the instrument. Visually inspect the internal workings to look for damaged, missing, or repaired components.
If you notice signs of repaired or replaced parts, it could mean that more are in danger of failing soon. Remember that the more someone plays the piano, the more worn out the components will become.
Servicing or replacing these parts can be costly.
Do I Need a Professional Appraisal?
If you are looking to get the best idea of the value of a rare or grand style Wurlitzer, it may be helpful to get an appraisal. A piano appraiser can come to your home and give you an educated estimate of the value of your piano.
A quick internet search will provide you with a list of appraisers (and dealers) near your area. If you are dealing with a grand Wurlitzer or looking to certify a piano you already own for insurance purposes, an appraisal could be worth your time and money.
However, if it’s a smaller upright with a probable lesser value, it may not be worth it for you to spend the money on an in-person appraisal. There are online resources that will provide a more informal appraisal.
Check out Piano Appraisals, LLC online to get an opinion based on the information you provide about your piano.
How Can I Compare My Wurlitzer to Others?
You also might want to look around online for similar Wurlitzer pianos for sale or check out websites like Heritage Auctions to see what comparable items have sold for recently. Private sellers may list their items on eBay or a similar online marketplace.
There are also local marketplaces or online forums for buyers and sellers in your neighborhood you can investigate.
Also, consider if the seller is willing to deliver the piano to the buyer or expects them to pick it up themselves. Compare several different resources to see if the value you expect from your Wurlitzer matches the market.
What is the Average Worth of a Wurlitzer?
Overall, if you are looking to figure out a Wurlitzer piano’s value, consider the things listed in this article before deciding on buying or selling. The style, the condition, and the rarity of the piano will all affect its value.
The market in your area can also have an influence. Here’s how it breaks down on average:
- Smaller spinet style Wurlitzers go for around $500-$600.
- Upright pianos and consoles will bring more and average between $1000-$1500.
- Grand pianos will be worth the most money, usually between $1500 and $2500 or even higher.
- Restored or refinished grands can sell for upwards of $5000 to $10,000.
Why Are You Buying a Wurlitzer?
If you are considering buying a Wurlitzer, ask yourself why.
Are you a collector who wants to purchase one for its vintage quality? Or are you an average buyer who wants a decent, playable piano for your home?
If so, a smaller spinet or console could be a practical investment to suit your needs. Remember that to consider the overall condition of the piano if you plan to play it regularly.
Who Are You Selling It To?
If you are selling a Wurlitzer, think about the potential buyer. Is this person looking to become a professional concert pianist or a student expecting to practice every day?
If their intention is buying for professional playing, they might be better off investing in a newer model with more advanced features to get more bang for their buck. Be sure to be upfront and honest about the potential value and the condition of the Wurlitzer you are selling.
Is a Wurlitzer Piano Worth It?
Now that you know how to assess a Wurlitzer pianos’ value, you can make an estimated guess on yours. Finding the right buyer, such as a collector, can result in your sale of a vintage Wurlitzer allows you to make most, if not all of your money back.
If you are considering purchasing a Wurlitzer, and want to know if you are getting a good deal for your money, consider all the factors that can affect the value before deciding.
Frequently Asked Questions