I'm super excited that you’re shopping for your very own acoustic piano! You'll gain hours of enjoyment from your new or new-to-you instrument! Here is some information to consider before buying.
What do you have room for? There are grand (horizontal) and vertical pianos. Verticals are most common for home use, as they take up less space. There are 4 sizes of vertical pianos. Beginning with the shortest is the spinet, which also has the poorest quality of sound. Next is console, then studio,
and upright. I suggest console size for home use.
What can you afford? You don’t have to go with the cheapest or most expensive piano on the market; maybe something in the middle. Read reviews, then establish a realistic, doable budget.
New or used
Is this important to you? Buying a used acoustic piano is similar to buying a used home. They hold their value pretty well, but still may be in need of repairs. If you’re uncertain of the instrument’s condition, have it appraised by a piano technician. You’ll get some perks if you buy new. Consider shopping beforehand, and waiting for an annual sale if you buy new.
As a final note, you’ll want to preserve your investment. Prepare to spend between $100 – $150 per year to tune your instrument and make necessary repairs. I hope this information is helpful to you.
Which brand do you prefer? If funds are limited, I suggest choosing a low-end model of a high-quality brand. Some reliable brands are Yamaha, Baldwin/Hamilton, and Kawai. But there are dozens of others! Read reviews.
Where to buy
What are your options? There are benefits to buying from a store and buying from an individual. If you buy from a music store, extra perks may be included, such as free delivery, payment options, sales man’s advice, a warranty, or a free tuning. Your instrument may also be priced higher. If you buy from an individual, pawn shop, or such, the only deal you’re snagging is the instrument itself, usually no perks or warranties. If you’re up for hardcore shopping and some haggling, you can search Craig’s List, Facebook Market, or even newspaper ads. Beware of scammers. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. If you buy from an individual or small store, just consider the cost to hire a piano mover and tuner.
Do you have a preference? Try not to get bogged down with too many choices. You might be very happy with various pianos. Decide what you want, shop around, and snag your deal.