What's My Piano Worth?

Posted by: juless

What's My Piano Worth? - 07/07/03 02:06 PM

Hi
I have an upright grand piano.
Manufacturer is Kreiter, Milwaukee.
From what I can find about "Kreiter" it looks like it was made 1909-1910?!?! Anyone know anything about this piano?? Anyone know approximate value? Piano is in good shape, needs a tuning...it came with the house I recently purchased so I know NOTHING about it. Any info anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated..
Thanks
Posted by: justme

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/07/03 02:12 PM

If you post the serial number it will help find the date it was built. As far as how much it's worth a technician really has to check it out. A couple things you can look for yourself are 1.) is the soundboard intact or cracked. 2.) are the keys warped at all?
How tall is it?
justme
Posted by: Rick Clark

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/07/03 03:02 PM

No offense, but just about everyone thinks their ancient upright is "in good shape, just needs a tuning". In fact they are for the most part highly deteriorated inside where it counts. Few consumers are even close to qualified to understand the differences in condition inside the piano. Age alone takes a great toll on felt and leather, which the piano is full of. Climate on the Eastern Seaboard takes another toll often causing rust and Stress Related Deformation (SRD) to the wood. Wood cracks or splits at stress points. Very old hide glue joints often give out on the East Coast, leading to some really expensive problems. And just plain wear and tear (hours of use) also wears things out.

99% of the time, old pianos like this are left behind or given away because they are simply not worth the cost of moving or storing. The value is in the low hundreds "furniture value" most likely, which you will find out if you try to sell it. Many piano dealers routinely haul these pianos to the dump, as a favor to the customer who just bought a new piano from them. If there was value to them, the dealer would most likely keep them and sell them.

Still if you want to satisfy yourself whether you have the exception, get an estimate from a tech on what it would take to get it in good shape mechanically. PAY a technician for an impartial estimate. Don't say "give me a free estimate and I'll give you the work" because then the tech is encouraged to come up with work to do whether it's in the best interest of the customer or not. Just say you want to pay for an evaluation and that's that.

Also, take pains to find a good successful tech, not someone desperate for a piano restoring job. Someone who can take a job or leave it. Keeps things honest.

Sometimes you can improvise/patch up the worst problems and get all the keys to work and some resemblance of tuning for a few hundred dollars. This is to say they can often be made to play, but usually cannot be made to play *well* at a reasonable price. Honestly what they really need at that age is rebuilding, which is much too expensive to justify. But many techs in regions saturated with old uprights have their cheap fix-up routines that will not put the piano in top performance condition, but may be enough to satisfy the desire for a "family banger".

Regards,

Rick Clark
Posted by: CrashTest

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/07/03 07:22 PM

Rick is right, most of the time, these pianos may end up causing you to even lose money! (On moving/ or even trying to fix it up). Never hurts to at least get a professional opinion, though.
Posted by: Penny

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/07/03 07:35 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by CrashTest:
Rick is right, most of the time, these pianos may end up causing you to even lose money! [/b]
Actually, I think Rick is right ALL of the time! :p ;\)

penny
Posted by: bcarey

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/07/03 08:07 PM

Rick,

That is the best, most descriptive, tactful, and honest response that I have ever seen to "what's my old piano worth"!

\:\) \:\) \:\) \:\) \:\)

Five smilies! Just for you!
Posted by: Paul Spitzer

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/08/03 12:12 AM

Life with your old critter may not be as hopeless as promised. If this is a family piano it will have sentimental value that no new piano can duplicate. Besides, there is nothing wrong with appreciating its rarity, appearance, etc. Finally the financials of the old critter may be better than those of a cheap new one if you take into account, not what they are worth tomorrow, but five, ten or twenty years from now. Those suggestions about hiring a tech sound sound.
Posted by: CrashTest

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/08/03 12:13 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Penny:
 Quote:
Originally posted by CrashTest:
Rick is right, most of the time, these pianos may end up causing you to even lose money! [/b]
Actually, I think Rick is right ALL of the time! :p ;\)

penny [/b]
I meant that most of the time the piano is worthless, I do not argue that he is always right! I see how it came out though, thanks for the humor! \:D
Posted by: Rick Clark

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/08/03 02:31 AM

Not to hijack juless' thread, but thanks for the kind words folks!

And you have no idea what it costs to feed 1000 monkeys....

Regards,

Rick Clark
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/08/03 10:31 AM

hey Rick. I too think you gave a great reply...again. Why not copy it into Word and tweak it a little Then when the next "What's my old upright worth?" question is posted, you can save us all some time and cut and paste it!
Posted by: juless

Re: What's My Piano Worth? - 07/09/03 03:11 PM

Dear Rick et al...
thanks for the reply re my Kreiter upright.
I actually want to get rid of it. Just wanted a ballpark asking price. Might stick it on ebay for $50 and see what happens....
Actually Rick, your bluntness and honesty is appreciated.....