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How to Get Rid of an Old Piano?

Once, when I was much younger, I saw an old, broken-down piano out on the street. It had a sign on it that said, “FREE – Please take me to a good home!” Amazing! It was a small upright that would barely fit into my apartment, but it was free! 

As it turned out, getting it moved to my apartment cost more than I could afford. I had to leave it. Furthermore, no one took it. That piano stayed out on the street for years, slowly rotting until the city finally cleared it away. 

So, if you have a piano you don’t want anymore, it can be very hard to move it. But there are still some good ideas for how to get rid of an old piano that can help you out of your predicament.


Why Get Rid of an Old Piano?

How to Get Rid of an Old Piano

Many people are probably thinking, “Gee-whiz, I’d love to have a piano. Why would anyone want to get rid of a piano?” But, truth be told, there are lots of reasons to get rid of an old piano.

It’s Broken

Pianos can often be repaired, but that doesn’t come cheap. And, some problems, like a broken soundboard, pretty much mean that the piano is kaput. 

Nobody Plays

You may have had a piano in the family house for decades but currently have no pianists. Unless you have a player piano, that old piano you have is useless if nobody can play it.

It Takes Up Space

Pianos aren’t tiny, and if you live in a small apartment or home, space could be at a premium. Why keep a piano nobody plays if it’s just getting in the way?

It’s Inherited

This happens a lot. People inherit a home from a deceased relative, and it contains an unwanted piano. Sadly, like so many other possessions, an inherited piano just might be more of a burden than a treasure. 

It’s Outdated

Finally, even if you play the piano, modern electric pianos have way more versatility. They don’t go out of tune, you can change their voice, and they’re smaller and lighter, too. You can even get a great-quality Yamaha for a little over $1000. So why stick to something old, heavy, and outdated?

How to Get Rid of an Old Piano – Sell Your Old Piano

Sell Your Old Piano

Forget how much you paid for it. A new piano is worth something, and for most low- or mid-priced instruments, that value slowly drops over time. You also have to consider the cost of moving a piano, which is normally the buyer’s responsibility.

Of course, if you have a baby grand, that’s different…

But most old upright pianos aren’t worth much at all. You can, of course, go online to check prices, and you might find a happy surprise. But, for most brands, you’re not going to make more than a few hundred to a thousand dollars.

How can you sell your piano?

A piano is a specialty product that can be hard to find a buyer for. You can try the major secondhand sales sites in your area, like Craigslist or Kijiji. It’s best to set the price low or even write “Make an offer” or “Price negotiable” in your ad to attract more buyers.

You can also contact piano tuners in your local area. These professionals work exclusively with these instruments. They know lots of people who play piano and can likely guide you to a buyer. You should expect to give them a finder’s fee for their help.

Donate Your Old Piano

Considering how little a secondhand upright piano might sell for, you may consider donating it instead. This way, your piano can find a new home where it is truly appreciated. 

And, if the donation is contingent on the receiver paying the moving fee, this is a way to get rid of your old piano that won’t cost you anything.

So, who wants an old piano?

You’d be surprised. Schools can always do with musical equipment and may have the budget to pay for moving fees. Churches, likewise, need instruments and cater to large groups of people, so they can find people who would want to play your old piano. 

Other potential places to donate include musical theatre groups or even theatres themselves. Even if the donatee has to pay for the move, there are still plenty of folks out there who’d love to have your old piano.

Repurpose Your Piano


If you’re handy, there are tons of cool ideas for turning an old piano into something really cool. Most involve stripping out the guts and using the body as a nice piece of wooden furniture.

The best ideas I’ve seen are to make a bar and wine rack, a tool rack and workbench, a coffee table, and even a bathroom sink countertop. You can find lots of ideas on Pinterest or Instructables.

But don’t forget about the guts! You can pull out the bridges of strings, and presto, you have instant harps or hammered dulcimers. I’ve never seen anyone playing just a piano bridge, but it seems like a pretty cool instrument.

Toss It

Well, of course, it’s not as easy as sticking it in the trash bin and forgetting about it. But, if your old piano has truly come to the end of its lifespan, this may be your last option.  

Sure, you could somehow get it out to the street and put a “FREE” sign on it. But trust me, that’s not going to work most of the time. Instead, you’ll have to think about hiring professional movers. Getting a piano moved usually takes two to three hours and requires as many as six people. 

Come on, they can weigh 500-800 pounds!

Depending on where you are, and especially on the access to your piano, this can cost you anywhere from $150 up to $400. Small space, stairs, and high-level floors put the price up considerably.

You will also probably have to pay a disposal fee if they’re going to bring it to a dump or landfill. This is going to run you something in the order of $50-100. So, all told, you should expect to pay between $200 and $500 just to get rid of your piano.

Looking to Upgrade to a New Piano?

If so, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Digital Grand Piano, the Best Digital Pianos For Under $1000, the Best Digital Pianos for Under $500, the Best Digital Piano With Weighted Keys, the Best 88-Key Keyboards, and the Best Cheap Keyboard Piano you can buy in 2023.

Also, take a look at our detailed articles on Where To Donate A PianoHow to Buy a Used PianoHow To Clean Your Piano KeysTypes & Sizes of Pianos Explained, and How to Become a Better Piano Player for lots more useful information.

How to Get Rid of an Old Piano – A Final Word

A piano is an incredible instrument and piece of engineering. Old pianos can be repaired, re-tuned, and left to help us remember their old owners. But, if yours is just too old, too big, or too unused, then it can be time to say goodbye.

Whether you want to sell your old piano, donate it, re-purpose it, or just toss it, you do always have to think about moving it. That can cost money and be very heavy, but honestly, there’s no other way to get rid of an old piano.

Until next time, good luck, and happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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