Picture a decent looking car listed on Craigslist for free. Description says, "Just needs tune-up." Sounds amazing right? Imagine paying someone a couple hundred dollars to tow this car to your mechanic to find out, well, you need a few repairs that will cost a little over a few hundred just to make the car somewhat reliable. In addition to this, they don't recommend the level of work that would make it a good car again. The cost would outweigh it's worth, meaning, your money is better spent elsewhere.
The truth is, most people know enough about automobiles not to get themselves in this situation. However, this seems to be a common mistake when it comes to pianos.
First we must realize that a piano has over 6,000 moving parts. When you play the piano, these parts gain mileage and need to be "regulated" or eventually replaced. For example, It is easy to see why piano hammers need to be replaced after a lot of use. When the felt on the hammer strikes the steel string to create sound it compresses and deforms because felt is softer than steel. It is much like buying anything used. The product has already undergone the best years of its life and may need to be refinished or refurbished.
With all this in mind, pianos found on craigslist are an extremely risky investment. Find a local Registered Piano Technician to evaluate any piano before paying someone to move it into your home. They can navigate you through the landmine and help find something that will fit your needs.
Joseph Raville, RPT
Dallas Piano Tuner
Up to Pitch LLC