It wasn’t until we replaced our antique upright piano with a new piano that we discovered how absolutely worthless our old 1889 Hardman piano was. Old uprights may indeed be antiques, but not an antique like Great Grandma’s Eastlake bedroom set.
Antique upright pianos get tired and worn out after a century of use, and can easily cost between $9000-$12000 to restore. And unless your piano is a family heirloom, of exceptional quality, or made by a master craftsman, it may not be worth restoring at all.
Because most antique upright pianos are pretty much worthless, getting rid of them can be a challenge. For one thing, these things are so darn heavy that you can forget about rolling them into the back of your pickup truck. Moving an antique upright piano out of your house means renting a trailer with a ramp, or hiring a piano moving company at the cost of $150 or more. If this is more than you are willing to spend, here are three ideas for getting rid of that antique upright piano at no cost.
Work a moving deal with your piano dealer. If you are purchasing a new replacement piano, the piano dealer should be willing to haul off and dispose of your old antique piano at no cost to you. For a junker upright piano that has zero value, this option will save you the most money and is completely hassle free.
Donate it to a thrift store. If your antique piano looks presentable and still plays sorta OK, donating it to a thrift store is another option. Most major thrift stores have the trucks and equipment needed to roll the piano out of your home safely and transport it to the store. This option means that you can take a nice tax deduction at tax time for a charitable donation. Used piano values at thrift stores seem to start at $250 and cap out around $800.
Put it out on Freecycle.com. Freecycle is a recycling network, and a great way to get rid of junk that you no longer need. If you advertise a free antique upright piano, chances are that it will be gone before the day is out. I use freecycle quite a bit, and like that this option puts a used piano in the hands of someone who might not be able to afford one.
Getting rid of an antique piano can be a challenge, but doesn’t have to cost money when using one of these three options. For additional information, these resources can help you determine if your antique upright piano is worth money for re-sale or is just another albatross like mine: