Do Yamaha/Kawai Increase Value?

Japan Used Piano Yamaha and Kawai Increase in Value

The surprising answer is “yes”! But it depends on a few factors. So Yamaha and Kawai pianos do sometimes increase in value but you have to know the factors that influence the value of the piano. Read on and we’ll help you make a safe investment.

Do new pianos hold their value?

If you buy a brand new Yamaha, Kawai or any other respected brand the value will plummet by 35% as soon as you take it home as it instantly goes from “new” to “used” and it will continue to decrease steadily for a few years more but if you buy a used or reconditioned Yamaha or Kawai piano it doesn’t suffer the same initial hit because the intense depreciation has already happened, somebody else took that hit for you. If let’s say the depreciation of a brand new piano and a used reconditioned piano have the same depreciation rate, but the actual depreciated amount is a huge difference.

Which models best hold their value?

In this question we may need to retrieve back to our post on Junior, Standard and Pro Pianos type. Different piano has different pattern of supply and demand trend. Let’s look into it a little bit deeper.

If you buy a Junior (or entry-level) piano that is 109 cm in height, you can be sure that it will not be in high demand 10-20 years down the line. As everybody knows change of piano is needed along the learning path if they get a Junior piano. That means you will either have to wait a long time to sell it or be prepared to sell for a lower price for another piano student at beginner level.

In another hand, If you buy a top quality model, such as the standard exam model of Yamaha U1 / Kawai BL31 (with 121 cm height) or Pro Yamaha U3 / Kawai BL 61 (with 131 cm height), then you can be sure that it will hold its value very well because people will always be looking to buy those models for long term usage that can last them til higher grades or to pro level.

Thru our experience, 9 out of 10 piano sales, parents are looking for and buy the standard exam model or higher model like Yamaha U3. And we have always hear from customers that their kid’s teacher proposed at least taking the exam model, so when they come to buy a piano for their children, they are scouting around for the same model or higher spec models. That’s why the best models hold their value so well.

Our real-life examples

  • In 2016 we sold a 1980 Yamaha U3H to a customer for less than RM10,000. That makes my eyes water because today that same model piano is worth 25% more.
  • In 2016 we sold a 1978 Yamaha U1G to a customer for RM8,200. Today that same piano is worth 20% more.
  • In 2016 we sold a 1978 Kawai BL 61 to a customer for RM7,800. That same piano would now be worth 23% more.

As you can see the best time to buy a top quality used reconditioned Yamaha or Kawai piano was yesterday but the 2nd best time to buy is today. See our Yamaha pianos for sale page and Kawai pianos for sale page to see what we have available.

What causes the value to rise?

There are several factors. Let’s have a look:

  1. Exchange rate: In 2015 RM 1 would buy 34.37 Japanese Yen. In 2019 RM 1 only buys 25.87 Yen. That’s a drop of 25% which means piano shops have to spend 25% more to buy the same price piano today compared with 2015.
  2. Supply: There is only a finite supply of used pianos in Japan. As supply gets tighter, the prices are squeezed higher. That is why Japan pianos has a short price revision period.
  3. Demand: There are now more piano shops trying to buy these sought-after models from Japan. New demand from Chinese importers has also added to the demand. China produces millions of cheap acoustic pianos every year but their emerging middle-classes demand a top quality product so they look to Japanese-made Yamaha pianos as well.

So which Yamaha or Kawai piano should I buy?

To get the best chance of great return I recommend that you follow these tips:

  • Buy a Yamaha or Kawai piano that is more than 30-40 years old so that someone else paid for the initial depreciation.
  • Choose a piano that was made in Japan as these have the best reputation and hold their value really well.
  • Choose a Yamaha or Kawai pianos that has either been fully reconditioned with original factory parts from Yamaha or Kawai. A piano that has got thru an extensive work won’t hold its value well.
  • Look after your piano. You should have it tuned at least 12 months, and regulated every 24 months and try to look after the cabinet.

Hope you this article help you during your piano shopping. Thank you for reading.