Very few people give away pianos that are worth even a small amount of money. Instead, most want to avoid paying the disposal cost (~$500) for a musically useless piano, or one that needs extensive repair. In truth, some may think they’re doing you a favor, but they’re not.
Bottom line: the vast majority of these pianos belong in a junkyard, not your living room.
And due to the cost of pickup and delivery alone, they’re never free.
If the piano is salvageable, it may need a pitch raise, action regulation, hammer voicing/shaping, and minor repairs. The combined cost of all the above can be $1,000 or more. If it’s quite old, which is typical for a giveaway piano, the sound quality after the work is completed is likely to be very poor.
If the piano is a complete wreck internally, fixing it will cost more than a new budget piano of the same size and type.
The absolute worst thing you can do is saddle a child enthusiastic about learning the piano with a junker that has one or more of the following problems:
- an unpleasant tone
- weak melodic sustain
- an action that plays unevenly or is malfunctioning
- will not hold a tune
Instead, buy them a digital piano with 88 velocity-sensitive full-size keys and a damper pedal.