QUOTE(iona @ May 11 2012, 02:46 PM)
The amount and quality of restoration work can seriously affect the value of any piano.
And it is very difficult, I suspect, for most of us to be able to judge the quality of what has been done.
I have just bought a small 1932 Bluthner that was reconditioned by the people my ancient piano tuner describes as "the best in the business". It was much cheaper and sounds much better than an admittedly slightly bigger one we tried in the local shop which was also described as "fully reconditioned". When I asked, they admitted it had been reconditioned 30 years ago.
My lot have very little to sell (they mainly recondition pianos for their owners), so I was lucky that they just happened to have what I wanted at the time I wanted it. My plan B had been to go to an auction, pick something up for about ?1000 (there seemed to be quite a few Bluthners about at that price) and then spend lots of money having it redone.
Cutting out the middle man can save a lot of money, I think.
Interestingly, my local piano shop has also reduced the price of another Bluthner (which we really liked but which was too big and much too expensive). They had it up for ?25,000, reduced it to ?23,500 and it is now on at ?19,995. I suspect there's still quite a lot of profit in that for them.