Whether youâ€™ve just uncovered a collectible in Momâ€™s attic or wonder how much a longtime collectible is worth, appraising your antique will help you figure out its value. There are several scenarios when appraisal is important, as well as a few tips for going through the process â€“ all outlined below!
First, some reasons why youâ€™d want to appraise an antique:
– Youâ€™re moving and want to know its value in case it gets damaged
– You just inherited or acquired an antique and arenâ€™t sure about its worth
– You want to sell an antique(or older item) but donâ€™t know its current value
– You bought something cheap at a garage sale or estate sale and want to know its value
– Youâ€™re just curious about an antiqueâ€™s value
As Consumer Reports explains, there are countless stories of people selling valuable items at garage sales for a few bucks, and the buyer later discovering their little purchase is actually worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Age doesnâ€™t necessarily equal value, but it could be worth your time and money to have a professional check it out.
And now, some tips for how to appraise antiques:
– Take the item to a professional appraiser.Â
Someone who can see, touch, and examine the item very closely â€“ as opposed to an online appraiser â€“ will have a much more accurate assessment of the itemâ€™s value. A standard appraisal could cost an hourly or flat rate, but Consumer Reports cautions against using any appraiser who wants a percentage fee based on the itemâ€™s value.Â If youâ€™re looking for an appraisal for insurance purposes, definitely find a professional and reputable appraiser for the job.
– Donâ€™t sell your item to the person who appraised it.
This is some good advice from CNN Money, as an appraiser â€“ especially if you take the item to an antiques dealer or store â€“ might try to undervalue your item in hopes youâ€™ll sell it to them on the spot. By working with an appraiser who wonâ€™t try to buy the item â€“ or being very clear that the item is not for sale â€“ you can avoid these situations and get the itemâ€™s real value.
– Check out online resources like eBay.
This wonâ€™t offer a professional appraisal, but it could be a good starting point for researching an itemâ€™s worth. Perhaps youâ€™ve found something and want to see if itâ€™s on websites like eBay â€“ and what the going price is â€” or you want to try an online appraiser like Value My Stuff. Nothing beats an in-person appraisal, but these could be good avenues to explore initially.
It helps to do this kind of research so youâ€™re also a bit educated before meeting with an appraiser â€“ if you get a value thatâ€™s much lower than youâ€™ve seen online, youâ€™ll instantly know and can inquire about the low price.
– Remember: An appraisal doesnâ€™t last a lifetime.
The number you get today from an appraisal wouldnâ€™t be the same at an appraisal in ten years, so itâ€™s important to remember that markets change and items might need to be reappraised every five years or so. Or, itâ€™s simply something to keep in mind if youâ€™re looking to sell an item that was appraised a while ago.
You can also check out price guides to see what the current market value is, which both educates you about the item and might influence whether you get a professional appraisal. Between reference guides and relationships you build with appraisers, figuring out the value of your antiques will get easier and easier!