Appraising Your Antiques: Getting More For Less

Posted on: 3 September 2015

If you have a painting you've inherited, or a large group of old dolls, you're probably wondering how much they are worth. Antiques are particularly unique since most are handmade and they typically only exist in limited numbers. Some people pay top dollar to have a professional appraise, or assess an item's worth. For those of you who don't want to shell out the extra cash but the curiosity of your item's value is gnawing at you, there are some ways you can have that unusual lamp your grandmother left you appraised for less.

Check Your Local Auction House

Many auction houses are happy to offer free appraisals, as long as you agree to sell your item using their services. This can be a good way to sell your item after you've determined its value, but you should only do this if you plan to sell it. Otherwise, the auction house will most likely charge you an appraisal fee. If you do decide to use the auction house, keep in mind that there are no guarantees that the item will sell at or above its appraised value. In addition, most auction houses take a fee off the top of your final sale, typically ten percent.

Try a Show

Often, antiques dealers will get together and host large antiques shows. These are meant to give sellers and buyers an opportunity to see what is available and serves as free advertising for the antique stores. Many will offer free appraisals for people up to a certain number of customers per day. Try to get there early and find out if you can get an appraisal from as many different antique stores as possible. This is a great way to get a real feel for the true value of your item. You may be surprised at the difference in appraisal amounts between stores, or you may leave feeling satisfied that you have a solid number in mind when it comes to selling your antique.

Before the Appraisal

Before you decide to take your antique items in for appraisal, try to get an idea of how old the item is, where it came from, and any history about it. If you have documentation and paperwork, you should always bring this with you. Having a paper trail can really add to the value of an antique. If there is an interesting story behind the item, make sure you tell the appraiser, as this can also sometimes increase the value. You should also have a set amount in mind if you're considering selling your antiques and if they appraise for much lower, it may be best to just keep them and enjoy them a bit longer. To learn more, contact a business like Davis & Associates-Marc Davis.


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