Sunday, February 18, 2007

How the Find the Value of Your Antiques, Collectibles and Memorabilia

So you have decided which method you will use to sell your antiques and collectibles now you just need to determine the value of the pieces. I have quite a few resources on my website that you can use to find the value but I will also give you some tips below.

If you want the value to insure an item I recommend getting a written appraisal. This way if you do need to make a claim on this item you already have the appraisal in place. If you want to find the sale price of an item then you will need to do some research.

Get our and visit some antique shops and see what the same or similar items are selling for in your area. This is especially helpful if you are planning on selling through the local newspaper.

If you are going to sell your wares online you need to research what you have so that you can write a good description of the item. There are books on just about every type of antique and collectible so your first stop should be the local library or large chain bookstore.

Once you know what you have you can then look online and see what others are selling the same or similar items for. If you are going to sell your wares on eBay look and see what it is selling for there. Don’t look at what folks are asking for a particular item, look at the closed auctions and see what prices the item has brought in the recent past. Some of the large live auction houses will post their closed auction prices. These prices include the buyer’s premium which is a cost the auction house charges the buyer on top of the closing auction price. The buyer’s premiums have gotten out of control and some houses charge as much as 40%

You can always look in published price guides to get a “guide” on what something might bring but remember that price guides are simply that…. Guides to prices. This is often referred to as “book value.” I am a tad cynical about book values and feel that price guides are simply a means of running the price up on a particular line of antiques and collectibles.


caleb stanley said...

i have a 10 peice setting of the gold standard porcelain do you know anyone who would like to purchase contact me at

Anonymous said...

hi- i have a set of antique stained glass doors. a woman has taken an interest in buying them. i just don't know how much to sell them to her for.

Mishy said...

Without information such as size, type of glass and photos it is difficult to say how much they might be worth.

You might look and see what the same or similar items are selling for online or in the newspaper.

You can also ask the potential buyer how much they are willing to pay and if it sounds reasonable to you... go for it.

When you get right down to it, an item is worth only as much as someone will pay you for it.

john hogan said...

First of all, I think you should ask the question: "who is qualified to actually give an authentic appraisal"? Well, usually professional appraisals are supplied by an appraisal service who has been qualified either through a series of courses supplied through a college or auction house dealing with antiques and collectibles. These appraisers usually scout a certificate that has been recognized by a college certifying that this appraiser is capable of appraising with fair accuracy the real value of the item in question with a 20% market fluctuation in price.

On the other hand, a renowned antiques dealer who has been known in the business for a reasonable number of years, who has dealt in many areas of antiques collecting and selling, should also be another good source for a realistic and honorable appraisal.

Do not go with fly-by-night appraisers who put out a shingle "we do appraisals".

Not everyone who sells antiques or collectibles is a qualified appraiser!