Appraising Tips

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Where should I find an appraiser?

Where to Find

People often use appraisals to help insure an object or collection against damage and theft.

Depending on where you live, appraisers will charge between seventy-five and four-hundred dollars per hour. Plus you'll have to pay the appraiser's travel expenses and research fees. So you might as well have a few items appraised at one time.

When looking for an appraiser, word of mouth is the best way, or most banks use appraisers all the time. Try asking a bank trust officer.

How will I know what is valuable?

Do Your Homework

Given that knowledge is king in the world of purchasing, begin your quest for knowledge by learning the furniture periods. Classes are the best way to learn. Next, spend a day at an antique auction. Ask questions during inspection time. You'll see hundreds of items pass over the block in hours. Next, use your knowledge to negotiate with shops.

Does the damage take away value?

Cover up Scams.

The new trend in valuation overemphasizes condition. A 10% valuation is now as much as 50% for a chip or knick. With money on the line, new "cover-up" techniques are being developed to hide condition devaluation, so beware.

Where should I find an appraiser?


Two organizations with a nationwide network of members that can help you on your search for an appraiser:

American Society of Appraisers [800-ASA-VALUE]

Appraisers Association of America [212-889-5404]

How should I have my appraisals done?


Be leery of an appraiser who will give a definite appraisal from a photograph or verbal description. Accurate appraisals need to be done in person.

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Guru Spotlight
William Pirraglia