Professional Appraisal VS Free Appraisal

Professional Appraisal VS Free Appraisal

I just read a blog on a flea market website that touted the idea that you should try to get a free appraisal of antiques you have in your collection or purchase.  The point of this blog is to clear up the mystery between  Free and Professional appraisals.

  1. A free appraisal will be just that – a free opinion. Like free advice it will be based on a dealer’s knowledge of whatever it is you show him or her.  He/she will look for labels and signatures. Based on experience or an  internet search, he/she will offer a valuation.
  2. What’s wrong with a free appraisal? Basically, it won’t hold up. It’s no good for getting insurance or filing a claim. You can’t take it to the bank because you cannot prove that it is what you claim it is.
  3. A professional appraisal by The Appraisal Group is a document that states age, maker, provenance.
  4. A professional appraisal by The Appraisal Group is bankable. If the value is high enough and you want to sell, The Appraisal Group will shepherd your items to profitability.
  5. A professional appraisal by The Appraisal Group will stand up to an insurer’s standards. It will be sufficient evidence to support a claim.

Can you do your own detective work? Of course you can and I suggest that you verse yourself in knowledge. Remember that many items were reproduced and are not original. They quite likely will have little valuable.

Furniture should be solid wood. Laminates don’t add up to much. Mold and water decreases a value too. Chips in plates take down the sale price. A pair of candlesticks or chairs is worth more than a single.

The next question you will ask is: How much will you pay for an appraisal? The Appraisal Group will give you an estimate of charges based on time spent.  

Another question I hear often is: Can you appraise it from a photograph? The short answer is no. In general, I need to see and touch most items.

What’s the bottom line?  In all fairness, if you buy something from a flea market, the dealer most likely knows what he/she has. Bargains are rare.  Best to stick to the dealer’s take on it.  If, however, you have a collection that your research shows may have some value, it’s best to get an Appraisal Group valuation.

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