Are Online Antique Appraisals Accurate? Information You Need to Know Before You Sell Anything

Jan 17, 2023

Nowadays, we use the internet for everything, including online antique appraisals. So, what's the best way to discover your piece's value? Perhaps more importantly, are online antique appraisals accurate? Fortunately, it is possible to get an expert valuation without leaving your home.

In this article, we'll go over a few different ways to find the value of a piece online, the differences between online and traditional appraisals, and how to be sure your online valuation is accurate.

Appraisal Basics

Simply put, an appraisal is the fair market value of an item as determined by an expert. There are plenty of reasons to have collectibles appraised, and the process is similar, whatever the object.

First, know that appraisals can be either written or verbal. In some cases (for example, when insuring antiques), you'll usually need a written assessment. A verbal appraisal is sufficient if you're after a valuation to satisfy your curiosity or be sure you're pricing an item reasonably. In this piece, we'll focus on what you want to see in a written appraisal.

While an expert appraiser will have deep knowledge of their area of specialization, they'll still need to inspect your particular item carefully. They'll look for any signs of wear, imperfections, or makers marks to help them.

Besides the actual valuation, there are a few things every written appraisal should consist of. You'll want a complete, accurate description of your piece. The assessment should also cover the provenance, which is the piece's origin. Finally, there should be a comparison with similar items. All of this information demonstrates how the appraiser arrived at the market estimate.

Online or off, there are various places to get an antique appraisal. Ultimately, who does the appraising is more important than where you have it done. So be sure you're dealing with a reputable expert before making your selection.

How to Value Antiques Online Yourself

If you're a thrift store reseller who needs an idea of what an object is worth, you probably don't need to get an official appraisal. There are a few places where you can do this kind of research online, which will only cost you your time.

Online auction sites are a great place to start. Rather than looking at items currently being bid on, look at listings that have already sold. That will give you a more realistic idea of what buyers are willing to pay. You should also limit the data to more recent sales if possible.

Keep in mind that some items tend to fluctuate more than others. If you have had something for a while, you should probably see if the value has changed.

Next, you can try browsing price guides. These are another quick way to get a general idea of an item's worth. There are a few caveats. First, you'll need to know precisely what you have to get the most accurate information. Also, price guides tend to either assume the piece is in perfect condition or give a wide range of possible prices. So, again, you'll need to know your stuff if you want to get the most out of these resources.

Another option is to ask about your antique on social media. Using targeted Instagram hashtags or joining a Facebook group can give you access to a wealth of knowledge. However, be wary if someone who quotes you a price also offers to buy the item. Some people will use this tactic to purchase valuable antiques at lower-than-average prices.

How to Get an Accurate Online Antique Appraisal

Whether you're trying to insure an item or collection or you suspect you have a valuable piece on your hands, there are times when only a reliable, professional appraisal will do. There are also times when you need to do this without leaving the house, and you do have several options.

Apps that can provide you with appraisals are often popular, but they vary in reliability and value. Especially if you go with a very low-priced option, you may end up with an assessment that needs to be more detailed to be helpful. Also, some apps operate on a subscription model, which may not make sense if you don't have a constant stream of antiques you need to have appraised.

You can sometimes get an appraisal free from major auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's. However, they'll only evaluate items they can include in their sales. Even this is just a preliminary evaluation. You'll typically need to commit to selling the item with the auction house to get more in-depth information.

Ultimately, to get an accurate online antique appraisal, you'll need to pay for it. When you pay an appraiser, they can take their time and get you the best possible valuation for your item. You also have a better chance of accessing an expert appraiser in their field.

If you'd like to try an online antique appraisal, it's easy to do through Chattic. It's free to sign up, and once you've created a listing, you're just a few clicks away from an expert valuation. Plus, there's no subscription, so you only pay for what you need.

Jan 17, 2023

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