4 Reasons to Have Collectibles Appraised (and How to Get an Appraisal)

Jun 6, 2022

Whether you've inherited a collection or have painstakingly accumulated items over the years, you know that your treasures are precious to you. However, they might also be worth a lot of money. If you want to know for sure, an appraisal will give you an expert's opinion on what your items could be worth.

4 Reasons to Have Collectibles Appraised

While you may choose to have your collection appraised to satisfy your own curiosity, there are a few other compelling reasons to check this task off your list.

1. An Appraisal Can Protect Your Valuables

Even if you have homeowner's insurance, you may want to take out an additional valuables policy to be sure your items are fully covered. If you'd like to have your collectibles insured, you'll likely need to know how much they're worth first. An appraisal will give the insurance company (and you) an idea of what you're entitled to if your collection is lost or damaged.

2. You'll Be a Savvy Seller

If you decide to sell your items, you'll want to know what a fair price is for them. You'll also be able to justify your asking price with an appraisal in hand. Buyers will appreciate the peace of mind that comes with a professional inspection. Not only are they assured of paying a fair price, but they also have confirmation of the piece's authenticity.

3. There Are Special Rules if You've Inherited Your Items

Selling may not be the first thing on your mind if you've inherited a collection from a loved one. However, it's wise to have the items appraised whether or not you intend to part with them. This evaluation will give you the "date-of-death" value, which is used to calculate capital gains taxes if you decide to sell later.

4. Some Items Have Multiple Values

If you've tried to do your own research into the value of your items, you may have been confused by seeing different values for the same item. These discrepancies occur because the value can differ depending on the purpose of the appraisal. The two you'll hear about most often are fair market value and replacement value. The fair market value is typically what you use to sell a piece. Retail replacement is the highest amount required to replace a piece with a similar one and is likely what an insurance company will use when building your policy.

How to Get an Appraisal (3 Valuable Tips)

Now that we've covered the benefits of having an appraisal, let's look at how to get one.

1. Don't Get an Appraisal From a Potential Buyer

While it may seem like an easy way to find an expert, bringing your collection to someone who deals with that type of item can be a mistake. Essentially, you'd be asking a potential buyer for advice, and you risk them lowballing you in an attempt to get a good price for themselves. When getting an appraisal, finding a neutral party is always best.

2. Check With Appraiser Organizations

There are several professional organizations for appraisers, and any of them would be an excellent place to start your search. Check out the Appraisers Association of America (AAA), American Society of Appraisers (ASA), or the International Society of Appraisers (ISA). Membership in these organizations is limited to those who have demonstrated knowledge in their area of expertise and upheld rigorous professional standards. Be sure to find an appraiser who has experience with your particular items, as no single appraiser will be an expert in all types of collectibles.

3. Be Aware of Fees

Expect to pay a fee when getting an appraisal, but be aware of how it is structured. You should either be paying a flat or hourly rate, not a fee based on the item's value. In this case, the would-be appraiser may inflate the value to make a more significant profit for themself. In fact, charging a percentage of the item's appraised value is against the code of conduct for all three professional organizations.

Wrapping Up

Appraising valuables can help you protect your collection or ensure a fair price if you choose to sell. When choosing an appraiser, there is a lot to remember, so if you'd like to make things a bit easier on yourself, consider signing up with Chattic. You'll be able to get your items appraised with a single click and be connected to a vibrant community of buyers and sellers who share your interest in collectibles.

Jun 6, 2022

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