Free Antique Appraisals - Antique Furniture Price Guide
I love antiques!
If you're like me (read not an expert!), however, you are pretty much in the dark about your antique furniture values. Sure, you found a great piece at a flea market or a rummage sale, but what's it really worth? There's an endless amount of education necessary for the true collector, and a really accurate antique furniture price guide is best done by a professional. However, these can be expensive, as many dealers will charge you for their professional opinion. While I have no problems with paying an expert for quality work or expertise, there are ways to get free antique appraisals out there, and you should be aware of them!
This article will go over the basics of finding free antique furniture appraisals, and how to get it all set up. I will also attempt to point you in the direction of great sources of free antique furniture price guides, so you can generate informed opinions on your antiques at home, without having to seek outside help.
Let's get started and learn about free antique appraisals!
Free Antique Appraisals: Find A Local Expert
The best and most effective way to get a good, quality antique furniture appraisal is to find a local expert. Most major cities will have dozens of antique shops, and these are good places to go. You may have to bring your piece in, because few appraisers will be willing to make a free house call.
I highly recommend being careful with your free antique appraisals. So-called experts may try to rip you off by severely undervaluing a priceless antique. Since it's in their interest to make money, they will try to make you believe your piece is worth far less than it actually is. Free antique appraisals are best done by reputable dealers who will give an honest opinion. I would be prepared to take your piece to several dealers and make sure you get an honest opinion.
If the Antiques Roadshow is coming through town, this is an excellent free way to get the honest value of your piece. Another fantastic way to track down a free antique appraisal is by calling up local dealers and auctioneers. Many of them will have an expert they refer to frequently. Approach this method like seeking references for an employee. If you are careful to get proper antique furniture values, it could make the difference between hundreds and thousands!
Free Antique Appraisals: Guest Experts
Finding free antique appraisals may be a matter of good timing. Sometimes antique dealers will come through town on a rotating basis. This may be the case if you live in a smaller community, with no local antique dealers in the area. Check with your local community center, or call up a dealer in a nearby city and see if they are willing to come your way.
Beware of 'pickers', people who will come through your community looking to buy up antiques to resell. They will probably offer you free antique appraisals, but it's self serving: they are looking to make money. This isn't necessarily a bad situation, just make sure you realize what they're after, and make sure to make a good profit on whatever you sell. Never accept the first offer!
You can find free antique appraisals on the internet, where you'll be required to send in detailed photographs and measurements. This is pretty labor intensive too, so only do it as a last resort. Many wholesale dealers will purchase a lot of their inventory this way; it prevents them having to travel too much. An antique dealer I'm friends with makes many purchases in South America, and then has them shipped to Canada. This is a good option, but be careful, and never accept sketchy deals.
Free Antique Furniture Price Guide
There are other, 'DIY' ways to figure out an approximate value of your antique furniture. These free antique appraisals are not certified, and you'll need to take it to an expert eventually to get a professional opinion. However, a free antique furniture price guide will allow you to decide whether you feel like lugging the thing down to the appraiser's shop or not.
There is a very nice free antique furniture price guide at About. It has various categories of products neatly organized. Keep in mind this is just an option for getting a general idea and identification of your antique furniture. Free antique appraisals will require a bit more effort!
There are many other antique furniture price guides available depending on what you have. A free antique appraisal may be easy to achieve if you type in the exact description of your piece. Also be prepared to do some research. Look at the most distinguishing features of your piece, and this will help determine the age and origins.
Free Antique Appraisals: Things To Know
There are a few other things you should know before you head off to find free antique appraisals. First, if you're looking for free appraisals of antiques, you're likely only going to receive an oral approximation. If you want something official in writing, you're going to have to pay for it. This just reflects the time and effort the dealer or appraiser will have to go to to provide this service. Depending on the value of a piece, it might be worth your while. (This can be very useful for insurance purposes).
Another thing to know about free antique appraisals is that you're going to get an approximate value. Essentially, it's a guess. The dealer will tell you, in their (hopefully) honest opinion, what this piece might fetch in a store or auction. Even antique furniture price guides will do this, giving a range. This happens because the true value of something is the maximum someone will be willing to pay for it. Until it sells, an exact price tag can't be put on it.
Lastly, free antique appraisals are estimates of the value at the time of inspection. This means that your piece may gain or lose value later on. This depends on the condition and wear of the piece, its rarity, and the means by which you protect or store it. Keep your antiques safe!
That's it, go out there and find free antique appraisals, and good luck!
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