Appraiser Explains How To Find Value In Your Valuables
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Whether it's something you inherited or found at a flea market, do you ever wonder if an item you have at home is a valued treasure? Without lining up for "Antiques Roadshow," how can you find out what its worth and what to do with it?
NY1's Jill Scott spoke with Kenneth Linsner, a senior appraiser for the American Society of Appraisers, about the art of finding value in your valuables.
"When you first find or unearth this treasure that you want to learn more about, the thing that you must do is take a photo, either digital or still, take measurements of the item and make a rudimentary assessment of the condition," said Linsner.
Then, you need to send that information to an expert. Linsner says your best bet is to find a certified appraiser.
"What I think is the primary course of action is to go to an appraiser who is professional and that has been tested and certified who will be able to direct or triage your collection or a single piece, if that's what you have, and advise you on where you should take the piece, if, in fact, it has value that you want to extract," said Linsner.
Appraisers are paid a flat rate for their time. If one asks for a percentage of the piece, Linsner says move on.
Those who wish not to use an appraiser have other options. If you think your piece is worth more than $5,000, you could contact one of the premier auction houses. If not, you can try a smaller auction house that deals with estates and small items. Or you could visit a collector or dealer, but in that case, Linsner says be careful.
"It opens you up to a nonobjective opinion, because these people want to obtain this piece from you," he said. "Therefore, I don't know how you can rely on their opinions. They have a financial interest in telling you the wrong thing."
Once you know the value, knowledge is power. Then you can try to bid it farewell at an auction house, an antique store, to a collector, a consignment shop, or even online.
If you really do have something of value and you want to maximize your profit, you need to invest some time to the process. This doesn't happen overnight. If you are going for the quick sell, Linsner says you are probably going to sell yourself short.
In the end, you many not even want to sell it. Once you discover its history and value, you may want to treasure it for yourself, deeming it priceless.
- Jill Scott