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Antiques Pricing Guide

Antiques Pricing Guide: Identifying, Appraising, Pricing

13 min read

Are you curious to determine a reasonable price for the antiques that you’re intending on selling online? If so, then it’s essential to ensure that what you charge is fair and equitable.

With this guide, you’ll understand how to authenticate an antique item, identify its worth and figure out the ideal cost for it before placing it on the market.

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Is it Real? Identifying the Antiques Before Selling

Discerning the worth of antiques is a tricky process, and experts spend years studying the nuances and characteristics found in these antique treasures. But if you’re eager to learn how to determine their value, it’s best not to jump too far ahead without doing your research first.

If you want to become a savvy thrifter, the primary lesson is determining the age of any item so that you can accurately assess its value. But how do you figure out if something is an antique or not when shopping at flea markets and trade shows?

Don’t jump to conclusions that all items in antique shops are aged. There is an expansive range of reproductions and brand-new products for sale too.

If you want to make sure that the item you’re looking at is genuinely antique and worth your investment, get acquainted with these crucial signs.

Creator’s marks (Maker’s mark)

In the search for uncovering the age of an object, a maker’s mark can provide essential information. Not only will this potential marking tell us who created it and where, but clues to its origins as well! Look in all nooks and crannies—from underneath the item to hidden areas you might overlook- because there’s always hope that one will be present.

To identify the maker’s marks, take a photo of any labels, tags, imprints or signatures and get to work doing some digging. Depending on the mark you are looking for, this might require clever searching in order to uncover what it is if you’ve never seen it before.

Don’t give up if your attempt is unsuccessful though; not every piece has these markings afterall.

Quality factors

At the onset of the Industrial Revolution, many things were still produced by hand with quality being a primary factor. When selecting items such as furniture, china and jewelry to purchase or collect, be sure to look for signs that they are handmade or durable enough to last generations. Examine each piece well before committing in order to ensure it is made with integrity and longevity in mind.

As a timeless example of craftsmanship, take the look at the inside of any dresser drawer. Dovetailing is an age-old technique that attaches each drawer face to its sides—with older furniture featuring wider dovetail joints in comparison to those handmade today. These custom pieces are made unique by their slightly irregular shapes and dimensions, paying tribute to traditional methods used for centuries.

Signs of age

In the appraisal process of antique items, it’s critical to keep in mind that certain signs of age can be deliberately created. For example, a person may purposely discolor silver jewelry to give it an aged look. Nonetheless, most signs of wear and tear are not faked since their existence will damage the value of antiques significantly.

Age reveals itself in a variety of ways: including small scratches and blemishes on wooden furniture; chips, fine fractures, or crazing on ceramic dishes; discoloration and tarnish on metals such as tin, silver, or gold; dents, damages to the finishings of an object due to wear-and-tear from use over time ; restored areas like solder joints and mismatched nails.

To date antiques, you must first identify their age. This process requires an understanding of design periods and the common motifs used during those times; it is often helpful to consult with a professional appraiser for more accurate results.

Research Your Antiques Before Pricing Them

When it comes to figuring out a proper selling price, the process can be long and exhaustive, or thrilling and straight-forward. In essence, an antique’s worth is whatever someone is eager to pay for it right now.

Discover the secrets of your product

If you’re hoping to sell your grandparents’ old dining room table, it is helpful to have an understanding of the specifics about it. Determine the style, material type, and if possible who crafted the piece. Luckily there are numerous references available in libraries that will aid in this research such as guides on antiques and collectibles!

Knowing the approximate worth of your item will make it easier to determine an appropriate price for you.

Explore antique stores near you

When attempting to sell your item, research similar items on the market. Compare the condition of those products with yours and identify any variations in style, material, or maker. Afterwards, investigate how much they are being sold for in order to gain an understanding of potential value.

To ensure you’re getting the best value, don’t hesitate to ask your dealer why they chose that particular price point.

Investigate online marketplaces

If you’re trying to figure out the worth of your item, Ebay, Amazon, and Craigslist are great sites for examining what people have paid for similar items. On Ebay specifically, you can do a search on recently sold items that resemble yours—this allows you to get an idea of how much individuals will actually invest in something like yours.

Bear in mind that these sites are extremely competitive, so their prices may be lower than expected. If you want to get the highest possible return for your item, online auction sites won’t give you an accurate indication of its true value.

Check online price guides

If you’re looking for reliable, trusted pricing on antiques and collectibles, then Kovels is your go-to guide. With a free subscription or the more comprehensive yearly fee, this online resource will provide you with accurate market valuations to help ensure that whatever treasures you have are given their due worth.

Online Antique Appraisal Resources

Take advantage of these popular free websites to acquire an approximate value estimate. Whether you are looking to purchase or sell, these online appraisals provide a hassle-free solution.

AntiqForum

If you are looking for an appraisal on a specific rare antique, AntiqForum is the perfect place to start. They specialize in Meissen, Royal Vienna and Royal Worcester pieces amongst many others. Simply search through their database and email them with your question — all appraisals are available free of charge!

However do be aware that they also buy antiques which could mean that the assessment provided might be based upon wholesale prices rather than true market value.

Christie’s

If you believe that your antique has a greater worth than just a few thousand dollars, then get an extravagant auction assessment through Christie’s online estimation system. Keep in mind that the estimate and replacement value are two separate entities.

Moreover, this evaluation is not always certain of the actual cost if sold at auction—it could be much more or slightly less than what was estimated!

Gannon’s Antiques and Art

This remarkable antique gallery situated in Florida is offering free appraisals for all kinds of antiques, such as furniture, jewelry, and Asian artifacts. Be mindful that the information you receive from this complimentary appraisal service may be limited; additionally bear in mind that these same professionals purchase antiques so consider the estimated value with a pinch of salt.

InstAppraisal

Join InstAppraisal’s free online community to seek out the worth of your antiques! Members are able to post their items, while asking detailed inquiries into its history and value. Anybody can respond, but keep in mind that opinions may not be consistent or up-to-date.

Utilize this no cost appraisal option if you’re searching for a price range on an item with low market value—higher valued pieces will require expert consultation for its true worth.

Mr. Expert

With Mr. Expert’s free online appraisal, you can find out the true worth of your item if it falls within their area of expertise — which includes everything from fine art to furniture and 26 other categories! Whether or not the object is worthwhile, they’ll even act as a liaison in connecting you with an auction house or dealer so that you can get top dollar for your goods.

WorthPoint

WorthPoint is an online database containing more than 540 million prices and thousands of expert articles about antiques! You’ll have a comprehensive understanding of your pieces’ worth after signing up for its free trial. Even if it takes longer to research using this website, you can be assured that every detail has been taken into consideration — all from experts in the field.

Drawbacks of Online Antique Appraisals

Although free antique appraisals are available, they often lack the accuracy of those for which you pay. Insurance appraisers spend more time researching items and offer a higher chance at finding an expert with extensive knowledge.

Additionally, many people who provide complimentary estimates may have their own interests in mind since they might also buy antiques—thus creating a conflict of interest.

Think of Hiring a Professional Appraiser

To stay away from any conflict of interest, it would be prudent to hire a qualified appraiser.

To ensure that you get the most accurate appraisal of your item, it is essential to select a trustworthy and professional appraiser. You must also choose someone who isn’t a dealer so as to avoid any conflict of interest when evaluating the worthiness of your object. Here are some hints for selecting just the right expert:

  • A reputable appraiser will NEVER attempt to purchase an item from you—even if it sounds like a great offer. If they do, cut ties with them immediately.
  • It is strongly advised to avoid appraisers who charge you a percentage of the value of your item. Instead, look for an honest and reliable appraiser that charges a flat fee or hourly rate—which can range from several hundred dollars—for their services.
  • If you are searching for an appraiser that you can trust, it is best to get references from people such as estate attorneys or antique dealers who have experience in working with them. Additionally, associations like Appraisers Association of America Inc., and American Society of Appraisers are great sources to find reliable appraisers.
  • Prior to selecting an appraiser, it’s important that you speak with a few of them. Ensure the one you decide on is well-versed in the item type that needs appraisal. Additionally, request for a written estimate outlining the fees and duration of time this task will require from your chosen appraiser.

Closing

Appraising antiques isn’t always easy, but taking your time to research and review correctly can give you a better idea of what your piece is worth. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions when it comes to pricing your antiques so that you can get the most out of them.

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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