How much is your collectible or antique worth? If you’re a seller, what price should you assign to an item? If you’re a buyer, how do you know you’re getting a fair deal? Instead of schlepping your items to an appraiser, consider an online valuation service.
Such services typically offer DIY research tools and estimates by professional appraisers and other experts in areas ranging from sports memorabilia and books, to Native American art and even classic cars. It’s important to note, these services offer valuations, not authentications. However, for the purpose of helping buyers and sellers determine a fair price, such services can be very helpful.
WorthPoint Corporation launched in 2007 and has quickly become the largest resource for researching and valuing antiques and collectibles online. WorthPoint.com offers a DIY service and access to professional appraisers. The DIY model offers a treasure-trove of data, sales history, and information for dealers and buyers to benefit from. In fact, WorthPoint collects and archives the daily sales of antiques and collectible data from eBay and archives the information in their robust searchable database, cleverly named “Worthopedia.”
As a subscribing member, users can search Worthopedia to locate, research, and valuate their items. The amount of data readily available to its members is quite impressive. According to WorthPoint, users have access to more than 230 million historical prices and 1.2 billion photographs derived from 350 data sources. The data is aggregated from online sources such as eBay and from auction houses across the country. And for the “pickers” out there, they also offer an app that can help facilitate a quick item lookup while in the field. All-in-all, WorthPoint.com is a great resource for the DIYers.
To access the DIY service, there are several options to choose from. For starters, you can jump into their 7-day/7-item price lookup free trial. If you like what you see, you have the option to continue with one of their paid service packages, starting at $19.99 per month.
WorthPoint also offers an expert valuation service called “Ask a Worthologist.” Appraisals start at $30 an item. Similar to other online valuation services, the process is very straightforward. You upload your photos and provide additional details. In return, you receive an evaluation of your item.
It’s worth noting that WorthPoint also owns and operates MarksandLibrary.com and GoAntiques.com. MarksandLibrary.com helps collectors research maker’s marks and explore virtual books covering collectible topics. GoAntiques.com is an online marketplace for buying and selling antiques and collectibles.
ValueMyStuff, a London company launched in 2009, boasts a team of over 60 experienced valuation specialists who have worked internationally at major auction houses such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and others. The company was founded by Patrick van der Vorst, who was a President and Head of Department at Sotheby’s London for more than 12 years.
While they provide valuations for antiques and other items represented in more than 50 categories, their true expertise seems to revolve around art. For someone to submit an item for appraisal, ValueMyStuff makes the process relatively easy – upload a photo, add details, and receive a written appraisal in 24 to 48 hours.
With any appraisal, especially one conducted online, it’s important for the user to provide high resolution photos representing various angels of the item. Along with photos, you’ll want to provide written information you have about the item being appraised. Their submission process makes it easy to do both.
Once an item has been appraised, ValueMyStuff provides the user with an appraisal report detailing your item’s history and value. Having such a report will help establish a base price to work from as you either attempt to sell or negotiate the purchase of an item.
In addition to the appraisal report, they also provide an online appraisal certificate. The cool thing about this feature is that if you’re selling your item on eBay, they provide you with HTML code that you can embed on your eBay page that links the item back to the certificate to show potential buyers its estimated value.
The pricing model is fairly straightforward and approachable. Starting at only $10 per item, their pricing makes it affordable to take their system for a test drive.
How do you determine the value of your relics, collectibles, and antiques? Are there other services you use, or do you do it the old fashion way? Let us know in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.