What’s It Worth

“I just want to know what it’s worth.” This is a common response when people call for an appraisal of an item.  What is worth? The dictionary defines “worth as material value, esp. as expressed in terms of money or some other medium of exchange.”  Appraisers estimate value.  Therefore when a client says they want to know “what it’s worth”, what they really are saying is “what’s it’s value”.  The next question is, “Why do you want to determine this value?”  There are a number of reasons for an appraisal including selling the item, insuring the item, donating the item, etc.  The purpose of the appraisal determines the type of value used.  It may be fair market value for an estate.  Insurance replacement value for insurance. It may be market value for what something is selling for in the current market.  Be prepared when you call to state specifically why you want an appraisal.  It’s the first step to “determining worth”.

About askbeverly

Who am I? I am an individual who values the contents of people's homes for a variety of reasons. I'm called a "personal property appraiser" and certified by the International Society of Appraisers which requires educational courses, examinations, keeping up with current tax laws and every two years taking a course called the Uniform Standards of Personal Property Appraisals. Every five years, I am required to keep up my ISA certification by proving I have a minimum of 100 personal property development credits - that's course hours and actual research time spend on appraisal work. As a long time collector I have turned a hobby into a profession and for the last 22 years worked as an independent appraiser. My specialties include china, pottery, sterling silver, crystal and glassware, costume jewelry, Carnival Glass, Belleek Irish porcelain, collectibles and furniture. Why do you need an appraisal? The purpose of an appraisal may be for obtaining insurance, probate of an estate, equitable division of an estate or divorce, or a damage claim. I also give lectures on several different topics to antique clubs, provide consultations in person, by phone and through email. No my service is not free! But I will also advise you if I believe it is in your best interest to do research on your own if you just want an idea of what something is worth rather than pay for an appraisal.

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