Online Auctions

A complete guide to online appraisals of your art and antiques?

When do you need to get an online appraisal of your art and antiques?

There are many times in life when an appraisal is needed. If you inherit, during probate, if you want to sell or buy. If you need to satisfy your curiosity or you might be in need of an appraisal because of insurance. Settlement of an estate is also a big reason for getting an appraisal.


Here is a list of what to keep in mind when looking for a personal property assistant:

Appraisers research

You might think that appraisers just come up with a number when they are appraising an item. In reality, the appraisers always work hard and they have a structured process for doing the appraisals as correctly as possible. First and foremost, appraisers rely upon the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). It is the Congressionally applied standards for appraisers and adapted standard for personal property appraisers. Value is most often discovered by comparing results of similar items. This could result from auction houses or marketplaces. It is very important here that the characteristics of the item are determined so as similar items as possible is compared. The data sources include databases like and Mearto is the only one that offers a free trial on art auction results 

The debate about which art database to use has been discussed at this interesting Quora blog 

Different appraisals

The value placed on an item depends on what the appraisal is needed for.

Replacement value appraisal

If you need an appraisal for insurance purpose – the appraiser will base the valuation on replacement value. Which is the price of the item – if you should buy a similar item right now.

Fair market value appraisal

An appraisal related to donation and tax purpose – here the appraiser will apply the “fair market” appraisal. It will look at how much the object would sell for on average in the open market. Here is a list of public appraisals made by the appraisal company Mearto.

Typically the appraisal for replacement value will be higher than the fair market value. Especially for unique objects that are difficult to replace instantly.

In regards to online auctions and appraisals – different aspects are at play. Emotional factors can have a huge impact on the results of sale and not represent the general market value.

Some might be willing to pay a lot above the market value – if the item is unique and an emotional bidding contest begins. It is also possible that an item will not sell within the estimated appraisal – if e.g. the right buyers are not present – here people might be able to grab items below market value.


Appraisers do authenticate certain items like silver, jewelry, fashion, and paintings. However, in some cases, it might be a good idea to contact a gem expert laboratory or the special artist experts – that can authenticate a certain artist. There are also art authentication services that will be able to assist.


Cost for an appraisal

Many people expect an appraisal is free – after watching numerous tv-shows where people get appraisals for free. Auction houses also do it for free. But they appraise the value as what it can sell for at their auction house. An appraiser normally charges from $150-300 an hour – however, most places you can get an online appraisal from $15 to $80 – depending on what you need to be appraised.

Find appraisers near me

There are so many different specialists and you would also need to find an appraiser close to you – if you need one offline. If you search for an art or antique appraiser near me or in your city – you can look in the appraiser directories like the two mentioned appraiser directory. 
Different other appraiser directories exist like the Appraisers Association of America, International Society of Appraisers, American Society of Appraisers.

All appraisers here have qualified and are certified to meet certain standards.

Free online appraisals

If you need information about how to get free art, antique or furniture appraisal online. Then follow the link and read the thorough article on the topic. It offers everything around free appraisals. From why auction houses offer it for free and why it might better to get an appraisal from an independent source. Here is the Free online appraisal guide

Resources to get an appraisal and find the value

painting appraisal

Jewelry appraisal

antique appraisal

art appraisal

sports memorabilia appraisal

Coin appraisal

Silver appraisal

Clock appraisal

Sculpture appraisal

Pocket watch appraisal

Toys and doll appraisal

Stamp appraisal

Watch appraisal

Book appraisal

comic book appraisal

Musical instrument appraisal

Antique gun appraisal

Asian art appraisal

Chinese antique appraisal

Antique furniture appraisal

Glass art appraisal

Australian and aboriginal art appraisal

Antique maps appraisal

Ceramics and porcelain appraisal

Vintage fashion appraisal

Vintage handbag appraisal

Rug appraisal

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