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  • Feb 22 / 2018
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Antique Art

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art Appraiser to Know the Value of Your Art

Are you ready to have your art professionally appraised? Whether you’ve collected pieces here and there over the years or have more recently decided to be a serious antique art collector, you do need to know the value of your collection. Even if you don’t think you have any really valuable pieces, you should still get your artwork appraised for insurance purposes. You may not even realize what you have until you talk to a professional appraiser. But how do you choose the right appraiser for your art?

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art

Experience

One of the first things any antique art dealer needs to consider is the appraiser’s experience. How long have they worked as an appraiser? Are they an expert in art only, or does it seem like they try to appraise everything? Do they have specific experience appraising a collection similar to yours? If they don’t, they may not truly know what your pieces are worth. If you’re trying to find the best place to sell antique art, you want to make sure you have the backing of an experienced appraiser.

Are They a Professional Art Appraiser?

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art

Someone who is a professional art appraiser will work primarily in appraising. They should also be a member of one of the various professional appraisal organizations out there. If you’re uncertain about their experience and their education, ask if they are certified and if they are continuing to take continuing education courses. They should be able to show proof that they are taking courses accredited by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

They Should Be an Impartial Third Party

If you’re working with antique art buyers who insist on doing the appraisal themselves, you need to walk out of the deal. Anyone you have appraising artwork you’re going to buy or sell shouldn’t be involved in the deal at all. They should be a third-party impartial appraiser who doesn’t have any conflict of interest. Appraisers should never buy pieces they appraise themselves.

Pricing Should be Hourly

When hiring an Antique appraiser, make certain they bill hourly, not per item or per value. This is the most impartial way of pricing. If they charge you a percentage of the value of the item, they’re likely to appraise everything higher than it should be. If they charge per item, they may not take the time needed to fully appraise each item. Also make sure the prices you’re being charged are reasonable. You can get quotes from several different appraisers to make certain you’re being charged a fair price.

A Guide to Choosing a Professional Art

You Should Receive a Written Report

When you receive your report, your appraiser should give you a detailed written document that you can take to any buyer. It should outline why the item was appraised as it was, and it should include professional photographs that clearly show any damage, identifying marks, and other important information. If you have any questions, the appraiser should be able to answer them and provide evidence backing up their answers.

  • Feb 06 / 2018
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Antique Jewelry

How to Guide on Evaluating Estate & Exceptional Vintage Jewelry

If you’re considering buying and selling estate or vintage jewelry, you first need to learn how to identify it. That way, you’ll know which pieces are worth purchasing and which are not. You’ll also have a better idea on how to price the items you plan on selling. By learning how to evaluate each piece and determine its age and worth, you can tell when you need to negotiate on the price so you invest wisely. Knowing who buys vintage costume jewelry, who buys real vintage jewelry, and where you can connect to these people is vital to your success.

The Findings and Fittings Are Key

When looking at any piece of jewelry, it’s important to examine the findings and the fittings. This will help you determine the age of the piece, which is needed to determine its value. Earrings, for example, have changed a lot since the 1800s. While any of the backings or fittings may be used today, by knowing when these fittings were introduced, you can determine how old the piece is. Spring clips, for example, are relatively new, while kidney wire fittings were introduced in 1882.

Picture of a kidney wire fitting

Estate jewelry buyers who are looking at broaches can use the same logic. If they find a broach that uses a trombone clasp, they know it wasn’t made prior to 1940. If it featured a basic C clasp, it’s harder to tell the age. The fittings will help you narrow down the age of the piece, but you’ll often need additional information to determine the true value of the piece.

Consider the Material

To figure out the value of a piece at an estate vintage jewelry sale, you need to look at the material. If the jewelry is lightweight, has a mold line, and makes a fairly dull clicking sound, you’re looking at plastic. It’s cheap, often doesn’t look that great, and really has little value to a collector. Costume jewelry is often made out of plastic and other cheap materials that look more realistic but isn’t the real deal.

Glass feels heavier and is usually warm to the touch if you hold it for a few seconds. Stone, on the other hand, will remain cool when held. There are many other materials used in jewelry, including jet, gutta-percha, crepe stone, bog oak, and many types of precious metals and materials. It’s not always easy to identify each type of material, which is why many carry jeweler’s loupes. These small magnifying lenses can help you get a closer look at the material so you can determine what it is.

Look for Hallmarks

Picture of a famous Hallmark

The best way to sell expensive jewelry is to know who made it. That helps you really lock down its worth, especially if you can also determine the year it was made. You’ll need to carefully look over the piece for its hallmark. This is often a small logo or a couple of letters that tell you who the manufacturer or designer of the piece was. If you’re lucky, there will also be a year mark near the hallmark. If not, you’ll need to do some research into the designer to determine when it was made.

  • Jan 23 / 2018
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Antique Jewelry

What the Antique Dealer Doesn’t Want You to Know when Buying Antique Gold and Silver

When you’re considering selling your antique gold and silver, you probably do a little bit of research to learn more about the market and the pieces you have. It’s great to be informed, but not every antique dealer would agree. Some try to keep a few little secrets from their customers. If you’re going to be dealing with antique jewelry buyers, you can get the upper hand by knowing a few of these trade secrets they’d prefer you not to know.

The Price Isn’t Always the Price

Antiques are one of those areas where the dealer often has a little bit of wiggle room in the price. When determining antique jewelry value, dealers generally add a percentage to what they paid so they can make a profit. In some cases, they will drop that percentage if they’re selling to another dealer or to one of their loyal customers. If you haven’t bought from a particular dealer before, you may still be able to get the piece at a discount, but you have to be polite about it. Instead of making an offer, as if there’s any room to negotiate the price. In some cases, the dealer may say yes. In other cases, that may not be the case.

 

Negotiating Images and Banner

Very Few Appraisers Are Actually Trained

Sure, a dealer may say that they will appraise your jewelry for you, but in many cases, they don’t really have any professional training. Even the various appraiser associations don’t have any kind of standardized testing for credentials. Only around ten percent of dealers are actually trained appraisers, so keep that in mind when you ask for someone to assess the value of a piece. If you want the opinion of someone who is more likely to know antique jewelry worth, go to someone certified by the American Society of Appraisers. They do require members to take a test in appraising specific areas in order to get certified.

Antique Verses Collectible

Many dealers throw around the word “antique” without actually using it correctly. Antiques are, by strict definition, 100 years old or older. That means items from the 1950s aren’t yet antiques. Many people simply assume anything that’s old is an antique, while it’s really more of a collectible. Keep in mind that even if you’re buying something that’s old, it’s not necessarily antique and may not be worth what you’re about to pay for it.

 

image of an actual antique

Dealers Often Don’t Know Everything

Even if you’ve found the best place to sell jewelry, that dealer likely isn’t going to know an antique rug from one bought on sale at the department store down the street. Just as “antique” doesn’t always mean antique, it’s also such a broad term that anything from a necklace to a tea set to a shovel can fall into the category. Make sure the dealer you’re working with knows the type of antique you want. Many dealers do specialize, so it’s important to find one you know will be able to spot a fake before you buy from them.

  • Jan 04 / 2018
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Antique Chinese Art, Antique Chinese Buyers, antique dealer, Chinese Antique Buyers

Sell This, Not That: Everything About Chinese Antiques Authentication, Appraisals, and Valuations

Are you thinking about getting into the Chinese antiques industry? There are many people who make a good amount of money buying and selling Chinese antiques, but you have to be invested. You don’t simply become a Chinese porcelain buyer overnight. You need to understand what to sell to truly make money, plus you need to know how to value your collection and where to find out if it’s authentic.

There Are a lot of Fakes

You can walk into just about any home décor store and see shelves of Chinese porcelain vases. These vases probably retail for $29.99 or so, and that’s really all they’re worth. With so many vases out there, figuring out which ones came from a department store and which are actually from Chinese can be difficult. Even some experts can be fooled. The first thing you want to do as a Chinese antiques dealer is find yourself an appraiser who is knowledgeable about Chinese pieces. Take your time and really vet the appraiser. This person is going to be your go-to expert to determine the value of your pieces, so you want them to be experienced and professional.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion

If you take a piece to several Chinese antique buyers and they all turn it down, it’s possible even your expert fell for a scam. It happens. Take the piece to another appraiser and ask for a second opinion. Make sure you get detailed appraisal reports from both experts to compare.

Do Your Own Homework

If you’re going to get into selling Chinese antiques, you need to learn as much as you can about them. You can find a lot of information online about how to properly identify true antique pieces (those that are more than 100 years old). While you may not feel confident appraising your own items, you can at least learn enough to be able to weed out the obvious fakes and cheaper items from the valuable ones.

A person doing an online search for antiques

Know Your Audience

If you’re looking for where to sell Chinese antique items, you want to make sure you’re selling to people who understand Chinese art and know what they want. Selling at a general antique auction or to a general dealer is likely to get you less money. You want to find buyers who want specifically what you have. Sell to the market where the demand is—you’ll get more money that way.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Dont be afraid to say no

When it comes to deciding what to sell, don’t be afraid to say no to offers you feel are particularly low. There’s no need to get into a hurry to sell items. In fact, many people who have made a killing selling Chinese antiques did so years after they bought the items. Many never really intended to sell, but later decided they needed to downside or had too much clutter. That’s when they learned that their Chinese antiques were worth a lot of money. It’s okay to hold on to antique items for several years. They’re not going to lose any value.

  • Dec 18 / 2017
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antique appraisal, Antique Collection, antique dealer, antique dealers and buyers, antiques

Trading Antiques & Keepsakes: What you need to know before hand

Thinking about getting into the antiques trade? For some, it becomes a fun hobby that they make some money from. For others, it becomes a full-time job or becomes their job following retirement. No matter why you want to get into selling antiques & collectibles, there are a few things you should know before you jump into the world of buying, selling, and trading antiques and keepsakes.

Antiques

You Won’t Get Rich Fast

If you’re looking for a side job that will let you quit your full-time job within a few months, you’re looking in the wrong place. While it’s true you may eventually reach the point where you can buy and sell antiques as your job, it won’t be overnight. While it’s true that some antique buyers do make huge sales, those are often the exception rather than the norm. For every sale you have that’s several thousand dollars, you’ll likely have many, many more that are much less.

buy and sell antiques

Be Careful Specialized in High-End Items Only

Some people might think that they will simply focus only on high-end items so that every sale is at least several hundred dollars. There are a few things to be careful about here. First, expect to invest a lot more upfront in buying antiques. Many people know what their items are worth and won’t let them go for next to nothing. Also realise that high-end collectors are a fairly small niche. Most people can afford to purchase small antiques from time to time. Few, though, can afford to spend thousands every month.

Antique Clock

Explore Your Local Antiques Scene

Do you know where the best place to sell antiques in your area is? It helps to check out the local scene so you know where you’re likely to find good deals and where you can sell the items you find. You may want to work online, but that also involves doing a little bit of research. Some people assume eBay is the play to buy and sell, but there may be other auction sites out there that are better for the specific items you’re trading.

Local Antiques Scene

Be Ready to Put in the Time

One fact about keepsake and antiques buyers and sellers is that they have to put in the time learning about the items they’re trading. This involves learning how to identify different styles and types of antiques. You want to know the major manufacturers, designers, and artists in the antiques niche you’re invested in. Most dealers don’t simply purchase every type of antique they come across—they specialize. You’ll likely want to do that just because it makes it easier to learn about the antiques.

antiques buyers

You’ll also need to keep up with the market. This means learning about which antiques are selling well and which aren’t. Like any market, there will be ups and downs. Some designs or styles that are popular now may not be so popular in a few months. Keep up with the trends so you know what to buy and how to price the items you’re selling.

By following these tips, you can enter into the antiques market a little more prepared than others. That, in turn, will help you spend your money more wisely.