Category Archives: Vintage and Fine
Many sellers today like to look up what they consider the value of items that will be in their estate sale. Unfortunately, most do not understand what value is or how it is determined. Simply put value, is the amount a buyer is willing to pay for an item (and is usually determined by recent sales of similar items). It is is very important for a good working relationship between seller and the estate liquidator that sellers understand how an estate sale company arrives at value.
Many factors influence value including demographics (the market in California is very different from the market in Michigan), condition (an item in excellent condition will bring a greater return than an item that is just in good condition, and the time of year is a consideration as well. It isn’t what an item is listed for sale on eBay, lstdibs, AuctionZip, or many other auction or selling sites. Unless items appear in the sold column the current items shown are working with asking prices.
If you are looking at eBay remember, that listing prices don’t count, you must be a member of eBay to access the sold items, and you also have to see whether it completed the auction process or if it was a “buy it now” item. Knowledge is your friend as a seller and helps keep the process moving forward smoothly. Respect the professional you hire, trust their judgement unless you really can show strong evidence to the contrary.
Almost all estate sale companies bring iPads or tablets to the estate sale setup to conduct research. Items that they have not sold recently or may not be as familiar with will be researched. The experienced estate liquidator has a wealth of knowledge, but always trying to keep your best interest in the forefront won’t hesitate to recheck values.
They may also consult an appraiser with a specialty for the rare and unique items such as antique books, lighting (such as Tiffany and Handel) glass such as Loetz or Daum Nancy, and other highly valuable and rare items. There are also many estate liquidators that are also accredited appraisers studied and trained not only in determining value, but in the many ways to research such as ISA, ASA, and CAGA. See our archives for more information on appraisal organizations. Our guest author Judy Martin, ISA, CAPP for instance. (Judy is on a long hiatus at this time).