Determining the Value of an Antique [5 Tips]

October 31, 2016
determining the value of an antique

From antique stores and online sites, to auctions, garage and estate sales, finding and purchasing antiques has seen an incredible rise in popularity over the past decade. With an ever-expanding online presence and TV shows dedicated to antiquing, finding and selling antiques is at an all-time high. At the center of this phenomenon is an age-old question, how much is my antique worth? We’ve put together helpful insights for determining the value of an antique that you own.

Identifying Your Antique

First, you need to identify the item, including its age, condition and maker/manufacturer. While the Internet is an amazing resource for finding this information, remember that it isn’t your only resource in understanding how to value antiques. Findings should be scrutinized and verified before proceeding to the next step, identifying the market for your antique.

Market Value of an Antique

Market value for antiques are determined by a number of factors. How rare is your antique; typically, the rarer the item, the higher its value. The popularity and market size of the antique type must also be factored in; more interest level in an antique will undoubtedly drive up its value. An items condition, mint, excellent, good, etc., will go a long way in determining its ultimate value. The story behind an item, including previous owners or historical significance, are all factors that need to be researched and vetted when properly assessing an antique’s value.

Researching and Appraising an Antique

Once you’ve identified the exact nature and condition of your antique, verified via research or a reputable appraiser, you should have an appropriate range of value for your antique. With that knowledge, your situation and the current marketplace, you have a number of options on how to proceed.

Holding Onto Your Antique

If the antique’s market will only continue to climb and you can afford to, holding onto the antique is a sensible course of action. In doing so, you are assuming some risks with the volatility of the antique market and its current popularity vs. future. If you hold onto an antique, make sure that you protect its value by maintaining its current condition.

Selling an Antique

If you decide to sell an item, there are a number of routes that you can take. These include selling your antique in a private or online auction, a consignment setting or even through luxury home auction companies if you are selling furniture with your estate. Each of these offer their own mix of positives and negatives. Again, research is key in determining the best outlet for selling your antique. You want to ensure that you get fair market value, if not more, in a reputable setting where you aren’t exposed to any unnecessary risks.

While determining the value of an antique is important, remember that it’s not everything. Having fun can be just as important. If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt for antiques, don’t let the value of your new treasure define the journey.

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