Online Appraisals

The Wall Street Journal has a review of several online appraisal firms.  The firms reviewed included www.Worthpoint.com, www.Whatsisworthtoyou.com, www.Auctionwally.com, www.Valuemystuffnow.com, and www.Instaappraisal.com.

The author contacted the International Society of Appraisers Director of Eduction, Leon Castner, ISA CAPP for background on appraising and to review the estimates and conclusions given from the online groups.  According to Castner, many of the prices were correct, while a few he felt were not.  The article seemed very focused on the turnaround time of these groups, and that faster results were deemed a necessary element of the process.

The article states

We tested five sites where a single appraisal costs up to $20 and takes one to eight days to complete. The items appraised were a pair of vintage diamond and black onyx earrings bought in the 1940s, a 19th century gilded Meissen porcelain bowl bought in 1947 at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and a vintage Olivetti Valentine typewriter. Each appraisal included its estimated value as well as additional information about our items, such as history and care instructions.

In most instances, we uploaded detailed photos of three items to the website and included information we had available for each object. Appraisal results were mixed. For example, auction values for the earrings varied by as much as $625. "You could ask five appraisers [for] five values and get 15 answers," says Leon Castner, director of education at the International Society of Appraisers and a partner in an appraisal firm in Hope, N.J. He examined our photos and then vetted the other five appraisals that we received.

Mr. Castner points out that it's important to understand what type of value is listed in the quote. An auction or fair market value, for example, is significantly higher than quick sale value, which is what an item would yield at a pawn shop, he says.
To read the complete article, click HERE.

No comments: