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What's This Worth?
How to use the Internet to research the value of your antiques.

The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents' Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff

A practical guide to advise Baby Boomers how to deal with the daunting task of facing a parents' eventual passing as it relates to residential contents, heirlooms, and the often difficult family interactions and feuds that accompany them.

With fascinating stories and comprehensive checklists, professional estate liquidator Julie Hall walks Baby Boomers through the often painful challenge of dividing the wealth and property of their parents' lifetime accumulation of stuff.

From preparation while the parent is still living through compassionately helping them empty the family home, The Estate Lady gives invaluable tips on negotiating the inevitable disputes, avoiding exploitation from scam artists, and eventually closing the chapter of their lives in a way that preserves relationships and maximizes the value of assets. 


1904 world fair
Explore auctions from around the world.
1904 World's Fair
So, you think you may have something valuable. Fun.

Trying to find out how much it's worth? I spend quite a bit of time visiting different antiques, collecting and appraisal websites, and I have tried to provide you with links for some of the best and easiest places to start your research.

I am not an antiques dealer or appraiser myself, but I have learned a few things from working with them over the years.

Don't just walk up and ask an antiques dealer, "What's this worth?" The standard reply is, "How much do you want for it?" Many of them have spent years acquiring knowledge, and passing out free advice is not typically part of their job description. Also, don't sell your item to the same person you ask to evaluate it. Buying low and selling high is how they make their living.

Quality is very important. Just because something is old doesn't necessarily make it valuable. The better its condition, the more it's worth.

No matter what information you find regarding the value of your antique or collectible, it's only worth as much as someone is willing to pay you for it! Just because a price guide says your antique doorknob is worth $100, if no one will give you that much, then it's not. Sorry.

Search for antique values with these search tips.
Have you tried searching for your item's value with Google?  Have any luck?  I recently wrote an article titled, "How to Search Better." It provides several suggestions for getting better search results.

Many people start their search at eBay.  I've read that eBay's search is unreliable, so I set up this custom search box.  Try it and compare the results you get from using their search.

Search for values at ebay

Custom Search

You can use this box to search 3 online antique malls: The Internet Antique Shop, Rubylane and GoAntiques.

Search online antique stores for values

Custom Search

This box will enable you to search 3 auction houses: Sotheby's, Christies and Heritage.

Custom Search

This box searches 3 magazine websites: Art & Antiques, AntiqueTrader and Antiqueweek.

Search magazines about antiques for values

Custom Search
Lofty provides free professional opinions of value for your treasured items
Lofty is an expert-reviewed, online marketplace for valuable fine and decorative art, including paintings, prints, and photography by listed artists and sterling silver, art glass and notable ceramics worth $1,000 or more. Kindly note that at this time Lofty does not provide evaluations for or sell any furniture, sports or entertainment memorabilia, collectibles, artist self-submissions or any of the items listed here.

Selling your fine and decorative art on Lofty is simple. Just complete Lofty's short online submission form to get started. If your item is appropriate for sale on Lofty AND worth over $1,000, an expert will identify, describe and value your item, and you will be invited to virtually consign to Lofty.

Lofty features a selection of our clients’ best Fine Art inventory in the Lofty Fine Art Store, alongside property from a notable roster of international dealers. Partnering with Amazon allows Lofty to expose your paintings, photography, drawings, mixed media, and prints to an even larger audience.

Get an antique appraisal from Value My Stuff
Value My Stuff is the online appraisal company led by Patrick Van der Vorst and his team of 68 former Sotheby's and Christie's experts who specialize in over 48 collecting categories.

Once you upload photographs and details of your item, Value My Stuff experts will email you a PDF report and online certificate detailing your item's history and value within 48 hours or less. With the aim of extending expertise to everyone, Value My Stuff has been called,"The Antiques Roadshow online."

How does it work? 
Step 1: Send your photos and any information to Value My Stuff.
Upload your photos and info to Value my Stuff
Step 2: Value My Stuff will assign you an expert appraiser from their team.
Value my Stuff will assign you an expert appraiser
Step 3: 48 hours later you'll receive an appraisal in your inbox.
You will receive an antique appraisal in 48 hours

What do you get? 
Within 48 hours, your Value My Stuff expert will email you an appraisal of your antique or valuable with a PDF report and online certificate detailing your item's history and value. Your online certificate is held on a secure server so you can share your appraisal with others. Value My Stuff maintains the highest levels of security.

How much? 
$15.00 for 1 appraisal.
$35.00 for 3 appraisals.
$100.00 for 10 appraisals

Be an Informed Seller
You want to make the most of what you have.  You don't want to waste your money by listing your item too high, and you really don't want to just give it away to some clever picker. If you have what you think is a potentially valuable antique, eventually you are going to have to have it appraised.

Value My Stuff offers you the most professional service for the most competitive price on the web. You'll be impressed by the quality of their appraisals.

Barneby's offers free antique appraisals is a search engine for art and antiques. Barnebys manage all auctions to be more available by gathering them in one place. They report realized prices from sold auction lots so you can compare similar objects with each other. If you want a more detailed estimation on your lots Barnebys offers you to submit an item for free online appraisal in four easy steps.

Explore auctions from around the world.
search their appraiser approved database of actual prices for more than 750,000 antiques and collectibles!
Kovels Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide
The Kovel's have compiled a unique list of more than a million prices for antiques and collectibles sold worldwide. This online price guide has been designed to provide relevant prices in a wide variety of categories. Each entry gives a description, price and year of sale. The search function makes it easy. Registration is free.

Kovels Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide
Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2016
The 48th edition of Kovels' includes 32,000 listings and more than 2,500 full-color photographs.

Kovels' is the most complete price guide available, from the most trusted name in the industry. It features exceptionally well-organized, wide-ranging, up-to-the-minute information, including more tips, marks, logos, and photographs than any other competitive title.

Looking for information about antiques or need an appraisal?
Have Questions about Antiques? Ask an Antiques Expert.
Looking for information about antiques or need an appraisal? Now you can get answers to all your questions. Just ask an antiques experts on JustAnswer and get fast and customized answers to all your questions.

Find out what it is worth in the Country Living appraisal column.
Country Living's "What Is It? What Is It Worth?" appraisal column is a favorite among readers. Let the experts from the leading auction houses in the country determine the value of your favorite collectible or prized family heirloom for free.

2016 Price Guide Collection
The 2016 Price Guide Collection is a trifecta of antiques and collectibles expertise, available for a limited time for one low price.

The collection includes the Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles 2016 Price Guide, the Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2016 Price Guide and an Antique Trader Magazine Digital Subscription.

If you were to purchase each reference at retail price, or even the average discount price, you'd pay anywhere from $66 to $73, but, in choosing to purchase the 2016 Price Guide Collection you'll pay just $39.99. A savings of 45% on a collection you'll refer to time and again.

5 factors that make an old or rare book valuable
5 Factors That Make an Old or Rare Book Valuable

How to understand the basic factors behind the value of antique books. This is a special guest article by Adam Weinberger of, a book dealer with over 30 years of experience.

You can read some good information about antique appraisals at the Antique-Antiques website.
You can read some good information about antique appraisals at the Antique-Antiques website.

Harry Rinker knows a lot about antiques and collectbles values
Harry Rinker is a prolific antiques and collectibles writer. He hosted a show on  HGTV called Collector Inspector, a weekly show devoted to seeking out antiques and collectibles in private homes. Rinker makes numerous guest appearances at antiques shows, etc, where he lectures and/or conducts verbal appraisal clinics.

Internet, insurance companies and private clients utilize Rinker’s consulting services. You can get lots of good information in his columns.

Prices 4 Antiques is a searchable database which provides past auction prices for antiques, collectibles and fine art.
Prices 4 Antiques is a searchable database which provides past auction prices for antiques, collectibles and fine art.
Search the Antiques Roadshow Archive of appraisals
You might try exploring the Antiques Roadshow website. 
Antiques and Collectables appraisals by Bath Antiques Online
Bath Antiques offers extremely reliable, highly accurate and completely impartial antique appraisals. They also have a free searchable antiques price guide with 1000's of rare antiques and novelty collector's items - each pictured, described and with their price guide.
Amati Instruments provide free valuations and appraisals for musical instruments, specifically violins, violas, cellos and bows
If you want to know how much your violin is worth, Amati Instruments provides free valuations and appraisals for musical instruments.  They specialize in violins, violas, cellos and bows.

With over 15 years in the business and having run the musical instrument department at Christie’s, Amati is at the forefront of violin appraisals and auctions.
Research your coins at USA Coin Book
USA Coin Book is a massive resource for US coins with over 10,000 members. Anyone can look up coin prices and values, based on coin condition, for every US coin year, mint and major variety ever made, in a clean "Red Book" format. Each coin has it's own page with example images and pictures to diagnose specific major coin varieties. In addition, USA Coin Book is an alternative to eBay where members can buy, sell and auction coins and related items - with items for sale integrated into the price charts.

Everything is free to use and it's free to sign up.
What's your painting worth?  What's the best way to sell it?
Get an appraisal from West Highland Art Auctions
West Highland Art Auctions offers a unique art brokerage service.   They buy original oil paintings and watercolors by "listed" 19th and 20th Century artists with auction records. They will buy your paintings for top dollar, then put them up at auction with Sotheby's, Christies or any other auction house as 50-50 partners.

They don't buy prints, reproductions or limited editions.  As a rule, they do not buy art by living artists unless the artist has a track record at auction.  They prefer to buy art in original condition.   If necessary they will have your painting cleaned, restored and re-framed, at their risk and expense, and split these costs with you after it sells at auction.

If you have a single work of art, a collection you're thinking of selling or if you're interested in building a fine art collection, please feel  free to contact them for free advice and recommendations. When you email them, please include the artist's name, size of painting, condition, any labels on the back and any known provenance or history of the painting.  Please don't ask them to appraise anything but paintings.