This document describes the frequently asked questions about submitting and receiving appraisals.
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- How do appraisals work?
- What are AppraiserPoints and how can I earn them?
- What are the typical elements of a completed appraisal?
- How long does an appraisal take?
- What does a typical appraisal look like?
- What if the appraiser needs more information?
- How do I pay for the completed appraisal?
- What if I'm not satisfied my appraisal?
- How can I contact someone at Instappraisal for more information, details, or assistance?
How Do Appraisals Work?
A member visits Instappraisal.com and submits a request to receive an appraisal. The request includes information known by the member about the item as well as photographs of the item. The appraisal request is then available for appraisers and the public alike to comment on and provide information. Please realize that the more detailed information and quality photographs that you input with your request the better chance you have of receiving quality information. Instappraisal is run by a wealth of antique, collecting, and art enthusiasts and experts, some professional and some people just like you and me. Anyone can comment on your appraisal request (and you can comment on other people's request as well) which typically allows for a more open valuation and more information about an item than from a sole appraiser. Remember that appraisals are commented on by the public - Instappraisal is a 100% free community-based crowdsourced antique, collectible, and art appraisal and information site. You should also scan through the hundreds of thousands of already completed appraisal requests which may already have information about your item; just enter a few keywords in the "Search" area on the upper-right corner on every page.
What are AppraiserPoints and how do I earn them?
AppraiserPoints are the points that are given to Instappraisal members who submit comments to appraisal requests from other members. The more comments you enter (have to be worthwile comments) the more points you'll earn. The more points you earn the more chances you have to win one of our montly contests.
Whether you are an expert appraiser, or are just a novice appraiser you can certainly contribute by putting in a few comments about other people's appraisals. You may know something about what the item is, who made it, when it was made, or anything else. Aside from racking up points that can be used in our contests, more importantly you'll be helping your fellow collector learn more about their item.
What are the typical elements of a completed appraisal?
A comment to an appraisal can include any information about the item. The following list provides guidelines on the type of information that may be provided:
- The Title of the Item. What is the common or commercial name of the item being appraised?
- Marks and Signatures. What marks and signatures exist on the item being appraised? This is usually a combination of information from the client requesting the appraisal and your research and evaluation of the item and its photographs.
- Medium. If it is a piece of art such as a painting, or sculpture what is the medium? (e.g. oil, watercolor, gauche, etc.).
- Dimensions of the object. The client requesting the appraisal usually submits these.
- Condition. The client requesting the appraisal usually submits these.
- History. What you have determined to be the history of the item. This is usually a combination of the information attained from the client requesting the appraisal along with the historical information generated from your research.
- Description. Also a combination of information from the client requesting the appraisal and the information you have obtained from your research.
- Fair market value is the price (cash or equivalent) that a buyer could reasonably be expected to pay and a seller could reasonably be expected to accept, if the item were for sale on the open market for a reasonable period of time, both buyer and seller being in possession of all pertinent facts, and neither being under any compulsion to act. It is the amount someone might receive when selling to a dealer or through a professional auction service. It is also the value the IRS requires for donations to tax-exempt organizations and charities.
- Replacement value is the cost of replacing the item with one of comparable quality. It is coverage that one might insure an object that pays the full replacement value for a covered loss rather than just the initial cost less "wear and tear" or depreciation.
How long does an appraisal take?
Since Instappraisal is a 100% community-driven web site appraisals can take as long as it takes for someone who is familiar with your item to make a comment. While Instappraisal does have professional appraisers on staff it is impossible to say how long an appraisal will take. Completion of an appraisal request is a factor of how clear your description is, how common (or uncommon) your item is, whether or not there is an expert available who has expertise on your item, how many and how clear your photographs are, etc. Our community is robust and quite active so it's not uncommon to receive replies within a few hours to a few days after submission.
What does a typical appraisal look like?
Appraisal replies/comments may contain information such as the history about your item, the approximate age, and the value as determined by the person replying to your query. It is really dependent on the information available that the person has who is commenting on your appraisal request. Information provided in response to an appraisal request can vary significantly since it is up to our appraisal community to supply the information.
What if the appraiser needs more information?
Chances are that some communication may have to occur between you and the person replying to your appraisal request. Whether it is to get more information or to clear up any details in the original description.
- Appraisal requests are 100% free. Appraisals may be completed by expert appraisers, may be completed by antique/collecting enthusiasts or can be completed by you depending on your area of expertise. As such there is no charge. Our community is based on an open sharing of information with people from all walks of life interested in finding out what their item is worth and interested in helping to answer other people find out what their item is worth.
What if I'm not satisfied with my appraisal?
The quality of your appraisal is a factor of the quality of information you have entered along with the level of expertise available to reply to your request. Since appraisals are 100% free there is no warranty expressed or implied. Appraisals can be replied to by anyone in our open community.
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