Why Get an Appraisal?

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is an informed opinion of value. As with all opinions, an appraisal's validity depends on the expertise, experience, and educational background of the person providing the appraisal. Also, the appraiser's opinion must be independent with the appraiser having no interest in the value (monetary, cultural, historical, etc.) of the item being appraised.  

Compare Dr. Lori's background with that of other appraisers. Learn why Dr. Lori does not purchase items being appraised as this practice ensures an honest and ethical appraisal for you.

Why Get an Appraisal?

Dr. Lori explains how to pick an appraiser, the difference between written vs. verbal appraisals, and why you need an appraisal.

Why do I need an Online Appraisal?

Many people seek an online appraisal from Dr. Lori to help them:


Determine what price to sell an item for and to make sure you do not lose money by letting a $5,000 item sell for $5 at a yard sale or online auction. This is how someone finds a $5,000 painting at a garage sale for $5.  Someone puts it out at a yard sale for $5 and doesn't know what it's worth!


Determine if a seller is asking too much or too little for an item.  Is my online auction bid too high for something that is not authentic?  Does that antique dealer want too much for a piece that is damaged or a reproduction?


Determine if a piece is worth keeping or if I should throw it away.


Determine if I should spend additional time and money for an insurance appraisal which is necessary to properly insure an item. 


Determine additional information about the item such as its history, artist's or maker's background, authenticity, etc.  Having information from someone who is qualified like Dr. Lori is often helpful when trying to sell the item, especially in online auctions.

Do other appraisals show sales records?

Dr. Lori's Online Appraisals are based on actual sales records where similar pieces actually have sold.  Actual sales records including price, location, and date are included in the Online Appraisal document. This is vital information that Dr. Lori provides which will help you have success in the market.

View a sample of Dr. Lori's Online Appraisals:  Page 1   Page 2

The information contained in this sample is not complete or accurate, it is for sample purposes only.

Learn how to obtain an online appraisal from Dr. Lori.

Compare Dr. Lori's background with other appraisers. 

Why do I need an Insurance Appraisal?

Many people seek an insurance appraisal from Dr. Lori to help them:


Properly insure items in case of catastrophic loss.  Most insurance companies require an insurance appraisal when obtaining a rider on your current homeowner's policy to insure works of art and antiques.


Properly insure valuable items when moving or transporting.  Most insurance companies require a physical condition report and value BEFORE any damage is done.  It is often too late after the piece is damaged.  Dr. Lori's Insurance Appraisals include a current condition report to museum standards.


Properly plan or settle an estate.  Most estate planners are not  qualified appraisers and cannot determine the accurate value of items.  Are you really saving money by not having items properly valued?


Settle a divorce.  Many times an independent appraisal is needed to help with the settlement of joint property.


Determine additional information about the item such as its history, artist or maker's background, authenticity, etc.  Having information from someone who is qualified like Dr. Lori is often helpful when trying to sell the item.

Insurance appraisal example

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View a sample of one of Dr. Lori's Insurance Appraisals. 

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The information contained in this sample is not complete or accurate, it is for example purposes only.

Contact us about getting an Insurance Appraisal from Dr. Lori.

Compare Dr. Lori's background with other appraisers.  

Why do I need a Verbal Appraisal?

Many people seek Dr. Lori's verbal appraisal services to help them:


Determine what items to throw away and which ones to keep in large rooms, houses, or estates.  This is helpful with a large volume of items when you are downsizing to a smaller home.


Determine what items should go to auction and which should go to family members in an estate situation.  Many times Dr. Lori is called in before the auctioneers because we are not interested in buying your items (Read why this is important).  

Remember, auctioneers are interested in moving a volume of items and auctions do not always bring the right people to the room to get the highest values.  Also, items at auction sell at wholesale prices, NOT retail prices.  Plus, you usually pay other fees associated with the sale at an auction.


Determine what items should go to specific family members. Dr. Lori encourages family members to be present during the verbal appraisal process.


Determine the value for one or more items and are just not interested in learning anything else about the items.  Dr. Lori's verbal appraisal events are good for this purpose.

View Dr. Lori's current verbal appraisal event schedule.

Learn more about the various verbal appraisal services offered by Dr. Lori.

Why appraisers should NOT buy your items

Unlike other appraisers, Dr. Lori has a Ph.D. in art history, decades of appraisal experience, and DOES NOT have an interest in buying your items which ensures that you get an honest, ethical, and accurate appraisal.  

Many appraisers don't want you to know the true value of an item since they are interested in buying the item from you at a much lower price than its actual value.  Under the guise of an appraiser, these people will buy your item cheaply and resell it for their own financial gain making you believe it's not valuable. Good business for them, but not for you, who has no idea what your item is worth. 

If you are interested in selling your items, we suggest that you receive an appraisal from Dr. Lori.  Never use an appraiser who was referred to you by a prospective buyer or seller.  Once you have an independent appraisal from Dr. Lori, you then have the necessary information you need to protect yourself and properly negotiate when you are selling the item.

Compare: Dr. Lori vs. other appraisers

Dr. Lori is unique in the appraisal field. Her education, experience, and ethics are unequaled. You can compare her with others using this easy chart.

List of items Dr. Lori appraises

Dr. Lori can appraise most items--art, antiques, collectible, etc. Here is a short list of objects that Dr. Lori can appraise. If your item or type of item is not here, contact us to see if Dr. Lori can appraise it. In most cases, she can!

How far will Dr. Lori travel for an appraisal?

Dr. Lori travels throughout the United States and abroad.

If you are willing to work with us to schedule an appointment when Dr. Lori is in your area, travel expenses may be waived or reduced

Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Schedule a Dr. Lori Event

Dr. Lori events
Dr. Lori presents her popular Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show around the world at 150 shows a year entertaining audiences. Ask us how to book an event for you.

Dr. Lori's Blog

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3 Ways to Find Valuable Antiques

3 Ways to Find Valuable Antiques

Want to know how to spot that valuable thrift store find? Don't know what to look for when cleaning out Grandma's attic or when you are downsizing? It's a common question and Dr. Lori provides secrets to spot those prints, posters, silver and ceramics that are valuable. Don't rely only on marks or signatures. They could fool you. You must read this article so you aren't throwing away a valuable or walking past it at a thrift store.

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