How to Spot a Bad Appraiser

There are some antiques appraisers who have earned their lousy reputations. The sad truth is that most people can’t recognize a bad appraiser until it is too late. If you are involved with an antiques appraiser–and for some stupid reason that appraiser is NOT me–here are three tips to use as guides including actual bad experiences that happened to clients.

1. Purchase Offer vs. Appraisal

Don’t mix up an offer to purchase your object and think that number is an appraised value. A purchase offer is a low priced offer to buy which is in the best interest of the buyer. An appraisal is the amount of money that someone recently paid for an object just like yours. There is a BIG difference. In my opinion, if an appraiser offers to buy your antique, they are no longer an appraiser, they are a dealer who wants to get your item as cheap as possible. Read a true story about the value of a mechanical toy robot I appraised where an offer was only 10 percent of the actual value. You got to know the difference between an appraisal, offer, and price.

2. Don’t Send

Don’t physically send or mail any object to an appraiser for an evaluation for any reason. You will never see your antique or collectible again. I guarantee it.

3. No Yelling


Don’t be a doormat. Don’t let an antiques appraiser yell at you or push you into doing something (like sell an item to them for a low price) that you don’t want to do. Be strong and simply walk away. Fans have told me stories where someone brought in a so-called appraiser (a dealer in an appraiser’s disguise) and the dealer would not leave their house until they sold a very valuable rug to them for only 100 dollars.

Have a bad antiques appraiser story you want to share? Connect with me on social media. Of course, I am always available to offer my expertise at my events, in-home appointments, and by reviewing photos of your items.

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