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How to Research Antiques, a Commentary.

I just did an appraisal today of some Silver Flatware. I won't bore you with the details but suffice to say this person had a number in mind that was seen off Ebay. This number was so substantially inflated I had to laugh. I asked the customer: "Did the item actually sell for that amount?" The retort was "What?" "Did the item actually have bids and sell for that amount." Again, the normal answer "I don't know" I looked the set up that they saw and told them how it worked. If you've come across this article because you want to research the antique you have please keep this in mind:

Ebay is an excellent tool for finding the current retail value of so many items out there. But you have to know how to search for these items. Instead of seeing what is currently being sold click on advanced search which is right next to the Search option. When in "Advanced search" click on "Completed Auctions" Now search your term, you should only be paying attention to numbers in Green. These are actual selling numbers. The ones in red are called FAILED AUCTIONS and a complete waste of Advertising money! If the item can't be found on Ebay within the last 2 weeks then turn to Google to find out more information. If the information isn't readily accessible that is when you turn to an antiques shop or an appraiser to help you. Just some advice though, don’t expect to acquire more than half of the retail value of an item if you’re not planning on selling it through ebay yourself. Us Antique shops have a business to run here and we’ll at best shell out half of what we can get it for on Ebay... Whoops, did I share a secret?

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Comment by Carol on April 21, 2008 at 11:37am
Another good resource for finding current retail pricing on silver flatware is http://www.replacements.com/showroom/fl_sets.htm, ReplacementsLtd.com. I've used them for years for pricing on flatware and china, crystal and silver items too.

I understand your frustration. I've spent years researching things only to have people ask extraordinary amounts of money for items that are chipped, crazed, broken or otherwise damaged. They go through the ebay listings and want the same prices for whatever they are selling, citing ebay as the source. What they don't realize is the ebay pricing is for items in MINT condition.

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