Appraising or Valuing Your
If You Want to Know the Value of
You Own or Sell Them
AN ESTIMATE OF VALUE
almost on a daily basis, multiple request(s) for our opinion as
to the value of an item frequently without either a description
or an image of the article to be valued.KEEP IN MIND, OUR BUSINESS
IS NOT ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.Because of the increasing volume
of these requests we have out of necessity developed the policies
outlined herein and we hope that those seeking our opinion understand
why it is necessary for us to have such policies.
do not provide estimates of value without examining the item or
an image of the item..
Furthermore we do not provide free valuations of signed
material or other historical artifacts.. The three exceptions
to this policy are: Our Clients, United States Military Service
personnel or students.Our charge for the time involved to estimate
the value of an autograph or like items is $100.00
per hr-one hour minimum .
that fee we offer a best estimate of current retail value but
remeber retail values change constantly. Sometime, a good scan
will be sufficient to enable us to determine the approximate retail
value of an item. Any additional information that a seller can
provide is also helpful:e.g. information as to the origin of the
item, where was it purchased,has it been authenticated and by
whom, etc.For example most items purchased on ebay have little
or no value depending an the standing of the seller.Also itrems
autenticated by either PSA /DNA OR MOST OF THE OTHER THIRD PARY
AUTHENTICATORS often have a dimminshed value if the item was not
purchase at some point in the past from an established dealer.
So the source and how authenticity was established are mot important
determinants of value.Our contact information to arrange an estimate
of value is at the bottom of this page.
you are sending an image it should be at 72 dpi resolution and
6 inches maximum dimension.
an estimate of value that is usually conveyed verbally or by email.
A detailed written proposal that may be used for insurance or
the IRS requires much more work (time) and is that type of appraisal
is discussed subsequently herein.
the source for the autograph is credible, the value also is determined
by a combination of the following: rarity, condition, historical
significance and content if it is a an autographed letter. Something
entirely in someone's hand is usually worth more that a comparable
typed letter.The value of signed photographs and books is determined
by similar criteria-mainly rarity and condition.In the case of
photographs value is enhance if the photograph was created by
a famous photographer like Karsh or studio like Bachrach.We have
an article on books that details how to value them on this web
As an alternative
to paying for an estimate of value, we suggest you consult with
your local library or bookstore where price guides on autographs
are available. One such reference is: (SANDERS PRICE
GUIDE TO AUTOGRAPHS-ED. SAFFRO,SMITH AND SHAW, ALEXANDER BOOKS,
abooks.com.) Or visit autograph web sites and determine
what, for example, an item like yours is selling for at va credible
dealer. Just Google historic(al) autographs to find dealers
with items for sale. Remember, there are two prices-retail
and what a dealer will pay for an item or wholesale. But
also remember, the autograph market is like any other market and
it changes constantly and the desirability of owning the autograph
of a given historical figure changes quickly as history gets rewritten
We also do
written appraisals for a fee. The total cost
depends on the nature of the item being appraised and the purpose
of the appraisal. For example, appraisals for the IRS require
extensive research and documentation and anyone who gives such
an appraisal has serious legal exposure with the government if
it can be shown that the item was overvalued.Because of the time
involved this type of appraisal is the most costly.Written
proposals for insurance purposes usually cost somewhat less.Obtaining
an appraisal which involves research (time) is different than
obtaining some 'rough estimate' of value. Fee-based appraisals
can be arranged by contacting us. Our appraisal fee is billed
at the rate of $100.00
OUR APPRAISAL FEE DOES NOT INCLUDING OUR FEES FOR GOING TO COURT
TO DEFEND THAT APPRAISAL. FEES FOR EITHER DEPOSITIONS OR COURT
APPEARANCES CAN BE ARRANGED ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS.
AUTOGRAPHS TO US:
We are always
interested in buying either complete collections or individual
items. The attributes that make an autographed item desirable
are condition, rarity, content (when applicable) and provenance
(did it come from a reliable source? has it been previously authenticated
and by whom? Items purchased on ebay from someone not known to
us usually are not of interest to us. For further guidance see
our thoughts on AUTHENTICATION
three ways to sell your item: first,sell to another individual
(private treaty); second, sell at auction (including ebay); and,
third, sell to a dealer. We have prepared a separate article on
AUTOGRAPH AUCTIONS. What follows
are some guidelines for selling to a dealer.
send out to whom it may concern emails or the equivalent
. It indicates that you are 'shopping' the item . 'Shopping' an
item greatly diminishes its value because the item is no longer
'fresh' to the market. Dealers have more incentive to buy when
an item is new to the market because it brings the best price
under those circumstances. So your best bet is to look around
and select one dealer, tell that dealer you are willing to deal
with him/her only and see if you can arrive at a price by honest
negotiations. It is best to prepare to sell your item by first
checking prices (2nd paragraph) and by preparing images of what
you want to sell on a scanner so they are available to any interested
buyer. These images are called jpgs (pronounced -jaypegs) images.
They should be saved at 72 pixels resolution and 6 inches maximum
dimension (the other dimension self-adjusts on the scan). Otherwise
the image is too big and will take forever to download.If you
do not have a scanner a digital photograph may work but it is
often difficult to see details of the writing and signature(s)
or the condition of a document on a photograph. We cannot make
an offer on something we have not seen.
When we make
an offer it is a one time offer and if it is not accepted we withdraw
the offer so that our offer cannot be used as leverage on another
dealer. We try to make a very fair offer but one that we can make
a profit on when we are able to resell an item.That offer is based
on current market conditions.
object to individuals who are faux sellers and who only want an
offer on their item as a means of obtaining a free 'appraisal'
which is a waste of our time. Some dealers will not make offers
but, rather, request that the seller state their selling price.
about an estimate of current value, appraisals or selling your
collection or individual item please call, write, or email:
Buff, Inc.-17509 Bearpath Trail, Eden Prairie, MN 55347