How Can I Find Out How Much Something Is Worth?

Spring weather or winter blahs can motivate even the hardiest pack rat into cleaning out the garage or the basement and throwing out items. While you are wading through old kitchen utensils, your deceased uncle's golf clubs and your great aunt's teaspoon collection, you may realize that some of these items may fetch a price instead of taking up space in a dumpster. You can sort such items and determine how much something is worth in a few different ways.


    • 1

      Ask the experts. Depending on the object, calling an appraiser may be the most direct option to find out how much something is worth. Appraisers are professionals who determine the value of personal property, real estate, businesses, machinery and jewelry, according to the Appraisers Association of America. Online appraiser directories built by professional associations of appraisers can help you find a local appraiser. Note, however, that an appraiser may charge a fee to assess the value of your object.

    • 2

      Call collectors. Sometimes determining the value of an object is most simply done by relying on amateurs. Almost every community has groups of amateur collectors--some of whom focus on one particular type of object, like stamps or coins. Others focus on a particular category of objects, such as mid-century modern furniture or jasperware. Because collectors study certain objects so closely, they are intimately aware of the value of these objects. They also frequently have access to reference materials that can help price an item. Local collectible associations and clubs are a good place to search to find someone who can help you determine the worth of an object. Web-based resources created by these professional organizations will help you find a local club or group of collectors who can help you.

    • 3

      Check for similar items for sale. If the object that you are trying to price is relatively common, check sales or auction sites--online and offline--to see what similar items cost. Checking online auction sites such as eBay or Craigslist, or offline sources such as flea markets and yard sales will help you gauge how much your object is worth.

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