Selling antiques can be a lucrative hobby—if you know how much to ask for. Here are four tips to help you estimate the value of your antiques.

Research What You Own

Before you can price it, you’ll need to know exactly what you own. Any heirlooms or handed-down items from older relatives are good places to start. Antiques can take many forms, such as silver, glassware, furniture, and clothing. First, you will need to inventory the items you think might be antiques. Then, do some research to learn what these items are made of and when they were manufactured.

Learn About Origins

Learning about where an item was originally purchased is another tip to help you estimate the value of your antiques, as it can help date and value a piece. How long has the item been in your family? Did your great-grandmother purchase it from a shop, or did a family member craft it generations ago? This information will be incredibly useful to help a professional value your item correctly.

Be Cautious With Restorations

Only professionals should restore your antiques, and they should only do so when absolutely necessary. Although you may think that restoring the item would make it more valuable, the truth can be the opposite. A poorly done restoration can destroy the quality of an item, and with it, all monetary and historical value.

Because of this, you should only trust expert restorers who have extensive knowledge and mastery of traditional materials and methods. Furthermore, you should only get these restorations if your antique’s damage is beyond minor. Many antique collectors prefer items as close to the original condition as possible and are willing to pay more for an authentic piece.

Work With a Professional Appraiser

All the information you have gathered will help a professional appraiser accurately value your item. This is an essential step—do not register your item with insurance or attempt to sell it without first consulting a reputable professional. Otherwise, you risk severely undervaluing your item. Tell an appraiser everything you know about the antique’s composition, origin, and restoration status, and they will be able to accurately value your item.

If you have followed all these steps and are interested in selling your antiques, choose a reputable antique dealer to sell to. If you are in the market to sell sterling silver, Nelson and Nelson Antiques is proud to offer fair prices and great service to all our customers.