Knowing the value of your possessions isn’t as easy as it sounds, and you may have some research to do if your furnishings have more rings than an aged redwood tree.
For example, could your bargain car-boot coffee table have increased in value? Is the dust-collecting Mega Drive now a cult collector’s item? Is the plant pot you’ve had forever actually a relic of the Ming dynasty? Well, you never know!
If you’re estimating or guessing, put the brakes on. To ensure the true value of your belongings are accounted for, there are some simple (and quite fun) ways to discover what your possessions are really worth.
What’s it worth However you assess the value of your specialist items or collectables,keep a record of all your correspondence, quotes and sums to refer back to when you’re setting up your contents insurance policy.
eBay advanced search
Hit the busiest marketplace on the web to discover the value of equivalent items up for sale.
The eBay advanced search tool filters vast quantities of listings on eBay to reveal a very specific list of results. You can use the advanced search to research the value of your furnishings. Here’s how to do it:
Enter keywords about your item, for example “Royal Worcester plate”
Fill in any exclusions you want to omit from your search, such as “Evesham gold”
Select a category from the extensive drop-down list. For the above terms, the category could be “collectables” or “antiques.” For a broader list of results, you could leave this field blank.
Leave the price range blank to see the full spectrum of sales
View listings for “Titles and Description”, “Completed Listings” and “Sold Listings”, plus “Auction”, “Buy It Now” and “Classified Ads”. In returning all of this information, you get a sense of what similar items have sold for previously and also the progress of current auctions.
Scroll down and click “search”
Hey, presto! eBay has generated a ready-made comparison list so you can reveal what equivalent, or similar, items are worth. Scroll through and make a note of the final sale price for each and calculate an average value to assign to your item.
The eBay advanced search tool filters vast quantities of listings on eBay to reveal a very specific list of results.
If you have a specialist item, or a collection it might be too specific or niche to return many listings on eBay. The next investigatory port-of-call could be specialist forums!
Full to burst with experts, forums offer insider advice on buying, selling and trading trends for your item. Whether you’re just lurking (reading and not chatting), or actively starting a thread to ask directly, these aficionados might be able to enlighten you about the value of your belongings, or direct you to someone who can.
Facebook groups and forums are swamped with similarly passionate collectors, so why not click the links below, register and start chatting!
Get items valued professionally
You don’t need to go to an auction (or suit-up in a red fleece as if Bargain Hunt has come to town) to discover the value of your possessions from an appraiser.
There are no-fuss websites that deliver an accurate value for your belongings, for a minimal charge. Valuemystuff.com provides an appraisal within 48 hours for £10. It offers a simple checklist for your item, asking for information about distinctive markings or hallmarks, plus it offers the opportunity to upload 24 images of your item.
If your item has a barcode and you have access to a smartphone, you can use a scanner to find its value online. Digital marketplaces, such as Amazon.co.uk and Musicmagpie.co.uk, usually provide an app, with all the functionality of its desktop website, for you to download and use on the move! A barcode scanner can be included and it’ll only make your life easier when valuing your contents
Even if your collectables are very niche, there are online communities chatting, appraising and trading
Using Amazon to value your items
Download the Amazon app for iOS
Click the barcode or camera image next to the search bar.
Select “scan a barcode” or hover the camera over the object.
The app will ask you to hold your mobile device in landscape mode and centre the barcode so it fits inside the orange rectangle guides that will appear on screen.
Amazon will scan the barcode and reveal a list of the items that match and their value
Download mobile apps that feature built-in barcode scanners, to help inform your home evaluations