Frequently Asked Appraisal Questions

Q.   Are there extra charges?
A.   Never. You know what your total appraisal fee will be before you see the expert. Never pay an appraiser an hourly rate. An hourly rate contract is nothing more than a blank check.

Q.   Do you guarantee your research?
A.   If we are in error, we'll refund your appraisal fee or redo it.

Q.   I don't know anything about hiring an appraiser, what do I do?
A.   Just phone our office. Our low-key, friendly staff will ask you a few questions to help you decide which of our programs is right for you.

Q.   Why are there different prices between appraisers?
A.   Some appraisers quote low so they can try and buy from you. Some originally quote low but have hidden costs in travel and research time. We don't buy and we don't have unethical hidden charges for research and travel time. Know your total fee before you see the appraiser!

Q.   I have a lot of paintings and antiques to be appraised. Where to begin?
A.   Make a list of approximately what you have. Either call or fax the list to us. You may also send to us photographs in the mail and we'll phone you after we examine them. There is no obligation.

Q.   If I bring an item into the office, do I have to leave it there?
A.   No, we'll record all the information during the inspection so you can take the item home with you the same day.

Q.   What is your minimum appraisal fee?
A.   $195.00, which includes all research.
Sotheby's minimum appraisal fee is $3500.00!

Q.   My item is too big to bring into the office. Can you work from a photograph?
A.   Yes, in some cases, please phone us and we'll accommodate you. 35% of our appraisals are from photos.

Q.   If I come to you for a painting appraisal, do I have to leave the painting?
A.   No, we take detailed photographs of it for research when neccessary. You always keep posession of all your works particularly painting appraisals, and fine art appraisals.

Q.   If I have a house full of items that might be worth something. Where do I start?
A.   Take simple snapshots of the items you think are the most worthwhile and mail them to us. We will advise you what needs appraising. There is no obligation or charge to look at these photos. We are a specialist in fine art appraisals, antique appraisals, and painting appraisals.

Q.   Can you help us sell items?
A.   Our research will show you where the market is, maybe New York, Chicago, Europe. There is no extra charge to recommend collectors, dealers, museums. Fine art auction house recommendations are always a difficult problem particularly in notorious Chicago. "Reputable art auction house" is often made up of two conflicting words.

Q.   I don't want to spend a minimum of $89.50 to $195.00 for an appraisal to maybe find out it is not worth even that.
A.   If your art or antique is not worth at least 6 times our fee, we'll recommend you not have it appraised.

Q.   Can you take the item on consignment for us and sell it?
A.   We just appraise. No ethical appraiser buys and sells what they appraise. We represent you, not ourselves. We have no reason to get the value up or down.
We receive the same fee if the item is worth $1,000.00 or $100,000.00. We are totally against the appraisers that say an item is worth $500.00 and that's what they will pay you for it.

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