Is It Worth It? A Guide to Valuing Hidden Treasures and Antiques 

Mini Mall Storage Antique Valuation Guide

In the wise words of Missy Elliott, “Is it worth it, let me work it,” and when it comes to digging through your attic, basement, or inheriting furniture, these lyrics have never been more relevant. We’re talking about more than flipping it and reversing it—despite DIY trends, that advice might be disastrous depending on the item!  

Instead, we are deep diving into determining the value of those knick-knacks, antique furniture pieces, and mysterious keepsakes that could either be your next big payday or just taking up valuable space. Before you make any rash decisions about what to keep, toss, or sell, let’s break it down, Mini Mall Storage style. 

Let’s begin! 

porcelain teacups

Step 1: The Discovery Phase 

First things first, let’s talk about what to do if you inherit, find, or have items that could potentially be valuable. This could be antique furniture passed down through generations, vintage pieces found in a flea market, or a collection of items you’ve had for years but never truly appreciated. The discovery phase is all about identifying these items and starting your journey to uncover their worth.  

vintage jewelry

Step 2: Research Like a Pro 

Becoming an amateur appraiser (you know we love Antiques Roadshow) has never been easier, thanks to the digital era. Start by taking clear, detailed photos of your items from multiple angles. Look for any maker’s marks, signatures, or any identifying details that could help in your search.  

Websites like eBay, Etsy, reverse image search, and even Google Images can give you a starting point of whether you’re sitting on a goldmine or just gold-colored plastic. Remember, the devil is in the details, so the more you know about your item, the better. 

Pro tips for Research: 

WorthPoint: Use their free trial online to explore auction records for insights on recent sale prices.  

Reddit: Lurk, learn, then post with photos and stories on r/Antiques or r/whatsthisworth for community wisdom. 

valuing antiques

Step 3: Seek Professional Help 

While online research is a great kick-off, professional expertise is the best. For items that seem to have significant value, consider getting an appraisal. Professional appraisers can provide you with a detailed evaluation and an estimate of your item’s market value. If you watch Pawn Stars, you know the drill! This step is crucial, especially if you’re considering selling the item or adding it to your insurance policy. 

Pro-tips for Appraisal: 

Understand the Process: Before going in, know the difference between an insurance appraisal and a fair market value appraisal, as they serve different purposes. 

Consider Multiple Appraisals: Don’t rely on a single evaluation. Getting a few opinions can provide a broader perspective on your item’s worth. 

Be Mindful of Fees: Some appraisers charge a flat rate, while others might take a percentage of the item’s value. Understanding the fee structure upfront can save surprises. 

Leverage the Negotiation: If you decide to sell, a professional appraisal can be a powerful negotiation tool, ensuring you get a fair price based on informed valuation. 

cash for antiques and valuables from storage

Step 4: To Sell or Not to Sell? 

Once you’ve determined the value of your items, it’s decision time. If you choose to sell, platforms like eBay, Etsy, and specialized auction houses are your best bet. However, if sentimentality wins or you’re not ready to part with your treasures just yet, that’s where self storage comes into play. 

Mini Mall Storage storage units

Step 5: Safety in Self Storage 

Here’s where Mini Mall Storage shines. Whether you’re holding onto a collection of antiques, safeguarding a valuable inheritance, or simply need time to decide what to do next, self storage offers a secure, climate controlled environment for your treasures. Until you’re ready to make a move, self storage protects your items from damage and from being lost in the shuffle of daily life. Learn all about climate control storage with our helpful guide!

In the spirit of Missy Elliott, before you decide to “put that thing down, flip it, and reverse it” into someone else’s hands, make sure you’ve considered its true value.  

And remember, Mini Mall Storage is here to keep your valuables safe, secure, and ready for whatever decision you choose to make. Our experts are here to support you every step of the way. 

Ready to get started? Find self storage near you! 

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