How to Find the Value of Your Stuff


In our last blog post, we talked about why storing those collectibles and antiques in your Cook shed is preferable over other options like the basement, attic or garage. We also discussed the importance of having an up-to-date inventory, knowing what you have and the value of these items.

Then, if you need to sell something, give something to another family or plan to move and need to downsize, you will be prepared.

To make this process a little easier, there are tons of great resources and online tools available to help you find the current value of the items in your inventory. Learn more about ways to do this below!

Get a professional appraisal

Most people will visit a local antique shop or dealer to get the value and other details about their items. While this is a good method, for items that are higher value or more uncommon, you might want to bring those things to a certified, accredited appraiser.

These professionals are required to meet certain ethical standards of fair and honest assessment. There also isn’t a chance for a conflict of interest, because an appraiser cannot offer to purchase any item they have issued a report on.

They will provide a written statement that includes a complete description of the item, how they determined the value and an estimate of the current value. Most appraisers charge an hourly rate but this varies depending on your geographic location and their expertise level.

To locate an appraiser by location or specialty, search online on one of the 3 professional appraising organizations: the American Society of Appraisers, the Appraisers Association of America  and the International Society of Appraisers.

Use online resources

Getting a professional appraisal is a smart idea but you don’t have to go through the hassle of packing up your stuff and going to them. There are tons of valuable websites that bring the appraisal to you!

You just have to upload photos of your items and write a complete description. Most websites will send the estimation within a week.

Some examples of these websites include Value My Stuff, which charges according to how many items you appraise at one time, WorthPoint, which charges by item or offers a monthly membership that provides unlimited access to assessments and Kovels, which has a free basic membership with access to the online price guide.

Another smart way to get an idea of the price range for your items is to use free online auction websites like eBay or Craigslist. Just search your identical item (year, color, type, etc.) and take note of what the majority of similar items are selling for.

Take advantage of tax deductible value

If selling your things seems like too much of hassle, think about donating them instead. They can go to a family that will enjoy and cherish them. And if you donate certain items to charity you can claim the tax deductible amount on that year’s taxes.

To learn more about that option, visit a tax preparation company like Turbo Tax or use a resource like the Salvation Army’s donation value guide!

Now that you know the value of all your great stuff, you need a safe and secure place to keep everything. So what about a Cook Portable Warehouse? Learn more about our different building styles!