Items you will need
- Digital camera
- Internet access
Pricing handmade furniture can be difficult unless you know where to look for information. The value of handmade furniture is basically set by the vendor who builds the piece of furniture. Handmade furniture is best valued by talking to vendors or by visiting the shops that sell the furniture. However, placing a value on true antique furniture is more complicated; getting input from several experts in the field is recommended by Anita Ramsey of the shop aunt daisy's located in Emmaus, Pa. Valuing a family heirloom is definitely different from valuing antique furniture you purchase on the free market.
Look on the Internet for shops in your the area that sell handmade furniture. A simple Internet search for handmade furniture in your area will provide both dealers and manufacturers.
Make notes of your findings and focus on one particular piece of furniture for comparison. When buying or selling a piece, visit several local dealers or use the Internet to determine the relative value. When selling a piece of furniture, the dealer must include a markup value in his offer so he can make a profit.
Send a photo online to two or three appraisers if the furniture is an antique. Tell the appraisers whether the piece is to be purchased or valued for insurance purposes. The appraisers may use different figures based on your location, so keep this in mind when choosing an appraiser. As an example, dated handmade furniture is typically worth more in Vermont than in Arizona.
Two sites that can be very helpful are wiw2u and antique-antiques.
Research online workshops that produce the handmade furniture you are seeking. These builders typically are small factories that do not sell directly to the consumer because of contractual terms with their dealers. However, they can provide a list of shops in your area that sell their hand-crafted furniture.
One small workshop that provides the names of dealers in your area is Good Intent Farm.
Visit local dealers that the workshops recommended and ask them to price the piece, or pieces, of handmade furniture you are looking to sell or value. The dealers are typically more than happy to help, since it helps promote their businesses, as well.
Finalize your price based on the feedback from either a dealer or Internet research that you feel provided the most substantive information.
In buying a piece of antique furniture, ask the shop owner or representative if you may take a photo of the piece. Some shop owners do not allow picture-taking of items, so be respectful by asking for their permission.
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