The Importance of Knowing Value...Have Your Sports Memorabilia Collection Appraised Before Selling!



When you invest in sports memorabilia, you often don't realize how much the value can climb by the time you choose to sell. Likewise, it could decrease in value as well. Appraisal is a must for the serious sports collector. People have been sorely disappointed because they didn't get their items appraised for value and then sold them for a fraction of their worth.

Some places to check for appraisals for your sports collectibles include:

  • Robert Connelly - He does clinics on appraisals. He's a member of the American Society of Appraisers and was honored by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
  • American Legends - Provides paid appraisals, founded in 1992.
  • AllAuthentic Sports Memorabilia - professionals who can provide references and offer instant appraisals.
  • Vintage Sports Memorabilia Appraisals - has a sports artifacts library for thousands of vintage sports items, prefers email requests limited to two items, nothing newer than 1980.
  • Krause Standard Catalog of Sports Memorabilia Price Guide.
  • Sports Memorabilia Appraisal Expert Witness - Provides a toll-free number, volunteers background information to help give reference to its value as an appraisal business.

  • Besides the importance of appraisals for resale value, you may want to seriously consider having your valuable insured. Insurance companies also may not recognize the value unless you've had an appraisal done. Make sure you have documented proof. There is a Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice which is recognized in courts and acceptable to banks, insurance companies, auction houses, and the IRS. Don't just depend on a local sports shop or whatever available appraisal you come across. Also, consider that paying for more than one opinion is worthwhile if a lot of money is involved and if it gives you peace of mind.

    Prices will change, so you'll want an updated value before deciding to sell. Retired players hold their value better because their status won't change.

    Make sure you sell to the right person or business. Just because an item is listed as one amount doesn't mean the dealer will agree to pay that amount.

    Sweat stains don't necessarily make a jersey authentic. Anyone can wear a jersey long enough to sweat in it and try to pass it off as the real thing. Watch for smudged autographs, dog-eared pages in books, worn edges on cards. An appraiser should be trained to notice small details that would decrease the value of your collector's item.

    There is a system with trading cards called grading. A graded card has a more reasonable guarantee of authenticity. Graded cards are sealed to discourage card switching, a low tactic of some sellers. The appraiser should know to recognize graded cards and their value.

    When my daughter was involved in card collecting and bought a box of cards that seemed like a great deal to her, she was soon sorely disappointed. The only authentic card was the one in the display on the front of the box. All the rest were fakes, worthless. It was a waste of her hard-earned and long saved allowance. So beware of this type of scam when you buy a group of items. The appraisal value will be zero!




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