Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Worthologist?
A Worthologist is an expert who will value your antiques and collectibles on WorthPoint.co.uk. We have a range of Worthologists who are at the top of their field and will use their experience and expertise to value your items as accurately as possible. To ensure that you are given a professional and honest valuation, your item will be appraised by the Worthologist who specialises in this category. In return, you will receive an evaluation of your item which will be an estimate of its current market value. It will reflect the current market prices at the time of the valuation.
How much is it worth?
WorthPoint offer the most professional valuation experts and so, your valuation will be as accurate as possible. However, we would like to be clear that the Worthologists will offer a valuation that is based on a fair market value. Insurance valuations are not given on WorthPoint.co.uk. Although our experts will give the more precise valuation possible, it is important to remember that any item is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay on any given day. For example, if two people start a bidding war against one another at auction then the price of the piece will go up. WorthPoint’s valuations should only be used as a guide to ensure that you do not undervalue your reserve price at auction, and so that you have an idea of what price you can expect to achieve when selling your antiques and collectibles.
How to use the database
The database on WorthPoint is known as the Worthopedia and is the largest price guide in the world. It hosts millions of prices for antiques and collectibles realised from past sales and auction results. The Worthopedia is there to help you research items yourself and to help you to gain more information about the price of your items. The process is simple, you type into our database what it is you are searching for and a number of results will materialize. Due to the size of the data base it may help to be specific such as, ‘Georgian side table’ rather then just typing in ‘table.’ You can then search through the items and see what prices they reaslied at the time of their sale. In order to use this service you must sign up to our 7 day free trial, and from there, you can become a WorthPoint member by subscribing to the package that suits you.
How to use the Knowledge Centre
It is completely free to use the Knowledge Centre on WorthPoint.co.uk, which offers a great opportunity to develop your expertise in different areas of antiques and collectibles. Our articles are written by people who have been collecting and dealing for years, industry experts and even novice collectors who can offer their own first-time experiences in the world of antiques and collectibles. The range of information available is varied and allows the WorthPoint community to comment on articles, read about the latest trends and get a feel for the industry. This can be used to complement our Worthopedia, where you can search for past auction results.
How to add a business listing
WorthPoint offers a public database on the website for businesses working within the industry. Here, you will find names, contact details, and a detailed account of each company’s speciality. If you would like to submit a business listing simply visit the Business Centre on our homepage, select Submit a Listing and fill in a short application with details of your business (name, genre, description and contact information). We will receive your application and upload it to the Business Listings. From here all visitors to the site will be able to view the listings.
What should I know about dealers?
One way to purchase antiques and collectibles is to go directly to a dealer. Normally dealers will have a store where you can view the items and discuss prices. A number of reputable dealers have moved to soley selling from their websites.
It is important to look at a dealer’s website as this will give you a good indication of what they have to offer, but do not be put off if a dealers only has a business listings and no website. It is important to talk to the dealer and understand the quailty of their works and what they might specialise in.
When buying anything it is important to be an informed consumer, and this is the same for buying antiques or collectibles, ask the right questions, ask to see items in detail, or request detailed photos of items. Take your time when researching items and make it clear what it is you are looking for. Dealers are there to help and it is important to build good working relationships with them.
There are a number of dealers’ organisations that dealers can become members of. Many of these are large organisations, such as the British Antiques Dealers Association (BADA), Irish Antiques Dealers Association (IADA), The Association of Art & Antique Dealers (LAPADA), and The International Association for Art and Antique Dealers (CINOA), which have strict codes of conduct for their members. There are also smaller regional organisations, and they have excellent websites that can help buyers to research dealers, find events, and see what is going on in that area.
What should I be looking for when buying?
- Always ask about damage and restoration. The dealer does not have to tell you if you don’t ask.
- Be sure to handle the item that you are considering. Pick it up, look at the bottom, examine it from different angles, and use a magnifying glass to check for any damage or anything unusual.
- Make sure that you get a receipt, specifying how much you paid and details of the item, including the period and any damage or restoration, and the value.
- Items that don’t belong in that particular dealers realm of expertise may be under-valued. For example, a ceramic piece from a silver dealer might be easily haggled to a low price simply to get rid of it.
How do I teach myself what to look out for?
Conducting research about antiques is the best way to educate yourself. Understanding what makes them valuable, what to look for, what periods people are willing to pay the most for, what items are important, and how to spot a fake will help when looking for a collectible, valuable antique.
As well as this, keeping up with current auction results, and monitoring the market through online research and via publications such as The Art Newspaper and The Antiques Trade Gazette will build upon your knowledge.
Most experts would advise first time collectors to start in one small area. Learn about this area in detail and prepare yourself before going out to buy something. The more knowledge you are armed with, the better the bargain you are likely to find. It is difficult to be an expert on everything, and so, specialising in one area will give you more of an edge when you start adding to your personal collection. Recommended books for novice collectors, sellers and buyers: Miller’s Pocket Antiques and Collectables Fact Book: All You Need to Know – In Your Pocket by Judith Miller Antique Dealers’ Pocket Book (Antiques & Their Values) by Tony Curtis Buying and Selling Antiques: A Dealer’s Inside View by Sara Pitzer and Don Cline Antique Dealers Pocket Guide (Cash in Collecting) by Tony Curtis
Where should I go for shipping in the UK and Ireland?
LAPADA and CINOA offer a listing of professionals in the field of shipping. WorthPoint.co.uk also have a business listings section, which includes experts in art and antiques shipping.
Is it difficult to organise a shipment?
Many of the auction houses and the larger dealers will be happy to organise this for you or recommend a shipping company. This will not be included in your purchase price or fees, unless specified.
If you wish to organise the shipping yourself, there are many shipping companies that specialise in the arts and are experts in packing and transporting delicate and valuable items. It is important to make yourself aware of any extra costs such as import and export duties. Further information is available from HM Revenues and Customs and Revenue – Irish Tax and Customs.
How much will it cost?
Many of the shipping specialists will offer an online quote. The price of sea and road freight will usually depend on the volume or weight of the goods, and whether or not they need to be packed. Be aware that quotations may not include import duties, taxes or other government enforced fees.
Insurance is also crucial. Many shippers will provide insurance should you require it, however, if you decide to organise your own insurance do make sure that the shipper doesn’t have terms and conditions related to their own liability which may affect your insurance policy should anything happen to your goods.