Whether you collect antique toy wooden trains, cast iron cars, tin windups or any other type of antique toy, having antique toy appraisals will help you establish the value of your special treasures.
Collecting Antique Toys
Collectors with a passion for antique toys often build their collections with toys that bring back fond memories from their past. Sometimes collections begin because of a special find in a garage sale or flea market, or from rummaging through an attic or basement. To many of these collectors their toys represent more than antiques with a monetary value. However, knowing the value of their antique toys is important for several reasons including:
- Self knowledge
- Insurance purposes
- Estate valuation
- Tax and probate purposes
Hiring an Appraiser
The following important criteria should be met when hiring an appraiser for your antique toys.
- Locate a reputable appraiser that specializes in antique toys.
- Appraisers should see your antique toys and online appraisers need to see pictures along with an accurate description.
- Fees should be based on an hourly or per item basis. Never agree to pay an appraiser a percentage of the appraised value.
- Never sell your antiques to the person that does the appraisal. Dealers may undervalue an item when they offer a free appraisal.
Appraisal Services for Antique Toys
Although there are many excellent appraisal services for antique toys both on and offline, there are some professionals in the antiques field that feel online appraisals are not as reliable as those performed offline. Other professionals feel that Internet antique appraisals are equally as good as those performed offline.
Locating an Appraiser
There are many appraisal services ranging from the traveling Antique Road Show and other similar venues to local appraisers. Often antique professionals, such as Dr. Lori, travel around the country appearing at community events and lecturing in their areas of expertise. Sometimes general appraisal services are offered free or for a nominal fee as part of the event.
To find an antique appraiser in your area check your local yellow pages or contact an antique dealer for recommendations of appraisers that specialize in antique toys.
Online Appraisal Services
The Internet offers many excellent appraisal services for the antique toy collector. The appraisal fees generally range from $9.95 to $ 18.95 per item. In addition, many appraisal companies offer various services such as item history or auction value.
- Noel Barrett Vintage toys and Auctions offers appraisal services from one of the in top international known antique toy specialists in the business, Noel Barrett has appeared on the Antiques Road Show television series and has been the auctioneer for many important collections of antique toys including:
- The Toy Museum of Atlanta - which took five auctions to disperse
- Bill and Lillian Gottschalk's automotive toy collection - which took three auctions to disperse
- Herb Siegal's antique games collection
- Bill Holland's American tin toy collection
After appraising your toys, you can arrange to place them in one of Noel Barrett's antique toy auctions. Although initial contact is made online, this company does not offer a flat fee appraisal service.
- Several different types of appraisal services are offered by Value My Stuff. The types of appraisals include:
- Ebay opinion
- Opinion of Authenticity
- Worth Point is an online antiques and collectibles community that offers antique toy appraisals from their group of trained appraisers, called Worthologists.
More Antique Toy Appraisals
- What's This Worth is an excellent resource with links to online appraisers, valuations sites and informative articles.
- A community driven website, Instappraisal offers free appraisals, collectors groups and forums.
- Known as the magazine for your inner child, Raving Toy Manic, is loaded with information on antique and vintage toys and links to online appraisal sites.
Antique toy appraisals are tools that are extremely useful to toy collectors but it is important to hire a reputable appraiser or appraisal service. .