Are you thinking of bidding for an item on an online auction? If you are, then you probably also want to know its value if you are lucky enough to win the bid. There are several ways about getting your goods appraised. There are brick and mortar appraisal shops, there are web-based resources, or you can have it done by a professional, registered appraiser. Read on to learn more about your options.

Individual Research

While some items are worth money, not all of them are valuable enough to justify the use of a professional appraiser. This is why it makes sense to first do your research. This goes a long way when defining a base value for your possessions. Doing a search of Completed/Sold listings on online auction sites will help determine an asking price. This will help you determine how much you should bid for an item and how much it is actually worth especially if you plan to resell it. Remember, your item is only really worth what buyers are willing to pay.

Brick and Mortar Appraisers

Other items are worth enough money to justify the use of a professional service. If you have an expensive item, you may want official paperwork proving its value. And if you plan to resell it, you may need this information. A quick look in the phone book will reveal appraisal services local to you. The benefit of these is that you can get a professional appraisal, complete with paperwork, in an afternoon without ever letting the item out of your sight. It should also be mentioned that many of these businesses will also offer to purchase your item. While they are not allowed to value your item low for purposes of buying the item cheaply, many of them do exactly this so be cautious of this when looking for an appraiser.

Web-Based Appraisal

Appraisal websites (where your item is shipped directly to the appraiser) are also becoming more and more popular. These sites offer a flat rate appraisal fee and return your item to you with all of the appropriate paperwork. This is convenient, but obviously is limited to items that are small enough to ship. Make sure you verify membership in a professional organization (such as the American Society of Appraisers) before shipping your item for appraisal.

View Winning Bids

As you can see there are many ways to get your items appraised. If you are thinking of bidding for an item online, do your research so you get an idea of how much it worth. An excellent way to determine value is by viewing what other people have bid on them. To view winning bids, or to place a bid, register online by visiting U.S. Auction Online.