Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Daryle Lambert: Unrealistic Expectations.

Today was the day that I was going to list the “ What's Not Hot” list but that will have to wait a day. There is something that has come up that I need to explain to all the members. It is most important for me to feel that I give the 31 Club the best I have, but I am not a miracle man. If you ask for something that I can't provide, I am sorry.

I receive an email from a person that was very disappointed in the service that I provide. You see they sent me a list of perhaps twenty items to give an evaluation on. At first glance I knew that most of them were of very little value so I asked that six be picked for me to do further research on. Using all my sources, which cost me thousands of dollars each year, I was unable to find any of the six items or references to where similar ones had been sold. These were early etchings and prints from different countries. You see, anyone that tells you that they can tell what a piece is worth without finding where a like piece has sold, will not be telling you the truth. If the value the person gives you comes only from their head, it could be wrong by a mile. All appraisals are based on what we in the business call comps and that is where a like piece has sold at auction. Usually we prefer that there are several like pieces before we stick our necks out. In this case there was nothing for me to base a value on.

At this point I suggested what I personally do in these cases. I list the items on a site such as Online Auctions or See Auctions at a price that would satisfy me and if the market values it higher then I will even be more satisfied. Remember the $40 vase that I listed for $400 and it brought $1800? This was the best advice that I could share with the person but they expected more.

It only left me one option and that was to give them a place to get the pieces appraised. I hope that this will satisfy them because if I can't even find a starting place, it would be very unwise of me to spend eight to ten hours researching something that evidently no one else cares about.

I will not be able to tell you what every piece you ask me about is worth, but the best news is that it hasn't cost you anything either and if I can't find it I seriously doubt you will. Remember we are looking for things that the collector is wanting to buy and if they can't even find a value for our pieces I doubt that this is the direction we should go. I am sorry that I had to write this blog but I hope you understand.

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