4 Seniors: Easy ways to find out how much your stuff is worth

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OKLAHOMA CITY – If you have ever wanted to know an item’s value for a sale, insurance coverage or estate valuation, experts say it may be worth finding out.

Many people use local antique shops or collectible dealers to find out the value of old or unique items.

However, it is usually best to use a certified appraiser who is accredited and meets professional and ethical standards.

Experts say certified appraisers are more likely to give you a fair judgement.

Also, it is a violation of professional ethics for an appraiser to offer to buy an item that has just been appraised.

A professional appraiser will give you a written report of your item’s current value.

You can expect to pay a flat fee or an hourly rate, ranging from $200 to $400.

Avoid an appraiser who asks for a fee based on a percentage of the item’s value.

To locate an appraiser, you can visit the American Society of Appraisers, the Appraisers Association of America or the International Society of Appraisers.

You can also get estimates by professional appraisers and other experts through a number of websites.

Officials say you can upload photos of your items,  provide descriptions and the sites will send their valuations within a week.

Value My Stuff charges $10 for one appraisal, $25 for three or $75 for 10.

WorthPoint charges $30 for one item or $75 for three. You can also pay $20 for a monthly membership that provides unlimited access to their valuations.

Kovels offers a free basic membership that gives you access to its online price guide, or you can purchase a premium service for $39 or $60 a year. They also sell “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2014” for $28 that reports on recent prices paid for items in more than 700 categories.

If you are interested in donating any of your items, you can find the tax-deductible value at Turbo Tax or the Salvation Army.

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