How to get a free online appraisal

A free online appraisal can help you understand whether your antique, art or collectible is valuable. With very little time spend - you will know if you should sell, keep or throw away your items. This is a how to guide to understand how you can get the best possible free online appraisal.

Auction houses to contact

Best for antique and collectibles

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  • Simple online form
  • Are in many countries
  • Lots of buyers
  • Excellent for collectibles
9.9 Submit at Catawiki
Submit at Catawiki

Best for fine art

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  • Excellent for luxury goods
  • Does not guarantee an appraisal
  • Item has to be of a type sold on Christie's before
  • Wait 4-6 weeks for a response
  • Online form
9.7 Submit at Christies
Submit at Christies
  • Excellent for luxury goods
  • Does not guarantee an appraisal
  • Item needs a minimum consignment value to be appraised
  • Many departments
  • Online form
9.7 Submit at Sothebys
Submit at Sothebys
  • Excellent for luxury goods
  • Many departments
  • No online form
9.4 Submit at Phillips
Submit at Phillips
  • Excellent for luxury goods
  • Contact department by email
  • Many departments
  • No online form
9.4 Submit at Bonhams
Submit at Bonhams

Best for design and contemporary

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  • Elegant website
  • Easy online form
  • Mostly modern design
  • Located in Chigaco and New York
9.8 Submit at Wright
Submit at Wright
  • Simple design
  • Contact by email
  • 3 auctions a year
  • Located in Los Angeles
9.4 Submit at LAMA
Submit at LAMA

Appraisal within 48 hours

Free online appraisal

Do you have valuable objects you would like to sell at an auction? Then you can get a free online appraisal from some of the auction houses suggested above. These auction houses has different specialities and they provide free appraisals to different kind of valuable items. Some auction houses only provide free appraisals to highly valuable items. While others are doing free online appraisals for almost all special objects that has a certain collectible value. Also every auction house has different departments with specialists that are experts in their category. Make sure you write and ask about the free valuation from the correct department as it will improve the chance for you to get a free appraisal.

You are also welcome to do your own free appraisal in the Mearto auction results database. You can access the auction price database with more than 1 million realized prices from top auction houses around the world, allowing you to conduct your own comparative analysis in valuing your object and discover what it is worth for free.

How does a free online appraisal work


Upload description and image of your item


Auction houses evaluate and send you an online estimate


You decide whether you want to sell or keep the item for now

Why choose a free online appraisal

  • Save Time

    It takes 5 minutes to describe your item and take pictures. Where as a physical auction evaluation can take hours and cost for transportation.

  • No Obligations

    If you decide your item is worth more to you than what the auction houses have evaluated it to, you don't have to sell it.

  • It's free

    It is completely free - there are no hidden fees or additional costs when you ask for a free online appraisal.

  • Find the best place to sell

    By collecting appraisals from multiple auction houses, you are sure to get the item to the best possible market.

Frequently asked questions

How to get a free online appraisal from an auction house?

Submit your item to one of the above suggested auction houses. Then you will probably receive a free appraisal within a few weeks.

Do I have to sell if I submit my item for a free appraisal?

No! If you feel your item is worth more to you than what the free appraisal suggest at auction, then you don’t have to sell it. No auction house offers a free appraisal and demand that you sell it.

Are there any hidden costs or fees with a free appraisal?

No! Auction houses will provide you with an estimate that are subject to change when further inspection is done. Also, it is not allowed to use the free appraisal for insurance purpose. It is not a formal written appraisal.

When will I get my free appraisal from the auction house?

Most auction houses strive to provide an answer as quickly as possible. However it normally takes weeks.

Can I be sure to get an appraisal?

If an item does not fall within the interest of the auction houses - you are not guaranteed an appraisal. It can also be too difficult for them to provide the appraisal online because of the limits with photo and description.

How can I improve the change of getting a free appraisal?

Make sure you provide high resolution images. Take from different angles in a neutral background. Also make sure you add all the necessary information for the auction house to conduct a proper online appraisal. Where did you get it? Did you inherite the item? For how long has it been in your family? Can you prove this with images or something else? Did you buy it? For how much and where? What information can you add to the item that is not known? What is the condition of the item?

What happens after I receive the free appraisal?

It is basically up to you. The auction house provides you with a free appraisal - which is the estimate that they believe it is worth if put up for sale on their auction. You can tell them you want to sell or not. If you sell a consignment process will begin.

What is an auction estimate?

Free appraisals are offered by every auction house - most of them are now doing it online. It is their best estimate of what the specific item could achieve on the market if sold by them.

Monumental vase
Puppy vase

There are other ways to get a free appraisal

Valuation days

Auction houses often host valuation days, where the local community can attend and meet the experts from the auction house. This is often very interesting and you will receive a physical examination that are better than an online appraisal. It can be time consuming and there is often a lot of people waiting in line to receive an appraisal.

Visit local antique shops

You can find local antique dealers online that have items similar to yours. These dealers are often very experienced and have seen thousands of items. If you go visit them and ask it is very likely that they will provide an appraisal. Be careful though - if they want to buy it - it is perhaps more valuable than what they indicate.

Go to a local antique market

There are lots of local antique markets that you can attend, and it is definitely a place where you can find local experts. If you live close to a big city - chances are pretty good that an antique show is hosted there a few times a year. Go look for antique and art dealers that have similar items and ask them to help you identify the value.

Appraisal tv-shows

There are many popular tv-shows that look for interesting items to showcase in front of experts. While this can be a longshot - since they only look for the very interesting items - you will receive a thorough appraisal of your item for free, if it is chosen for showcasing. Also some tv-shows, like the Antique Roadshow, offer a free appraisal to attending guest of the event.

Remember these things

Free Appraisals are limited by nature

Free online appraisals is not meant to be used as a formal document that indicates the value. If documentation is important for you because of probate, insurance or settling an estate. You need to pay a professional appraiser to do the work.

Be careful and understand the motives behind free appraisals

In general the free appraisals from auction houses are trustworthy - because they offer it on the open market. If you get a free appraisal from a local dealer, it is important that you have checked the value from other sources as well. Also professional appraisers do not offer to buy an item and if they do you should not accept it.

Free appraisals are fun

Knowing what your treasures are worth is fun and offer a good story around the dinner table. It won´t provide you with an official documentation, but it is a good indicator to the monetary value of an item.