The Many Benefits of an Appraisal and Why You Need One
Most of us have heard about appraisals, but many of us may not be aware of what exactly goes into an appraisal. Will it entail someone scrutinizing your fur garment and giving you an estimated number? Will it involve a list of questions? What is the experience like?
Well for those of us who are curious about the appraisal process, we have researched it and summarized it to fit into this nice little blog post. We’ve also included some of the market estimated appraisal prices for various used furs based on their type.
So for all you curious cats out there, keep reading!
This is an important question that you’ll want to ask yourself, especially if you’re actively looking into having your fur garment appraised. What is your reason for wanting to get your fur appraised?
There are generally two main reasons why people want to get appraisals done on their fur pieces and those reasons generally are for insurance purposes or for resale. Each reason will have a different outcome on pricing though. Among fur professionals, it’s important to note that if you’re interested in the resale of your fur garment you’ll need to pay attention to the actual cash value of the piece and be prepared to hear that this number can be significantly less than the insurance appraised value.
It’s easy to get disheartened with these figures, but you must remember that your fur garment is real and it will depreciate over time regardless of how often you do or don’t wear it. On the bright side, furs can last up to fifty years so if you’re seriously considering getting it appraised, the time is now.
Getting your fur garment appraised for your insurance policy will be very beneficial. This is called Replacement Value. On the off chance that something did happen to your fur coat, you’re going to want to have the most accurate amount of protection for it. Not knowing these numbers could cause you to potentially get an offer or coverage plan that is lower than what your piece is worth.
The same goes for resale. If you do not get the correct appraisal amount for your coat you could end up selling it for a lesser price and that is definitely not desirable. Having a written fur appraisal document will not only make you seem more credible, but it’s usually a good rule of thumb to “have it in writing.” Having something in writing will leave no room for errors or drastic negotiations.
Before you head to the furrier to get your fur piece appraised, it’s a wise choice to gather up all the information that you have on your specific piece. Furriers will appreciate you for this and this will help them to give you the most accurate appraisal numbers for your specific garment.
If you can, you’ll want to thoroughly know the history of your fur. You need to be honest about the age of your fur, how you store it, its condition and how it’s been used or worn over the years. Providing this information for your furrier will affect the value of the appraisal.
It would be a good choice to bring any other additional papers, including original documents that you may have on your garment.
Choosing a Qualified Professional
This might seem obvious, but when it comes to taking care of or even valuing your fur piece, it’s best to choose a qualified fur professional.
Professional furriers know the ins and outs of fur and can make sure you are getting the best and most accurate information about your garment. Professional appraisers will inspect your fur and will base your appraisal amount off of the current market value.
It’s good to note that going to a professional will also reap other benefits. Qualified fur appraisers can also give you other useful tips to ensure the longevity of your fur, including advice about repairs and restyling. This could be a great benefit if you’re looking to use this appraisal for Estate Planning purposes (family heirlooms)!
Because professional fur appraisers work best by physically examining the piece, don’t expect to get premature numbers or quotes over the internet or phone.
Depending on the place, there might be a small upfront fee or service fee that can range from $25-$50, but in the grand scheme of themes, it’s worth it knowing that you are getting quality service.
When you go in to have your fur garment appraised there are be many aspects that will also be taken into consideration, examined and tallied that will influence your final appraisal value.
Your professional furrier might start by asking you about the historical information of your fur piece as this will be used when evaluating your fur. So be honest and realistic about its history.
Besides the condition and historical information of your fur, professionals will also consider historic auction results, style trends, construction, age, wear, and design. It’s important to note that how you care for your fur and the type of animal fur you possess will also greatly affect your final appraisal value.
The brand of the fur garment can also play a part in the appraisal value of your piece. Furs with labels like Kopenhagen, Blackglama, NAFA and Saga Furs will instantly boost the value of your fur. These are well-known fashion brands and designers who specialize in the creation of fur garments. Having their name on the label can increase your fur’s value.
Before you leave the furrier, it might be a good thing to ask if they include fur appraisals with the purchase of a fur piece. This will not only be a good tidbit for you, but this will save you time and money in the future if you’re looking into getting another fur and want to include this on your insurance plan. You know what they say, you’ll never know unless you ask!
After the Appraisal
Depending on what your desired outcome is, you may want to safely set this document aside. If you plan on using your appraisal document for insurance purposes you can either ask your furrier to send a copy over to your agent or directly give your insurance agent a copy for their records.
There are also a few things to discuss with your insurance agent about insurance for your fur coat. Ask your agent about how often you should get your fur re-appraised. Many places will say that the recommended re-appraisal time period is generally every two years, but your agent might have other recommendations. Some insurance companies may not replace the full value of your fur coat if you do not have an updated or recent appraisal, because of this many furriers advise asking your agent about depreciation values and relevant deductibles.
If you plan on using your appraisal for Estate Planning purposes then I would advise putting this document somewhere safe. You can include this with your other important documents, stored somewhere secure like a safe, etc. Because the prices of fur can change and depreciate with time, passing your treasured fur down as a family heirloom may be of more value to you and your family. Providing a loved one with these documents will also be very much appreciated.
You can also give your fur garment away to charity. Yes, it’s a thing and can help to ensure that your garment is getting a new life and not just sitting in the back of a closet somewhere. If you do indeed decide to give your fur away to charity, be sure to contact your local thrift store and check to see if they accept fur. If they do, ask for a donation receipt when you drop it off. You can use this donation receipt on tax filings if you want to claim it as a donation.
It’s good to note that there are other places that take charitable donations of fur. If you have a unique piece with a lot of history you can look into donating your fur garment to a museum that collects furs or that has a costume collection. You may or may not be able to write this off on your taxes and your fur won’t continue to get used and worn, but this is a great alternative, especially if your piece is old and is starting to wear.
After the appraisal, you’re going to want to try and keep your fur piece in as tip-top shape as possible. Although some things may be out of your control, there are some preventive things you can do to ensure the longevity of your fur.
It’s important to schedule fur cleaning, conditioning and glazing pretty regularly, like at least once a year. Take care of your fur by placing it in proper storage, preferably at a professional furrier with a cold storage unit during the off seasons. And lastly, you’re going to want to take care of any damages and have them repaired immediately.
It’s important to get the most use and enjoyment out of your fur, but also to upkeep it, which is just as important. Your neighborhood furriers here at Rosendorf/Evans can help!
Average Prices for Used Fur
We thought that it might be interesting to include what the average price for used fur is. This at the very least is a guesstimate and isn’t indicative of other factors like condition, length, etc.
We Love Fur has a thorough listing of average prices, so here is a list of these prices of used fur depending on type. As far as coats and jackets are concerned, minks can go for $300-$750, rabbit or raccoon jackets can range from $100-$500, a Persian or Broadtail Lamb jacket can be priced at $50-$450 and a Mouton Lamb can be valued at $50-$350.
Stole and boas generally go for less than coats and jackets. A Mink or Sable stole can range from $200-$400, a Fox stole can be worth $150-300 and a Mink or Sable boa can go for $50-$200.
Muffs regardless of make, whether Mink, Fox or Lamb, can range from $40-$350. The average price for a full pelt Fox stole with heads and feet can vary from $50-$300. The other types of full pelt stoles like Mink, Sable or Marten with heads and feet can go for $35-$150.
Of course, there are other types of fur in various makes and models out there including jackets, coats and stoles and these generally range from $50-$300. Prices start to increase when you deal with full chinchilla, modern sables (Blackglama) and lynx. With these types of furs you’re looking at $1000 and up!
So regardless of what you plan on using your appraisal for, it is still a valuable document to have. To recap, you will need it to know the accurate amount of coverage you need for insurance purposes, for resale, you don’t want to get finessed into a lower number than your fur is worth and for Estate Planning purposes, your family will greatly appreciate you for it.
If you’re still on the fence about it be sure to check out our Appraisals page for more information on our services, but as much of an investment as your fur piece was, it’s just as important to make sure it’s valued at the proper amount!