Find a furniture appraiser online by location or specialty. It is best to choose an appraiser who belongs to a professional organization, such as the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America.
When working with an appraiser, the owner of the furniture receives a written report with the full description of the item and the procedure that the appraiser used to estimate the value. An appraiser may charge a flat or hourly rate for the appraisal, which could range from $200 to $400 an hour depending on the location and expertise of the appraiser. It is best to avoid appraisers who ask for a fee based on the value of the furniture.
Another option is to take furniture to an antique dealer for appraisal, but a certified appraiser is more likely to offer a fair judgment since there is no conflict of interest, according to Consumer Reports. An appraiser never offers to buy an item after appraising it; to do so would be a violation of professional ethics. If the appraiser believes that the furniture is not worth the cost of her services, she may recommend another method to determine the value of the item. These methods may include online valuations, where a furniture owner can send a photo to a website for an estimate, or a self-valuation using a published pricing guide.