You can quickly find antique values using eBay. The value can be determined in three easy steps by finding an item’s supply, demand, and comparables.
First, we find how many items like ours are on eBay. Begin by navigating to ebay.com. Here we are on ebay’s home page. eBay searches require accurate keywords, so the words you type into the search bar are important.
Let’s search for an art deco sideboard.
Total results for a search are found at the top left of the listings row . Let’s drill down a little more to see if we can refine our results.
In the left sidebar, click the menu item “Sideboards and buffets” under the Antique > Furniture heading. This reduces our found set.
When the page reloads, click the 1900-1950 category, because that’s what we believe the date range is for our sideboard. The results drop once again.
Let’s refine some more. Continue to scroll down the left sidebar until you reach the “Item Location” heading, and choose US only. Make a note of the number of items returned; you’ll need to know this later. The number tells us the current supply of sideboards listed as Art Deco on the US eBay site. Of course, this number doesn’t represent the entire US market, but it’s close enough to arrive at a valuation range.
Keep in mind that the antique prices you see in the original search results are active listings, these are asking prices, not selling prices.
Next, we determine the demand for our item. We’ll do this in two steps. First, scroll down the left sidebar to “Show Only”, and click “Completed Listings”
Completed Listings displays how many listings for your search term have closed in the previous 90 days. If an item closed without selling, the price is shown in black. If an item sold, the price is shown in green. As you can see, not many of these items sold. Demand is very low compared to the supply. Next, let’s see how many actually sold.
To find actual sales, move your cursor to just under “Completed Listings” and click “Sold Listings”. Make a note of the number of listings returned. Divide the number of sold listings by the number of Completed listings to arrive at your item’s sell-through rate. The higher the sell-through rate, the higher the demand for an item.
Now, open and examine several listings that appear to be similar to your item. Read the item descriptions, noting their condition and any value-adding history or provenance.
The market value range for your antique item will be found among the SOLD items, because buyers have responded to prices at that level. This is the level at which willing buyers and willing sellers come together. If the condition or provenance of your item supports a higher price, use a price at the high end of the range and vice versa.
If you believe that your item is worth much more, then it’s time to call an appraiser.