How much is my item worth? It seems like a pretty straightforward question, but there are actually a few different ways to answer, which all depend on what you would like to do with that item. Do you want to sell it? You’ll need a fair market valuation and a suggested asking price. Do you want to include your item on your homeowner’s insurance policy, or do you want to donate it and/or write it off your taxes? Then you’ll need an insurance or replacement valuation.

In this article, we define the three different values that Mearto provides, with some information about how we arrive at each value, and what you can do to make sure that our online appraisal fits your needs. Let’s start with the cornerstone of our service:

Fair Market Value (FMV)

An item’s fair market value, also called the auction value, is what you could reasonably expect it to sell for if you were to take it to auction tomorrow. We estimate this value, which is expressed as a range with a minimum and maximum estimate, based on recently achieved auction results for similar items, which we call “comparables.” We try to analyze these results from a range of regional, national and (when appropriate) international auction houses, and to steer clear of retail and asking prices on websites like eBay, which are often overinflated and tend to paint an unrealistic picture of the market or demand for a certain object.

Insurance Value

An item’s insurance value is an estimate of the entire cost to replace it if it were to be damaged, lost or stolen. This value, also called the replacement value, is higher to reflect retail prices and other replacement expenses, like shipping, buyer commissions, etc. This value is also commonly used for tax and donation purposes. At Mearto, the insurance value is expressed as a single number and we usually calculate it automatically by adding the minimum and maximum fair market value estimates. We are also happy to take current retail prices and recent invoices or receipts into consideration for this value.

Suggested Asking Price

This suggested asking price typically falls somewhere between the fair market minimum and maximum estimates and is provided to set reasonable expectations if you wish to sell your item through an online marketplace or auction. Learn more about opportunities to sell your items through our partner, Catawiki.

When you get your online appraisal back from Mearto, you’ll notice that we’ve provided you with two of the three values listed above. When you submit your item using our form, we’ll ask if you’re interested in selling it. If you answer yes, we’ll give you the FMV and a suggested asking price. If you answer no, you’ll get the FMV and an insurance value. Changed your mind? No problem. You can go into your account at any time, select the item that you want to update and change your answer to this question and receive the value that best fits your needs.

If you still have questions about the different values that Mearto provides and how we arrive at those values, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us any time by email at [email protected].