A question often asked is 'How much is this item worth?' or 'What value would you put on this piece?' Indeed the climaxes on Antiques Roadshow are when values are announced, either elating the owner with a high valuer or disappointing others with a low one. The hard thing when it comes to valuing an item is there is actually a number of values a single item can have. Here is a list of some different types of values, from lowest to highest:
Wholesale - This is the price a dealer would pay. This value has to include room for a decent mark-up for the dealer, often 100% (this covers other overheads as well as some profit)
Auction - Auctions are where the dealers and customers meet, often cheaper than retail, there is always the exception when two bidders decide they both want an item!
Retail - often at least triple the wholesale price, this is because only does a dealer need to make a living, they also need to pay for other costs such as utilities, insurance, etc.
Insurance - this figure is how much it would cost to be confident to replace an item. It is often higher than retail, in order to make sure an item can be replaced.
For example, take a standard English sterling serviette ring, rough values are as follows:
Wholesale value - $15-$20
Auction - $20-$40
Retail - $60-$80
Insurance - $100
But remember values are always just guides...an item is ultimately worth how much someone will pay for it!