How to find out how much a fur coat is worth

Written by gigi starr | 13/05/2017
How to find out how much a fur coat is worth
(2008 lanuiop / Creative Commons)

To see the monetary value of a fur coat, it's necessary to have it appraised. During this process, different aspects of a fur garment are examined and tallied in order to determine actual and future resale value. At this time, an appraiser may also advise the owner about repairs or restyling, as well as any tips for longer garment life.

Realise that furs lose a good amount of value over time, and that an old garment will probably have more worth as a vintage heirloom piece than as an luxury item. This is a topic most furriers avoid, but as Lisa Marcinek of advises, "We'll just be blunt and say it: Used fur coats aren't worth as much money as you think. Sorry, but it's true."

Decide what you want the final outcome to be. You may want a cash payment, or a newly-styled coat. Depending on what you're looking for, a furrier will adjust the appraisal accordingly. In other words, you'll hear a higher worth for a potential restyling than for a cash deal.

Consider donating the fur to charity, or trading it in for a new garment, rather than selling it outright. The trade-in value, value as a tax donation, or the appraised value, are generally much higher than resale value.

After examining all options, call up a fur store and make an appointment for an appraisal. These services cost between £16 and £32, although a dealer may waive the price for exchanges or trade-ins.

Bring the coat to the dealer. When discussing the garment, be honest about the coat's history. Information on wear, storage and age greatly affect the value, and appraisers frown on misinformation.

Alternatively, ship your coat to the appraiser. Phone or write the appraiser first. The shop will ask a series of questions about the coat. If the answers are right, they'll request that the garment be shipped out for physical inspection. Since customer information is notoriously wrong, most appraisers resist giving preliminary numbers over the phone or Internet.

Get a second opinion in order to get the truest valuation. One shop may price more conservatively than another, so it pays to go to more than one expert.

Things you need

  • Payment for appraisal ($25 to £32 on average)
  • Shipping and packing materials (if submitting by mail)

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