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 Post subject: Declared value question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:25 pm 
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How are appraisers handling ‘declared value’ issue at intake for pieces that are overnighted? (I don’t do on-the-spot appraisals; items are left overnight with turnaround time of 3 to 5 days, depending.) Client often has no idea for this value, and looks to me. I haven’t examined item yet (esp important re stones), and I don’t want to be an accidental insurer by guessing inappropriately high, nor do I want to be low. I want to be fair and responsible to the client, but where’s the sweet spot for this issue of declared value when I often don’t myself know what to value an item w/o first appraising it, and client has no idea of value (why they’re seeking an appraisal, usually). Thanks for any guidance!


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 Post subject: Re: Declared value question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:04 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Presuming that someone is using USPS for shipping, there are limits on the amount one can insure parcels for.
The safest way to send (albeit not the fastest) is Registered, Insured, Return Receipt. I prefer this method because everyone who touches the parcel along the way has to sign for it. This is the most secure.
The insurance for that caps out at $5000.

Priority is faster, includes tracking and one can also purchase insurance up to $5.000.

Caveat. USPS requires proof of value before they will issue a payout in case of loss or damage.

It is usually possible for an appraiser to estimate the approximate value of an item based on presumed attributes determined with the client's info and pictures.. As long as those attributes are clearly documented, in the case of loss or damage, the client should be able to collect on a claim.

PS. Always document opening a client's box with pictures or video. This will help the appraiser prove that there was no funny business (like switching merchandise or stones) after receipt.

Hope his helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Declared value question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:31 pm 
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Thank you so much for the guidance. It makes things clearer and is most helpful. e.b.


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 Post subject: Re: Declared value question
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:51 pm 
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Location: Canada
Hi,

For us in Canada the rules for drop off sound like they're a little different than the US and I'll apologize if my assumption is wrong but I'll assume your in the US based on the previous responses.

That said, I know what I've done in the past when I was working at a jewellery store when I wasn't being trained in gemmology or appraising. Whenever someone would come and drop off a piece of jewellery to have it sent out for repair or anything else we would need to attach a value to it so that we could insure the packages we sent out and to keep information about our "inventory" accurate. As a jewellery sales rep we don't get any training on appraising items or identifying stones. Usually we would just be able to ask them and say how much do you think it's worth and they would normally have a rough idea.

There were some that have no idea but they didn't happen as often as one would think. To those people we would basically just find a price that would be reasonable and we would explain it thusly:
"We have to send out our repairs and we make sure everything is insured so we ask for an approximate value. If you don't have any idea I can show you some jewellery that looks like the item you're leaving here and we can use that to guess how much it is." As appraiser I might add something like "Once I have a chance to fully research and identify the item then this price may be either very close or not close at all. I just need an initial amount to make sure that we're both protected in case something happens." We wouldn't identify what the stone was, it was just by look and if they disagreed with the price then we would adjust it from there. The thing is, and I know this from my sales experience and my experience learning goldsmithing, people always have a number in their head. If we told them we think it's worth $1 then they would likely disagree, if we told them we thought it was worth a billion dollars most people would laugh and say that's not possible. Usually if you get a price within a reasonable range (and that will change depending on the price point you're guessing for) then they will just accept it. Again, I'm not sure what the requirements are in the US, I'm just giving examples of what we've done here.

As with anything, experience is always the key factor. As you get better with appraising or you learn how your customers react to things then you will know what to suggest as a price. My suggestion is take a look at your local jewellery stores and get to know what they have in stock and keep some pieces in mind. One, it's good for appraising in general and two it allows you to get rough ideas of the items left in your charge. As I said though, here in Canada we don't have the same rules, regulations or methods as are found in the US so if there's another appraiser in your community try reaching out to them, even if it's in a neighbouring city they might be able to give you more accurate information than people online would.

Hope that helps a little.


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 Post subject: Re: Declared value question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:00 pm 
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I think an inclusive disclaimer, signed and dated by the client is always a good idea.
An associate in a retail store should not be expected to appraise an item handed to them for repair.
Having a dedicated employee or two acting as repair liaison is never a bad idea.

A checklist description seems reasonable.
Stones________
Quantity_______
Metal Color______
Quality stamp _________
Quick overview of integrity of setting, loose stones.
Description of repair needed.
Knowledge to inform customer of what they can expect:
-Item will come back clean and polished. All schmutz will be gone.
-Patina on silver will be removed
etc.


Disclaimer may read something like:

"I have reviewed the description above and find it accurate to the best of my knowledge.
I understand the store and its employees are not responsible for
the identification or condition of articles at time of receipt.
Any damage or loss will be limited to the cost of the actual repair.
Privately insuring these items for replacement value is my (the client's) responsibility.

Upon completion, I will inspect repaired item(s) before leaving the store.
I must be satisfied with their condition before removing them from the
store." blah blah blah
Customer signature _________Date______________


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 Post subject: Re: Declared value question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:15 pm 
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Location: San Marcos, CA
We handle these in a similar method as Barbra does for walk-in transactions, one word of caution is never describe an item as (1-ruby ring) or alike based on what a customer may believe to know the item to be. Better to play safe with something like (1 silver colored ring with a single mounted red stone), the service being requested and so forth, use generics as much as possible on the intake side.

As far as inbound shipping from customers in most case we recommend insuring the piece for what they think the item is worth to them, they will be the shipper and ultimately be the party to deal with the insurance claim, you as the professional provide the backup support to the claim weather it be USPS, FedEx, etc... We believe that this process lends itself to the funny business exponentially to be more likely. Like Barbra stated document the unpackaging well. If the client believes the item to be of a value so great or to be a non-replaceable item they might consider using one of the insured armored carrier, that comes with a hefty fee in most cases.

_________________
The Gem Garden
San Marcos, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Declared value question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:52 pm 
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Excellent points!
That is why red stone, colorless stone is advisable.
It is also advisable to video the opening of incoming boxes so you can verbally and visually document what is inside them.
Walk ins:
Again, if the client has their items insured, they can inform their carrier of the impending repair and ask the carrier if the repair is something that is covered on their policy. Some insurers would prefer taking care of the repair themselves.

In the case of irreplaceable or antique items, there is nothing wrong with passing on a repair or restoration. For the few dollars repairs bring in, one has to weigh the liability of accepting potential nightmares.


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