If you're a picker, a collector or just have an odd piece or two, there is one question foremost in your mind.
What's this worth? How much can I sell this for is another question, but the answers are not always the same.
Finding out what that thingamajigis worth can be an adventure on Google, Bing or Yahoo searches, and it gets a little
easier if you know exactly what you have. That's where online price guides come into play.
Recently I chatted with William Seippel, founder of WorthPoint,
one of the online subscription sites often used by collectors.
WorthPoint is a newcomer to the mix, but already making an impact with their results often showing up at or near the top in search engines.
WorthPoint has organized the world's information on collectibles into a central library or “worth” database – the Worthopedia.
You have access to this wealth of data on prices, descriptions, pictures and sale dates, compiled from hundreds of auction houses.
It’s easy to find and compare items to determine the value of your collectibles.
Personal experience and a family background in learning about the values of items
has helped drive Seippel to his goal. He grew up with a European mother who always valued fine antiques. And finding out that a great-aunt wound up giving a large amount of John Hancock furniture to a church nursing home because she didn't realize the values, helped shape his goal of bringing an easy way to research prices to the public.
Of course his
economics degree, being both a collector and dealer, along with an impressive business background and his
feeling of imperfections in the antiques market didn't hurt.
Started in 2007:
WorthPoint was started with Seippel's vision of becoming the largest data site for collectors on the Internet. Being the largest site is a goal many might
would like to achieve, but in the ever changing world of new technology, it takes more than a dream.
Seippel relates that the company is also a technology company (with 11 employees in the technology department alone) that knows how to work through the data and pull out and cull the
information relevant to collectors and dealers.
PriceMiner, another online subscription guide, and Go Antiques are also part of the WorthPoint family.
WorthPoint currently has over 138 million pictures on their website
and a team of 30 Worthologists (subject-matter experts) sharing their views on collecting.
Mobile Apps Coming:
The company has plans to release several mobile applications in 2011 that
can be used in the field. Can you imagine being at an antique show and seeing something you may not be completely familiar with. You love it, but don't want to overpay. If I can check it recent prices on an iPhone app, I will quickly become one of their biggest supporters!
There are three monthly pricing plans available:
- Basic - $9.99
Which includes 25 Worthopedia Price/Item Lookups Monthly, 5 Classified Ads and a Community Profile and Directory Listing.
- Professional - $24.99
Which includes 75 Worthopedia Price/Item Lookups Monthly, 20 Classified Ads and a Community Profile and Directory Listing.
- Power - $49.99
Which includes Unlimited Worthopedia Price/Item Lookups Monthly, 40 Classified Ads and a Community Profile and Directory Listing.
There is a free seven day trial period available for all three plans.
WorthPoint brings together pricing information from both the big and important companies that have offered and sold antiques/collectibles for sale, as well as hundreds of smaller
auction sites. They are also
working at integrating publishers into their site. Will this all work? Apparently it has so far, as the company became profitable after two years,
not an easy task to accomplish
in today's world.