How to Appraise Antique Purses

By Carolina Arana ; Updated October 06, 2017
Small evening bags may be valuable antiques.

Amongst the dusty, hand-me-down purses at the back of your closet may be antiques worth hundreds of dollars. If you have any purses that could possibly qualify as antiques, take the time to have them appraised by a professional to determine their worth. The process of finding someone to appraise them in person may be tedious, depending on where you live. Otherwise, you can receive appraisals easily online.

Inspect all purses you suspect are antiques. If any damage is visible, make small repairs yourself or take them to be reworked by a professional. Shoemakers or repair shops in your area may repair handbags.

Check the inside of each purse to find the manufacturer's label. Enter as much detailed information about your purse into an Internet search engine to get a general idea of what your purse may be worth. There are multiple sites that offer free appraisals when you send in pictures. If the results look promising, seek professional appraisal.

Visit upscale vintage boutiques in your area. Let the boutique know you may be interested in selling your antique purse and they'll appraise it. The only downside to selling at a boutique is that you'll only get a percentage of the total appraisal price, as the store keeps the other part.

Send a picture and description to "Country Living." Although you may not get a response, and if you do it may take several weeks, they will offer professional appraisal of your antique purse and tell you exactly how much it's worth.

Visit an antique roadshow. Bring your purses in the best condition possible and visit an appraisal table to have them appraised, and possibly sold at auction the same day.

Sign up for an online account with Christie's auction house in New York. Then send pictures and descriptions of your antique purses to be reviewed by Christie's for possible online or in-house auction. Seek out this option only if you're confident you have antique and potentially valuable purses in great condition.

Tip

Be careful when going to vintage boutiques. Many of them will not want to appraise your item if they don't think you're willing to sell it to them.

Get multiple opinions about the value of your antique purses to be safe.

Warning

Don't sell your items until you're confident in the appraisal.

About the Author

Carolina Arana has been writing professionally since 2003. She has been published online and in "Cypress Dome," as well as academic research conducted for the University of Central Florida and various private companies such as Leading and Learning Inc. Arana is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in biology.