Using Online Appraisals appraisers provide two types of value: fair market value and replacement value (comparable) ... more, and the VTN report makes use of one of two possible types of appraisal report options - the "Restricted Appraisal Report" option or the "Appraisal Report" option.

When submitting their online appraisal request, clients indicate whether they will be the only user of the report of if there will be other intended users as well. Which is selected will dictate whether the generated report will be a Restricted Appraisal Report or an Appraisal Report. (Clients can also elect to purchase either a light "short" version of the appraisal, or an full "long" version. The difference is the amount and detail of information provided by the client...more)

Restricted Appraisal Report Option

For assignments in which the client will be the only intended user, ValueThisNow makes use of the "Restricted Appraisal Report" option. Examples of intended uses for which the client is typically the only intended user and for which a Restricted Appraisal Report would be appropriate include:

  • The client "just wants to know"
  • The client wants to have peace of mind knowing that he is not asking too much or too little when selling an item
  • The client wants to equitably divide property among heirs 


Appraisal Report Option

For some online assignment intended uses, the client will not be the only intended user. In other words, in addition to the client, there will be others who will also make use of the online report. In such assignments, ValueThisNow makes use of the "Appraisal Report" option. The primary example of an intended use for online appraisals in which there are intended users other than the client and for which an Appraisal Report option would be appropriate would be for client resale (sales advisory) purposes in which case a would-be buyer would also make use of the online report. Other intended uses for which an Appraisal Report option would be appropriate would be for insurance or damage/loss claims as pre-approved by your carrier, or for litigation or legal purposes as pre-approved by counsel.

Limitations Regarding Appraising Items Still Available for Inspection


Property type limitations. For items no longer available for inspection (such as items that have been stolen or lost in a fire) appraisal reports performed by online appraisers over the Internet are just as credible as those performed by traditional appraisers. However, for items still available for inspection, we recommend that a traditional appraiser capable of performing a personal, hands-on inspection be employed for items:

  • Requiring testing in order to identify the property (such as diamonds or colored gemstones),
  • For which issues of authenticity remain unresolved,
  • For very high-value items which, because of their extreme potential value, would warrant a personal inspection by a qualified expert/appraiser, or
  • For certain casualty damage claims or transit-related damage claims if all intended users are in accord that an online appraisal would suffice. 


Intended use limitations. In addition, online appraisals for items still available for inspection are appropriate for only certain intended uses as noted above. Examples of intended uses for which online appraisals would not be appropriate for items that are still available for inspection include:

  • To claim an income tax deduction for a non-cash charitable contribution,    
  • For Federal or state estate tax or probate purposes,
  • For legal, litigation, insurance or damage claims purposes without pre-approval


Prohibited & Restricted Items

Before appraising an item, make sure it does not fall into any of the following property types. Requests to appraise items falling within the following property types are to be declined:

  • Pornographic material
  • Items deemed to be counterfeit or fake, or property types made with the intent to deceive
  • Property which is illegal to own, transport across state lines and/or to commercialize (i.e., buy or sell) including but not limited to:
    • Endangered species of US flora or fauna or items made from parts thereof. (ref: Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act)
    • Items taken from Native American or Hawaiian Indian archaeological sites or grave sites (funerary objects, sacred objects, cultural patrimony) (ref: An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities and Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA))
    • Parts of marine mammals or items made there from. (Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972)
    • Items relating to endangered species of wild fauna and flora worldwide ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines. (ref: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES))
    • Any other property type deemed illegal to own or illegal to commercialize. Note that some of the above items are NOT illegal to own. But they cannot be commercialized. They can be donated to a museum (which is not considered commercialization), but cannot be bought or sold (which would be considered to be commercialization.)