Scientific Value Estimation.
Is it really possible?
Are Scientific Appraisings scam? Affraid to overpay? Antiques, necklaces, rings, bikes, cars, boats, airplanes, caravans,
houses, land, estates, books, movies, businesses, cars,
campers, computers , printers, artwork such as
paintings, sculptures, and misc. artifacts, Internet domains, etc.
is it really worth? Is there, yes or no, a scientific methodology to
determine the value of something?
This question bothers people all over the world. What is some thing
really worth? More and more people do sell more than just once in a
lifetime a home or a vehicle. Or sell products or services for a living
or as a hobby.
Also, many people rather sell things they do not longer use, than to
just throw it away. Via garage sales, classifieds and auctions. Flea
markets all over the world, where bargaining can be fun or very
serious, attract people from near and from far.
There are lots of classified advertisements in newspapers and
magazines. And invitations to cryout and on line auctions. All this
just to have an acceptable replacement for some thing that people offer
for a trade. And that acceptable replacement usually is money.
Buyers usually want to pay as little as possible for something that the
seller wants to get most out of it. The discussion, then, usually goes
about what the thing is really worth. In the best scenario, both seller and buyer are happy about the deal. Else, it can happen that either seller or buyer is just satisfied leaving the other unhappy. In some cases, when negotiation is difficult and there is need to compromise, both seller and buyer give in about their viewpoints.
Is there a objective way to set a price on things? A scientific value
estimation could be part of a solution, acceptable for both sellers and
buyers. Such a system could be named Scientific Appraisal or Scientific
Appraising. If it would ever exist ...
People tend to have different ideas about the same thing. So is it
about value, too. What is worth a lot for a certain person, may be very
well worth much less for somebody else.
Besides a after market industry where people trade second hand goods,
there is an appraising industry where people offer advice about value.
Today, there are not only experts that explain how much one should pay
or not pay for artwork or some ancient or recent artifact.
Those people offer a scientific appraisal that is based upon a
number of elements that they consider important, and that they expect
prospective buyers to consider important.
The keyword here, is the word they. Indeed, the so-called scientific
appraisals are based upon facts that are considered to be relevant by
the people who do the value estimation.
In some fields, like antiques, jewelry, used vehicles and real estate,
a number of people have agreed upon certain value ranges for certain
items. Value catalogs are circulating. Many people accept the prices as
set forth therein to be some kind of a standard.
Value assessment by some experts or from catalog are often accepted for
transaction negotiation, Law Courts and Tax Office decisions.
Many people and companies offer valuation of the most common and
uncommon things, for fees ranging from free to hundreds or even more
There are some official or unofficial agreements between appraisers in
some interest fields. So is it common that a number of people appraise
some thing within the same price range.
That means no more or less than that those people have read the same
books or that they took the same courses concerning the specific item
or interest field. That is all, there is no secret.
Many people, especially sellers and buyers, do have often a completely
different idea about the value of what they are negotiating upon, and
they do not really care much about third party appreciations.
It happens that a third party explains to a potential buyer that the
offer is way too high, so that the offer is retracted, leaving the
seller with a understandable frustration and a Mind Your Own Business
So, then, how can we find out what something is really worth? What is a
honest price? What is a fair market price? How to not overpay? Is an
objective scientific appraisal methodology possible? Is the appraising
industry correct, useful?
Honesty is the principle that all involved people are correctly
informed about the subject of the deal, so that there are no lies about
the nature of the trade.
That certain elements are not explained if the other party does not ask
for it, is not really a lie. But that is a matter for local habits and
Price is what one receives in return for giving something. Usually, it is money.
Honest Price? Don't be silly! Honesty is about people, not price.
Fair Market Price? What is a Market? And what's fair?
A market is a place where people sell their things and where other
people buy it. It is really necessary to understand that a market is
geographically local and limited in time. By example on Times Square
N.Y. every Tuesday from 8 am. to 11.30 am.
The principal elements of a market are place, time, a number of people
selling identical or similar goods, and people that are there with the
true intention to purchase the specific items.
It must, however, be realized that people come to the market place in
the idea that the merchants do will be there and that it is hoped for
that the merchants will have the things that the people are looking
for. Supply and demand, You know ...
So is it that many people have a situation, but do not really know how
to cope with it. They expect to find an acceptable solution on the
market, in shops, on the WWW, etc.
Market price? The easiest way to explain is that a market price for a
given item is: All the prices that the people effectively pay for a
specific item during the opening hours of the market place. That place
can be any place: Street, shop, field, etc.
That people pay different prices for the same or similar products
usually depend of the product on the one hand side, but on the other
hand side depends of when the product is bought (early or later) or
emotional appreciations such as the looks and the behavior of the
It cannot be denied that some people prefer to deal with people who
they like or of who they believe that they know more about a subject.
Anyway, it should be by now clear that a market price is something that
really can change in an unpredictable way by the minute, rendering any
and all appraisals totally worthless.
It must also be considered that any item purchased can and usually is
resold sometimes very fast and for much more money to any person who
really wants it, in despite of any whatever advice.
Any scientific value estimation must not only explain that it is based
upon elements known and selected by the appraiser, but also that the
value of the scientific appraisal is relative.
To pretend that something has an absolute value is a complete nonsense.
Things have the value that people attach to it. Any whatever valuation
is just what some person or a group of people think, based upon their
Objectivity does not exist. Things are valued by comparison to known
things such as similar items or services, motivation to sell or to buy,
budget, etc. It is not realistic to believe common descriptions of Fair
Market Price. A sale is usually not willingly, because it usually is
expected to make profit or to reduce loss. Sellers are usually
reluctant to sell below the price they initially had in mind. That is
not objective at all.
A scientific appraisal can be based upon any element, including
comparison with previous sales of identical or more or less similar
items to certain people under certain circumstances (time, place,
demand, supply, etc.) but there is little reason to believe that the
said item do will sell for a price in the same range to the same people
or to other people under the same or different circumstances.
Why should it be believed that people should pay for something a price
that is set forth by people that have nothing to do with the deal, or
(worse) who expect a commission upon the deal?
How objective can a so-called scientific appraisal be, if the appraiser sells the same kind of product?
So Fair Market Value is just an idea?
Correct! Some people sell their melons near to the end of the market on
a hot day cheaper because they expect that the melons will not last for
long, while others expect last minute sales and raise the price because
other sellers have no more melons or have left the place.
It is all for a great part about recognition of situational signals and
salesmanship., demand, supply, budget, risk assessment, etc. Different
people usually think about value differently.
Companies and institutions are launching theories and rules that are
advanced as standards, while a closer look teaches us that for most of
the time a number of parameters is not used correctly or just not used
at all because seller or buyer does not supply the information to the
In the example of somebody who runs into a total-loss from a traffic
accident, the catalog value of the vehicle is usually insufficient to
purchase a similar vehicle.
The time parameter in the catalogs usually pretend that vehicles
deteriorate in time following certain values, but many 30-year old cars
still run safe and smoothly, while they will be considered total loss
This is a proof that value estimation is very relative; Relative to
time, place, situation, the statistical tools, and the mindset of the
Knowing all this, should we conclude that the appraising industry is totally worthless, useless, or or fraud?
Well, no. Not really. As a proverb says: A well informed man worths
two. But statistics only talk about past situations, and there is no
reason to believe that any situation do will occur a second time ever
with the same outcome.
To be valid, the results of any experiment must be identical when the
experiment is repeated under identical circumstances. Value estimation
is never twice the same. Antique potteries of a same lot may look
identical at sight, but can have additional elements that make them
rare or unique.
Scientific appraisals are simply not possible, however, standards
really do can contribute towards effective negotiation. The main
condition is that everybody understands that a standard is just an
agreement that certain ideas are accepted, and that standards are
limited in time and place, and other situational factors.
But, eventually, what should You pay for something? Well, it is very
If You absolutely want it, then pay for it whatever it takes.
Before somebody else gets away with it ...
On The Net since 1993.