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Appraisal Nightmare

I have been doing appraisals for 20 years now and for the first time
was presented with the situation that follows. Customer brings in a
ring that was sold to her by a company that was going out of
business(hired a firm to handle going out of business) and bought a
ring that was told was $10,000 but with 75% off she would pay only
$3000.00 in 1997 and now I put the value close to 6000.00 and she was
very surprised that I wouldn’t put the value over $10,000. I feel it
was just a sales gimmick to inflate the price and “get a good
deal”…but look what a nightmare it causes down the line. I’m
getting to the point of not wanting to do appraisals anymore when you
spend more time explaining what someone else might be doing in order
to sell something. If you were asked to inflate the appraisal with
documentation from the original seller who out there would do that?
Fed Up…Ron

If you were asked to inflate the appraisal with documentation from
the original seller who out there would do that? 

No one I consider a competent and trained appraiser, or at least,
none such that I respect…

An aside… My second commercial job in this industry, back in '76,
was with a store that was closing it’s street front store to move to
a larger, higher traffic, mall location. They hired one of those
firms to do the “going out of business” sale, in order to reduce
inventory, etc. Initially, those guys intended to immediately retag
everthing at substantially higher prices in order to the be able to
offer greater discounts. The owner, who was paying them to run the
sale, had to argue quite a lot to get them to agree to do the sale
without that unethical ploy. In the end, they put up a sign near
the front that specifically described that practice, and promised
that it hadn’t been done there, but that as a result, buyers should
understand that the now real discounts might not seem as dramatic as
they might see at other, similar seeming sales, yet could represent
greater true values. It seemed to be recieved quite well, and sales
were quite good. Over time, in the new location, a number of
customers later told us that one reason they’d stayed loyal and now
came to the new location was that they’d been impressed with this
display of ethics in the face of what they felt was
widespread industry practice.


Don’t feel the need to apologize for other peoples misdeeds. There
have been so many Prime Time/60 Minutes/Dateline reports on
fraudulent advertising that consumers have to be in total denial to
ignore the facts.

To read the trade journals you have to believe that the most
profitable jewelry store now in the USA is Walmart. Yes! That
bastion of discounted fine quality and good taste! What makes them
qualified in the field? Advertising. And the majority of consumers
believe advertising.

Locally, in the Bay Area, Macy’s is again advertising a 50% off
Jewelry Sale. They’re ALWAYS having a 50% off sale. A co-worker of
mine works part-time for the Macy’s repair/custom order department
and he describes merchandise that arrives from suppliers with loose
clasps that don’t work and cracked shanks. But the
quality is always GUARANTEED!

My point is that these businesses are visible ‘leaders’ in American
consumer culture and exist in an unspoken climate of deceit.
Regardless of Lemon laws and investigative reporting they continue
to practice and profit. No wonder other jewelers emulate their

We work, hopefully, in the belief that educated persons of taste
will appreciate our craft.

From Fog Town.


Hi Ron, Don’t lose heart. If your apprasal was accurate to the best
of your ability, you have nothing to explain. Anything less than an
honest appraisal is a joke, unethical, and below your integrity. it
is up to the store that sold the merchandise to explain why there is
a disparity in the appraisal and their inflated selling price. Making
things look ok for the store is not an appraisers job. Customers
should ask some hard questions of the seller not the appraiser when
an appraisal doesn’t match the stated price.

Best wishes,

Lisa, ( June Gloom is in full force in LA. foggy and overcast, but
it burns off by the afternoon. ) Topanga, CA, USA