“We guarantee it will appraise for double what you pay.” What’s wrong with this picture? Are appraisers supposed to reflect what things sell for in the marketplace or appease the jeweler by making everything sound like a steal of a deal? When avenues for discounted jewelry became prevalent in the marketplace several years back, this half-of-retail scenario held up for the discounters for a while. However if the retail markups in this industry have dropped – which they certainly have, so shouldn’t the apprised values? So why do some appraisers keep appraising sky high even though the industry margins keep getting smaller? Because the “half price” jewelers want them to, that’s why.
The consumer does not appreciate hearing that their insurance company is offering them half of the appraised value in a settlement after paying premiums on the full amount, but guess what? The insurance companies are shopping through brokers and discounters for their replacement, and usually get better prices than consumers do. In establishing the original coverage they have to rely on the appraiser’s information and use that value portion to set premiums. If that value is way over a realistic purchase price it only inflates premiums and sets up a future confrontation with the client. Yes, appraisals need to reflect the overall marketplace and give the consumer options for replacement, but they also need to be realistic and not merely a “feel-good” value the jeweler wants “their” appraiser to reflect.