Jan 23, 2014

Cataloging Collectibles is the First Step in Safekeeping

It was a collector’s worst nightmare.

About 20 years ago, a fair portion of my appraisal business came from assessing moving damage claims for van lines. On one occasion, I was called to inspect a claim on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: a tractor-trailer had taken an off-ramp too fast, flipped over and rolled down the embankment with a full load.

The damage was the worst I’d ever seen. Steel sofa-bed frames were twisted, furniture was in splinters, and the shipper’s treasured porcelain collection was crushed. Lladro, Limoges and a variety of antique porcelain figurines were gone — all of them.

The shipper valued her collection in the mid-five figures. Her settlement from the van line for her porcelain collection? $16.74. In an attempt to save money on the moving cost, the shipper had failed to protect her interests on several counts: she packed the porcelain herself (relieving the van line of responsibility for breakage of packed items) and didn’t insure her shipment. The van line was only liable at the “released rate” for interstate shipping: 6 cents per pound. So, a single Lladro figure valued at $3,000, weighing just 3 pounds, was settled for 18 cents. Tragic? Yes, but completely legal according the statutes for interstate shipping. Read More

No comments:

Post a Comment