What is a Desktop Equipment Appraisal?

A desktop appraisal is an equipment appraisal that does not involve a physical inspection of the product. This means that no on-site visit is required and the cost is usually cheaper.

Benefits to desktop appraisals

There are two main benefits to desktop appraisals as opposed to field appraisals in which the appraiser physically inspects the equipment.

1. It’s cheaper. In many cases, your equipment appraisal will be less expensive because the appraiser will not incur the expense of traveling to your location, as well of the time of traveling.

2. It’s faster. Desktop equipment appraisals can usually be completed in less time because the travel and inspection process is removed from the timeline. This assumes that you are able to provide the equipment appraiser with the necessary information about your equipment.

Drawbacks to desktop appraisals

Of course, skipping the physical inspection has its drawbacks. The appraisal will be limited with regards to its analysis and condition of the equipment–or even that it exists at all.

The main drawback is that the user of your appraisal might not accept an appraisal in which the equipment is not physically inspected. For example, if the appraisal is necessary for a bank loan, make sure that the bank will accept a desktop appraisal before choosing it over a field appraisal.

Desktop Appraisals make sense in limited situations

In general, a desktop appraisal is an option when:

  • The equipment is fairly standard. For example, a specific model of medical equipment or a common restaurant kitchen oven
  • The equipment is not damaged, or the damage can be accurately described to the appraiser
  • You have photos of the equipment, model numbers, etc. that can be provided to the appraiser
  • The intended use of the appraisal (litigation, donation, financing) does not require a field appraisal.


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