How to Sell China Dinnerware

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Dinnerware can be sold as a set.
Dinnerware can be sold as a set. (Image: dutch painted cup and saucer image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com)

Dinnerware is made of many products--pottery, glass and bone china are a few. Bone china or fine china dinnerware was a suitable wedding gift for years. As trends have changed, many who received china dinnerware no longer use it, or have replaced it with a trendier table service. Collectors and people who have inherited china are often sentimental about a dinnerware pattern and want replacement pieces. This is a perfect opportunity for you to sell your china dinnerware even if the service is not complete.

Take inventory of the pieces available and condition of each piece. Condition in china dinnerware includes utensil marks and gold trim losses as well as chips and breaks.

Hold the flat pieces like plates at eye-level and look across them to see marks left by silverware. Cuts and scratches devalue dinnerware. Check the gold or platinum trim with a magnifying glass to see how much loss is visible.

Turn a dinner plate over and check for identifying marks on the bottom. Look for maker and pattern name. If you find the maker’s name but not the pattern, look online to see if the maker has a website to locate the pattern name. For a discontinued pattern, the pattern name may only be available on a replacement dinnerware or china-matching website. Check resale prices while you are looking, so you have an idea of the value.

Choose a place to sell your china dinnerware. If you do not want to pack and ship the set, you may choose to sell locally by advertising in the local classified ads or advertising with an online local advertising website like Craigslist. If packing is not an issue or if you are willing to pay a packing company, you may choose to sell your dinnerware to a china-matching service or to a buyer who belongs to the International Association of Dinnerware Matchers. These buyers do not usually pay for shipping or insurance and will not pay retail value since they are resellers.

Attempt to sell your dinnerware at your preferred choice first, and if it does not sell, try a second method. For example, try to sell locally, and if that does not work, make online contacts that will require shipping the set. You might try to sell your dinnerware by place setting or by the piece, as buyers often look for specific pieces or a small quantity, not an entire set. Serving pieces are in demand and sell better than place settings.

Get it in writing and get paid. If you sell online or to an individual who is not local, make an agreement in writing prior to shipping and get payment up front. Agree on who pays shipping and how much, what happens if there is breakage, and what happens if the buyer does not like the dinnerware. Consider sending one piece for approval if there are questions--or doubts.

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