Current Replacement Value 
Selling Your Dinnerware

If you have asked about the value of your tableware, the number you need is called Current Replacement Value or what your pattern is currently selling for on the discontinued tableware market. CRV is an ambiguous number, different from one dealer to another and from time to time. Dealers will not answer a question regarding value.

Factors that affect CRV are:

Condition:  Dinnerware must be in mint condition, with no chips, cracks, crazed glaze, worn gold or platinum or knife marks on dinner or salad plates or scratches because plates have been stacked one on top of the other with nothing in between. Consider what you would consider mint condition if you were buying the pieces.

Availability: The more easily this pattern can be found, the more stock that is available, the lower the price or value. Dealers who have a lot of stock in your pattern will bid low, or not at all.

Demand: The greater the demand, especially if there is limited availability, drives the price higher. If it is not a popular pattern, there may not be much demand, which will decrease the CRV.

Selling to a Dealer:

Dealers will usually offer up to about 40 percent of Current Replacement Value for mint condition dinnerware. I do not have estimates for flatware or glassware.

If there is an abundance of your pattern available or low demand for the pattern, dealers will offer lower bids.

If your pattern is difficult to locate or there is not much available, or there are a number of people on the dealer's wants lists, the dealers will offer more to purchase your dinnerware.

Make an inventory listing of your pieces, including condition of each.

For Dinnerware
, look for crazed glaze, worn gold or platinum trim, faded colors, stains, chips on rims or elsewhere, cracks and knife marks on plates. Do  not list "place settings" as sometimes a place setting can contain a soup bowl instead of a salad plate. List each individual piece.

For Flatware: Look for worn plated silver, rust where knife handles join the blades, dents, scratches, monograms, bent tines on forks or any other types of damage you might see.

For glassware, look for rim chips, even very minor ones, on rim of glass or base or cut edges of cut crystal. Look for etching in the bowls, worn gold or platinum trim, and any other damage you might see.

Try to sell all of the pieces to one dealer or you may be stuck with pieces no one wants.

Once you accept a bid, the dealer will give you instructions for packing and shipping the dinnerware. You will be responsible for the shipping costs. Be sure you include enough insurance to cover the contents of each box.

If a dealer finds more damage than you have indicated once the china is delivered, you will be given a choice - either accept a lower bid for those pieces, or the dealer will return the shipment to you, at your expense. It's best to be meticulous when looking for damage.

Selling to a dealer is the easiest way to dispose of unwanted china. 

There are other selling options, but consigning to an antiques store has a fee that may be up to 50 percent of your final selling price. If a customer breaks part of the set, it is your loss.

Auctioneers will rarely take one piece (a set of dinnerware) to auction off, and if they do, the selling price will most likely be much lower than you would expect.

Garage sales will net you pennies on the dollar. Everyone is looking for low prices.

Newspaper ads: Waste of time and money. Would you consider buying a set of china from a classified ad? Probably not, and the seller may have an inflated idea of the value of their dinnerware.

If you live the the US and itemize on your taxes, you may be able to donate your tableware to charity and take to replacement value off on your taxes. Talk to your accountant.

I hope this helps,
Susan Ranta, publisher
Set Your Table