If you've been looking for an alternative to simply selling or donate your family's sentimental dinnerware, our custom upcycling service might be just the thing.
Moving right along...
I hate to be the bearer of unpleasant news, but the honest truth from someone who has purchased and sold a lot of vintage dinnerware is this: more often than not, it's going to be more trouble than it's worth. Yes, even though your beautiful, brand-name pieces may be in pristine condition, and whoever purchased them originally paid a fortune, there's more that goes into selling china online than you might expect.
I'm just going to cut to the chase.
How much time and energy are you willing to invest?
What & amount would make selling your china "worth it?"
Once you have that number in mind, do a few google searches to estimate the value of your collection using the brand information stamped on the back of some, if not all, of the pieces in your collection (a.k.a. the backstamp). You may want to start your assessment journey at Replacements.com if only to gather additional information on how to describe the pieces you have in your searches or future product listings. Note: The prices on replacements.com often vary dramatically from the prices that the pieces sell for on the various platforms I mention below. Replacements.com is an excellent point of reference, but you should not assume you'll be able to command a similar price selling on your own.
What is the condition of your vintage set, overall and individually?
Are you prepared to pack and ship your china?
Packing china for safe transit isn't rocket science, but if you don't have experience sending delicate objects in the mail, you could wind up having to pick up the (broken) pieces, including refunding your customer and getting stuck covering the shipping fees.Think you'd just want to have the pieces wrapped by UPS/Fedex/USPS?
If turning a profit on your tucked-away treasures is a priority, you may want to reconsider. The price of packing and shipping can be quite high.
Are you prepared to handle the logistics involved in selling your set?
Especially if you are planning to break the set apart into place settings or by piece, know that you will be responsible for coordinating the listing and delivery/pick up scheduling.
Bottom LineIf you're persistent, willing to negotiate and aren't in a hurry, then you might be able to offload the family china and turn a profit too. We just want you to manage your expectations and consider your ultimate end goal before investing your time and energy.
Up for the challenge?
These are the sites we recommend for selling your fine china online:
A question we get asked a LOT: Can I sell my fine china to The Brooklyn Teacup?
If you’re downsizing or decluttering, and just want to part ways with your china, there are several worthy organizations and online platforms worth checking out. Most offer local pickups and others only allow items to be dropped off or shipped.
Freecycle: A nonprofit-run site that allows you to post basically anything you want to give away (for free) to someone in your local community.
Facebook "Buy Nothing" Group: Does your neighborhood have a "Buy Nothing" Facebook group? If so, that's definitely a good resource for getting local visitors to pick up the china you want to get rid of (or anything for that matter)! Also, if it feel important that your family heirlooms live on with a family who would be likely to appreciate the pieces ( versus "sold for parts," this can be a nice way to make a local connection).
Habitat for Humanity: A nonprofit with home improvement “Restore” locations around the U.S. The ReStore accepts and resells donated items such as usable building materials, gently used furniture, working appliances, tools, lighting and other household goods, with proceeds used to fund Habitat for Humanity building projects.
Local organizations in Brooklyn/NYCThere are many local reputable spots for donating your gently used home goods around Brooklyn and the five boroughs. I personally donate to (and buy from, on occasion too!) Big Reuse, Housing Works & Out of the Closet. Depending on the size of your donation, they may be able to pick up from you.
Big Reuse: An environmental nonprofit operating several green initiatives in the city, from salvaging usable construction materials from demolition and remodel projects to food scrap composting on behalf of the City. Operates a large second hand Reuse warehouse/store based in Gowanus, Brooklyn where they will gladly accept your vintage china, and turn it into job training opportunities and fuel for their green initiatives.
Housing Works: A New York City based non-profit fighting AIDS and homelessness that funds a large portion of its work through a chain of well-curated thrift shops. Housing works regularly accepts donations of gently used second-hand clothing, furnishings and home decor.
Out of the Closet: Helps fund HIV care and services in the community and around the world. They have several locations across the US.