Where to Sell or Donate the Vintage Family China Nobody Wants.If you're looking to sell or give away the vintage family china you don't want, you're definitely not alone. In fact, our small business receives emails almost daily with requests to sell or donate family heirlooms. As a small business that's both purchased and sold a LOT of china (and spoken to many other vintage resellers), we're happy to share what we've learned.
Selling your vintage china
Moving right along... I'm just going to cut to the chase.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.
How much time and energy are you willing to invest in selling your family 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. Side note: Here's a free resource you may want to check out where we show our upcycle clients how to best pack and ship their vintage china to our Brooklyn studio.
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 high.
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.
The 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 (and often use ourselves)!
Tip #1: Sell piecemeal vs the entire set
If you are willing to sell items piecemeal (e.g., just the teapot) or a few at a time (a set of 2 cups and saucers), you will likely command a higher price overall.
However, you will also be responsible for handling shipping and customer service for each transaction (i.e., messaging, negotiating $, coordinating logistics, packing shipping, etc.).
Tips for Listing Your Vintage China Online
With the exception of Replacements.com, each of these platforms require you to create a listing for your china, which includes uploading pictures and information about the brand, pattern, condition, etc.
Tip #2: Get good photos.
Be sure to get some good photos of your set with decent lighting and a clean/clear backdrop.
Before uploading pictures, try adjusting the shadows and brightness levels. It can really go a long way in making your images stand out.
The answer is...sometimes! The expense of shipping and selling often makes purchases cost prohibitive. If you're local and looking to downsize or declutter, click the link below to tell us more about the pieces you would like to sell or donate and share pictures.
Our operation is located in a Brooklyn apartment. Even if we adore your china, our small team still has to be highly selective about the inventory we accept... Otherwise, we'd wind up sleeping with the dishes! (Godfather movie reference, anyone? )
Where to donate or give away your chinaIf you’re downsizing or decluttering, and just want to part ways with your family 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.
Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Vietnam Veterans of America: Nonprofit organizations that operate thrift store locations around the U.S.
Donating your vintage china in Brooklyn/NYC.There 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.