After dropping a few dishes in my lifetime, I knew that there were a variety of frugal ways to find replacement china.
What I didn’t realize, is that there is a way to get rid of your orphaned dishes for cash.
I’ve had some old Corelle dishes sitting in my garage that I forgot to put in my most recent garage sale, so I decided to check to see what I could sell it for. I visited Replacements LTD, and discovered that some of the pieces in my set were selling for much more than I paid for my Corelle Ware originally.
Replacements LTD specializes in selling old and new china, crystal, and silver. It’s a great resource to find missing pieces to your dinnerware collection.
I sent a quick e-mail to them and a few days later, I received an “offer” from them for the various pieces in my pattern that was good for 30 days. Some of my pieces would only have sold for $.20 or $.30, and since Replacements is very particular about any wear marks or scratches, that eliminated my dinner and bread plates from being possible sale items.
I decided to try to sell 16 mugs and 9 glass tumblers to Replacements LTD. Because I had procrastinated a bit, the 30-day offer period was almost up. So I did the unfrugal thing and took them to a shipping store to have them packed and shipped. It cost me $45. GULP.
Within a couple of weeks, I received an e-mail from Replacements with a formal offer to buy all 16 mugs and 6 of the glasses. According to them, 2 of my glasses broke during shipping, and one did not meet their standards due to wear. (They shipped that glass back to me at no charge!). Their final offer was $62.
So, in the end, I sold some old Corelle Ware I wasn’t using and cleared $17.
Now that doesn’t sound like much, until you realize that I only paid about $20 for all of the bread plates, bowls, glasses, mugs, and dinner plates back when I bought them on clearance about 10 years ago. And I used that set for about 6 years after that!
I would never have gotten that much money for those mugs and glasses at a garage sale or on eBay. Nor would they have been worth that much as a tax deductible donation.
But I am kicking myself a bit for letting procrastination cut into my profits. I would have done a few things differently in order to make the most money when selling dishes.
Here’s my advice to those of you thinking about selling dishes for cash:
Research what your pieces are worth and then request an offer to sell them. Get a sense for what they are selling for at Replacements LTD, on eBay and at thrift shops. The more you know about your dishes, the easier it will be to determine if an offer is fair.
Condition matters. No one wants to buy pieces with scratches or cracks. Your items should be clean and in mint condition. There may be a limit on how many pieces a place is willing to buy, so pay attention to that, too. Read the fine print before you try to sell and you will save yourself trouble.
Determine how much your pieces weigh. Remember to take into account the weight of all of the protective wrapping and packaging.
Determine how you are going to wrap them. You want your pieces to arrive at the buyer’s door looking shiny and new – not smashed into tiny pieces. Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are great options, but there’s a cost involved unless you are able to reuse some that you already have around the house.
Size matters. I learned that it’s not just weight that affects the cost to ship your box: The larger your box, the more it will cost to send. You may want to consider sending several smaller packages rather than one oversized parcel.
Shop around for shipping. You may find that one shipping company charges less than another. Or you may find it cheaper to send the items by US Priority Mail (and you get the boxes for free!).
I had absolutely no sentimental attachment to the Corelle Ware I sold and was pleased with my dish selling experience. Selling my items to Replacements LTD was a very simple process (no photos to upload and descriptions to write on eBay) and I was very happy with their customer service and prompt payment.
I’m thrilled that I was able to unload clutter from my garage with less work and more profit than a garage sale, too. I have a few other mismatched plates and bowls that I may try to sell later this year.
I’m also going to keep my eyes open when I’m bargain hunting. Because dinnerware patterns get discontinued, people with a sentimental attatchment to their dinnerware will pay decent money to replace broken or missing pieces. If you can keep your costs down, you may want to keep your eyes open for quality items on clearance, at estate sales, thrift stores, and garage sales to sell for a profit.
Share your story: Have you ever sold your dishes for cash?
About Christina Brown
Christina is a wife and mother dedicated to figuring out how to live a simpler, happier life on a budget.