How Much Are Discontinued Dishes Worth? Whatever You're Willing To Sell Them For.

Have you ever tried to sell china dishes that you no longer need? So you do your due diligence by exploring all available options to sell your china and you settle on working with a replacement china company. You look at their website and price your china pattern and see that your Lenox Charleston is priced for $1,600 retail or that your Lenox Tuxedo is valued at $2,000. Great, so now you can expect to get an offer of approximately $800 – $1,000 on the Lenox Charleston and $1,000 – $1,300 on the Tuxedo.

How surprised you are to receive an offer for significantly lower. You get an offer for $400 on the Charleston and $500 on the Tuxedo. What an insult! How greedy are these companies, looking to make 400% profit or more! And you decide to give them a piece of your mind.

Your reaction is understandable, but were you to take a minute to understand the decision making process that goes into price offers, you would see that it much more reasonable than it may appear to be at first glance.

The main thing to realize is that a buying offer is not an appraisal, it is not the company saying how much the china is worth, it is how much this particular company can pay at this particular time for this particular pattern. That's all. To fully understand this, some background is necessary.

The replacement china business is a niche business, and every pattern is its own niche within that niche. A discontinued china pattern is mostly sold to the customers who bought it when it was active. From that limited customer pool, only a small percentage are actually looking to buy additional pieces of this pattern. As time goes on, the customer base for that pattern gets smaller and smaller since people have bought what they need over the years and cease to buy more.

A result of the above is that china patterns, even popular ones, do not have high turnover and tend to remain in stock for a while, tying up valuable capital.

In addition, not every piece in a pattern will sell. Some pieces will move fast while others will sit for years. But patterns are bought in their entirety from the sellers, including the hard-to-move pieces. So there needs to be enough profit in the better selling pieces to make up for the ones that will sit.

The labor involved in the dinnerware replacement business is also more then in most industries. Every piece needs to be unpacked, inspected, cataloged etc. etc leading to very high costs that need to be recouped.

Then there is the usual law of supply and demand, which can vary by the dealer. Some dealers have great success with a specific china pattern and will pay more for it than another who cannot move it much. Sometimes a dealer has adequate stock of a pattern and will only agree to pay for more if is available at a very attractive price. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

The point of all this? China companies by and large are not looking to low ball sellers. What can appear to be huge profit margins are actually very reasonable and modest. Does that mean that you should sell it for what you consider too low a price? Of course not. Sellers should (and do) sell based on what they want to get for their china. Do you want quick cash? Grab what you can. Want the most for your money? Hold on till you get what you want. You're the boss, so sell your china for what you want.

They say that to understand is to forgive, so hopefully by understanding what goes into the decision making process of a buying offer, you will be able to forgive when you're expectations are not met. Best of luck.

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