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When helping people identify a piece of dinnerware, or single china cup or an unidentified platter from grandma's cabinet, I usually recommend they check out Replacements, Ltd online.
With thousands of patterns in stock, they have photos of most and a brief description, which is most helpful.
"Replacements Ltd., based in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the world's largest retailer of china, crystal and silverware, including both patterns still available from manufactures and discontinued patterns. The company, which began in 1981, had an inventory in 2011 of 14 million items from more than 340,000 patterns, with annual sales of $80 million to 10 million customers." from wiki
How Bob got started in this amazing business is interesting history...
"In 1981, Bob Page left his job as an auditor for the state of North Carolina to start a mail-order business selling antique china and glassware. Located first in his attic and then in 400 square feet on North Elm Street in Greensboro, North Carolina, Page's business included merchandise from flea markets and customer requests on index cards. In four years, the company went from..."
Read more on wiki
I use Replacements all the time for ID'ing pieces. I find the value to be high compared to what things sell for on Ebay but it's a great resource. I like that they tell the production dates for the pieces. I think their prices are high but according to Wiki they have sales of $80 million, so a lot of people are buying from them.
I agree Donna! When determining value, I have found that eBay is lower and online malls (Ruby Lane, Tias, etc.) are higher with Replacements pricing in between.
I'm sure when Replacements are buying though...the price is very low! :)
I have not sold to replacements, Sherry. I did research it once but didn't sell. It's been awhile but my memory was that the buying offer was very low. I suppose they need a wider margin since they are actually storing inventory and utilizing warehouse space.
For getting it into the hands of someone who has been looking for that particular piece, I've use local selling sites and buy/sell/swap groups on Facebook. Instant gratification when one connects! :)
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