We've seen these businesses sell on eBay and we've seen web sites and catalogs of theirs outside of eBay. We've seen their ads pop up in the Google ads in the right column and at the bottom of this blog.
We told them we had a set of Gorham Chantilly in excellent condition with no monograms that we wanted to sell. The 56 pieces in this fictitious set were:
- Eight place-size forks, 7.5 inches long
- Eight place-size knives, 9.25 inches long
- Eight salad forks
- Eight teaspoons
- Eight iced tea spoons
- Eight oval soup spoons
- One gravy ladle
- One sugar spoon
- Two serving tablespoons
- One pierced serving tablespoon
- One cold meat fork
- One cake/pie server
- One flat master butter knife
The three quotes we received to purchase our set ranged from $872.00 to $938.00, a difference of $66.00, or 7%. For the highest quote, the average price per piece was $16.75.
So, if you had a set like this in excellent condition, you could expect to get at least $938.00 for it. All three dealers included in the wording of their quotes a caveat that if the set was not in excellent condition according to their guidelines, the price would be less.
We should insert a note here to say that at the time these quotes were generated, commodity silver was around $20.00 per Troy ounce. Today, it's in the $14.25 ballpark. This may affect negatively a price quote we might obtain today but probably not terribly much. If we're selling to a scrap dealer, the commodity price drop would have a more significant impact.
What was the retail price of this set? Prices from multiple retailers were well over $5,000.
So, what's this set worth? It all depends on who's buying and who's selling! If you use the retail price as your benchmark, you may be disappointed in what you are actually able to sell your set for. On the other hand, if you can find an end-user buyer who will want your set for personal use, you can probably get more than what the dealers offered. Consignment shops, craigslist.org and eBay are three possible channels that come to mind to try to reach this end-user buyer.
As always, comments and emails on this subject are welcome.
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