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Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Still in Sealed Plastic Sleeve"

We are often asked variations of this question by people interested in selling, "I have some sterling flatware pieces still new in their unopened plastic sleeves. Can I get a higher price for these pieces?" Believe it or not, my answer is, "Yes, but not nearly as much as you think!"

We can't explain it but the marketplace seems to lump all "used" pieces together, even those pieces still in plastic. Maybe it's like the "driving the car off the showroom floor" devaluation syndrome. Here are some other possibilities for the phenomenon:

  • Buyers don't trust sellers - maybe the bags have been resealed, not a difficult task

  • Poor storage causes damage - abrasions, bends and dents can develop from rough handling during storage even though the pieces are in plastic

  • Not all plastic bags remain 100% airtight - we have seen tarnish on pieces that look to be in original sealed bags
So, don't automatically expect to get prices near retail for your sealed pieces. Sorry!

Check the pictures below. They are all of the same fork in what seems to be the original sealed plastic sleeve.

It's hard to tell from the pictures because of the sleeve itself but you can see tiny specks of tarnish at the base of the tines.

Tarnish is really obvious around the words, "Gorham Sterling".

Tarnish is not a serious problem and this fork will polish out to be beautiful. But, technically, it will no longer be "new".

Click on any picture to see a larger version. By clicking on "Comments/Questions" below, you can see posted comments and add your own questions and comments. Or, you can send us an email by clicking on "Email Silver Jim" in the right column.

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