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Trying to sell your sterling silver flatware and getting a fair price can be confusing if are not sure where to begin. The best way to sell it should be determined by the value of your set and how quickly you need the money. Whether you decide to auction the set, sell it to a pawn shop, sell it on eBay, or find a serious collector, understanding its value will help you to make up your mind.
How to sell your sterling silver flatware
Research your sterling flatware's value. Sterling silver flatware was first produced in England, in the 1200s. Wealthy people carried them around because most inns didn't provide such basic necessities for their guests. These days a piece of flatware’s pattern and maker are usually more important than its age. For example pieces made in the Victorian or Edwardian period were mass produced, so they tend to sell for less. Now a set of rare flatware can sell for thousands of dollars, so knowing the value is very important.Value is determined by different things including :
Condition--Used pieces are expected to have minor scratches and tiny "dings" from use. Anything worse than this will cause the value to fall significantly. Tarnish is not a problem because it can be polished out easily.
Pattern--Some patterns have higher values than others. You can determine your pattern at silverpattern.com. Once you know the pattern you can check with silver dealers to find out replacement prices.
Specific piece--A fork is worth more than a teaspoon. A dinner fork is worth more than a luncheon fork. Knives often have lower values.
Set vs. individual pieces--A complete set with some serving pieces will usually bring a higher price.
Rarity--Some patterns, and some pieces within a particular pattern, may be rare.
Monograms or other custom engraving--This reduces market value.
To find out the value of your set you should contact an estate silver shop or old-line jeweler. Ask their opinion.
Think twice before you sell your sterling silver flatware. Consider it an heirloom that should be passed down from generation to generation, especially if you have inherited it. Truthfully you will not receive the amount of money that it is actually worth. Most people sell their flatware at around 10 percent to 20 percent of listed retail prices.
Advertise your sterling silver flatware set on Craigslist.com for free. Make sure that you have some really good pictures and be realistic with your asking price. Be cautious when you set up meetings with potential buyers. Never meet anyone alone.
Sell your sterling silver flatware set on eBay. Many people purchase their sterling silver sets through eBay and you can see what the going rates are.
Check with a local pawn shop to see what it will offer you for your sterling silver flatware set. Typically it will offer you a lot less because the shop wants to make a profit as well. But for fast cash you will certainly find a buyer at a pawn shop.
Talk to a dealer. You can look up dealers on the Internet or even go to an antique show and look for dealers selling sterling flatware. They may offer you an acceptable price.
Sell to a jeweler. Contact large jewelry stores in your area to find out if they purchase sterling silver flatware sets.
Based in Minnesota, Kristen Middleton has been writing since 2009. She runs a child-care business and, in 2010, authored the book "How to Open Up a Daycare." Middleton contributes to various online publications, specializing in child care, gardening and furniture care.