China replacement was a trickier task before the internet arrived.
Specialist websites aim to cater for this demand.
This section reviews the main contenders.
Note:- What you pay to one of these online retailers is substantially more than you would receive if you attempted to sell the same item.
Nothing wrong with that - just simple supply and demand. A confusing issue for some of our site visitors, the main point is; never confuse retail buying prices with private selling values. Details explained below.
In order to make a fair comparison between the various sites who offer replacement china, what we did was to take on the role of someone searching for a specific item.
Background:- A while ago, I met a couple living in Richmond, Surrey, England who ran a guest house I was staying in. Their names were Kate & Andy - very house-proud with great taste.
Kate liked to have her guests eating off fine china. Her pattern of choice, collected for years, was Spode's 'Chinese Rose'.
Kate mentioned she had recently broken her large 1 3/4 pint pitcher jug which she like to have on the breakfast table for milk (not a small 1/2 pint creamer jug).
She had been unable to find a replacement.
This review is therefore a reconstruction of Kate searching online for a replacement large sized Chinese Rose Spode pitcher.
There are two main marketplaces - U.S.A and United Kingdom, so the report is split to cover these two locations.
The following sites were looked at:-
You can read the full report here, but below is a summary of findings:
None of the main china replacement sites had the 'Chinese Rose' Spode pitcher jug in stock at the time of the review. Some represented a better user experience than others.
The jug eventually was located on eBay, but the first few attempts on the eBay search engine appeared to indicate there were none in stock. Some higher searching skills were needed. Full story here.
Some of our site visitors were using the retail prices shown on replacement sites to value their collections for resale. This is correct for calculating insurance replacement values, but incorrect for resale.
A private seller is not able generally able to get the same price as a retailer.
A retailer uses a mark-up which reflects their cost of sales (their store, staff and other expenses). A private seller has no such store front and therefore uses auction services, or listing sites such as GumTree or CraigsList.
These services can often achieve substantially less for the same item (up to 50% to one third of retail prices).
A good benchmark is to compare the buy-it-now prices of eBay to the completed listings (see advanced search option).
With fine china listings, over-optimistically priced buy-it-now listings seldom sell.
The laws of supply and demand apply to determing the value of your china replacement. A bit of careful research goes a long way.