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Vintage Tea Sets: Junk or Not Junk?

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If you’re in the process of removing junk from your home, you’ll likely come across a wide range of items like vintage tea sets, which can be found almost everywhere. They’re a common household item, and are often passed down from one generation to the next.

Vintage Tea Set

But some vintage tea sets hold a lot of value. How do you know if your tea set is junk or not junk? The following tips might help you determine whether yours belongs with the rest of your junk removal items, or if it should stay in your home.

What Influences Tea Set Value?

Determining whether your vintage tea set still has any value can be tricky. Various factors can influence its value over time. These include its condition, manufacturer brand, material and availability.

In addition, existing demand in the market will also determine its value. Although there are appraisers available who can help you in the process, some simple steps will save you time and money spent on worthless tea sets.

What to Look For

A good first step that can save you a lot of trouble is to do some basic research. Find out if others are looking for your particular make of tea sets. Ultimately, whatever buyers are paying is the essential value. In addition, make note of any tea sets that are comparable to yours to help determine the possibility that they might hold some value.

Condition will be one of the primary factors in its value to others. It can come from a highly sought after manufacture. But if there are any cracks, faded designs, or missing pieces, then the tea set will likely be worth very little. The only people it should go to are the ones at the junk removal service!

Next, consider who the manufacturer is. This can be found at the bottom of the saucer on most tea sets. Those that have no manufacturer printed will be harder to determine, and might need to go to a professional for appraisal.

Most manufacturers have websites with images of their products. This can be a valuable resource in matching your set with a price. Other companies that sell discontinued tea sets can also be referenced if needed.

You’ll find additional value on any sets that are individually numbered or hand signed by the designer.

Having a Full Set

Before you go off looking for appraisers and spending time surfing the Internet, there’s one key consideration that many people overlook, and it’s one that has a huge impact on the value of a vintage tea set: An incomplete set will be far less valuable.

Full sets are usually comprised of 4, 6, or 8 individual sets. If your vintage tea set is odd numbered, or if you’re missing saucers or teacups, then your vintage tea set is unlikely to be of any interest to collectors.

This is more often the case for homeowners in the process of clearing out junk from their homes. If your set is missing pieces, cracked, or lacks any identifiable manufacturer, you might be better off tossing it in the junk pile.

Written September 30, 2014 by Christopher Luciano

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