Are you looking for the best places to sell silver flatware? Many people own silver flatware, whether a single piece or a whole set, but never use it.
If your flatware has no sentimental value, you may want to consider selling it.
We have the scoop on where to sell your flatware, ways to determine if it’s valuable and tips on how to get the best price.
Where to Sell Silver Flatware
There are many ways to sell flatware. The one you choose will depend on several factors, including how quickly you need money, how fast you want your pieces sold and how much you hope to earn.
In alphabetical order, here are some of the most popular places people sell flatware.
1. Auction Houses
Auction houses will sell your silver flatware set when they hold an auction. Typically, this type of flatware sells best at auction houses when it holds value outside the silver’s market price.
For instance, an auction house may be a good place to sell flatware if your family’s silver set is old or was owned by a well-known person in the 1800s.
Sterling silver generally will fetch the best price at auction houses compared to other types of flatware.
Keep in mind that you will pay a fee to sell your flatware at an auction house. 20% is not an uncommon selling fee if you use an auction house.
CashforSilverUSA is a company that specializes in purchasing fine silver from private parties.
This particular method of selling your flatware is easy. Whether you have sterling silver, silver plate or another type of flatware, you simply send it in using CashforSilverUSA’s free shipping label.
This company insures your shipment, providing extra peace of mind. When they get your shipment, they’ll analyze the flatware and email you an offer price.
If you accept the offer, you’ll get your money quickly via PayPal or check. For values over $25,000, a bank wire is an option.
Its sister company, CashForGold USA, purchases gold jewelry and other items.
3. Consignment Stores
You can try to sell your silver flatware set at a local or online consignment store. The best consignment stores will help you sell your flatware quickly.
With consignment stores, your flatware will be available for viewing. Potential buyers will have the option to buy or make an offer.
It’s important to note that all consignment stores charge fees that are upwards of 40% of the sales price. Do your research and find the consignment store that best fits your needs and charges the lowest fees.
eBay is another option for selling your flatware. With eBay, you can choose an auction method where people bid during a certain period.
Alternatively, you can set a flat sales price and hope people will buy your flatware. Fees with eBay vary based on what you are selling.
However, you can expect to pay roughly 15% if you sell your flatware on eBay.
With eBay, you can compare what other types of sterling flatware are being sold. This can help you set pricing for your items: sterling silver or silver plate flatware pieces.
5. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace has become a premier venue for selling personal items. As a bonus, there are often no fees at all.
This site may or may not be the best place to sell your silver flatware, depending on how you advertise your items.
For instance, if you sell through a community group instead of through Marketplace, you won’t pay any fees. However, the reach when selling through a community page will be much lower.
Your reach with Marketplace can be greater, but you may incur fees.
6. Pawn Shops
Pawn shops are another option for selling your silver flatware. While you can find pawn shops near you easily, this isn’t the best option for selling your flatware.
These shops buy items to resell them and make a profit. For that reason, you can expect an offer price much lower than what you’d get from places specializing in buying silver.
While pawn shops let you sell your flatware quickly, you’ll need to evaluate if the lower payout is worth the convenience.
Replacements.com buys silver flatware and other valuable items from private parties to resell them on its website.
With Replacements.com, you can get an offer to purchase your items online. If you are okay with the offer, send in your flatware. However, you are responsible for shipping and insurance.
After mailing in your items, you’ll receive a final offer 14 days after your shipment.
8. Silver Matching Services
Silver matching services help people looking for silver pieces to complete a set and find the missing items for their collection.
Maxwell Silver Matching Service is one website that offers this type of service. If you have flatware you’d like to sell, you can contact this silver matching service directly to inquire about selling your items.
You’ll generally receive a quote within one business day. If you accept, you will mail in your flatware. Maxwell Silver Matching Service will reimburse your shipping expenses and pay you via check.
9. Silver Recyclers
Silver recyclers specialize in collecting precious metals to recycle them. There are online silver recyclers and in-person companies that recycle precious metals.
As with pawn shops, you might be offered a lower price for your flatware than what you’d be offered at a place such as CashforSilverUSA.
However, you can get your cash on the spot if you choose a local silver recycler. Do an internet search for “silver recyclers near me” to find a location near you.
How Do I Determine What Kind of Silver I Have?
There are several kinds of silver flatware, from sterling silver items to coin silver. Silver value depends on the type; some types are more valuable than others. Here are some tips to help determine what kind of flatware you have.
When it comes to silver value, real sterling silver flatware is the most valuable type of flatware. By definition, sterling silver contains 92.5% pure silver (by weight) and 7.5% other metals (by weight).
Other metals used in sterling silver flatware are typically copper but can also include geranium, zinc, and platinum.
Manufacturers use sterling silver flatware because of its hardiness. Fine silver (99.9% pure silver) is much too soft to be used in a flatware manner, making sterling flatware the premium product in this space.
If you are selling sterling silver flatware, take your time and shop around to get the best offer.
Silver plated defines metal alloy flatware with a sterling silver coating or plating. The underlying metal in silver-plated flatware is often copper-based or nickel-based, combined with other metals.
Silver-plated flatware, including electroplated nickel silver flatware, has little value. Silver buyers won’t buy silver-plated flatware like they will when it comes to real sterling silver, although you may be able to sell it on sites like Craigslist or eBay.
To get the best value for your silver-plated flatware, try listing on multiple sites and be patient as you wait for a buyer.
According to Merriam-Webster, the technical definition of coin silver is “the silver of the fineness legalized for coins (.900 in the U.S. and .500 in Great Britain).
You might be wondering what coin silver has to do with flatware. Coins were often melted down and made into flatware and silver pieces in the late 18th century.
Wealthier families had this done because paper money was unstable at the time, and coins were frequently stolen.
Coins were melted and made into family silver flatware and other serving pieces. Then, they were stamped with the purity level contained in the piece, usually around 90% (.900).
While silver flatware made from coin silver isn’t as valuable as sterling silver flatware, these pieces are still quite valuable.
Hotel silver is silverware that was made specifically for hotels. This silverware doesn’t have much in the way of silver value because it is silver-plated.
However, you might be able to find some antique silver that has value simply because of its age.
That said, it won’t bring the price that you’d get for authentic sterling flatware. But, it might be worth more than regular silver-plated flatware.
How Can I Figure Out the Value of My Silver Flatware?
One of the easiest ways to determine silver flatware value is to use an online calculator to determine silver prices.
To use an online silver calculator, you’ll need to know the weight of your silver piece and its purity level.
You can usually find a stamp on the back of your flatware pieces indicating the amount of pure silver in the piece.
For instance, sterling silver flatware pieces are typically stamped with a symbol:
- An English lion emblem with a raised paw
Entering the symbol of your sterling silver on the calculator and each piece’s weight (use a kitchen scale for accuracy) will allow the calculator to give you an estimated sale price.
Regardless of whether it’s sterling silverware or another type of flatware, the sale price is based on the current price at which silver is valued. This does not mean that the price shown will be what you get for your silver piece.
Your final payout for the flatware depends on the company you sell to.
You can expect a 20% reduction in the value shown due to fees paid to the company that purchases your flatware.
What Type of Silver Flatware is the Most Valuable?
The most valuable flatware is flatware that has the most sterling silver. Sterling silver flatware contains the most pure silver.
A piece of sterling silver flatware will contain 92.5% pure silver (by weight) and 7.5% other metals, such as copper.
Fine silver, which is 99.9% pure silver, is very soft and is not used when making silver flatware.
How Can I Get the Most Money for My Silver Flatware?
If you want to maximize your potential profits for your silver flatware, follow these tips.
1. Proper Storage
Storing your flatware properly, especially if it’s sterling silver, is important for a couple of reasons.
First, proper storage will help keep tarnishes and scratches at bay. Second, it will help preserve the value of the flatware.
Whether you want to keep your flatware or sell it, preserving the value of your flatware is a good financial move.
But how can you properly store your flatware? Experts recommend only storing silver flatware in a cloth meant for doing so.
Use a silver flatware cloth bag that holds each piece individually. Many cloth bags are designed to roll up and include cloth ties for efficient storage and space preservation.
Then, store your rolls of silverware in wooden boxes or china cabinets.
2. To Clean or Not To Clean?
How should you clean your silver flatware? Or should you not clean it at all? Does it depend on whether it’s sterling silverware or another type of flatware?
Cleaning flatware properly is important so you can preserve it for years.
If your flatware is already tarnish-free and you use it during a meal, it is important to clean it as soon as possible after your meal.
Keep in mind that it is never a good idea to put silver flatware in the dishwasher. Instead, wash your flatware in warm water with a mild dish detergent.
If you want to clean your silver flatware for tarnish removal, you have a couple of options.
First, try to remove the tarnish with a dry silver cloth, rubbing only as firmly as needed.
If you need additional cleaning options, try this method:
- Line a pot or roaster pan with aluminum foil
- Place your flatware on top of the foil
- Boil a separate pot of water
- Pour the boiling water over the flatware (just enough to cover it fully)
- Immediately sprinkle a quarter to a half cup of baking soda and two teaspoons of kosher salt into the pot, over your flatware and the water
- Let sit for five to seven minutes
- Remove the silverware, give it a quick rinse in warm water and dry it thoroughly
A Note About Silver Polish
You might be tempted to clean your sterling silver flatware with a silver polish cream that you find at the store or online.
Most silver experts agree that silver polishes should be used sparingly, if at all. The harsh chemicals in most silver polishes can cause damage to your flatware.
For that reason, it’s best to use the methods above for cleaning your silver.
3. Shop Around for the Best Offer
It’s important to find the right buyer to get the highest dollar for your flatware. This means that you’ll likely have to shop around.
Get quotes from a variety of buyers. If you’re considering selling to a private party on a site such as eBay, check the buyer’s eBay rating.
Be safe when it comes to selling to a private party. Take proper precautions, like meeting in a public space. If you’re considering selling to a business, check the business’s Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot rating.
Lastly, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. This especially holds true if the offer is from an unknown private party. Take whatever precautions you need to take to avoid being the victim of a scam or theft.
4. Be Patient
Patience is likely the most important strategy for finding the best places to sell flatware.
This type of flatware is valuable and expensive, especially if you have sterling silver. There’s probably not a buyer around every corner.
For that reason, you’ll want to be patient, do your research diligently and be willing to wait for the right buyer.
The best places to sell flatware will buy with honesty and integrity and offer a fair price. It will also depend on whether you have sterling silver, silver plate, or other flatware.
Finding the right option will take patience and the willingness to research. Avoid pawn shops if you want the highest price for your flatware.
Instead, choose a buyer who is willing to give you a good price and deal with you in a professional manner. This can ensure you make the most money possible.