From the occasional Star Trek collector plate purchased by a loyal TV fan to Grandma's extensive collection of scenic and Christmas china, there's big money in the collectable plate market and a lot of serious buyers regardless of the economy. Franklin Mint, Danbury Mint, Bradford Exchange, and other producers of collectable plates constantly offer new designs for loyal devotees. Many collectable enthusiasts scour the Internet and antique stores to add to their plate collection. With a little research, you can sell your own collectable plates or buy and resell collector plates for a profit.
Check the plate's condition. If there are any chips, smudges, or stains on the plate, its value drops substantially. Clean the plate if necessary, but always make sure the original design remains intact. Contact an experienced china or porcelain repairman if a piece of the plate needs to be glued into place.
Determine the market value of the collectable plate. Look at online collectors' forums or collectable magazine websites. Many collectors' notice boards contain up-to-date information from collector plate enthusiasts, but always check it against official price guides and current bids on eBay for similar plates. Obtain an appraisal from a reputable collectable expert for unusual or rare plates. Many antique and collectable stores offer online appraisals.
Place ads on eBay, Craigslist, and other websites. Online collectable sites often have classified sections as well, and will attract your target buyer more quickly than general websites. Some of the larger collectable sites have a separate section featuring collectable plates for sale and updated listings of local dealers and collectable fairs. You can join some of the sites for free, but some require payment to place sales or dealer ads.
Attend local collectable fairs and flea markets. Collectable magazines and organisations sponsor collectable fairs in many towns across the U.S. Look in the weekend section of your local newspaper for listings. Many cities have weekly or monthly flea markets targeted specifically at antique and collectibles buyers.
Consult a local antique store. If you have one-of-a-kind collectable plates, especially ones from the first half of the 20th century or earlier, this approach may work better than an Internet auction. Negotiate with the store owner until you arrive at a satisfactory price. If you aren't pleased with the final offer, then explore auction sites.