In the world of ceramics, collectibles and antiques, the name Wedgwood is synonymous with elegance. Wedgwood is often recognised by pattern and ornamentation but the true sign of Wedgwood can be found in the maker's mark. Maker's marks are symbols that identify the manufacturer and are usually found on the bottom of a ceramic item. Wedgwood marks date from the founding of the company in 1759 through to the present day. Selling Wedgwood marks means selling an authentic Wedgwood ceramic object.
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Things you need
Research the value of the items. Look for pieces with the same maker's mark and pattern and make note of the prices. Search for items previously sold at auction, through websites and catalogues or find similar items for sale in local antique or resale stores. Determining the true value of the items will depend on the quality of each piece, however, gathering prices on similar items can give you a benchmark or point of comparison to work with.
Make sure the Wedgwood mark is not a fake. Consult a book such as the Antique Trader Guide to Fakes and Reproductions or one that identifies the history of English ceramic marks. The assistance of a qualified appraiser may also be helpful but you may have to pay for a consultation. Contact the American Society of Appraisers to locate a certified appraiser in your area.
Consign the items. Experienced dealers may be able to sell the items faster than an individual without selling experience. Photograph the pattern, the Wedgwood marks and a few of the pieces, count the number of items and note the number of each type of dish. Visit local antique, vintage and resale shops with this information in hand along with a general value and inquire about consigning the items.
Sell through the classifieds. A local classified ad in the Sunday paper or through an online site such as Craigslist could lead to a sale. Make sure you have your item count and can verbally describe the condition, i.e. good but with light wear from use, mint condition (perfect condition, no damage, no fading of the pattern), never used but with a few chips. You will also need to have the items available for viewing by potential customers and be comfortable dealing with strangers.
Sell to resellers. Resellers collect discontinued china patterns and resell them to the public. Companies such as Replacements, Ltd. purchase these items from the general public or from pickers. Each resellers purchase requirements should outline the type and quality of item they are willing to buy. The seller is responsible for the cost of packing and shipping any items a reseller purchases.
Sell online. Auction sites such as eBay and uBid or collectable sites that focus on china and tableware can help sellers find buyers for Wedgwood items. Make sure to read the company policies and understand what fees and commissions you will be paying when the item sells. Some sites may also charge for creating an online sales listing. Sellers will need to provide sharp photographs and description of the items being sold. Buyers are typically responsible for paying a shipping charge for purchases made through online auction and mall sites.
Tips and warnings
- Remember, consigned items will bring you less money in return because the seller will take his cut of the selling price. On the other hand, managing a sale, paying for advertising costs and shipping can take time out of your day and pocketbook. Sales do not always occur immediately and housing the objects and looking for a buyer can be time consuming.
- Don't depend upon a dealer's information about the Wedgwood mark. The knowledge a dealer has varies greatly from dealer to dealer. When looking for accurate information consult someone who is certified by the American Society of Appraisers. ASA certified appraisers are bound by a code of ethics.
- The Wedgwood Society of New York holds auctions of Wedgwood items and accepts consignments for its auctions. Contact them through their website.
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