When it comes to buying replacement china for your discontinued dinner, tea or coffee service, there are a number of options open to you. We have listed these below ranked, based on the most likely to be successful.
China Replacement/China Matching Services
China Replacement Services, such as MrPottery, are an obvious choice. Certainly, they are likely to offer the speediest solution as many carry large stocks of discontinued china, and in our case, have a vast network of buyers scouring the second hand market for pieces our customers are seeking that we do not have in stock. You can also buy with the confidence of knowing that the pieces you purchase will be as described and in Excellent condition, and you can buy only the pieces you need, without necessarily having to buy an entire service as with some of the other options below. We also offer a money back guarantee.
On the other side of the coin, it may not be the cheapest option, but it is usually the most cost effective taken into account the above benefits.
Placing A Wanted Ad
Placing a "wanted ad" in a local paper or online, e.g. Facebook, can prove to be a good option for locating replacement pieces of a specific design or tableware. After all, there may well be people with the set who would be happy to sell to you. However, in our experience most people want to sell the entire service, rather than bits and pieces. This can prove to be quite an expensive way of acquiring a single sugar bowl, for example. There is the problem of postage as not everyone is as careful as we are when it comes to packaging china for shipping.
The best thing is to be as specific as possible with your ad and to include photographs of what you are looking for,and to buy locally if the seller is inexperienced in shipping fragile items.
Charity shops are a great source for discontinued tableware and prices are very reasonable. The condition of pieces tends to be better than car boot sales, in so far as they are less likely to be chipped or cracked (although not always so best to check each time!) However, it is still necessary to inspect for scratching, gild wear and general wear and tear.
The biggest disadvantage is that you may have to visit hundreds of charity shops before you find the missing piece, in an acceptable condition, to your discontinued dinner service, if ever.
Car Boot Sales
Car boot sales are a fun place to search for pieces of replacement china. At least they are if you don't mind getting up at the crack of dawn. The chief disadvantage, like charity shops, is that you are relying a great deal of luck in finding the pattern and then the actual piece you are seeking. It takes a keen eye to seek out the stalls who have any tableware on them and to then scan through for your favourite design. If you are lucky enough to find it, you then need to check the condition carefully.
However, the main advantage is cost. If you find what you are seeking you may be able to buy several pieces or even a whole set for just a few pounds. This is great if you go to car boot sales regularly anyway. Not so great if you have to pay entry fees and petrol numerous times before finding the piece you are seeking.
Antique & Collectable Fairs
If you are looking for older and/or more expensive service, antique fairs such as those run by IACF are worth a look. If you like a bit of nostalgia and have a general interest in antiques and collectables, like our team at MrPottery, then they make for a nice day out anyway. Dealers tend to be fussier regarding condition than car boot sellers or charity shops, so you can expect a higher standard in that respect. However, prices will be considerably higher too, and as with all but the first two options we are back to the needle in a haystack scenario. Mostly you will not be able to buy individual pieces either, and may find yourself committing to buy far more than you need to replace one or two pieces.
If replacing your missing piece of discontinued china is a bit of a quest for you, a hobby, or just a bit of fun then a lot of fun can be had scouring charity shops, car boot sales and antique fairs. However, if you are in a bit more of a hurry it may be worth chancing your luck with an ad.
That said, if you really can't be bothered with all that, don't have the time, or you simply want the promise of an excellent quality replacement, great customer service and the security of a money back guarantee, then a china replacement service such as MrPottery is probably the solution for you.
Why not give us a call or email us today? Our free customer support line is 0800 772 3428. We'll be happy to let you know if we have the items you are seeking in stock and if we haven't we will take your details and let you know when we do - easy :)
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