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What is Used Silverware?

People may look for used silverware at flea markets.
Second hand sites often offer stainless steel silverware in either collections or singly.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2014
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Used silverware is essentially silverware or flatware that has been kept or used by other people. Since sterling silverware can be expensive to purchase new, there are many people who look for used silverware, either in sets or simply one piece at a time. Those searching for inexpensive flatware may also buy it used and there are lots of ways to find used flatware for every budget and purpose.

Some people are collectors of sterling silverware and there some websites that sell various patterns that are used. eBay is a common destination for those looking to find sets of silverware or even just additional pieces of patterns they already own. Closer to home, people may look for used silverware in antique stores, at estate sales, and they may also find the occasional piece at flea markets. When looking for real silver and not silver plated flatware, shoppers should verify that each piece is marked with the word sterling on the back of the piece.

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Places like eBay can be great for discovering plenty of used stainless steel flatware in either collections of singly. Others may find used stainless steel pieces at garage sales, flea markets, and at going out of business sales at restaurants. Single pieces can be very inexpensive and it’s possible to find large sets for about $10 US Dollars (USD), or even cheaper if the set is missing a piece or two. For those looking for very cheap deals and just wanting extra flatware or needing a set to start out with, finding used stainless steel silverware may be the way to go. The least expensive ways to buy may be by simply buying used pieces of any patterns in bulk from flea market or garage sales.

On the other hand, if the point is to get a matching set and save money, it isn't always necessary to buy used silverware. Lots of new flatware styles can be purchased inexpensively at big box stores and warehouse stores. Another place to look is restaurant supply stores, where flatware can be purchased in bulk for low prices.

Others aren’t really looking for bargains with used silverware but are instead collectors of antique silverware. There are a number of stores throughout the world that specialize in selling very desirable pieces that have been manufactured one or more centuries ago. Sometimes collectors enjoy finding certain types of pieces like serving spoons that aren’t of the same pattern but that represent a diversity of patterns and styles of silverware making throughout history. It’s certainly usually easier to find a few representative pieces of antique work than it is to find a whole set, and it’s definitely less expensive. Huge sets of used silverware dating back a couple hundred years can cost thousands of dollars, though there certainly is a market for these old sets.

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