About seventeen months ago, I started tracking the prices of sterling flatware sold on eBay as compared with the market scrap silver price at the time. Here are the first three articles on the subject:
- eBay sterling flatware selling price / scrap price ratio
- Sterling silver flatware price ratio edges up
- Sterling silver flatware prices on eBay trend higher than scrap value
- Sterling silver flatware prices on eBay trend lower than scrap value
Here are the basics:
- If the ratio is 1.0 (or 100%), sterling flatware is selling generally on eBay at the scrap price.
- If the ratio less then 1.0 (or 100%), sterling flatware is selling below the scrap price.
- If the ratio is greater than 1.0 (or 100%), sterling flatware is selling above the scrap price.
At the end of October 2011, the ratio was 0.89, a pretty disappointing number. In January 2012, the ratio was 1.04 which means that sterling flatware, in general, was selling on eBay at barely above scrap value. In July 2012, the ratio had climbed to 1.23 which means that, in general, sterling flatware was selling on eBay at prices roughly 23% above the scrap value, a nice improvement. On December 17, 2012, the ratio was 0.96, another disappointing number.
Today, the ratio is about 1.81. This means that, generally speaking, sterling flatware is selling on eBay at prices considerably above scrap value.
What does this mean for you? Not much unless you are considering selling or buying used sterling flatware. The ratio will give you some idea of where the market is. Right now, relatively speaking, prices are high on eBay for sterling flatware. If you are thinking about buying, this might not be the best time unless you think the commodity silver price will rise again dramatically soon.
If you are thinking of selling, you can definitely get a better deal on eBay than by taking your set by the local “We Buy Gold” scrap buyer.
Be aware that for a few patterns, the selling price might be quite a bit higher because of popularity, rarity, etc. Do some research if you are buying or selling.
We’ll look at the ratio again later to track the trend.
Disclaimer: The method used to select sample actual sales on eBay was not based upon generally accepted statistical sampling methods. The actual ratio could be higher or lower. However, we feel it is reasonably close.