More Questions on Value:
How Much Is a "Second" Worth?
"I'm trying to sell on eBay some Lladrós
I inherited from my mother. Some collector bought a bunch of them, then got all hot and
bothered because the logo flower was missing from some of them. (Hey,
what do I know?) The buyer says that means they're seconds, but they look perfectly fine to me, and I don't
understand what the big deal is. Why would this matter so much to a
To answer your question, we have to crack open the meaning of the word "seconds."
This word is actually a short-hand or slang for "second quality." That means
the item was put through its quality paces at the factory and was rejected.
Now, were there anything grossly wrong with it, the company wouldn't even try to sell
it but would have smashed it right there at the factory. Still, the meaning of the word
"second" implies that someone in quality control at the factory felt it
strayed sufficiently from a given production standard not to offer
it in a regular retail setting
at full price - even if a less practiced eye can't see a thing wrong with it.
"Who's the Fairest?" (Lladró's #5468G, retired in
1998) is worth about $225-$250 today - but not if it were a "second" with
the logo scraped off! That would take the price down by half or less.
(Photo by the author from her own collection.)
Many fine porcelain companies, including Meissen and Royal Copenhagen,
have marketed seconds, so their sale has a long and venerable tradition.
Still, seconds are discounted at initial sale (as a way for the
manufacturer to recoup something from production losses) - and that provides
the baseline for their lower value in the eyes of serious collectors.
Beyond that, much
of what Lladró has produced is still readily available on the secondary market,
so, naturally, no knowledgeable collector is going to pay the same price
for a second as for a first-quality model of the same item.
"Does that mean there's no market for seconds? Based
on what you just said, wouldn't they be worthless?"
Well, the good news is someone buys
seconds or the company wouldn't be selling them to begin with - and they
wouldn't have found their way into your mother's collection. Not every buyer is a collector. Some are
decorators and just want "the Lladró look" without paying a lot of money for it.
(Similarly, some antique shop browsers will buy damaged, "shelf piece"
pottery or glass even
if no serious collector would touch it. Antique dealers love
these people!) So if you discount the seconds in your mom's collection
to about a half the value of the same item in mint
condition, you may be able to find a buyer who doesn't care much about
resale value. Maybe that's less than what you'd hoped to get for them, but it's a whole lot better
than nothing - which is what you'll end up with if you
discard them or, at the opposite extreme, try to sell them for top dollar. Assuming
you weren't the initial purchaser of the seconds you inherited from your mom...well,then,
shoot, whatever you can get for them is found money!
General Questions on Value
Value Issues with Prototypes
Questions on Damage & Restoration (1)
Questions About Authenticity
Questions About Buying & Selling
A Collector's Book of Retired Lladró
by Peggy Whiteneck
Old Line Publishing, LLC
Ever since its founding in the 1950s and its subsequent, stellar rise to global prominence,
collectors have been fascinated with the singular modeling and attention to detail in
Lladró Spanish porcelain figurines. Eventually, collectors discovered that Lladró
wasn't just one brand, but several. At the same time, other companies began to sprout up all
over Spain, particularly around Lladró's own region in Valencia, working
"in the Lladró style" and hoping to catch a ride on the tailwinds of its popularity.
This book is written to acquaint readers with retired figurines in all the Lladró and
Lladró-affiliated brands and to help distinguish them from the work of other Spanish
companies. The book features substantive chapters on the Lladró "core brand,"
NAO by Lladró, Zaphir, Golden Memories, Rosal, and Hispania, complete with
representative photos for each brand.
Retail Price: $29.95
S & H: $5.95
at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com
or through any bookseller by ISBN order #13: 978-0-9845704-6-1.