Registry and Gift Forum

What is a reasonable price for a china set?

Hey guys,

My fiance and I are beginning to look into registries and are trying to decide between getting a regular tableware set versus a fine china set. I'm leaning more toward the fine china set because from what I've read, it seems they're far more durable and will last decades. We also love hosting, so I think having some fancy sets would be good! Now that I've started browsing for patterns, I'm trying to get over the sticker shock.

(Keeping in mind we're in the NY Metro area - I imagine prices may be higher for us versus other parts of the country) For a good fine bone china 5-piece table setting, what have you all seen as an average price? All of my family members who have married recently had registered for more day-to-day type settings that weren't china and they would go for about $50 for a 5 piece... I'm seeing the china ones go for $100-$130 for the same amount. Does that seem typical? Obviously I expected it to be more since the material is a higher quality, but I feel weird about putting such expensive things on my registry.

I'd love to hear your experiences! Thanks in advance :)

Re: What is a reasonable price for a china set?

  • audubonbride2013audubonbride2013 DC Area member
    500 Comments 100 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2013
    $130 is very typical for fine china.  I've seen way higher.

    We were married in August.  We registered for both everyday dinnerware (Fiesta) and fine china (kate spade by Lenox).  Fiesta is pretty much always on sale for $30 per place setting and we received nearly all of that (12 place settings and serving pieces).  For fine china we picked the Belle Boulevard pattern which runs $130 per place setting, and we received 8 place settings (out of 12) plus a serving platter and 2 soup bowls at the time of the wedding.  We purchased 2 additional setting of our china with a 25% off sale at Macy's so that we could receive the free serving bowl.  Our families are using our registries for Christmas shopping and now all of our china is showing as complete.  

    As another example a friend is getting married in December.  They registered for 16 place settings of fine china that runs $150 on sale and only have 1 place setting left on their registry.

    Bottom line, if you like fine china register for it.  $130 seemed high to us too, but people loved getting us "pretty" gifts so we got almost all of our china and crystal.

  • The prices you are seeing are typical. Keep in mind that unless you're living at Downton Abbey, fine china isn't meant to be used every day. You don't have to choose between every day dinnerware and fine china. You can register for both. People understand that many couples want one set of dishes for every day use and one set for formal/entertaining. 
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  • Thanks guys! Your responses put me at ease. I was looking at Macys as well - I know they always have things on sale so people would be able to get good sale prices on some of the pricier items.
    Awesome - thanks!
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would definitely register for both if you want the fine china. Fine china doesn't work for everyday. I think that you will get more than you think you will. 
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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    When I selected my pattern I chose one that went on sale at Macy's. Once or twice a year it will be 50% off. I got Lennox Federal Platinum bc It goes with everything and will hopefully never be discontinued. I can also give it extra flair with accent plates. I decided against a pattern that never goes on sale (ie Waterford).
    I also registered for everyday dishes.
    Like Audubon said - I love giving china!! It's my go to gift :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • I agree that if you want fine china, register for both, as fine china isn't for everyday.

    Those prices sound reasonable though. We recently registered at BBB (in CAN), and even their fine china sets started at $99 for a 5 piece setting. Settings easily ran up to $150.

    The other thing to consider is know your crowd. Are you families big gift givers? Are the settings in a price range that they would feel comfortable giving? Also better to choose sets that are sold by the place setting to so multiple guests can contribute to the full set (though it seems that is how dish ware is commonly sold now, so not an issue). 

    However, you can also use your completion discount to get the china set if that's what you're really going for.

    I would also suggest an everyday set of dishes. Look for stoneware products, which are more chip resistant and going to last you a lot longer than something in porcelain or acrylic, etc. We registered for Noritake dishware, that runs for ~$50 for a 4 piece setting. 
  • Yes the range I have seen is about $80 - $500/place setting.  $130-ish is pretty standard.

    And actually fine china CAN be used everyday, but most people have a second, less expensive set for everyday.  When plates have metal rims, etc., they aren't microwave safe and at that price point most people don't like to run them through the dishwasher.  From a durability standpoint, however, bone china will outlast every day dinnerware.

    If you want everyday bone china, check out lines like Mikasa Antique White or Macy's Hotel Collection - these are non-metallic bone china patterns that are dishwasher and microwave safe.

    Also check replacements.com if you need to complete your set as well as ebay and amazon.com.  I have done very well at all three websites for china.
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  • For our china, we registered for 2 50 piece sets (16 place settings) at Macy's instead of individual place settings. It costs $600 for each set but it's almost always on sale for $299.99 and i've seen it go down to $279.99. That's another option that you have as well.
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  • We found a set we liked which were available at Macys & BBB...BBB was only $90 whereas Macy's was $100...and BBB always has those 20% off coupons.  We also registered for every day sets (settings for 4 people) and we got two sets and those were $60 at Target for every day use.

    Know your guests...will they spend $130?  I can count on one hand the number of people who gave us gifts valued at $125 or more (cash or gift).  Even at $90 we only got 4 place settings.


  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I registered for the bone china (HOTEL Collection) at Macy's.  I registered for two box sets (four place settings) and then 4 individual place settings to help get a variety of price points.  

    I originally registered for plates at Crate & Barrel but switched it last week.  If no one buys our china I will go back and buy it at C&B.
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  • We picked one that was around $90 for a 5 piece place setting @ BBB.  We saw many over $100 ($130 seems average to me)  I went with the $90 setting because a) it was my favorite regardless of price and b) I wanted something under $100 so it was more affordable for guests--we ended up getting all 12 place settings as gifts.     
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  • krizzo17krizzo17 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2013

    We registered for Lenox Vintage Jewel at Macys. The full price for the 5-piece place setting at the time was $200, but it was almost always on sale for between $90 and $100, plus whatever coupons our family had. In our circle an average wedding gift is around $100, so we figured this was reasonable.

     

    ETA: If you do go with Lenox at Macys, make sure you check out their completion promotion - we got a free vegetable bowl after a certain number of pieces were bought.

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  • hoffse said:

    Yes the range I have seen is about $80 - $500/place setting.  $130-ish is pretty standard.


    And actually fine china CAN be used everyday, but most people have a second, less expensive set for everyday.  When plates have metal rims, etc., they aren't microwave safe and at that price point most people don't like to run them through the dishwasher.  From a durability standpoint, however, bone china will outlast every day dinnerware.

    If you want everyday bone china, check out lines like Mikasa Antique White or Macy's Hotel Collection - these are non-metallic bone china patterns that are dishwasher and microwave safe.

    Also check replacements.com if you need to complete your set as well as ebay and amazon.com.  I have done very well at all three websites for china.
    I actually have a pretty good collection of vintage china, so we're concentrating on everyday dishes for the registry. My vintage plates have metal edging, so no microwave, and I wouldn't put them through the dishwasher. Plus, I'm really, really good at breaking things. So for us, china is amazing but it just isn't going to come out for every occasion. I you don't have both on your list, I highly recommend choosing both.

  • I love "ltdreplacements.com" for my china and silver shopping. It's a safe and trusted site. There are so many choices of current and discontinued patterns. It's very reasonably priced and will give you an idea of what you should be paying for your silver and china .
  • This thread just put me at ease... we're registered for Mikasa's Swirl which BB&B lists under fine china but it comes out to ~$40/setting.  We aren't registering for any other place settings -- we wanted something nice/good quality for our every day but really wouldn't use something super fancy. 
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