For some, white casserole dishes with blue cornflower and multi-colored floral designs bring to mind warm memories from the past. Corningware, based in Corning, New York, was founded in 1958, and through the decades its kitchenware products were popular wedding gifts.
In January 2020, ClickOrlando published a story headlined, “How to know if your vintage CorningWare is worth some serious money,” and the nostaglia-centric website Do You Remember also reported that “old Corningware dishes from the 1970s could be worth thousands of dollars.” Similar claims have been included in online advertising that, when clicked, lead to seemingly endless slideshows that require readers to click through sometimes more than 100 pages. The goal for these websites is to make more money on the ads displayed with the slideshow than it cost to run the ad that lured readers to the story in the first place. The tactic is referred to as “arbitrage.”
On March 13, 2019, the Australian website ThatsLife published what may have been one of the original stories that started the new surge in vintage Corningware interest. The headline read: “Check your pantry NOW! Your old Corningware dishes could be worth a fortune.” The story also said that vintage Corningware “could be worth thousands!”
Your old Corningware dishes stashed in your pantry could be worth thousands of dollars.
The 1970s-style porcelain cooking-ware has made a comeback, with the popular dishes fetching up to $10,000 on eBay.
eBay Collectors are on the hunt for ‘rare’ Corningware designs and are willing to pay mega bucks for it.
“One piece of Corningware, in a pattern not widely produced, sold on eBay recently for $US7,000 (AUD$9.8k),” says glass expert Dean Six. “It was a 1970s product that fizzled.”
“Collecting is often what you remember, which is why this is big now because baby boomers are buying back what they grew up with. Boomers are decorating with these pieces in their homes.”
Readers have sent us inquiries about Corningware value in the past, with at least one person even showing us her “4 qt dutch oven” dish to ask us how much it’s worth. Unfortunately, we’re not Corningware appraisers. However, our research found that, while some eBay listings for Corningware products have fetched more than $10,000, the vast majority of the vintage dishes likely won’t reach anywhere near that value. An eBay user without educated expertise in a specific line of products might list a product for a high amount, but that doesn’t mean the product is worth that much.
ClickOrlando reported that “the rarer the better when it comes to value, it seems,” but also that there are usually live listings on eBay featuring vintage Corningware casserole dishes being sold for less than $50:
As is the case with all collector’s items, it’s hard to know what your personal belongings could truly sell for. Despite how valuable or invaluable something might be, our stuff is really only worth what someone will pay for it at any given time.
If you go to eBay and search the word “Corningware,” you’ll find most listings range from $5 to $40, depending on the set itself, how many pieces are included and what condition they’re in.
According to an eBay search of sold listings, around 99% of Corningware casserole products went for less than $100. For example, a vintage 1959 dish with a lid went for $42, while two others without lids from 1959 went for $25 and $6. Meanwhile, a seven-piece set from the 1960s fetched $100. ClickOrlando also reported that at least one lucky shopper stocked up on vintage Corningware dishes at a thrift store:
Buyers do need to be on the lookout for scammers, however. On Oct. 22, 2020, a 19-piece set sold for $14,999. On the same day, a single dish went for $10,000. We noticed that both sellers had zero reviews, which eBay users know can be a sign of a potential scam. For the single dish that sold for $10,000, unfortunately for the buyer we found the exact same photograph on a Poshmark listing from Oct. 16, six days before the eBay listing went up, offering the dish for less than $500.
We also found several other unsold listings for Corningware products that had sellers with zero reviews, for $19,000, $21,150, and $25,000. However, all new eBay users do begin with zero reviews, so it’s undetermined if these listings are indeed scams.
Headlines that claimed a specific line of products “could be worth thousands” brought to mind our previous reporting about Disney “Black Diamond Collection” VHS tapes. “Black Diamond Collection” VHS copies of classic Disney films were actually quite common, despite eBay listings that asked, typically unsuccessfully, for thousands of dollars per movie.
The website How To Tell If published a brief guide to help owners of Corningware products assess the potential value of their kitchenware.
Vintage Corningware products might sell on eBay for a modest price, but it would be foolish to expect the earnings to fund a luxury vacation.