Word of the Week: Melamine/Melmac

There are so many words out there that collectors and niche sellers will use with the expectation that you should already know what it means. It can be a little overwhelming to study the terminology associated with one type of collectible, let alone the hundreds of collectibles that eBay sellers usually encounter.

Well, we’re here to help. 🙂

This series is going to help you build up your vocabulary one word at a time. We’ll post once a week so nothing is too overwhelming, and so you have some time to digest each word or phrase and try it out for yourself. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to sell your products.

First up is “melamine” and “Melmac.”

In a nutshell, both of these words describe a type of plastic dinnerware that was popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

While these words aren’t strictly mutually exclusive, they’ve come to mean practically the same thing. Where melamine was developed into a resin and became a type of plastic, Melmac is a brand name for that plastic. Since initial production, melamine has been sold by various other companies and Melmac soon became a synonym for the plastic. (This is much like saying, “Can I have a Kleenex?” versus, “Can I have a tissue?”)

There are tons of brand names out there for melamine now: Beverley, Spaulding Ware, and even Oneida, just to name a few. These were often in bright colors – teals, reds, yellows, etc. – and usually have a retro shape and design to them.

Not all melamine is bright! Keep your eye out for more subdued patterns, too.

Melamine dinnerware is quite collectible. Some people like the colors, the shapes, or the brand names. You can sell these to all sorts of niches, and they’re even useful today as they are great for camping! Just note that these pieces should never be microwaved, as it could potentially be dangerous.

Also, make sure you check for items that can sell to more than one niche market. This Mickey Mouse plate is also made of melamine!

My favorite things about these pieces are the colors and the shapes – they just scream 1960’s to me, and I love it! What about you guys? Do you have any preferences? Have you had any luck selling these?


3 thoughts on “Word of the Week: Melamine/Melmac

  1. eightyfivemab says:

    Great minds think alike! Just posted about melmac today too!

  2. […] Melmac is also super important. This was huge during the 1950s and the 1960s and it’s still quite collectible today. […]

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