Replacements.com is an extremely helpful website. We mostly use it to find the pattern names of items or to figure out what a specific piece is called if it’s specialized and not in your typical lineup. This site has a lot of information stored within its pages, so just like with the last resource guide I did on Ddoty’s Carnival Glass website, I’ll show you the most helpful sections.
When you first go to Replacements, this is the screen that you’ll see:
The home page has some history of the site and some links that you might want to check out. The site is mainly used by people who have a dinnerware set that they need replacement pieces for. Replacements is actually a warehouse that stores (or has contacts who have) all sorts of different sets. Although it can be a bit pricey, sometimes this is the best way to find that long-forgotten piece of Aunt Betty’s Christmas dinner plates that you broke when you were 12.
Now, look up at the top left-hand corner of the site:
Here you’ll see the different categories that the website provides. You can click through these to get a feel for what the site holds, but the easiest way to find what you’re looking for is to use the search box in the upper right-hand corner.
We got a set of dishes in the other day. They’re by Dansk and are in the “Nordic Garden” pattern. (You might have seen a picture of them when I posted about them on our Facebook page.) For the purposes of this search, however, I’m just going to pretend that I don’t know the pattern name. Now, it takes a little bit of practice to know what the typical terms used to describe some of the patterns are, but if you keep trying different synonyms, you’ll find what you’re looking for eventually.
For this search, I knew what the terms were, so I just plugged in “Dansk Lattice Flowers” and it brought up the correct pattern. (I’ll get to how I knew what to put in the search in a minute.) Here’s what the page looks like:
The first box you see, at the top, shows you what your search terms were. You can adjust your search right here if it doesn’t bring up what you’re looking for the first time around.
The box all the way to the left gives you a list of items to better narrow down your search. I especially like using this for flatware. If I put in the term “Oneida,” I get almost 46,000 results. If I narrow that down to “Oneida Sterling Floral,” it cuts the result to 45. However, that’s still five pages to scroll through – not a lot, but we can do much better. Lastly, say it’s the demitasse spoon that I have in my hands. I’ll click on that and it’ll give me a single result – “Afterglow” by Oneida. You won’t always come up with a single result, but it’ll be much easier going through ten pictures instead of ten thousand!
The box directly to the right of this one is probably the most important section on this page. The link at the top of it tells you who the maker is (Dansk China) and what the pattern name is (Nordic Garden). If you click on it, it takes you to the pattern’s page (we’ll get there in a second). Below that is the description of the piece. This is how I knew which search terms to choose. Note here that they used the word “flowers” to describe this pattern. However, some other patterns with flowers on them will be described as “floral,” which is why you have to sort of guess a few times until you end up finding the right listing. The description is also nice if you can’t see the details of the picture and, for example, want to know at a quick glance if the color is blue or green. It won’t always be listed, but it does help.
Below that is the name of the piece – this one being the 13” chop plate and the one below that being the 56oz pitcher. This is helpful when you’re looking for one specific piece. Ignore the next two lines – they’re specifically geared for Replacements’ purposes (although you might need these if you plan on ordering from them). The last line shows the price. In my opinion, this is not useful to buyers or sellers. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll always find it cheaper somewhere else on the web. I find that Replacements is generally about twice as expensive as a typical eBay listing.
The last box in this section is around the picture. Pictures are helpful for the obvious reasons, and it’s nice to be able to scroll down the page and quickly find what you’re looking for.
Two very important notes:
1. Replacements does not have every single pattern or piece listed. It’s an excellent catalog, but it is in no way complete.
2. Not all listings will have a picture, which is another reason why the description is helpful.
If you click into the first listing there (the one for the chop plate), you’ll come to this page:
This page lists all of the pieces that they know of that are in this specific pattern. Here’s a close up:
Look at the first box. The top line tells you the item number (again this is Replacements’ item number and is pretty useless unless you want to order from them) and the years that the pattern was produced. The dates won’t always be there, but it’s really helpful when they are. I’ve caught myself a few times calling a piece “vintage” when in reality it’s a lot newer than that – this part of the website it really useful.
The next two lines are a repeat of what was on the previous page – the manufacturer/pattern name and the description.
The next box says, “Click Here for Gallery of Available Images on this Page.” If you click on this link, it’ll open up a box with pictures of each item in this pattern that has an image uploaded to the page. This is super helpful if you don’t know the name of what you have and would rather search by image than try to figure it out by reading through the titles of each piece. Here’s what the pop up window looks like:
There are often several pages, so make sure you look through them all. Also be aware that some images are simply illustrations, not actually photographs, which aren’t really helpful. Most of the time, though, it should have what you’re looking for!
The last red box on this page is around the words “Rim Soup Bowl.” This is the piece that I was initially looking for, and this is the spot that will give me some information about it. You can ignore the first two columns in this line because they’re strictly for Replacements buyers. The next column tells us the name of the piece. You can also click on this to bring up a picture of what you’re looking for, just to make sure it’s the same thing.
The last column you see here shows the size of the piece (in inches). This is especially helpful when you have two pieces that are similar (say, a bread and butter dish and a salad plate), that have the same exact pattern. You won’t be able to tell from the picture which is which, so it’s nice to have these measurements for backup. To the right of this you’ll be able to read some short notes, the price Replacements has this set at, and a way to order the pieces.
There you have it! Replacements is an extremely in-depth site. They have a lot of information on it that we don’t even touch, so make sure you spend some time exploring it and making it work for you. We find this site especially helpful when we know the manufacturer of the piece, but not the pattern. Sometimes the search can become lengthy and tedious, but it’s always worth it when you finally discover the name of what you’re looking for!
Have you ever used Replacements before? Ordered from them? Have you ever experienced that euphoria that comes with finally discovering the name of an unknown pattern? If you have any questions, or need additional help/tips, just ask in the comments below!