Fact Check

Are Vintage Corningware Casserole Dishes Worth Thousands of Dollars?

We’re not Corningware appraisers, but we're also not holding our breath on this one.

Published Dec. 5, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC -  Beckys Corningware
photographed in Arlington, VA. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images). (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - Beckys Corningware photographed in Arlington, VA. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images).
Vintage Corningware casserole dishes are worth thousands of dollars apiece.
What's True

A very small number of Corningware products listed for sale on eBay have sold for thousands of dollars apiece, even over $10,000 in rare cases.

What's False

However, the vast majority of Corningware products sold on eBay, vintage or not, go for under $50.

What's Undetermined

A number of eBay listings for Corningware products with five-figure price tags, both sold and unsold, had been listed by new sellers with zero reviews, which can be a signal of scams.

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. But are white Corningware casserole dishes with a blue flower design really worth thousands of dollars? "You could be rich," promised an online advertisement.

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 images showed a blue floral design on white Corningware casserole dishes. For example, an ad read: "If You Find This Dish In Your Cupboard Then You’re In The Money." One said to sell the dish "straight away": "If You Have This Dish In Your Kitchen, Sell It Straight Away." Another read: "Check Your Cupboard For This Dish — If You Find It, It Will Make You Rich." A fourth ad read: "This Dish Is Worth A High Price... Check Your Cupboards Now."

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."

blue flower floral cornflower white corningware kitchen casserole dish dishes dishware

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 blue flower design and 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. That set also had the blue floral design on white casserole dishes. ClickOrlando also reported that at least one lucky shopper stocked up on vintage Corningware dishes at a thrift store:

blue flower floral cornflower white corningware kitchen casserole dish dishes dishware

Corningware casserole dishes may not usually be worth thousands of dollars, but they might be listed on eBay for high "Buy It Now" amounts. 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, whether they be the kind with the blue floral design or the multi-colored art.

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.

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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