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Whether you're choosing a beautiful pattern to add to your wedding gift registry or you're on the hunt for the exact set you saw on your favorite home improvement TV show, shopping online for china dinnerware is the easiest way to find it.
Having elegant place settings for special occasions is still a popular trend. Thanksgiving with a dozen friends gathered in gratitude, family coming together to honor Mom with a feast for her birthday - moments like these are made even more memorable with a sophisticated, attractively-set table. There's nothing old-fashioned about that!
Thursday, January 21st
Lenox is a truly American brand, in business for over a century with their selection of homewares and collectibles that run the spectrum from personalized Christmas ornaments to picture frames and vases. Even their dinnerware options are expansive, with materials that include ironstone, porcelain, stoneware and bone china.
Not Just Lenox
The Lenox brand family now includes three other labels: Kate Spade New York, Dansk, and Reed & Barton. You'll find all of those featured in your results list when you shop for dinnerware, and if one of them really strikes your fancy, you can filter the list to show only that brand name. Lenox has other filters that can help you narrow down the choices, like color, features, and collections.
The possibilities are almost endless when considering the fine china dinnerware Lenox offers. From whimsical to luxurious, this brand has it all. (We particularly like the Chirp pattern for people who want something on the sweet and sunny side of things, and Eternal White Monogrammed for a more formal feel.)
Variety Of Colors
Within many of their collections, you'll find plentiful color options: the Contempo Luxe dinner plates come in four colors, while their corresponding accent plates come in two; Season's Radiance has a 5-color palette for both dinner plates and accent plates, and so on. We love that customers can see those options right on the results page. There's also a handy heart button in the upper right corner of every thumbnail image, so you can keep track of all of your favorites. (Good luck choosing only a few!)
Select Your Pieces
When you find a china pattern you like, you'll get more details when you go to the individual product page. Use the dropdown box to select any set options, and then the quantity button if you need multiples. That makes it easy to only get the number of place settings you need, instead of being locked into something that's bigger or smaller than what you had in mind. The More Information section will let you know exactly what you're getting and their size/capacity. Finally, be sure to scroll down to see companion items you might also like - some will be in the same set/pattern, while others are recommended items that would go well with the one you're considering.
Get That Discount
When you sign up for the Lenox email list, you can get a 15% discount on your next order. Just watch for that offer to pop up as you browse the site. Shipping is free on all orders of $75 and up, no coupon code needed.
100 Day Return Policy
This retailer offers a 120-day return policy on all new/unused china dinnerware. You're responsible for the return shipping costs, unless you're sending back items that are defective, damaged, broken or incorrect.
Lenox enjoys an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, and the company has earned its share of recognition over the more than 130 years they've been in operation. In fact, this brand has been featured in the White House, with tableware custom-made for six US presidents. Customers say that the quality of Lenox china is beyond compare, and many of them rave about how elegant yet practical it is. Microwave-safe metal accents? Dishwasher-safe bone china? Chip-resistant and durable but delicate at the same time? We found comments like that - and then some.
There's only one change worth noting that we discovered since our last review: Lenox had to shut down their last remaining American factory. So, while the company is still US-based, their production is no longer "Made in the USA". You'll still find china dinnerware in stock with that label, but don't be surprised if you see that designation start to shift as their inventory reflects that change in manufacturing.
Lenox continues to earn our highest ranking among stores offering fine china dinnerware. Their site is easy to shop; every plate, dish and cup is gorgeous and is likely to last for decades of dining occasions; and, they still offer a generous return policy with excellent customer service. Whether you choose china that represents the height of formality or a fun holiday pattern to use once a year (or both!), you'll love seeing it on your table. Lenox is our most recommended store for china dinnerware.
Bed Bath & Beyond is our preferred one-stop shop to browse china dinnerware across several brands. With nearly two dozen manufacturers to choose from, including their own budget-friendly yet elegant Olivia & Oliver brand, BB&B will definitely have a pattern that appeals to you.
Bed Bath & Beyond was extremely competitive price-wise. For example, the 5-piece Wedgwood Arris setting was $159.99 on the BB&B store and $160 when buying directly from the Wedgwood store. Most of the items in the Arris line were displayed on the BB&B site; however, several items like the pasta bowl and gravy boat were out of stock, despite being available on the Wedgwood site. In other words, you'll probably find plenty of china dinnerware options here - but maybe not every option you're looking for within the pattern you've selected.
And, if you're shopping on a budget, make sure to check out the Olivia & Oliver china. Believe it or not, you can get a full 5-piece place setting for a song. At the time of our visit it was priced at just $24.99, marked down from its original retail price of $49.99. No wonder it's designated as a "Wedding Registry Favorite"!
Save It To Your Favorites
Everything you see has a heart in the right corner, if you want to save it to a favorites list. And, most of the place settings we saw had plenty of customer ratings. Bed Bath & Beyond's most popular line was the Nevaeh White by Fitz and Floyd Gold Entertainment collection, with nearly 250 ratings averaging over 4 stars out of 5.
While we browsed the BB&B site, we got a pop-up offer with a 20% discount on a single item. To qualify, we had to be a new subscriber to their email mailing list. This store also offers standard free shipping on orders over $39, so you're likely to get your china dinnerware delivered at no cost unless you're just ordering a single saucer or other small item.
Retail Stores Throughout The U.S.
Of course, with thousands of Bed Bath & Beyond retail stores in the US, you probably have one near you. That's a convenient option if you need to set up a formal dinner in a hurry or you need a wedding gift right away: check your in-store availability, place your order online, and go pick it up! It also makes returns a breeze, and BB&B gives you up to 180 days to exchange or return your fine china or other items. You can always return your order via mail, too - just go to the Returns page on the site and click the "Start A Return" button to get your free return shipping label. That's one of the most customer-friendly return timeframes we've seen.
This store has a good reputation, demonstrated by an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. Although the retailer has its share of complaints registered with the BBB, there were fewer than we found with some of their rivals.
Bed Bath and Beyond gives you access to numerous brands and patterns for your china dinnerware. If you're not looking for one specific manufacturer and want a nice selection to choose from, with excellent prices and a terrific return policy, this is the retailer we recommend.
Shopping for any kind of flatware or dinnerware is likely to bring you to the Oneida brand. Named after the New York town where the company got its start in the 1800s, this retailer is one of the most recognizable names in the industry.
Not As Easy
The Oneida site isn't as easy to shop as some of their competitors' online stores. You'll see an image, a price, an Add to Cart button, and a somewhat disguised feature that lets you compare patterns you like (hint: it looks like opposing arrows next to the Add to Cart box). You are able to filter by color, material, shape, style and price, to save yourself some time if you don't feel like scrolling through Oneida's china inventory.
When it comes to china dinnerware, Oneida tends to be on the lower end of the spectrum for selection and quality. That's not to say that you won't get lovely plates, cups and bowls here - but with only two dozen patterns to choose from (give or take), mostly porcelain and few bone china sets, you just aren't going to have the range of options when compared with many other brands. But, here's a tip: if you want china dinnerware that is more formal than everyday, look for the word "fine" in the product description.
The Highs And The Lows
Following that search pattern, you'll find the Michelangelo style which is priced at $159.99 for a 5-piece place setting. It features platinum scrollwork on a pure white background and is made of porcelain. This is Oneida's highest-end fine china. On the other end is the Auratic Salient 5-piece place setting, featuring a platinum geometric pattern on pure white. This line is made of bone china and is priced at $64.99.
No Shopper Feedback
Once you've selected a pattern, you'll be able to see more details: size, use and care, and so forth. All of Oneida's dinnerware is dishwasher-safe, but a gentle detergent is recommended. Unfortunately, you won't find any shopper feedback on any of the china Oneida carries. We would love to see what people thought when the dishes arrived, how they looked on the table, and how well they held up to use over the years.
Save 10% With Their Newsletter
If you sign up for Oneida's email newsletter, you can save 10% on your first order. You'll want to wait until the coupon code shows up in your inbox before making your purchase, though. At the time of our most recent visit to the online Oneida store, there was a 15% discount code for savings storewide, featured at the top of the site. And, you'll always get free shipping on orders over $99.
On another positive note, Oneida does well when considering their reputation - both as a company and with respect to the quality of their china dinnerware. The retailer is "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau and has strikingly few complaints given the 115+ years they've been in operation. Although the lack of customer reviews on the Oneida site is less than ideal, we were able to find them when browsing other sites that sell china from this brand. Shoppers said they were very satisfied with the look and feel of their dishes, and many were pleasantly surprised by their quality considering that they tend to be priced lower than other brands.
Colors Can Change
One negative we saw was in regards to color: if you buy a strong color pattern (like the Adriatic line), you may find that the hue is slightly different if you order them at separate times (for example, if you need to replace a broken plate a few years after you bought the dishes initially). Also, Oneida doesn't have a lengthy return period: you'll have just 30 days from the date of delivery to request a refund.
Good Value Choice
Although Oneida doesn't have a selection that can compete with our highest-ranked china dinnerware retailer, we're impressed by the affordability and quality of the dishes they carry. This is a good option if you need beautiful china that will last a long time and not break the bank.
Very few makers of fine china dinnerware can trace their history as far back as Wedgwood. Started in England in 1759, the company has been known for "timeless eclecticism" for all of those years. (And, fun facts: the original potter, Josiah Wedgwood, is credited with starting such business practices as money-back guarantees, celebrity endorsements, and free delivery! Oh, and Charles Darwin was his grandson.)
British Look And Feel
Wedgwood is where you'll now find the Royal Albert brand, and parent company Fiskars also acquired Waterford, Rogaska, and Royal Doulton. Needless to say, for china dinnerware with a distinctively British tea-time feel, this is the brand family to know.
Use The Filters To Narrow Down Your Choices
The easiest way to shop this site for fine china dinnerware is probably to start with Dinner Sets - you'll find that under the Dinnerware tab. Although there are plenty of choices for teaware, home decor, and individual products like mugs and cups, most people looking for china want it as a set. There were only 58 results in that list, which included cutlery, so you could either browse that entire list or use the filters to narrow it down. You can use the Product Type setting if you already know how many pieces you want in the set - 3, 4, 5, 16 or 25 - or set the filters for collection, designer, color, patterns, banding and so forth if you have other aspects in mind for your china.
You'll soon find that navigating the Wedgwood site is not as user-friendly as you might like. As you look through the china that matches your preferences, you won't see anything but the name, a photo, and the price. Unlike many of their rivals, Wedgwood doesn't give you a way to keep track of your favorites, a summary of ratings from previous customers who bought the china, or even a quick "Add to Cart" button. (Maybe that's the British sensibility for you?) Either way, you'll have to click on the ones that interest you and maybe take notes of the patterns you want to revisit before you make your final decision.
Abundance Of Detail
But, once you select china that catches your eye, you'll have an abundance of detail - we might even call it storytelling - about the pattern. Take a look at Wedgwood's highest-priced set, Sailor's Farewell, and you'll see what we mean. Of course, if we're paying $400 for a 5-piece place setting, we may need a good story to go along with it!
Microwave, Oven, And Dishwasher Safe
When looking specifically at 5-piece place settings, the lowest-priced set is the Wedgwood White collection for $95. While that's more than you'd pay for a similar set by a different china manufacturer, you might be impressed to know that this Wedgwood dinnerware is not only safe for use in the microwave but the oven too, and it can be cleaned in the dishwasher. We also noticed that this set had a few customer reviews, unlike the Sailor's Farewell pattern.
Free Shipping, If You Qualify
Not surprisingly, you'll have a higher spend amount to reach before this retailer gives you free shipping: $149+. But, given the higher prices on china at this store, it's not going to be very difficult to qualify.
30 Day Return Policy
Wedgwood has a short return policy of just 30 days, and you're responsible for the cost of shipping your order back. You'll have to call their toll-free Customer Care Advisors line if your return is due to any damage or imperfections in the china; otherwise, you can use the return label in the box.
Buyers Are Happy
In general, buyers are happy with their Wedgwood china. While it was easier to find customer feedback on the more basic patterns like Wild Strawberry, people commented that their dinnerware stood the test of time, held up even under everyday use, and looked exactly as pictured online.
Eclectic Styling Comes At A Price
However, for many shoppers looking for a set of fine china dinnerware, Wedgwood's styles might be a little too fanciful or eclectic - or simply beyond their budget when trying to have enough place settings for big dinners at the holidays. Plus, with shipping and return policies that aren't quite as customer-centric as their competition, Wedgwood earns a ranking just slightly above average.
Shopping for china dinnerware - or anything else, for that matter - on the Overstock site is a little like visiting an upscale garage sale: you never know what you're going to find. As the name suggests, this site carries a wide array of merchandise that may have been overstocked by the manufacturers. That translates into great deals on higher-end brands, but with an inventory that varies from one day to the next.
Spin The Wheel
When you visit the Overstock site, you'll almost always get a spin-to-win discount offer that pops up on the page. You can get discounts ranging from 5-15% or $10 off an order of $100 or more. You'll be prompted to enter your email to receive your coupon, so be sure to check your inbox before you place your order.
Easy To Shop
Overstock is easy to shop. You can either browse through everything they have to offer in fine china dinnerware, sorting the list by bestsellers, price, customer ratings or new arrivals. Or, use the filters on the left side to narrow your options by color, brand, dish shape, styles and patterns, and more. As you look through the available china, you can mark the heart in the right corner of anything that interests you, to save it to your favorites list for later.
Hit Or Miss
This retailer had 11 brands during our most recent visit, including Wedgwood, Waterford, Royal Doulton, American Atelier and Mikasa. There were just over 300 bone china products to choose from, including large 57-piece sets and 4-piece place settings for one. The selection was hit-or-miss. For example, in the Mikasa line, we found a nice set in the Nellie pattern that was no longer available through the Mikasa website. But, we also found Overstock to be much higher priced than buying from Mikasa directly for the Maisie design: the 16-piece set was $146.99 through Overstock and just $139.99 on the Mikasa site. You might find a lovely china pattern here, but the pricing might not be such a great deal - or you might only see a single plate or cup in the pattern you want, not a whole place setting.
Free Shipping On All Orders
Overstock's standard return policy gives you 30 days from the date of delivery to initiate the return process. You'll be responsible for the costs of shipping your china back to the retailer. On the other hand, you'll get free shipping (within the lower 48 United States) on every order through this site, which is a nice perk.
As a business, this company has a strong positive reputation. "A+" rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau, Overstock also has more than 100,000 5-star ratings from happy customers.
Good Choice - If They Have What You Want
If you happen to discover china dinnerware that you love on the Overstock site, your customer experience is likely to be top-notch. But, if you're looking for an ample, consistently-broad selection across dozens of brands - or all of the available patterns within a single brand - you might come up empty-handed when shopping for china at Overstock.
Mikasa started out as a dinnerware importer in the 1940s, supplying fine china to upscale department stores like Bloomingdales and Macy's. The brand's offerings expanded to include retail sales to the public, with home decor items like vases and picture frames added to their selection.
Lots Of Choices
Mikasa has more than 150 items to choose from in their fine china category alone, so you'll want to make good use of their filters. Depending on what you're shopping for, we suggest either clicking on Fine China and selecting Place Settings, or use the Sets filter to choose service for 4, 8 or 12. You'll find other choices that could whittle down the results list, if you'd like to shop by color, pattern, shape or some other characteristic.
Good Shopping Experience
We like how Mikasa makes it simple to see some of the more important details as you work your way through the china dinnerware they offer. Click the heart in the corner to save things to your favorites list, or hover over an image to see a close-up or a different angle. Most of the china items didn't have many customer reviews, but you'll see the average of any that were written.
Out of all the brands we explored, Mikasa was the most affordable. Very few fine china manufacturers offer 5-piece place settings for under $50, but this retailer had several to consider at that price point and close to it. Take a look at the Parchment, Cameo Gold, and Love Story collections to see for yourself. Mikasa's highest-end 5-piece place setting was the Endearment design at $134.99, but it was out of stock on this visit to the site.
Read The Details
On the product page for the china dinnerware you're considering, be sure to read any available information in the Additional Details section. That's where you'll find out if that particular china is microwave- and/or dishwasher-safe. For example, the Platinum Crown collection can be washed in the dishwasher, but the metal banding makes it unsafe to use in the microwave. You'll also be able to see the dimensions or capacity of the plates, bowls and cups.
During our most recent shopping trip to the Mikasa site, there was a 25% discount storewide - and that even included clearance items. If there's no sale running when you're ready to order, keep an eye out for a pop-up offer: we spotted one with a 20% savings in exchange for signing up for the Mikasa mailing list. You'll also get free shipping on any order over $75.
Less Than Reassuring
Unfortunately, Mikasa has fallen in our rankings since our last evaluation. Why? The company is part of Lifetime Brands, and the Better Business Bureau gives them a less-than-reassuring "C-" for failure to respond to several customer complaints. Most of those negative reviews were specifically about Mikasa: not getting replacements for dishes that arrived damaged, missing items that were never provided, and so on.
Customer Service Issues
Despite having a "No Hassle 90-Day Return Policy" for new and unused items, Mikasa doesn't seem to be doing a consistent job of delivering customer service on damaged and defective orders, let alone "I changed my mind" returns. However, we want to point out that there were fewer than a dozen complaints registered on the BBB site. Their low BBB rating is because of Mikasa's failure to respond appropriately (or at all), not the (relatively low) quantity of negative reviews.
Other Options Available
Mikasa is a good brand to consider if you're looking for china dinnerware that's priced well and has decent feedback from previous customers when considering the quality of the dinnerware. But, because of the issues reported with customer service (or lack thereof), it might be a wise idea to buy your china from one of the third-party retailers in our review instead of directly from Mikasa. You may be more assured of getting a prompt, professional response if there's a problem with your order.
Macy's: the name alone has a certain panache. Whether it's their flagship store in New York City or a location near you, this department store has a reputation to uphold with almost 100 years in business.
Over 30 Brands To Choose From
And, when it comes to having an array of china dinnerware to choose from, Macy's doesn't disappoint. They have over 30 brands to choose from, including Royal Albert, Noritake, Lenox, Mikasa and more. And, their prices are competitive with what we found when shopping on many of those brands' online stores. As an example, the Federal Platinum collection by Lenox was priced at $99.99 (free shipping included on orders of $25+) for the 5-piece place setting, while shopping on the Lenox site would only save you four cents.
But, you might not have as many options within each brand when buying your china from Macy's. On that same Lenox pattern, Macy's didn't offer as many place setting combinations or monogramming. They did seem to carry most, if not all, of the serving platters and bowls, mugs, and other extras within the patterns in their inventory.
Retail Stores Make Shopping More Convenient
One reason you might be inclined to choose your china from Macy's is the convenience of online ordering with in-store pickup. Yes, your shipping will probably be free anyway, but if you need a replacement plate in a hurry or a wedding registry gift for a reception tomorrow, Macy's might be able to save the day.
90 Day Return Policy
Another nice feature of shopping for your china dinnerware here is Macy's generous 90-day return policy. You can ship your items back by mail; just click "Start a Return" on the site to get the process going and print your return shipping label. Otherwise, it's fast and easy to bring your dishes back to a Macy's near you - and some areas even offer a scheduled return pickup from your home for an additional charge.
Numerous Customer Issues
Where this retailer comes up short is their customer service for online orders. While Macy's enjoys an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, we found more than a thousand complaints registered on the BBB site just in the last year. Reading through some of the customer comments, most of them centered around orders placed on the Macy's site and not their brick-and-mortar locations. The most common problems were orders being charged and never delivered, difficulties with getting refunds, and incorrect items shipped.
Poor Customer Service
Those customers usually had problems getting a response from a Macy's representative. Two-hour waits, disconnected calls, and broken promises from customer service team members about handling an issue were just a few of the recurring themes we discovered.
Room To Improve
While we love Macy's 90-day return policy, free shipping on most orders, and robust selection of china dinnerware across many brands, they could do much more to ensure that their online customers are getting the responsive service they need. You might have a better shopping experience buying your china directly from a brand's site, since you're more likely to have a personalized response from their customer service department if issues arise.
However, you might not find many options when shopping for china dinnerware in local brick-and-mortar stores. Most big-box retailers only carry one or two brands, in just a handful of patterns. If you're trying to match your china with your decor or you prefer a specific brand, an online store is more likely to have everything you need - and at the best prices.
These stores make it fun and simple to get the china you want, with useful filters and clear images of each plate, cup, bowl and saucer. The hard part might be choosing only one pattern when there are so many gorgeous options!
As you start shopping for china dinnerware, you'll soon discover that not all online retailers are the same. Keep these criteria in mind as you decide which store is your best choice:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online retailers of china dinnerware available today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect pattern for all of your formal dining occasions!
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