How to Find How Much Collectable Dolls Are Worth

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Hundreds of thousands of different dolls have been produced as toys and collectibles for centuries, and some are worth more today than a new car. It can be difficult to pin down what your doll is worth because prices fluctuate from day to day and season to season. If a rare doll collector from Europe happens to see your eBay auction, you're going to get a lot more money for it than if you sell it on your local Craigslist. To complicate matters further, evaluating the condition of a doll can be a complicated task and is sometimes a matter of guesswork. Getting a rough idea for the value of your doll is possible with a little time and some detective work, but you are likely only to find it's "true" value once it's on the marketplace.

  • Grade the condition of your doll. Antique dolls are graded for things like crazing, cracking, stains and functionality. Newer dolls like Barbie are graded according to (amongst other things) whether they have ever been removed from the box or not. Top prices are given for dolls that are in mint condition and have never been removed from their factory box. At the bottom of the grading scale are dolls that have been played with and are missing the original box, clothing and accessories (but are still in a reasonably good shape).

  • Do a search on eBay for completed auctions to get an idea of how your doll has sold in the past. Pay close attention to the descriptions: MIB means "Mint in Box" (the doll may have been removed) while "NRFB" means "Never Removed From Box." In general, dolls without boxes are worth at least half of what a MIB doll is priced at. Usually, prices reported in doll books or other places are averages for recent sales. You may get a lot more, or a lot less, when it actually comes to selling your doll.

  • Search the Internet for your doll. You may find doll shops, stores or online auctions listing the current prices for your doll.

  • If you cannot locate the price for your doll, obtain an appraisal from a doll appraiser. Find one online by typing "doll appraisals" into an Internet search, or visit a doll show--there are always doll appraisers at larger shows.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each doll brand has its own "blue" book that you can use to better grade your doll. For example, you can find out how to grade the condition of Ideal dolls using Collectors Guide to Ideal Dolls by Judith Izen.
  • Do not sell a doll directly to a doll appraiser or doll store before seeking a second opinion or finding the current selling price. You may be offered an amount a lot less than your doll is worth.

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