Barbie dolls are a part of pop culture. Several dolls have been produced since 1958. Some are worth less than £13, and some are worth thousands. Follow these steps to determine your Barbie's worth.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Look at the condition of your doll. A Barbie doll in her box will be worth more than one without her box. A doll in an unopened box is worth even more. A doll whose box is in perfect condition will be worth more than one in a damaged box.
Determine the doll's age. Those made in the early years, the 1950s and 1960s, are worth a lot, as are the older holiday Barbie dolls.
Keep a log of all the collectable Barbies that you want to price. Include each doll's size, special marks, date of issue (if known), special characters, original price you paid and outfit description (and if it's in the original outfit), and other observations.
Decide if the doll is actually a Barbie. Remember, Barbie dolls are sometimes considered Barbie in different races. Other figures include Ken, Midge, Allan, Skipper, Skooter, Ricky, Nikki, Becky, Tara Lynn, Francie, Tutti, Todd, Kelly, PJ, Chris, Christie, Casey, Stacey, Jamie, Brad, Fluff, Cara, Steffi, Kelley, Tiff, Ginger, Curtis, Derek, Diva, Dana, Todd, Scott, Tracy, Jazzie, Chelsie, Dude, Miko, Whitney, Belinda, Becky, Teresa, Steven, Bopsy, Devon, Stacie, Courtney, Janet, Melody, Diedre, Jenny, Kira, Tommy, Nia, Kevin, Jamal, Shani and Asha.
Assess the character that Barbie is playing. In addition to having different friends, Barbie is sometimes dressed as a pop culture hero. There is a Barbie dressed as Olivia Newton-John in "Grease," and there are ones as Lucille Ball, Scarlett O'Hara and Frenchy, another "Grease" heroine. These can be worth a lot of money, especially in their boxes.
Figure out if the doll is dressed in an original designer gown. Many designers have created Barbie dolls and fashions. A doll dressed in Mackie will be worth a lot of money, if it's an original.
Look up dolls on eBay based upon the criteria established in Steps 1 to 6. The dolls will vary greatly in price, based upon these conditions. Looking up a doll of the same year outside and inside her box can make all the difference in how you price an auction. If one merely wants to collect all the different friends of Barbie, he may not care that the doll is outside of the box. Because of its wide market, you can get more for your doll on eBay than elsewhere.
Consult the published Barbie pricing guides. There are several books on the market in which researchers have evaluated each doll. The books will provide a clear guide to fair pricing. (See the Resources.)
Go the official Barbie website (see Resources). Contact Mattel with concerns about modern dolls. You can also join the official Barbie fan club there, enabling you greater access to other Barbie fans, and you can register as a collector on the website, even if you don't want to join the fan club. You can even request a free Barbie catalogue.
Tips and warnings
- Don't use only one source for determining the price of your Barbie.
- Never trust a buyer to give you an accurate price. Beware of those who, even when offering a large amount, will offer to take it off your hands. Always do your research before selling the doll.
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