The Ty Inc. Company released its first versions of the adorable Beanie Babies in 1993, and by 1997 there were 78 different Beanies available; they set off a craze that no one could have predicted. Beanie Babies sold out all over the world; stores couldn’t keep up with demand and that increased their value even more. Then Ty Inc. decided to release only the new designs to retailers and retired many of the original Beanies; value shot through the roof. Now with people still loving these adorable plush toys, Ty Inc. still producing new ones, and people still collecting them, it's worth finding out the value of the Beanies you have; some of the original 78 have been sold for over £650. Want to find out what your Beanie Babies are worth? This is how you do it.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Internet access
- Library resources
- Telephone book
Knowing what Beanies you have is the first step in finding out how valuable they are. Make a simple list of each Beanie by name, date, condition and generation. It’s easier to have this list to reference or carry with you when doing your research. The original Beanies, or first generation, have a simple heart tag that flips open and doesn’t have a place to write "To:" and "From:" on it. Second through today’s generations have "To:" and "From:" on the inside flip tag. The resource at the bottom of this page, History of Beanie Babies, will show you what each generation tag looks like. Also check the dates on the tags, and when rating condition include condition of the tag. Once you have listed the Beanies you want to check on, your can start gathering values.
The Internet is full of information to help you find the values of your Beanies. From what others are asking for them, to price guides, to what people are paying for them, the Internet can tell you. When searching online, be specific; search by the exact type and generation of Beanie you want to value. Then make sure to check several different online sources to compare the value, asking and selling prices for that specific Beanie. Make sure that any online price guides or information is up to date by checking the last time the website was updated and when the website was published. If a website is showing you values from a price guide, look for a date reference of the price guide it is using. The Ty Inc. website also has a section for collectors that offers some suggestions for finding accurate values.
Book shops, comic shops and libraries will all carry toy guides; you could also order one online. A toy guide is a book or magazine put out every year for toy collectors. A toy guide will help you by letting you look up each Beanie and giving you information on demand, value and condition. Toy guides can range in price from £6 to £9, depending on how detailed it is. A physical guide can be more accurate than some online guides, so it’s worth checking into.
In the phone book, you can find a listing of local toy or valuables appraisers. Most will look at what you have or you can tell them over the phone, and they will give you an estimated value. They also will know the best way to get full value for your Beanie Babies if you are ever looking to sell them. There are companies that grade the value and condition of toys; having a valuable Beanie Baby graded for condition can increase its value. This is done by sending the Beanie to a toy grading company, where they inspect them, place them in a collector's casing and stamp a grade on the package. These companies charge by item. When researching values, you can check if a graded or appraised Beanie Baby has a higher value and see if it may be worth it.
Tips and warnings
- Always check several sources when searching for values; some are reputable and some are not.
- Check for dates on sources like toy guides and websites to make sure the values you are looking at are up to date.
- Always make sure to check the legitimacy of any online business before handing over your collection for them to sell or appraise. As with all things, there are Beanie Baby scams out there too.
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