Finding the Value of Barbie Dolls: A Guide for Barbie Doll Collectors

A original 1959 Barbie in the box can fetch several hundred to several thousand dollars. Love of the Barbie doll and tales of childhood toys purchased for a couple of bucks selling for thousands led many to become Barbie doll collectors. Unfortunately the increase in collecting means the dolls may not have gone up in value as much as you hoped. Most may even be worth less than what you paid for them. Researching the value of Barbie dolls in your collection will help you decide if you want to keep them, sell them, or pass them on to your child to play with.

eBay

As a Barbie value guide, eBay is a quick way to see the value of most Barbies and Barbie accessories. You will need to find your exact Barbie model and condition to get a good idea of your Barbie doll’s worth. When searching eBay, look for auctions with bids and add these to your watch list. Then you can see the final price that doll sells for. Barbie dolls are only worth what people are willing to pay for them. You may see buy it now prices in the hundreds for your doll, however the advertised price may not be the actual selling price. You want to see the actual selling price to get a good idea of your doll’s value.

Books

The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Barbie Doll Exclusives and More is a series of books dedicated to the rarer and exclusive releases of Barbie dolls. This series of books includes identification and value of Barbies and is kept up to date. Other Barbie value guide books such as Warman’s Barbie Doll Field Guide and general doll value books can be good resources for identifying your doll, but older publications may have out of date values. You’ll want to reference a book published within the last five years to get a more accurate estimate of the value of Barbie dolls.

Doll Shop

If you are still unsure of the value of your Barbie dolls, then take them to a local doll shop. Doll shop owners will often do appraisals of dolls for free or for a low fee. If you can’t find a doll shop near you, doll shops and museums may do appraisals through their websites. You will need several high quality photos for a good evaluation online. If you happen to have a rare and valuable Barbie doll, the appraiser may even offer to buy it from you.

Valuable Barbie Dolls

Most contemporary Barbie dolls, made after 1970, have little value above the original retail price. It’s the vintage Barbies from the 1960s that usually bring in the highest prices in Barbie doll collecting. Valuable contemporary Barbie dolls tend to be dolls that are part of special limited edition collections and sold as collector dolls, and not meant to be played with. For example in 2011, the Marie Antoinette Barbie Doll originally sold by Mattel for $249, sold on eBay for $1000. This doll was still in the original package. Unopened and unused Barbie dolls will have a higher value than the same doll that has been opened for either display or play. The 2006 Dahlia Silkstone Barbie sold on eBay for over $800 in 2011.

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tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York

Nice hub. Barbie dolls that portray celebrities also seem to climb in value - Lucille Ball, Cruella DeVille - also Barbies portraying movie characters. I'm sure Barbie collectors can add more. Voted interesting.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

This is good information for collectors. Thank you!

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