We do not do appraisals, but we can suggest some ways to find a value for your dolls and sell them.
First identify your doll. Look first for marks on the back of the neck, possibly up under the wig, or in the center of the back. Look for tags inside the clothing (these are just clues since dolls can be redressed). If you have an original box that may tell you the manufacturer. Figure out what it is made out of. With that information, you can search reference books at your local library and reference web sites online.
Once identified, there are doll reference price guides published, and now on the Internet there are auction price data services you can subscribe to. You can use a search engine like Google to locate them. Please remember that condition has an enormous impact on prices. A doll that has complete original clothing and shoes, clean and not faded or damaged in any way, with pristine hair in the original style and no signs of damage or wear on the body will sell for many, many, MANY times more than a doll ravaged by storage in dirt and damp after seeing lots of rough play. This makes price guides just that – a guide. Their prices are almost always for perfect or near-perfect examples.
Another good way to see what prices dolls are really selling for is to look at completed auctions on ebay. A week of past auctions is available for ebay members to view and ebay membership is free. Go to www.ebay.com, sign in, and type your doll’s name in the search box, or look to see if there is a category for your doll. For example, Betsy McCall made by the American Character doll company has her own category under Dolls and bears/By Brand, Company, Character/American Character/Betsy McCall . When you find the category or get search results that look like your doll (or even if nothing active is found) click the checkbox on the left to see completed auctions. Again, the condition and rarity of the doll could make the price vary a lot, but looking at completed auctions allows you to get an idea of the value of one in condition similar to yours, if there were any. You can save the search and ebay will automatically email you when results are found, and then you can ‘watch’ the auction to see what the final price is when it ends.
Selling your dolls
You will need good pictures of your dolls (preferably digital) for any type of selling other than in person!
There is a Yahoo email group called DollsforSale where people might be interested, and since it is free, it is worth a try! You just email a list and either upload your photos or email them also. Also, if you know the doll’s name and search Yahoo you may find collector groups especially for particular dolls –
You could also try Craig’s List:
You could also look for antique or vintage doll sellers on the web and see if they would be interested. A recent copy of a magazine like Antique Doll Collector would have ads from a large number of dealers who you could contact.
If you are willing to sell on ebay, that gets you the largest audience. Millions of serious collectors look there frequently. All you need to sell on ebay yourself is a camera that will take decent close-ups of your dolls so people can see what they are buying, and the ability to pack and ship what you have sold, and access to a computer. If you don’t want to sell on ebay yourself, in most areas there are Trading Assistants you can contact through ebay to list things for you or local companies, who do this for a fee or a percentage of the sale price. Even if you don’t want to sell on Ebay, you should search completed auctions to get an idea of what dolls in similar condition to yours have been selling for.
Please do not throw away any doll or doll parts. Even the most wrecked-looking old doll may be a precious resource for someone who needs parts for repair.