It all started with a Movie that mentioned finding vintage toys on Ebay! And then I found my childhood friend, Timey Tell! That was hundreds of dolls ago! I have learned some things since then that I wish I knew when I started.
1) COLLECT WHAT YOU LIKE! Every vintage doll is not collectable! For
example, Ideal dolls are very desireable from almost any era. A
Thumbelina doll in great condition can go for hundreds! However some
dolls like Playn Jane, who was not as popular with baby boomers can be
had easily for 30 dollars mint in her box! Never buy a doll based on a
cheap price! Unless you know what it is and the potential the doll has
to be spruced up.
2. DOLL REFERENCE BOOKS can be invaluable for information on dolls! You
can learn about types of materials dolls were made of, and how these
will fare over time. They will also give you an idea of whether a
doll is in original clothing, and accessories a doll may have come
with. Keep in mind though, that even if a book tells you a doll is
worth 200.00, it is only really worth what the market will bear and
what someone is willing to pay for.
3.) AS YOU CONTINUE TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE, TRADE UP YOUR DOLLS!! It should be quality rather than quantity when it comes to
vintage doll. And again, collect what you love!!! And think about
the size of a doll before you add her to your collection. If you live
in a small apartment, Playpal dolls would probably not be a good choice!
4.) KNOW WHAT YOU CAN NOT FIX! This is the biggest mistake
I have made with my doll collecting. Buying an old doll to clean is a
great idea, if you have the time and skills to do so. I am good with
cleaning dolls, and redoing hair, but I could not reroot a doll if my
life depended on it. If a doll has mildew, it is nearly impossible to
remove these stains. Although with time and patience a doll can be
aired out if it only smells musty.
5.) LESS INTERVENTION IS BEST WITH VINTAGE DOLLS. There is a lot of
debate about cleaning vintage dolls and ruining the "bettina" We are
not talking about colonial furniture. Washing dirt off
a vinyl doll will make her look much nicer. With clothing, never wash it
unless you absolutely have to! If you leave certain stains on vintage
clothing, it will eventually break down the fabric. The bottom line is
removing mold from a dolls eyes, giving her a good cleaning and fixing
her hair will make her more collectable and is effectively a way to
restore them to their original beauty. I have had many a doll that
looked like they were ready for the trash that ended up as good as new!
6.) ASK QUESTIONS when you bid on a doll!!!!!!! Some good questions include:
A) "Does the doll have any odors?" Many dolls have a mildew odor, or the dreaded plastic doll sour milk odor!!
B) "Are the eyes clear?" " Does she have all her lashes"
Some dolls get a white mold that can easily be cleaned from the eyes.
But if water has gotten in and the eyes are cloudy, this can not be
C)" Are there missing hair plugs?"
D)" Are there any stains, tears ink, etc? "
Many sellers on Ebay find vintage dolls in various places and know
nothing about them. This is how you can get a good bargain, but if you
don't ask the right questions, your bargain may not be such a good one.
Asking questions gives everone an idea of what the expectations are. It
is not fair to assume everyone should be an expert. Not everyone finds
it as thrilling as doll collectors to spend hours searching for that
special doll to add to a collection!
TO FIND DOLLS : Remember key words.
YOU CAN LOOK BY ERA:
Some examples include Vintage doll, Antique doll, and Old doll
YOU CAN SEARCH BY BRAND:
Some examples would be Mattel doll, American Character, Ideal, Effanbee, Sasha, Barbie, and American Girl.
Start with ENDING SOONEST and then go check out the newly listed with
BUY IT NOW options. I have gotten many a doll as buy it nows! It's a
great way to buy on EBAY!
If you remember to keep in mind that old is not always valuable, and
collect what you love, you will have a great experience collecting
vintage and collectable dolls. The other thing to keep in mind is that
your collection will evolve. You may start with Fashion dolls and end
up selling those to collect American Girl dolls. Or you may start with
one category of dolls and stick with it. My collecting started mostly
with dolls from the 1970's, and has evolved far beyond! Vintage doll
collecting is fun and can bring a lot of happiness. I hope this guide
has been helpful to start a novice collector on the right track!
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