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Fri Aug 30 2013 13:35:00

Top Barbie Seller on What's Hot, Not and Other Trends

By: Julia Wilkinson

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What's up with the doll whose full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts? (Yep, you know her as Barbie).  On this Antiques Friday (hashtag #ABAntiquesFri on Twitter), AB Blog talked to srbarbie30891 on eBay, whose store is Abby's Doll House, about what sells best for her these days, and also what is on the decline.

- Selling Well Now
1960's Barbies, ponytails (a certain kind of Barbie explained here with a guide), American Girls, followed by vintage Barbie clothes and accessories. "Accessories are always popular with collectors as they like to piece the outfits," said srbarbie. "They sell faster than completed outfits."

- On the Decline
There has been a decline in prices for many of the vintage Barbie items, says srbarbie. "The 1600 series vintage clothing has come way down since the 1990's. As an example, Poodle Parade used to easily sell for 750 mint/c, now I am seeing the outfit sell for 350."

#1's, 2's, 3's have come down in price, she added.  But, "I do not see an upward trend nor a downward, I think they have leveled off."

- Some of her Best Barbie Sales
"I was fortunate to liquidate a very expensive Barbie collection about 10 years ago
with some great Store Display dolls and Japanese Exclusives," she said. "These items today will still claim high prices."

- How Did She Get Interested in Barbie Dolls?
"My mom dug out all of my vintage Barbies, and when I saw them, they brought back so many memories," she said. "I knew that there was a collecting market for them so I researched and found a Barbie Bazzar magazine and started to send for lists."

In 1995 she went into business herself and started to publish bi-monthly barbie catalogs, and sent them all over the USA and Europe. "I stopped publishing in 2008 and focused on sending email lists and eBay instead."

- Did You Know?
The doll that many consider All-American was based on a German doll called the Bild Lilli , which itself was based on a cartoon character in the German newspaper Bild-Zeitung. She was created by Reinhard Beuthien to make a "filler" to conceal a blank space. So just think, if it hadn't been for that pesky blank space in a German newspaper, we wouldn't have Barbie today as we know her!

(By the way, if you see a Bild Lilli out there, they can sell for big bucks..check out what this one went for in this 2009 issue of my Yard Salers newsletter).

Have you had any luck selling Barbie dolls? Did you own them as a child? (I certainly did...but the one that sticks most in my mind was "Quick-Curl Barbie' because I had such a hard time curling her wiry hair). Post a comment here!

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Aug 30 20:49:07 2013

I used to be a huge Barbie collector, but not so much anymore. I even have six one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls created by Mattel that I won at the CAAF auctions. But the face-ups on the dolls are so awful nowadays. Every time I walk down the Barbie isle in a store I cringe. The dolls and clothes seem to be made much more cheaply now. My doll collecting is now centered on the Asian BJDs, especially a doll named Momoko.

As far as selling Barbie, I have all of my boxed clothing sets for sale in my store, and most of my Kelly and Friends dolls. I probably should list more of my Barbies since we're getting close to Christmas. I do get a few sales on occasion, but nothing like I would get if I had the really old dolls.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Aug 30 23:59:40 2013

While I'm not a Barbie collector, I am a collector of articles and reports concerning Barbie's Mattel mother, Ruth Handler.

Back in the olden days (1973) when the government actually enforced corporate laws and regulations, Barbie's mommy was convicted because she distributed false earnings and expenses information for the purpose of manipulating stock prices.

John Donahoe bears a remarkable resemblance to Ken if not Ruth herself, I think.

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 31 01:53:34 2013

1960's Barbies, Barbie clothes and accessories always do well for me. So far, eBay hasn't managed to kill off this category.
Though I sold them before the USPS International rate hike, I did surprisingly well selling some 1980s MIB Barbies to European collectors.

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by: BackInBlack This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 2 02:25:33 2013

Life in plastic---it's fantastic!
I do collect Barbies, and track several on eBay; I've noticed most of them aren't moving too well right now and prices are down.

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by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Sep 2 14:02:03 2013

About two years ago, my Dad called me up on a Monday morning. He was really excited about a Barbie that he had found in a yard sale that weekend for $4. I didn’t think much of it at the time (I knew nothing about Barbies then), but he insisted that she was older and valuable.

He wouldn’t send her to me in the mail, so I had to pick her up when I went to visit a few weeks later. She was a #2 Barbie and in pretty good shape, but missing all of her accessories. When I got back home, I went on a mini shopping spree on eBay and purchased her missing accessories, stand, and an original box. I found a Barbie restoration specialist in the area  (Mardie at Heartwhisper) that  cleaned-up the Barbie, washed her hair, and put in a new top knot. All together, we had about $175 invested in Barbie at this point.

The night we put Barbie up for sale (no reserve, starting at $0.99, with all of the touch-ups disclosed), her numbers were shooting through the roof (both watchers and hits). I was hoping that best case scenario, we’d be able to get $2500 for her. By the morning of the last day, she was up to $3000. In the closing 6 seconds of the auction, she received 3 more bids and jumped up another $900+. My jaw dropped.

After I received payment, the woman in CA who purchased the Barbie sent me a nice message. She said that she was very happy to have won the Barbie, and that as a little girl, she played with this exact doll, which belonged to her older sister. She realized that they had now appreciated in value quite a lot, so she had set-up a Barbie savings account to purchase the doll.

This experience got me hooked on eBay auctions and I now specialize in collectibles as a result. From time to time, I’ll get items like this and it’s always fun to see how they do.

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