How to Determine if an Old Doll is Valuable

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

How to Determine if an Old Doll is Valuable. Sometimes when you are cleaning out an attic or sorting through a relative's things, you may find an old doll. Some old dolls and toys can be quite valuable, but if you are not familiar with dolls you may not know if yours is or not. If you want to know whether the old doll you have is valuable, you can take some steps to find out.

Look over the doll carefully. You'll want to note what it is made of and see if you can find any markings on the doll. Many manufacturers put marks on the doll's neck or upper back, although the markings can be anywhere on the doll. This can help you begin to narrow down which doll you have.

Know the condition of your doll. When you look it over, note any cracks, wear or damage. You'll also want to note what clothing or other accessories that the doll has. If they are original and you have exactly what the doll came with (for example, a purse and hat), the doll will be worth more.

Start researching books, websites and guides for the doll that you have. It helps if you can narrow down the age of the doll and its manufacturer. Antique dolls are generally considered to be over 100 years old while vintage dolls are those between modern and antique dolls. Libraries and websites can be a good source of doll guides and you won't need to spend money to buy one.

Check out the online auctions for dolls like yours. You'll need to factor in the condition of the doll for your comparisons, but you can sometimes get an estimate of how much a doll is worth by what it's selling for on auction sites. Remember that although a guide may price a doll at a certain figure, that's only the starting point for determining your doll's value as other factors like condition and desirability can influence the value as well.

Find an antique doll shop, collector or someone knowledgeable in old dolls. You may need to pay a fee in order to have the shop or individual give you a value on your item. However, some may tell you where to look to find the information yourself as well.