Over the years, Mattel has put out thousands of different Barbie dolls, some specifically designed for collectors, others made for little girls to treasure and play with. If you have Barbie dolls that you are interested in selling for a nice profit, dealing with collectors can be tricky. Avid Barbie collectors know their dolls like many of us know the backs of our hands, so you need to know your stuff, especially the worth of the doll you're trying to sell.
Research your doll's value. There are literally dozens of collector's guides that revolve solely around the hobby of Barbie doll collecting. A good up-to-date guide will help you determine the overall condition and worth of the doll you want to sell. You can also learn a lot from the official Mattel Barbie Collector website, which lists tips for collectors and sellers alike, and provides a forum for collectors to gather and share their passion.
Learn about labels and production numbers. Mattel has five levels of labelling, from pink to black, that are designed specifically for different types of collectors. Pink label Barbies are the basic beginner dolls for collectors. Silver label dolls have less than 50,000 dolls on the market. Gold label collections put out 25,000 dolls. Platinum label dolls number fewer than 1,000 dolls. The black label denotes high-end collectibles for the serious adult collector.
Assess the doll's condition. While some buyers may be interested in picking up rare dolls out of the box, Barbies that have never been opened and show minimal box wear tend to fetch much higher prices. Determine where your doll's condition falls in terms of wear, so you can explain any minor details to a potential buyer.
Make the rounds at doll collector shows to see what others have on display and the prices for which they are selling them. While you are there, talk to other Barbie collectors. You may even meet up with someone who is interested in buying your doll, so take it with you.
Browse online collector's forums and become an active participant. Participating with other collectors is a great way not only to get tips, but to meet potential buyers and traders.
Use online auction sites to your advantage. There are dozens of auction sites on the Internet that specifically cater to Barbie and other doll collectors, weeding out the other merchandise so you can get down to serious Barbie business.
Include photographs when setting up online auctions. You will need to include detailed pictures of the doll and box from a variety of angles, so potential buyers can get a good look at the merchandise.