Selling a played with Barbie

The collectors often buy playline Barbies that are good for restoring. Many times over I have found awesome dolls that to the average person seem like pure junk. Most second hand market, flea market or garage sale sellers don’t take time to fix the doll up at all. I don’t mean that you should start rerooting them or anything, just a few simple steps. However, do not do this on a vintage Barbie. (If there is a chance the doll is older than 20 years.) If unsure, leave it as it is. Just the first one will do fine:

1. Wash them! For the love of God, wash your doll before selling it! Ask yourself, would you find it tempting to buy a doll with sticker glue and crayon in the eyes, in filthy clothes and hair that sticks to your hands when you touch it? Don’t worry; Barbie dolls (Mattel originals) can handle water and common soap. The hair (if any is left) hold the curl if you don’t use boiling hot water. The value of your doll “sky rockets” from one Euro/Dollar to five if it’s clean.

2. Clean up paint and permanent marker stains and other gunk. Children are sometimes inclined to drawing on their dolls… While some pen marks cannot be removed with common house hold methods (unless your kids are teenagers and using zit cream) you can remove some by scrubbing – a tooth brush is a great aid in washing a Barbie – and some will come off with nail polish remover. However, the nail polish remover can also take off the face paint, so if cleaning the face it’s advised to use a q-tip to keep away from eyes, eyebrows, lips and cheeks. Leave the rest to the “professionals”.

3. Comb the hair if possible. If you feel unsure or you don’t have the time, you can skip this part. A lot of collectors know how to do it without pulling out half of the scalp with it.

4. Dress her up in the best clothes you’re ready to part with. If you don’t have any clothes, that’s fine, but position the doll in the table in respectful manner (instead of just throwing her into a box of junk). The more you respect the doll, the more your buyer will.

5. You might be surprised what condition dolls will sell. However, don’t expect big dollars for a used playline Barbie doll, most collectors are not ready to pay more than 7 dollars of any such doll. You should rather consider things like recycling and the planet when selling a used Barbie doll, instead of striking gold. 😉

6. Give this web address handy. My blog will give easy instructions for any enthusiast on how to fix Barbie dolls – the crafty types will not be able to resist!

Leave a Reply

6 Comments on "Selling a played with Barbie"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sue white

I so agree with you about selling dirty dolls , I have bought so many dolls in this condition , dirty dolls that smell like mildew, my pride would not let me sell dolls that are not clean, however I love these dolls and I think probably where the care factor lies. Cheers


Hahha, does your nickname come from Green Wing? Love Sue White!! 😀

maria sanchez

But what if the Barbie doll has black stains. not from marker or anything like that. It’s just played with a lot and the cheeks got stained over the year. What would you advise for that. Thank-you

Jarne D
Oh, wow—I TOTALLY disagree with this. I would ~NEVER~ recommend that someone looking to sell played-with Barbie dolls “clean” them unless they know EXACTLY what they’re doing, and even then, ~ONLY~ if the doll is not valuable. I have seen SO MANY vintage dolls on eBay that were RUINED by sellers who “cleaned” them before listing them, including dolls that were actually in mint condition before they were “cleaned”. (Matted hair that tore when the seller “brushed” it, hair “trimmed” to “even it out” when it wasn’t supposed to be “even” in the first place, “stains” removed that were NOT… Read more »