Back in the day, you could easily establish the price of a doll.
Given that the markets were local, all you had to do is visit a store, check the prices and negotiate if you thought that the price was a bit steep. There was little wiggle room and most of the prices were similar even with the negotiation.
However, this has changed a lot nowadays.
Modern doll markets
Needless to say, the Internet has changed everything. Regardless of the distance, you can get collectible dolls within days and even hours. Websites such as Amazon, Etsy and eBay have taken over the doll market. Collectible items are sold constantly, the market is pretty liquid and there are no limitations whatsoever. As soon as you post an ad online, you can expect to receive offers from all over the world within minutes.
Unfortunately, this makes it much harder to determine the real price of a piece. As per usual, it comes down to how much you’re willing to ask and how much the other person is willing to buy for. Let’s check some examples just so you understand what I’m talking about.
The story of Googly Doll
Here is one of the best examples of how difficult it is to price a doll. Google doll was an extremely rare bisque-headed doll with an amazing set of eyes. It was purchased during an auction for $400. Later on, a different person bought it via doll shop for whopping $700. Eventually, a person got tired of it and wanted to sell it. So, the collector managed to sell in on eBay, one year later, for $900.
After all of that, it is really hard to determine the real value of the doll. Based on all the transactions, it can range anywhere from $400 to $900. Keep in mind that this was the same doll, in the same condition. Given that all the transactions were made in a short time span; inflation wasn’t a big factor. The only big difference was the channel where it was sold.
Obviously, now you see the nature of the issue.
The story of the Modern Barbie
If you thought that the previous story is extreme, check this one out.
The doll prices can vary significantly even if they are sold on the same platform! Modern Barbie is a good example. The particular model I’m talking about is 1988 Happy Holiday Barbie. In perfect condition, this doll was sold for $435, $355, and $225 via eBay. Needless to say, each doll was sold by a different person.
But this isn’t the case only for 1988 Happy Holiday Barbie; other Barbie dolls have similar price discrepancies. Munster Barbie can be found for prices between $130 to $255, which is a big leap. Because of this, it pays off to be a patient customer when browsing the web.
As economists always say, the price of an item depends on the person who’s buying it. If you’re willing to buy something for a steep price, that is mainly your fault. At the same time, if a seller wants to get rid of a product quickly, he or she will give it with a discount.
The best advice I can give you is to browse. Take your time, check various platforms and sellers, and try to find the cheapest price possible.