If you are a Mattel Doll Collector you know, just as I, that your collection is never complete. What about those few that you always wanted, but are years discontinued now? Is there anywhere you can turn to get a mint condition doll that is that old? Well, I’m sure you’ve already heard about ebay; but did you know that you could actually add mint condition dolls
to your collection through this worldwide garage sale? But as always, ebay can be sometimes deceiving. Here are five things to look for when adding to your Mattel Doll Collection.
1.Is this a respectable seller who is used to selling dolls?
Sometimes it can be to your advantage when someone is selling a very expensive doll that they have no idea of its worth. But because they are not familiar with the world of doll collecting they might not know how important box condition can be to the buyer. I bought a doll from an ebay seller who had no idea that I wanted the box in as good condition as it was packaged in; they didn’t protect it at all and stuffed it into a box that just barely fit it. Consequently the mailing system did a number on this one and the box arrived smashed and damaged. What do you do now? Return it? Some sellers don’t give you this option and you have no protection against this problem other than giving them negative feedback to warn future buyers.
2.Is it an actual picture of the item?
Sellers will use stock photos-photos that were produced of an item for company use. These photos show a pristine condition doll, with flowing material and hair. Unfortunately not all dolls are created alike. Some dolls have facial paint mistakes or hair loose even though it has never been taken out of the box. You always inspect dolls for purchase in regular stores before you find them collection worthy, so why not the ones on ebay? Also, the seller could be trying to pull a fast one on you, saying they didn’t ‘notice’ any blemishes when it was very obvious to you that the doll wasn’t as pictured. So be warned if there is no picture of the actual item.
3.Where was the doll stored?
This is a valid question to ask a seller before you bid on a doll. Some dolls could have been stored in smoking environments or even a cellar. The smell of the product is something you can’t figure out from an auction, and so it is a good idea to question what type of ambiance the doll resided in before it was placed up for bid. There is nothing exciting about getting a doll that smells like an ashtray or a dirty garage.
4.Watch the wording of the auction.
“Mint in box” is not the same as “Mint box.” The former is a reference to the doll being in mint, but not necessarily the box, and the latter is a direct reference to the box itself. Many sellers can get away with saying “Mint in box” when the box has some dents, scrapes, and creases, but the doll inside is preserved nicely, having never been removed. There is nothing to contest when you get the mint doll and not so mint box when the auction said, “Mint in box.” Just make sure you question any suspicious wording.
5.Not always the best way
Although ebay is a quick and easy choice, it may not be your best source for finding discontinued dolls; so don’t rely on it completely. For example, I was trying to find a sold out doll-Lord of the Ring’s Galadriel Barbie. I found it on ebay for $75 and up-mostly up. This doll only recently retailed for $40.00 at stores, but as it was sold out ebayers would be willing to pay more for their own (and sellers picked took advantage of this very quickly). But as I surfed the Internet I was able to find a legitimate store that was selling both Galadriel and Legolas as a gift set for $35.00. This is far cheaper than even the stores when the dolls were first released! I didn’t have to worry about the dolls not coming in mint condition to me, as this online store was used to shipping fast and packing securely. I didn’t have this assurance with the $75 Galadriel’s on ebay. So, look around a little if there is a doll you really want that is selling high on ebay; you might just be pleasantly surprised to find something even better.
Just keep these guidelines in mind when using ebay to collect your Mattel Dolls and you’ll never be disappointed by your finds. Happy bidding!