Who knew? Barbie dolls can be quite valuable!

Happy Birthday Barbie (1959 #2 Vintage Ponytail Barbie Doll)
Happy Birthday Barbie (1959 #2 Vintage Ponytail Barbie Doll)

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Recently, I was asked by a friend to sell some items from her parent’s warehouse.  Some of the items were hers, from her childhood.  One item, which for some reason I saved for last, was a red chest, wrapped in multiple garbage bags, with the words “Barbie doll and clothes,” written in jittery black letters on the white plastic.  I thought to myself, “Oh, another item to sell.”  Little did I know what I was getting myself into!

I unwrapped it, to find a nice, sturdy chest, red in color.  I still did not know what to expect – maybe, “an old Barbie doll, great!” in a sarcastic tone, or “Okay at least it has been kept in good condition…”  I opened the chest, not knowing which way was up.  I peeked inside, to find a rod with tiny clothing hanging on it – coats, shirts, fancy fabric, faux fur, etc.  Opposite that was a set of large drawers.  I opened them, finding all sorts of bizarre, tiny accessories – hats, bags, shoes, plates, a tea set, gloves, glasses, Barbie-sized jewelry, etc. Oh – and a Barbie bathtub – you just never know when this will come in handy!

Then I thought to myself, “where did Barbie go?  Is she somewhere else?”  I was puzzled for a moment.  Then I saw a pink box in the corner.  Oh, that might be Barbie sized!  Sure enough, I opened it and I found a Barbie doll clothed in a simple white dress, made of simple material almost rough in texture.  Wrapped around her waist was a strand of rainbow-colored wool, like a belt.  It was almost as if I had unearthed a strange commentary on the Barbie phenomena – “the Hippy Barbie” (not that there is anything wrong with that).

What's inside the chest?  A treasure?
What’s inside the chest? A treasure?

So, I had a bunch of Barbie accessories on my hands, along with a simply dressed doll.  What to do with it?  Well in my ignorant fashion, I decided to just jump right in!  (Hopefully this pattern is on its way out!)  I decided I would post it on Ebay – of course, what a grand idea!  When I had spoken with its owner, she said that the Barbie was from the early sixties.  She could not narrow down a specific year however.  So I decided to list it as a 1961 Vintage Barbie Doll.  I was clueless.

Well I knew I had made a mistake within an hour of posting it, because I received an email from one of the bidders saying, “Can you take closer pictures of the face and body, because I think you have a #1 or a #2 Barbie, which might be worth thousands of dollars?”  Huh?  …  Oh my word!  I had originally listed it for about $200.  Hmmm…  Well I had a few hours of fretting as I worried that I was deceiving people, or that I had vastly undervalued it (and hence I was taking money away from myself and its owner).  I was able to research the value of Barbie dolls and discern exactly which year and model I had – and sure enough, it is a #2.  Thankfully Ebay allows, albeit reluctantly, the retracting of items when there is a problem.  Hey hey!  I was in luck, there were several problems – wrong price, wrong item listed, wrong date on the accessories.

Fancy outfits, Barbie-sized, inside the chest
Fancy outfits, Barbie-sized, inside the chest

So now, here I am, on the other side.  And I have a plan.  I will re-post it in a few days, after making a short movie about the Barbie, whose name is Lavender, walking around the Circle Center (where she has been living for the past few years) – a house in Charlottesville that is dedicated to healing facilitation.  I will also write a story about her experience.  It should be fun.  I will post it here when it is complete.  [Added a few years later…  I should note that Ebay said that telling a story, whether true or not, about an item can add more value.  Hence my desire to film a little Barbie tale.  But that did not pan out.]

And remember, you never know when you will come across a Diamond in the rough!  Who knows, there might be something in your attic right now, just basking in its secret value.

[Revision in October of 2009 – I ended up selling the Barbie doll and chest / accessories for $5500 via Ebay.  Can you imagine?  I was originally listing it for $200.  Wow!  I am glad I put in the 50 – 60 hours of work – researching, chatting with auction owners, etc.  It certainly paid off.]


Published by Kirby Moore

Kirby Moore is a healing facilitator based in the beautiful rolling hills of Charlottesville, Virginia. He does sessions in-person and long distance via Skype and Zoom, working with Spiritual Astrology, Somatic Experiencing, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Birth Process Work. His healing work is informed by fifteen years of meditation and Qigong practice. He works with client's intentions and deepest longings to attain clear, tangible results. Contact him for more info at (email): kirby [at] mkirbymoore [dot] com

3 thoughts on “Who knew? Barbie dolls can be quite valuable!

  1. I can’t agree with the above post, and would like to pick up on a few of the OP’s points. Not everyone will see your point of view and though I am one of them, I do respect your right to have your view. Either way I have enjoyed reading Who knew? Barbie dolls can be quite valuable! Kirby Moore's Blog.

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