Helen's Doll Saga

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is Barbie a Good Investment?

Posted by helen on July 25, 2012

(if the font is too small for you to read, hold down “Ctrl” and press “+” key to enlarge)

The question has been brought up again & again for thousands of times, another discussion has just started on BFC.

it’s very much like you ask “will running a boutique shop make  money?”  The answer?  — “It depends on who runs the shop”.

“is Barbie a good investment”?  the better question is: are you a good investor?

if you are just a collector who buy every doll you like and expect them to bring you fortune in the future,  most likely, it wont happen. but if you have a great sense of market and know what to buy and when to sell, then, making a few hundred $$$ out of  Barbie each year is quite possible. The returns is certainly much  better than your saving account with citi bank. Lets take 2012’s products for example,  some one I follow closely did these things:

1. bought 3 Rush of Rose Gold and sold them IMMEDIATELY to international buyers for $267 each  —she was so proud and posted she got 3 Rose Gold for sale and people HATED it so much, I defended her and I was attacked, too. these nasty comments are still on my Facebook wall

2. purchased 2 Fantasy Mermaid from BC, one sold on Amazon for $375, the other on eBay for $300

3. purchased “Royal Wedding Gift set” from etoys for $79.99 and sold on Amazon for $178 

4. purchased walking suit on Amazon for $74 and re-sold it on Amazon for $150 one week later.

5.  purchased empress of aliens $80  from BC and sold on eBay for $259

6. …. etc.  

now you see the growth of $$$ Barbie brings. Can you do it and what makes you a “barbie investor”?

1. you have Great sense of market: like picking the stocks, you know which one to pick. you  don’t buy cheerleaders as they look sweet, you dont buy hope diamond as she is very 40s, you dont buy Gala gown as she is so regal… you buy what the markets like.  this may be the hardest part,  it takes some professional trainings, years of experiences  and some instincts as well. we can write a 1000-page book about it.

2.  you know the Timing:  Timing is very important.  the price goes up and down,  you dont wait for 10 years to sell, you know when to drop the bomb then move on. the Royal Wedding set is 99 on BN web now (was 89 last week) and Walking suit is $70 on Wal-Mart. if you buy now and want to make a few bucks on the very next day, its not going to happen. 

3. your are very resourceful & informative: you know which doll is or will be hot as newly baked cake,  you know  where to find low prices and where to sell at high prices.  An average collector may not have the sales channels and customer bases .  if I want to sell my AA debut, I’d put her up on eBay for $69. but a gentleman who has some special customer groups sold it for $200 on his very own website. I also saw an eBay seller sold 36 Platinum Cher dolls on eBay, price ranged from $300 to $500.  the doll was TRU exclusive,  original retail price was $34.99 each. I am sure you & I dont have such connections and resources to obtain so many  platinum dolls.  it wont happen only b/c you are internet sassy, you must have some  helps from someone who works at  TRU

4. you are hardworking: it takes so much more work than you can imagine to research, buy & sell.  Investment is not that you buy a bunch of dolls and save them in the storage, you think by the time you are ready to pass them down to the next generation, they will have great values, that is wrong–you have inventory, not  investment.  being an investor, you have to be “dynamic” –keep your dolls moving, every Barbie is “gal on the go”:  the quick turnovers help you generate great value.

5.  your are open-minded: The market trends are ever-changing, you have to open your mind to every change:  new knowledge,  new products,  new trends, new collecting groups…. you may HATE lots of dolls and dont even want to look at them, but they may have the best value.  your personal taste isnt important, you need to be market oriented.

….

it has nothing wrong that you buy dolls only b/c you love them. I have to say you are lucky that you can have what you like without going through troubles and hassles to be “an investor”.  For these do want  Barbie to pay back  some $$$,   life is full of opportunities, grab them!

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5 Responses to “is Barbie a Good Investment?”

  1. You are a very wise person. You can apply this knowledge to just about anything/everything collectable. For those haters; there was obviously a market to sell at those prices, so don’t be hating. Some people will pay top dollar for many reasons; # 1 being desire. So many people don’t have access, for whatever reasons, so it becomes necessary to pay to play. Business is nothing to take personally and we must commend entrepreneurs for their savvy sense. (I could go on and on regarding this topic alone) Business people or investors take all kinds of hits, so it only makes sense to price wisely to recoup those loses. Folks don’t realize how much money it costs to maintain a webstore. You have to pay a company for your web address and to keep it. Then, you have to pay for the use of the server space, the web design program and the shopping cart program. This list goes on and on. So, you have to understand what’s going to sell, when and for how much. Thank you, Helen, for the reminder and the educating the masses.

  2. Sandra said

    Great post! It takes work to make money with Barbie but it’s possible if you are smart!

  3. personally. i don’t collect to make money off the dolls, but if you can buy a doll for $100 and sell her for $300 and have people shopping the market who are willing to pay, then what’s the problem? after a doll sells out people will pay most anything under $500 anyway, lol very informative and wise post!

  4. Lubo said

    It is sad that bc.com doesn´t ship to Europe, so then European collectors (who wants BC direct exclusives) have to buy dolls from ebay (if they don´t have shipping buddies in the USA), so they are happy that some BFC members sell their dolls. You are skillful businesswoman.:)

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