Selling your Barbie doll

These suggestions should improve your chances of selling your Barbie doll without problems and for a better price.


To minimize the effort and maximize your chances of success, choose the best marketplace(s).

Currently, the most popular place to buy and sell Barbie dolls and accessories is, by far, eBay.


When seeking items, collectors will skim through countless offers.
You should provide a quick and easy way for others to know what you are selling.

When writing the title be sure to include:

  1. The official name.
  2. The product number (MPN).
  3. The year of manufacturing.
  4. The condition.

For example, if you were to sell this Barbie, you might describe it as “The Mermaid Barbie, #W3427 2012, NRFB”.


Always be honest and straightforward.
Don’t be tempted to omit important details or bend the truth. That may take a toll on your reputation and on the outcome of the sale.

On the other hand, being too critical about your doll’s condition may lead you to sell for an overly low price.
So, just present the facts in a neutral way and let the potential buyers be the judges.

Below are some details to consider while writing the description:

  • Smoke: If the doll has (not) ever been left in a place where people smoked, it’s important to mention that.
  • Moisture or sunlight: If the item has (not) ever been stored in a moist environment or left under direct sunlight, that’s important to mention.
  • Accessories: Do list any and all included elements, and their conditions.
  • Terms and provisions: Be sure to mention what you will give to and expect from the buyer.

It’s often a good idea to see other sales.
Look for examples of the above tips, and keep an eye out for any other common practises.


The right photos can make an enormous difference in the final price.

These are some guidelines you may wish to follow when taking photos:

  • Cover all angles. Also, mind the perspectives and avoid skew.
  • Illuminate properly. Place the doll in a well-lit scenario. Disable the camera’s flash if possible.
  • Avoid glare. Carefully position the doll and camera relatively to any light sources.
  • Strive for sharpness. Keep the lens clean and the camera steady.
  • Choose a neutral background. Plain walls or fabrics work best.
  • Don’t accidentally include yourself. Be mindful of reflections and placements.

This may seem like a lot of work, but it has an incredible impact on the speed and success of a sale. And don’t be tempted to borrow pictures from elsewhere: this will raise suspicion and steer away potential buyers.

Packaging and Posting

Be open to sending globally.
By offering worldwide P&P, you’ll be greatly widening the range of potential buyers.

Even more important than the current condition of your Barbie, is the condition in which it arrives to the buyer.
Don’t skimp on P&P. You will risk ruining a good sale by having the Barbie arrive damaged to the buyer – or not at all.

Here is how you can improve your chances of an uneventful delivery:

  1. Carefully document everything. Take detailed photos of the entire packaging process, including the materials.
    (If you need to claim insurance, the company will demand proof and they can be very picky.)
  2. Try to make a package that might withstand impacts and moisture.
    (Please (re)use recycled/recyclable materials wherever possible.)
    1. Pad the item with no less than 1/2″ (1.5cm) of bubble wrap.
    1. Shield that within a sturdy cardboard box. Ensure there’s a tight fit, adding extra padding if need be.
    2. Reinforce all corners and edges with duct tape.
    3. Seal the box with plastic film.
  3. Send the package through registered mail, with tracking and insurance.
    (Please ask the buyer to reuse or recycle the above wrapping materials.)

The above may seem exaggerated, but posting a package over a long distance can really put its sturdiness to the test, as well as your patience and wits – especially when sending internationally.