In assessing a Barbie Doll collection for monetary value, the first thing that the collector must do is understand that personal and sentimental value is not worth a dollar. A collector will not pay you for your attachment to a doll.
The collector will need to get a couple of different sources about the market value of their collection; “Warman’s Barbie Doll Field Guide: Values and Identification” is a great resource as is “The Barbie Doll Years: A Comprehensive Listing & Value Guide of Dolls & Accessories”. Other resources are also available to help you, such as this website.
Also it is essential that the collector knows the value of each doll by itself and also as part of a set or collection. Accessories and original clothes also have value, so assessing them is a good idea as well.
What follows are some general guidelines how to evaluate your collection for money value.
First, inspect the all the items with a clear eye. To decide the authentic value of your Barbie dolls, thoroughly examine the doll’s state. Pay attention to any damage, no matter how slight. Each scuff or flaw will reduce the value of the item. Make sure your Barbie doll is authentic. There are replica dolls out there that are essentially valueless.
Next, has your doll or the accessory been removed from the box? If so than the value will be lower than if the item has never been removed from its box (NRFB), or sometimes called Mint in Box (MiB). The MiB dolls with the original packing still intact are the most valuable.
Next, check for any restoration work on the doll or have there been any alterations. Dolls that have been altered in anyway are less valuable than dolls in original condition.
Is you doll is some way special or unique? There are some dolls that only very few were manufactured. Of course, these special editions or limited edition dolls will be worth more, based on their rarity. For example Collector Edition Barbie Dolls are made in quantities of 35,000 units; whereas Limited Edition Barbie Dolls are made in lots of less than 35,000 units.
Using the books mentioned above and other resources to check the market value of the dolls. Look for the exact Barbie doll to check. If your doll is really rare and unique there may be less information available about it. You may want to have it appraised. Also use multiple sources to check the value, which will provide an average cost of the doll.