Collectible dolls and doll houses are products that never go out of fashion, even in the modern age of the Internet. Their value can be measured both in dollars and sentimental worth. Investing in dolls and doll houses can be lucrative. Collecting and selling dolls and doll houses is a business that is not exclusive to gender, nationality, income level or age.
As in any business of collectibles, determining both what you like personally, and what might be popular or desirable to others, is a crucial factor in a successful business. Loving what you do and what you sell can help you survive what might be slow times in the business market. Certain dolls might not be valuable currently; but their expected value in another 10 years or more might be worth the wait.
Consider all types of dolls, including porcelain dolls, vinyl dolls, vintage dolls, cloth dolls, folk art dolls and specialty collectible dolls, such as collectible porcelain dolls or collectible ceramic dolls. Doll houses, too, can have value that is not always immediately recognized; but they could increase in price over time. Handcrafted wooden dollhouses that are custom built to suit an individual will need no time for its value to increase. It is in the beauty of such objects, or even the play value, that can determine how such an item might sell, or drive your business.
Determine whether you would be able to pull products from a local market and offer something exclusive to buyers. Do know your sources for these products, whether local or global? Ask yourself the following questions as you build your collection for your business:
1. Is the doll and doll house market already saturated in this locale--and would it be worth specializing in a particular manufacturer or brand of doll or doll house (such as personalized doll houses)?
2. How much space, and what kind of environmentally-friendly (to the products) building and storage will be necessary to maintain a reasonable amount of product?
3. What products, such as doll house furniture or doll clothing and other accessories, would be worth keeping in stock?
4. Would a web-based business only be more suitable to my style--or should I provide for both ends of the business? People looking for certain dolls and reasonable prices are likely to search the world to find what they want.
Know the worth of your collectible dolls for saleDetermine the value of your doll collection--for purposes of buying and selling. For instance, that 1950s fashion doll you have in mint condition might not be worth what you think it is. Use professional evaluation methods.
Be current on the latest preservation or repair methods for collectible vintage dollsTake precautions in preserving antique or vintage dolls, and in determining what resources might be helpful to your clients. The Internet provides dozens of resources--but if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, valuable hours can be consumed by web searches. Follow the guidelines of those who have done the work for you.
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works offers assistance and guidelines for preservation of antique collectibles such as dolls and doll houses.
Look for unique collectible doll manufacturers to find one-of-a-kind itemsShop online, at toy and doll shows, and in stores to examine the quality of merchandise you might want to stock and sell. Dealerships available for licensing to sell specialty dolls might offer an opportunity to provide your locale with items not offered by other businesses. The Internet is full of listings of doll and doll house manufacturers.
- Prepare to stay in the doll and doll house business long enough to see collectible dolls valued at the prices that will earn you money and keep your business viable.
- Find a business location that enjoys the traffic you think will be attractive to such a specialized business as collectible play dolls and doll houses.
- Prepare to put up a website that makes your inventory available, and offer shipping anywhere. The doll and doll house market enjoys a wide range of interested people who will search diligently for the item they want.