While dollhouses started out as children's toys, the selling of vintage dollhouses is big business. Older and rarer dollhouses, particularly those that exhibit exquisite skill or artistic flair in their design and construction, can fetch thousands of dollars from collectors. You may have a dollhouse stowed away in your attic that you haven't played with since childhood but which has now appreciated a great deal. With a bit of luck, and the right skills, you can make a significant amount of money off collectible dollhouses.
Find a dollhouse. Although many families threw their children's dollhouse away after the child had outgrown it, others kept it in the family, often saving it for another generation to play with. If you do not have a dollhouse in your family, try visiting garage sales and second-hand stores to find one. Often, unaware of their value, people will donate these antiques or sell them for a relative pittance.
Research the right price. For anyone except expert appraisers, correctly valuing a dollhouse can be tricky. The maker of a dollhouse may not clearly mark his creation, while some dollhouses were not mass produced, but are rather one-off creations. To get the best idea of a dollhouse's price, gather as much information as you can about it and visit your local library or bookstore to consult antiques price guides and catalogs. Look for what similar models are fetching on an online auction site such as eBay.
Shop your dollhouse around after you have a rough price in mind. Begin by taking it to antique stores or, if it is valuable enough, to an auction house. If interested, these establishments will likely quote you a price for the object or, in the case of an auction house, offer an estimate of what it could fetch in an auction. This will give you a clearer price of what the house is worth.
Put the dollhouse up for online auction. One of the advantages of placing your dollhouse online is that is allows collectors from all over the country to bid on it. Since the market for dollhouses is relatively small putting it on sale locally may prevent you from finding a buyer or getting a good price.
- "Antiquing For Dummies;" Deborah Shouse and Ron Zoglin; 1999
- eCommerce Guide: Buying and Selling Antiques Online
Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.