Do you still have toys from when you were a kid?
I have a few, including Barbie and Ken, which my daughter plays with all the time. They aren’t fairing too badly for an old couple that have seen a lot of action. Admittedly, Ken’s head has a tendency to fall off , however I blame my older brother for that. He used regularly decapitate them to torment me. But that’s another story, one probably best left for therapy.
My kids also play with toys that were my dad’s, which I used to play with too! They really made things to last in those days. I can’t imagine any of my kid’s current toys lasting the next 50 years.
Many people would be shocked that we even still have these toys, however we have a strong family history of sentimental hoarding.
We aren’t as bad (or smart?) as some folk though, who have toys that are decades old and still in mint condition. I say smart because toys like this are actually worth a pretty penny.
Take for example vintage Polly Pocket sets, which can fetch hundreds of dollars!
eBay is full of vintage Cabbage Patch Dolls, Strawberry Shortcake and original trolls dolls.
So if you still have a box of your old toys kicking about some place you might want to considering making some money from them. However, it’s not just as simple as whacking them on eBay and watching the dollars roll in.
We talked to Celia from Kitty’s Vintage & Kitsch to get some tips.
What to Sell and For How Much
There are an enormous range of toys and collectables that can sell well, such as Barbie, Polly Pockets and Cabbage Patch dolls, as mentioned above. Retro game consoles such as Gameboys, action figures, wind-up toys and even matchbox cars can get a good return.
Items that a in new or near new condition will get a better price, as will items in original packaging.
“Make sure everything is as clean as you can get,” says Celia. “This will maximise your return.”
When setting prices or reserves, do your research and scope our what similar items are selling for across the various market places (see below). Prices can vary dramatically so it’s good to get a solid benchmark. Remember they need to be comparable in quality/condition to be comparable in price.
If looking at antique centres, keep in mind these are retail prices and you cannot expect the same as you don’t have overheads to cover.
How and Where to Sell
There is such a wide range of options for selling things these days, such as eBay, gumtree or Facebook groups and marketplace.
Celia recommends sticking to what you know. “Select the platform you know best and are most familiar/comfortable with, as that will most likely work best for you.”
When selling online, it’s important to keep across your listings. “Be attentive to your customers. Answer questions quickly and be prepared to mail out or have ready for pick up the next day,” says Celia. Having PayPal also makes transactions easier and safer.
It is important to make sure your product stands out from the crowd. Have clear, cropped/edited photos and keep the background neutral so your item stands out. Also be upfront about any damage or missing pieces.
“Photos are 90% of your information so make them an enticing, but true, representation of your items,” Celia recommends.
If you don’t want to muck around with online listings you could also approach an antique dealer or centre to see if they will sell your items. Just have reasonable expectations around pricing if you sell this way.
“Selling through a dealer offers low effort and high clearance rate. Selling online yourself will earn more money, but is a lot more work,” points out Celia.
In my case, I think Ken and Barbie are safe for now. After years of being the objects of my obsession and now that of my daughter’s, I think they deserve retirement in a nice quiet box in the cupboard.