5 Top Tips to Sell Used Toys and Earn Big Bucks
For some people, parting with old toys is like pulling teeth. They just don’t want to let go. That’s why there is a thriving market for them, with collectors looking to bid on all kinds of second-hand toys.
Your inability to let go of your old toys may not be a bad thing after all. When I decided to sell off my Pez collection last year, I was shocked to learn that one Santa Pez dispenser that I sold was worth more than $100. Unfortunately, I found that out too late — only after I sold it for $10. Oops!
Don’t make the same mistake. Look through your childhood toys to see if they’re worth money.
Here are some tips to sell used toys for the best possible price:
1. Sort Through Your Toys First
Take some time to go through your toys to see which ones are in mint condition (i.e. still in boxes), excellent condition, good condition, and you-can-just-toss-them condition. There’s no point to holding onto one that’s in terrible condition unless it’s truly rare. But if you have old toys that are lovingly used, see if you can clean them.
Also, if you have toys that are part of a collection or series (like a bunch of Star Wars figurines from the same year), keep them together. Second-hand toys like these may be worth more. For example, a Webkinz stuffed animal collection sold for $1,500. That’s about $100 for each stuffed animal! Once you have all of your toys sorted, do a bit of digging to see what they may be worth.
2. Were They Sold as Collectibles?
Some toys, like Barbie dolls, may have limited editions or be sold as a “special collection.” This means that there was a limit to how many were manufactured and sold. If you have such a toy — especially one in mint condition — it may be worth a good chunk of change. For example, a Barbie Holiday Collection doll from 1994 is selling on eBay for $1,500. For an item that’s less than 15 years old, that’s pretty good.
Or how about a Lego Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon from 2007? One eBay seller listed it for a little more than $23,000. To put things in perspective, that’s perhaps half of someone’s annual salary right there. You can find out if an old toy of yours is a collectible item by checking the box. It should say “collector’s item,” “limited edition,” or something similar. If you no longer have the box, your toy may have an imprint or a label on it that can give you a clue.
3. How Old Are Your Toys?
In most cases, collectors want vintage toys, meaning that they’re at least 20 years old. Most second-hand toys that sell for fairly large sums of money are from the ’70s and ’80s. Of course, there are exceptions, like a 1998 Polly Pocket Bambi collection that’s selling for $375.
4. Check Collectible Forums and Websites
One of the best ways to found out how much your toys are worth? Take them to an appraiser. However, if you don’t know of a reputable one in your area, the next best thing is to go online and do research.
There are several online forums that cater to specific types of toys or to fans of shows that have collectible items. For example, the Star Wars franchise is arguably one of the biggest sources of collectibles for fans.
See if there’s a section on the sites where people talk about old toys and which ones they’re looking for. Check to see if there’s a great enough demand for the toy you have and, if possible, how much people are willing to pay for it.
Some forums may have specific online buy-and-sell services, which will allow you to see what people are selling. See if people are selling any of the same second-hand toys you happen to have and check out how much they’re selling it for. Willing buyers also frequent these sites, meaning that you can sell used toys online at a higher price or more quickly.
5. Don’t Forget Comic Books and Video Games!
There’s a reason so many websites talk about people selling comic books for thousands of dollars. Many editions are worth a ton of cash — usually first or rare prints, but you never know. If you have one in excellent condition and you’re pretty sure it’s a first edition, check to see how much it’s worth.
Also, with the recent demand of vintage video games, many collectors are keen to get the original versions of early hits like the Gameboy instead of purchasing a remake. If yours is in excellent condition and has a few accessories, you could be laughing all the way to the bank.
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