Tips for Collecting Part 1: Researching Dolls for Purchase

Note: All prices will be in USD. 

When it comes to buying Bratz, you may not always know where to start. The secondary market can seem pretty overwhelming, and it can be difficult to tell whether or not a doll is priced fairly if you’re not experienced. In an effort to help other collectors navigate the secondary market for Bratz, I’m going to be sharing some tips based on my own personal experience. 

The most important thing to do before hopping online to buying every doll you see that you want is research. Online marketplaces, like eBay and Amazon, often have dolls listed for way more than they’re worth. So how do you figure out if a doll is worth the price they’re listed for? Well, one of the best places to start is by looking at the sold listings on eBay, even if you’re planning on buying a doll from another retailer. The sold listings will give you an idea of the general price that a doll sells for. For example, say you’re looking to purchase Formal Funk Yasmin, but you see that she’s currently listed boxed for more than $100. However, if you look at the sold listings, you’ll see that she has sold for anywhere between $10-50, depending on if she is boxed or deboxed, and the condition. 

With dolls like Formal Funk Yasmin, a lot of sellers will see that the box states “limited edition”, so they’ll assume that the doll is rare and worth more than they actually are. However, Yasmin has an edition size of 280,000, which means that 280,000 dolls were produced. That’s a lot, which makes her quite a bit more common than “limited edition” implies. When it comes to any collectible, “limited edition” doesn’t automatically mean that the item is rare. It’s important to consider how many of the items were produced and how many are sold on the secondary market. 

What happens when you look at the sold listings but don’t see any for the doll you want to buy? That means the doll is rare, right? Not always. At that point it’s best to do some research outside of the secondary market. Do a Google search for the doll and see what kind of information and pictures you can find. A doll like Formal Funk Yasmin has tons of search results, so she’s really not as rare as some might say she is. Sometimes a doll may not show up for sale for a little while, then all of a sudden there are tons of listings all at once. Like any other collectible, Bratz often show up for sale in waves. I’m honestly not sure why this occurs, but waiting for more listings to appear for the doll you want can be beneficial so you don’t overspend. 

Yes, there are some truly rare dolls that are listed very infrequently. If you can’t find much information from eBay sold listings or Google, you can also ask more experienced collectors for more information. Even if a doll turns out to be very rare and in high demand, it’s still best to prevent yourself from overspending. It’s also important to keep in mind that some dolls aren’t as rare as they’re hyped up to be, they’re just in very high demand. The demand is what drives up the prices for these dolls, not the rarity. An example of these kinds of dolls is the Wicked Twiins Ciara and Diona set. There are always listings for them, but because they’re in high demand, their prices are usually $30-50 for one doll and $100+ for both dolls. The prices can vary based on how complete they are, the condition they’re in, or if they’re still boxed.