WHAT'S YOUR BARBIE WORTH? It seems people are always asking this (other than the obvious sentimental and gosh-is-she-gorgeous value!). It's a good question. The best way is probably to look at various web sites where Barbie dolls are for sale, and see what they are listed for. If you want the unvarnished truth as to the value of a particular doll, look at eBay.
For example, you want to know what you could expect for your Blonde American Girl Barbie. Go to the eBay category Dolls, Barbie, Vintage Pre-1967, and type that in the space for the item you want, then click on "Completed Listings". You should get whatever has sold recently, and the price. You can also look at current listings and see what the asking prices for BIN or the current bids are. Follow ("watch") the item until the auction ends to see what the final sale price was.
Having said all that, I will provide here a VERY rough guide to current values on Vintage Barbies. These amounts are totally subject to change as the market for such items goes up and down. (As they say, it's worth what somebody will pay!) These are purely estimates judging from the 2010-2011 Vintage Barbie market. Sometimes certain dolls get more in demand for whatever reason, and may command higher prices--then it seems everyone is selling one, and they go for less.
Anything MINT or close to it will bring a much higher price than something played-with. Serious flaws will lower the value way, way down. These flaws include severe green ear, any breakage like nose nips, neck splits, missing fingers, noticeable hair damage or really bad face paint rubs. (Some dolls even with face paint rubs can be restored and will be more valuable than the ones with broken parts.)
Value Ranges (USD) ~ Approximate and Subject to Change with Market Conditions
*CAVEAT #1: These values reflect dolls in excellent condition or better. The value can go down a lot the more wear and tear the doll shows.
*CAVEAT #2: These price ranges are from my observations from different sources. The lowest prices other than lucky finds at estate sales, etc, are most likely to be found on eBay--but since you cannot see the doll in person, or obtain any guarantee of authenticity and condition, etc, you take the risk of ending up with something you did not want.
***Well-known dealers may charge substantially more than these price ranges! A reputable dealer is a more secure seller and may fairly set their price at a level they feel is correct for the service and guarantee they provide. This guide is not meant to be used as a "standardized" value guide or a comparison guide from which to negotiate with any dealer. I respect a dealer's right to set a value on his/her inventory, and I repeat, this page is NOT a comparison-shopping page, but a rough guideline for those curious about what their own dolls might bring at auction.***
What about restoration? A/O dolls are generally worth more than restored dolls for the same doll. Collectors are different on this--some insist on all-original, and others are OK with restorations. A professionally restored doll can be worth more than one with face paint missing or hair issues--this depends on the doll and how bad the original flaws were. As a rule the rarer the doll in the first place, the more likely a collector will pay a good price even if she is restored. For example, if you have a rare doll like a Brownette Bubblecut with no lips or eyebrows, but otherwise undamaged, having a pro do a good restoration will raise her value a lot, as there are almost NO Brownettes found in A/O condition. You would not get the same return on restoration of a Blonde Bubblecut. (On the other hand a BAD attempt at restoration will lower the value or ruin the doll, so use caution and go with an expert!)
#1 and #2: (Brunettes rarer than Blondes about 3:1, so may command more.)
MIB $6000 - $10,000
OOB $3000 - $5000
#3: (I have noticed even though blue eyeliner is rarer than brown on #3's, the prices realized seem to reflect the condition of the doll much more than the eyeliner color.)
MIB: $800 - $1500
OOB: $300 - $800
MIB: $350 - $800
OOB: $150 - $350
#5 (A lot of variation in value range due to condition. Some will say the value is lower on the oily face dolls, and others do not mind this as long as the doll is otherwise in excellent condition.)
MIB: $250 - $600
OOB: $100 - $200
Titian worth slightly more due to rarity.
#6: (Photo c/o colormagickid)
MIB: $250 - $600
OOB: $100 - $200
Swirl (straight-leg): Values here can be higher when the hair is in the original ponytail including the ribbon and bobby pin. There's a lot of variation in things like lip fading, face darkening. ~ (Photo c/o Marina)
MIB: $275 - $600
OOB: $100 - $250
Platinums with pink or white lips command higher prices, as do the very unusual European Pale Blondes like the one in this pic.
Rare Bend-Leg Swirls may command much higher prices due to rarity.
As a rule, the ubiquitous Bubblecuts are not as highly valued as Ponytails, but then rules are made to be broken! It all depends on the desirability of a particular doll.
Below are examples of a range of Bubblecuts and values.
MIB: $200 - $400
(Brownette and un-oxidized White Ginger may command higher price)
The MIB Raven Brunette on left would get higher price due to the rarity of the pink-and-gold wrist tag, and the condition of the original box with older liner--although the two dolls shown are in equally mint condition.
MIB White Ginger:
$275 - $600
The White Ginger's value depends a lot on not only her overall condition, but how oxidized (or preferably UN-oxidized) her hair is. The lighter it is, the more collectors love it! There are a lot of WG's out there that have more brassy or honey blonde hair due to changes over time.
It's also sometimes confusing as to which is a Platinum and which is a WG. I have discussed this in the blog The Mystery of the White Ginger.
Platinums (1962-64) are more common, and thus usually not as valuable as WG's, but again it depends on the hair shade (less oxidized is better) and condition.
OOB: $40 - $150
The very rare Brownette (center in this pic) would sell for more, possibly in the $300 range OOB.
Side Part Bubblecut: These European Lovelies usually get higher prices than the usual Bubble. (Photo c/o Marina)
MIB: $250 - $500
OOB: $150 - $300
The very rare bend-leg version will be more valuable.
There are also very rare Japanese pink-skinned Bubblecuts that will command higher prices.
Fashion Queen: (Photo c/o sandy Mann)
MIB: $200 - $350
OOB: $50 - $125
The rarer high-color FQ's may realize higher prices.
Miss Barbie (Sleep-Eye): These are not so sought after by collectors, although they are not common in good condition.
MIB: $250 - $500, OOB: $100 -$150
American Girl (Bend-Leg):
1965 (Shorter Hair)
MIB: $500 - $1200
OOB: $125 - $350
1966 (Long Hair, Usually High-Color)
MIB: $750 - $1500
OOB: $300 - $600
Side Part American Girl:
These may be either Japanese Pink-Skin, Japanese Tan-Tone, or "American" Tan-Tone. There is also a European AG who is not a side-part, but has the pink skin and straight legs. She is worth approximately similar amounts. (I have noted that some collectors value the Japanese Pink-toned dolls more, and others prize the Tan-toned ones more. The Midnight hair color commands a little bit more.)
MIB: $3000 - $5000
OOB: $1500 - $3000
The Golden Hair color that changed to Orange is more common than the Midnight that changed to Ruby Red (seen here, c/o colormagickid).
$500 - $2500
$200 - $500
The Midnight will get the highest price, and the blonde the lowest. They are all valuable in excellent condition!
The rare Platinum, when she can be proven authentic, could fetch even more.