A recent visitor to the blog asked me what he could do with his daughters collection of dolls that nobody in the family is interested in keeping. This is a situation that many of us find ourselves in when we have to downsize our own collections but I imagine that it is even harder if you are not a doll person and have no idea where to begin. For example, when clearing out the estate of a parent or sibling, or a child who has left home and no longer wants her dolls?
Many people would just throw dolls in the trash and think no more about it , but for others it’s not that easy. What about if you don’t care about the dolls but you don’t want to disrespect the memory of their former owner? Or what about if you know the dolls are old or were expensive when they were bought? Are they worth anything?
I don’t know anything about the dolls that this particular reader asked me about except that they have been displayed under glass and are in good condition so I suggested that if he wants to sell them he should start with finding out what they are. Then there are the usual methods of online selling.
Alternatively I suggested donating them to a Thrift Store or to an aged care home as I’ve heard that some use dolls for therapy. Of course this would depend if the dolls were suitable for that purpose.
As the gentleman asked his questions on the About page I thought I’d reproduce it here where you can all read it. I hope that some of you may have some more specific ideas of organisations in the USA that might take the dolls. I think that he’d just like them to be treated with some respect.
Hey Taz, thanks for reading by story. Came to visit when it occurred to me you certainly know something I need to learn. Four 18 years we bought our daughter a doll at Christmas and on other occasions. They were displayed (still are) in a beautiful curved glass display case. I am not a doll person but I know they were really expensive and most are quite beautiful. My wife, daughter and granddaughter have no interest in them,. What does someone do with things like that? I cannot bring myself to throw them away and the only two people who took any interest just want their heads for some kind of Nuevo art. Can’t imagine. Their costumes are so elaborate. Thanks and thanks for reading.
This was my reply.
Hi Nat, that’s a sad situation. It would be a terrible waste to throw them away or dismantle them. However, as they sound as if they are in good condition doll collectors may be interested if you want to sell them. You will find a huge section on eBay devoted to dolls and most of the other online sales sites have them too. Here are a few things that may help you decide if you want to go ahead with that. Collectors want to know things like the age of the doll and the make. If these are vinyl or hard plastic dolls with their original outfits they might have markings under their clothes or maybe you still have the paper tags that they often come with. There is a helpful group on Facebook called Let’s ID our dolls, it’s not a buy and sell but is US based and has knowledgeable members who can help with ID’s if you are not sure.
One type of doll that doesn’t sell so well is modern porcelain dolls, At least they are not worth so much , but some people buy them for their elaborate outfits.
If the whole selling thing sounds like a lot of trouble you could donate them to a Thrift store instead or alternatively I’ve heard that some aged care homes give their residents dolls as therapy. If they are not breakable dolls that sounds like a nice option.
I can understand that it would be sad to see these dolls that are a reminder of your daughters childhood end up being unloved and unwanted so I hope that I’ve given you some ideas. If you check back on the comments of this thread some of our readers might have some more specific suggestions for you as I’m in Australia and don’t know the organisations as well. I know that at least one reader regularly donates dolls so I’ll ask her to comment and maybe get in touch with you. Good luck.
Laurel, you’re up. I know you do a lot of donating. Any of you in the USA who have any suggestions please comment also.
*Note the photos in this post are for illustration only and nothing to do with Nat’s daughter’s dolls.