HOW DO I SELL A COMPLETED DOLLS’ HOUSE?
Thursday, October 4, 2012
EDITOR, CHRISTIANE BERRIDGE OFFERS ADVICE
If you are not able to pass on your dolls' house to a family member you will be faced with the challenge of selling it. But you need to be aware that a fully furnished dolls' house, even one lit, and with dolls, will never realise the amount of money spent on it. Unless all of the fixtures and fittings are of exceptional quality (top makers or exclusive pieces), and even then, it is rare.
Consider emptying your dolls' house
Just as when viewing and buying a real home, the majority of hobbyists prefer to buy an empty property and fill it with their own pieces. Any second-hand dolls' house is decorated to its owners taste, and the task of re-decorating it - particularly with a large property - is daunting. And large dolls' houses, although impressive, do take up a large amount of space, which not everyone has at their disposal. This again, can affect if, and how quickly they sell.
Selling the furniture
Consider selling the contents separately to the main dolls' house. This could be done as 'room sets' - could the pieces fit inside a shoebox for ease of posting? You may find that interested parties are more likely to part with £30 for example for their hobby than find several hundred (or thousands) pounds especially in the current economic climate. Try eBay to reach a national audience. Be aware of the cost of posting items to potential customer. You will find other sites that offer a 'for sale' facility. Have a set of quality photographs that can be sent out or emailed to potential buyers, particularly if your dolls' house is impressive. You also need accurate written descriptions of the main pieces; the dolls' house supplier, where the furniture comes from, who made the dolls. This will help potential buyers gauge the price that you are asking. Be aware that items from larger mail order companies such as Dolls House Emporium, Maple Street or Streets Ahead may not command as good a price as those from specialist / hand-crafted makers.
Vintage dolls' house furniture does have a market amongst dolls' house collectors so know your genuine antiques and find a specialist contact.
Car boot versus dolls' house shop
You may find that taking bags or boxes of miniatures to a boot sale, or indoor market will help raise some revenue. Perhaps combine it with other household items. But you are not targeting a specific market who understand the dolls' house hobby like miniaturists do and this will reflect in the prices that you get. But it should result in some sales.
If you have a local dolls' house shop, or 'for sale' notice board in a community location, consider making use it. A dolls' house shop may ask for a small commission should they sell the dolls' house on your behalf. Ask their advice about selling the dolls' house too.
Deciding on a price
When it comes to deciding upon a price you need to decide how much you need to make financially and how much you need the space that your dolls' house takes up, and find a balance between the two. Only you can ultimately decide a price at which you feel that you can sell your miniatures for.
Should I try a museum?
Be advised that your local museum will not be interested in any dolls' house unless it is a genuine antique piece (over 100 years old) with a relevant provenance or particular local significance, and even then museums often have limited space and finances. A letter to the curator enclosing pictures and written information would be the place to start. If you have an antique dolls' house to sell contact your local auction house, particularly if they have regular toy sales.
Photographs & advertisements
Have a good photograph of the exterior and interior of the dolls' house and other shots of individual / groups of furniture of note. Be prepare to email / post copies to interested parties.
You can also place on advertisment in any issue of The Dolls' House magazine. Telephone 01273 402899 to discuss the options. By placing an advertisement in The Dolls' House magazine you are at least reaching people who understand and appreciate the hobby.