(An excerpt from my book, Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, pages 18-19)


Join doll clubs, doll discussion groups, or other organizations. If none are available; or if those available do not meet your needs, organize a doll club or doll group of your own.


Keep track of your collection with a …


Log (written or computerized) to include the dolls’ names, dates of purchase, prices paid, and a brief description of each doll. Photographing your dolls is another way to document them. Store the photos in a photo book with the documentation inserted behind each doll’s photograph.


Money or a reasonable price to pay for a doll can be determined by its retail value and/or your established doll budget. It is important to shop around and compare prices. (Please see R.)


Network with others who share your passion to gain additional information and to share tips on collecting. (Please see J.)


Organize your collection by displaying dolls according to category, size, era or by creating vignettes or doll stories. An orderly collection is certainly more enjoyable than doll clutter.


Patience is an important factor in doll collecting. Exercise it, particularly if you are on the hunt for an antique, vintage, or otherwise truly hard-to-find doll. Patience may be required for soon-to-be released dolls as often their release dates are pushed back due to reasons beyond the manufacturer’s or artist’s control.


Query other collectors to glean doll information, particularly if you are a novice collector. In most cases, collectors are ready and willing to share information with “newbies” to help them avoid making costly mistakes.


Retail and current market value – knowing a doll’s retail value will eliminate paying too much for a doll that is currently on the market. Prices always fluctuate. Whenever possible, try not to pay retail. Usually prices are reduced on current dolls that have not sold by mid-year or year’s end. (See, P, above.) However, if a desired doll is produced in a limited quantity, e.g. 300 dolls or less, do preorder and/or pay retail, as many “hot” dolls become quick sellouts and their prices double or triple on the secondary market. For ascertaining the value of dolls that are no longer on the market, use up-to-date doll-reference books, such as this one.

A to Z Tips on Collecting, Part 2 of 3, an excerpt from Black Dolls A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, pages 18-19, Copyright © 2008 Debbie Behan Garrett