From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, the Beanie Baby craze was sweeping the nation. Brightly colored pieces of fabric, molded into various animal shapes, and filled with pellets, flew off the store shelves in toy stores across the U.S.
Thanks in part to some clever supply and demand through forced scarcity, TY Beanie Baby creator Ty Warner netted an estimated $6 billion from these $5 toys. More than Mattel and Hasbro combined. With some Beanie Babies worth more than $50,000 to over $100,000.
While Beanie Babies may not be as popular as they once were, a Beanie Baby collection can still be ripe with nostalgic and sentimental value to many. If you’re looking for ways to make some extra cash and clear out some clutter, here are 7 helpful tips for selling your Beanie Baby collection.
1. Determine the Condition of Your Beanie Baby Collection
First thing’s first, if your Beanie Baby collection has been sitting in boxes in a damp basement for the past 20 years, it probably won’t have much value if it smells like mildew.
Plush toys absorb odors from the environment around them, so smells such as cigarette smoke are going to stick with them as well and potentially affect your Beanie Babies’ worth. It is important to keep them in a well-ventilated area or in plastic bags or display boxes to seal out odor and moisture if you are looking to sell Beanie Babies.
This may go without saying, but make sure your Beanie Baby collection is in good shape and free from stains or bad smells. Check for any signs of noticeable damage or deterioration before attempting to sell your items.
2. Look Up Approximate Value
At the height of its craze, the Beanie Baby phenomenon took off thanks to online marketplace sites such as eBay where sellers all over the country and even the world could list products to be bid on and sold.
The bidding platform allowed for multiple buyers to place bids and drive up the subsequent value of a single item awarded to the highest bidder at the auction’s end. This was a great tool for making money off of rare and collectible Beanie Babies.
Using eBay’s Sold Listings search feature, you can search for a similar item you wish to sell and see how much it has previously sold for by viewing previous auctions that have ended and their final price.
If your item is in good condition, you can determine its value through this method. This doesn’t guarantee your item will necessarily sell for this exact price, but it is a good basis of comparison for setting a potential price.
3. Do Your Research
What is it about your Beanie Babies that may be able to secure you a little more money on the seller’s front? Is it truly a limited edition? Does it have a manufacturer defect or misprint that may make it a little more valuable?
Look up the history of certain Beanie Baby products and what makes them special or unique, even today after the Beanie bubble burst. Find out if you have one of the original 9 released Beanie Babies from the product launch.
- Patti the platypus
- Spot the dog
- Squealer the pig
- Brownie/Cubbie the bear
- Chocolate the moose
- Pinchers the lobster
- Splash the killer whale
- Legs the frog
- Flash the dolphin
If you have any of these original collectible Beanie Babies from 1993 in good condition, they are especially rare due to the limited availability in smaller toy and novelty shops. They also had a run of only 50 Beanie Baby designs per year.
4. Selling Your Collection in Lots
While it’s unlikely that a singular bear or animal will be your golden ticket anymore to a fast and hefty payday, you may still be able to make some money by selling off some of your Beanie Baby collection if you sell in lots.
This means that you use a more desirable piece to sell off the less valuable ones by putting it into a group listing. If a collector is looking for a particular Beanie Baby, they will have to buy it within a listing for 3-6 other Beanie Babies.
This frees up more space and nets you more money for your listing because you’re selling multiple items together, with one central Beanie leading the pack.
5. Ensure the Hang-Tags are Intact
One of the main selling points of Beanie Babies was their signature heart-shaped ear tags or hang-tags. These often contained information such as the animal’s name, birth date, and included a short poem. If your Beanie Baby collection is without these tags or they are significantly damaged, this could drive down their base value.
Specially made plastic hang-tag covers were essential for preserving these identity tags. So hopefully you had the foresight to protect these little keepsakes.
6. Take Clear and Detailed Photos
If you’re selling online, you need to make sure you’re marketing your product to stand out from the other available listings. The best way to do this is by taking clear and detailed photographs of your Beanie Baby collection.
Make sure the lighting is bright enough to see detail and the background is uncluttered. Take pictures from every angle to show particular features and specs of your item. A plain white, black, or complementary colored background for the color of your Beanie Baby is best.
7. Make Certain to Provide Thorough Descriptions
The more informative your item descriptions are, the better your chances of showing up in search results. Make sure to provide all relevant information for the listing’s title, such as the name, birth date, year, of production, and item condition, as well as any search terms or hashtags that may get better results.
It also depends on how you want to market it. Are you looking to sell to other collectors or the next generation of Beanie enthusiasts? Does your Beanie have any unique history, characteristics, or traits that might make it more valuable?
Be sure to include these in the description.
Time to Spill the Beans
Whether you’ve been collecting Beanie Babies all your life or you’re new to the Bean scene, you’ll find Beanie Babies, educational toys, and so much more at MyBeanieBabies.com.
While you may not get ‘rich-quick’ from these toys, they have become a lasting fixture of pop culture and are anything but “has-beans” for many.
If you’re still looking to add to your own collection, we’re the best place to buy Beanie Babies. We have a large selection of Beanie Babies in stock and ready for you at affordable prices. They make great gifts too!