Monday, October 3, 2022

Love the Hunt

You may have noticed my recent post about my 50s doll haul.  One thing about me is that I love the hunt, so I'm frequently thrifting and checking sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for local doll lots and finds.

I've always enjoyed thrifting, but I've gotten more savvy at it in the last ten years or so.  Knowing what you're looking for when you go to the thrift store really helps.  Plus, it helps to know what thrift stores frequently have vintage dolls.  There's a thrift store right around the corner from me that often has vintage dolls in the case, for instance.  I guess the neighborhood must be full of older people selling their things... or kids moving their parents into assisted living and getting rid of their things.  Maybe some of it is adult children going through their parents' things after they've passed, too.

In addition, I've learned through collecting more modern dolls how often vintage doll lots are listed for sale locally by people who don't really care how much the dolls are worth.  One lot I picked up once was owned by the seller's great-aunt-in-law who had gone into assisted living, for example, and another time I picked up a woman's own childhood dolls.  The lot the other day belonged to a woman about my age (I'm 42) who was selling her childhood dolls.  Given how many of the dolls in that lot were from right about 1954, I'm wondering if they were her mom's once upon a time.

I'm sure there are often sad stories between why the dolls end up being sold or given away, but I like to think of myself as fixing them up for a new life as collectors' dolls.  I hope their former owners would appreciate me making them beautiful again and either loving them myself, or passing them on to another collector to love.

All the thrifting I do has taught me to love the hunt.  Once upon a time I only ever bought my dolls on eBay or in doll stores.  Sometimes they needed to be fixed up, but they were much more often in collector doll condition that way.  Plus you tend to pay more when you buy dolls that are properly identified and marketed to a national (or international!) audience.

Thrifting and doll hunting is much more of a crapshoot - I never know when I open Marketplace what I'll find, or whether they'll have any dolls when I walk into the thrift store - but it's so satisfying when you do find a doll.  Plus the prices are typically a fraction of what you'd pay on eBay or purchasing from another collector.

Do you thrift or check local sales sites such as Marketplace and Craigslist?  What treasures have you found?

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