It’s hard to think of the 1990s and 2000s without Beanie Babies, the American line of plastic pellet-filled stuffed toys first introduced by Ty Warner at the 1993 World Toy Fair in New York City.
If you’re looking to sell your Beanie Babies, you’re probably struggling to figure out if it’s even worth it. To help you on your journey, this article will discuss the various things you can look out for and share tips on finding what your Beanie Babies are worth. And that’s just part of it because then you’ll need to know where you can sell your Beanie Babies in 2023.
The heart-shaped hang tags have made the Beanie Babies toy line kids’ favorite over the years. Their popularity continues to attract collectors worldwide. Rare Beanie Babies in mint condition with a certificate of authenticity could pay you a small fortune.
Is it Worth Trying to Sell Beanie Babies?
Only you can answer this question – to be successful at anything (including selling Beanie Babies), you must be willing to make the time investment necessary – being passionate will also help you go a long way.
There is a definite market for selling Beanie Babies, and eBay continues to be an active host for passionate buyers and sellers of these popular TY toys. Historically, there has been an ebb and flow to selling Beanie Babies – for instance, in 1999 when the company ended production momentarily with “The End” Bear.
But again, customer demand made the toy company reconsider, which prompted them to restart production. And that’s why selling Beanie Babies comes down to these three things:
- Sales Location
You may not want to limit your full-time job to selling Beanie Babies. Still, you should take the time to research them and list them smartly to attract potential collectors and buyers.
Suppose you find out that your Beanie Babies are rare by checking out the TY website, or have expressed confirmation from an appraiser. In that case, you open the door to possibly sitting on a gold mine.
Choosing when and where to sell is equally important. For example, you probably will not make much money if you sell to a buy-back service (that we’ll discuss later), flea market, or garage sale. On the other hand, if you do not mind waiting it out for the right buyer, listing your Beanie Babies through an auction house or collector-specific website is your best option.
How to value your Beanie Babies?
Amongst the collector’s market, the first generation of Beanie Babies produced in 1993 is amongst the most valuable. It was when Ty first introduced Brownie the Bear and Pinchers the Lobster to the public. The “Original Nine” included these two Beanie Babies, Chocolate the Moose, Spot the Dog, Patti the Platypus, Flash the Dolphin, Squealer the Pig, Splash the Whale, and Legs the Frog.
Amongst the most valuable Beanie Babies is an authenticated first-generation version of Brownie the Bear that could quickly sell for between $4000 and $20,000. But, how would you know?
There are many resources available if you want to find out how much your Beanie Babies are worth. A reputable antique dealer in your local area may be a good start; however, a certified antique appraiser like the award-winning Dr. Lori Verderame has both education and experience behind their name.
When you approach an antique appraiser, you should expect to pay a nominal fee for the specialty services. Appraisal services can usually range from essential identification of your Beanie to a detailed, unbiased, and certified written appraisal that can even be used for insurance purposes.
But before you go out and hire an appraiser, there are several things you can look out for before taking that next step.
PRO TIP: Pick up your copy of the Beanie Babies Price Guide for a comprehensive look at distinguishing features and marks of high-value Beanie Babies.
Look over your Beanie Bay and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the toy, hang tag, and tush tag in mint condition?
- Does the label have any mistakes like a printing error?
- Can you confirm any special provenance of the Beanie (i.e., belonging to someone famous or the like)?
Let’s break these topics down further, so you have a better idea of how to find out how much your Beanie Babies are worth.
As with any specialty item or antique, its overall condition, including any tags, packaging, and display cases, are critical. For Beanie Babies, there should be no dirt, stains, rips, or tears – so if your favorite cuddle buddy at bedtime with Jake the Mallard Duck, chances are you are not going to max out on its current value of near $1000.
That said, any of the Beanie Babies that were excessively used as toys would not meet the conditions necessary to sell them for anything more than their original purchase price (most typically sell for $5).
It is essential for the overall worth of your Beanie Babies to make sure that the polyvinyl chloride pellets used to stuff each toy animal or figure has not settled.
PRO TIP: To test whether or not the pellets have settled, you should prop the Beanie Babies in an upright position. Notice whether the head flops to one side or if the stomach area appears to have excess skin or rolls. If either of these conditions exists, then, unfortunately, the pellets have settled – a condition that will immediately lose a collector’s attention.
Throughout the existence of Beanie Babies, several different types of tags have adorned these popular stuffed toys. So first, check to see if any tags are dirty or stained. Next, ensure the tags are not ripped, torn, bent, or wrinkled. And finally, these tags should have no handwriting on them whatsoever to maintain their highest value.
Hang Tag: The hang tag, also commonly referred to as a swing tag, is the signature red heart-shaped tag that typically hangs from the animal’s ear.
Tush Tag: This fabric tag is easily recognizable as it is attached to the stuffed toy’s rear end.
To learn more about the various types of tags that have adorned your favorite Beanie Babies throughout the years, read all you can ever know about the 15 Generations of Hang Tags.
Any original packaging, especially those associated with McDonald’s Happy Meals, movies, or special sporting events, should be in perfect condition.
Mistakes, Misspellings, and More
If the tags meet all other condition requirements, look more closely at the tag and check for mistakes. Beanie Babies have been shipped out accidentally throughout the years with incorrect information, misspelled words, and more.
And wouldn’t you know that in most cases, spotting these tag errors could significantly raise the value of your stuffed toy?
We tend to add value to an item if it has an established history of sorts, for example belonging to an icon or someone famous over the years. This concept is known as the provenance of an item in antique and specialty item appraisal.
So if you have Lucky the Ladybug or Claude the Crab that once belonged to a pop celebrity like Lou Ferrigno (former Incredible Hulk) or Brittney Spears, then its worth can skyrocket even if it’s not the rarest Beanie Baby in the bunch.
Other specialty Beanie Babies like Millennium Bear, Roary the Lion, Peace Bear, and Valentina have provenance because of their association with popular events or historical monuments. In addition, consider anniversaries and special dates like Valentine’s Day.
PRO TIP: If you have Beanie Babies that commemorate something special, consider that as you decide on the best time to sell.
Princess the Bear is probably the best example of a toy with an established provenance in the Beanie Babies market. This figure commemorates Princess Diana – one of the most memorable historical figures of the 20th century, whose tragic death continues to touch hearts worldwide.
This special edition purple bear bearing a white rose upon its chest was made in two versions: one with PVC and one with PE pellets. Either of these can sell for upwards of $10,000 if it meets all other condition requirements. However, the 1997 version is much rarer and has been seen listed on eBay for as much as $500,000.
How to Sell Beanie Babies in 2023?
Buyers and sellers worldwide flock to online marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist searching for collector items – Beanie Babies included. But if you own a rare or limited edition beanie like Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant, Gobbles Turkey, Claude the Crab, or Patti the Platypus – visit an appraiser to find out how much it’s worth.
A lot had changed since the original production years of Beanie Babies – when the internet was still relatively new to the public, and the Facebook marketplace was still more than two decades from conception.
Since the first release of Beanie Babies in local Chicago stores, Ty Warner must have had collectors in mind when he designed the production schedules for these purposefully under-stuffed cuddly friends. As a result, these plush toys were never sold in large chain stores. Mr. Warner further created a sense of rarity by limiting the monthly supply of beanies to specialty and novelty stores. In addition, each Beanie Baby character had a limited production time, after which it would be retired.
Ty has expanded its toy line over the years to include larger-scale Beanie Buddies, the smaller and cuter Beanie Boos, and their all-new velvety-soft Beanie Bellies, to name a few, which can be found on their main website, HERE.
The fact is that you can try selling your Beanie Babies at auction, on Facebook groups, Etsy, and a variety of other online marketplaces. Where you choose to sell your Beanie Babies will likely depend on the evaluation you first performed and the outcome of your visit to the appraiser.
You could make a few bucks selling Beanie Babies at flea markets; however, limited edition or “tag-error” Beanies would be better exposed to collectors via online platforms dedicated to unusual and rare items.
Best Listing Sites
- eBay: This popular worldwide auction-style platform allows you to strategize and leverage the sale of your Beanie Babies.
- Etsy: Capitalize on the sale of your Beanie Babies here by tuning in on the nostalgia factor of prospective buyers – give someone the chance to relive their childhood.
- PlushCollector: This well-known buy-back company would be more than happy to purchase your Beanie Babies, though you won’t be getting top-dollar.
- Sell2BBNovelties: This is an excellent option if you do not feel like waiting on the perfect buyer. However, you will receive much less than if you sold directly to a collector.
Protect Your Beanie Babies Value
Whether you sell locally, on the internet, or at specific collector platforms such as an auction house, you should do your best to keep your Beanie Babies in excellent condition until the perfect buyer comes along.
So, do these things to protect your investment:
- Purchase TY Beanie Babies Heart Tag Protectors
- Keep the display case out of direct sunlight
- Keep Beanie Babies away from wet and humid areas
- Do not let kids or animals play with these collectible toys
Remember these tips especially if you are in possession of rare Beanie Babies and those expected to have a higher worth to passionate collectors worldwide.
There is an art to selling rare Beanies but do not get hung up on their worth or how to sell Beanie Babies until you first evaluate whether or not your toy (tags and packaging included) is in mint condition.
After your initial evaluation and consulting reputable price guides, take the time to visit with an appraiser. These licensed professionals can certify whether or not the Beanie Babies are worth selling and will even provide you with a certificate of authenticity that is incredibly enticing for collectors.
Finally, refer back to this article to choose from several listing sites that you can use to attract buyers worldwide.