Buying a previously owned dolls house is a very popular way to get started in the dolls house hobby. An unfinished dolls house or one needing renovation can offer advantages compared to buying new as often much of the building and decorating work has been completed and extra items such as furniture and accessories may be included and this can mean be big savings compared to buying new. For some, restoring a vintage dolls house may be the preferred option, or you may just spot a dolls house which has unique charm and character that makes it hard to resist.
Where to Buy
Second-hand dolls houses can usually be found for sale on online auction sites, specialist websites and local classified ads. Charity shops are also a good place to buy due to their local convenience and the ability to properly inspect before buying. There are some real bargains to be found. Higher valued collectors dolls houses are more likely to be found at regional auction houses or antiques and collectables dealers.
What to Look For
Dolls houses come in different sizes, periods, styles and types so it is important to carefully consider all the options before making a purchase. When buying second-hand there are additional considerations, in particular, the condition of the dolls house and it’s decor, fixtures and fittings. If you are new to the dolls house hobby it will be more difficult to appraise a dolls house so it would be a good idea to seek advice or do additional research before buying.
Dolls House Scale
The majority of new dolls houses currently sold are 1:12 scale, but this has not always been the case. During the 1970s, Triang and Lundby produced popular ranges of dolls houses in 1:16 & 1:18 scale and these are frequently found for sale second hand. There are other scales too, and some individually built dolls houses may not be made to any standard or common scale. As most dolls house items currently sold are 1:12 scale it may be difficult to find furniture and fittings suitable to fit less common scales.
How Much is a Dolls House Worth
The value of dolls houses can vary greatly. Whilst a fine quality fully furnished collectors dolls house could be worth thousands of pounds, a tatty doer upper may be worth very little. A good place to start is to look at the price of comparable second-hand dolls houses where possible. You could also check the cost of an equivalent new dolls house and adding on any other items which are included such as dolls house lighting, decorating materials, dolls house furniture and accessories. These items can quickly add up in value so are worth taking into account. As second-hand dolls houses are often unique an accurate valuation can be hard to determine.
The Next Steps…
Purchasing a dolls house is just the first step in a new project. Depending on your chosen house you may need to start with repairs and decorating or maybe you can jump straight to adding furniture and accessories to add your own personal touch. At Bromley Craft Products we specialise in the dolls house hobby so can supply everything you need and we are always happy to offer help and advice upon request.