I'm tired of Barbie having everything, it's MY turn to have great shoes and accessories!
March 23, 2012 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Where online can I find cheap (or free, that's always good!) 80s and 90s Barbie shoes and accessories, aside from eBay and Etsy? Copious amounts of linked examples inside. Someone please please help me out here! And any Barbie collectors who wanna chime in are definitely welcome!

eBay and Etsy are NOT showing me what I need to find, and I'm absolutely at a loss as to where else I could find this stuff in bulk/more than one piece at a time. I don't need the Barbie dolls, Barbie clothes, Barbie hair brushes, or any house/car/etc. But I DO need help! I am looking for SHOES, and lots of them...and I also want kitchen/food/serving/etc. accessories!
The facts: I am not a collector, I need these for a large craft project I'm attempting to get started. I want absolutely nothing from the early days of Barbie up to the 70s. I specifically need 80s and 90s things, which in theory should mean it's not expensive or rare stuff (if it is something rare, I will pass on it). I am not willing to sell my soul or car in order to obtain this stuff...flea markets are rare here, and antique malls typically don't have anything like this...so I want to try and stay online. And cheapish. Or even free [to a good home of course].
Again, not a collector so if there are any Barbie fanatics on AskMeFi that can advise me if my assumption of these things typically being overpriced on Etsy/eBay is wrong/right, PLEASE do.

The types shoes I want:
These shoes are not what I want...they're too trendy and newish and while I'd not turn them down for free, I don't want to spend any money on these kind if possible.
This would be heaven, the hot pink ones are the 'standard heel' I want a TON of, cheapie stuff from the 80s/90s would also work.
The accessory stuff I want:
Here and here and here and especially the food items shown here are what I need in terms of accessories.

I absolutely love anyone that was patient enough to look through and read all this.
TFL;DR: I considered posting a [really short and generic and not what I wrote above!] ad/request on Craigslist, but I've never used the site or it's services so I don't know if it's something that would be beneficial to try...yes or no? Can you give me suggestions for websites/webstores to dig around on? OR do any of you MeFites have this stuff and you'd be willing to part with it? If so, MeMail or email me! (Can't hurt to ask, right? =D)
posted by PeppahCat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
Did you look at any of the Barbie collector forums?
posted by Ideefixe at 9:16 AM on March 23, 2012

Barbie shoes are very popular with Blythe collectors; if you want to buy the chunky mary-jane type, they will cost you more.

You can get packs of generic doll shoes from the far east on eBay - have you tried dollar stores as well? What I would do is just look for lots of doll clothing or accessories (just type in 'doll clothes' rather than being specific) into eBay and see what turns up. Or try 'sindy clothes' or 'barbie clothes'.

For kitchen accessories, they might be more costly but Re-ment are a common Japanese brand that do small-scale bits, but as Blythe people collect these they might not be cheap enough for you.

My other suggestion is to seek out Barbie forums and see whether anyone has leftover bits they'd be happy to part with. From my days with doll collecting, there are always people buying and selling.
posted by mippy at 9:16 AM on March 23, 2012

Check out this search for doll shoes at alibaba.com, where you can buy directly from the far east. Might have what you're looking for, for cheap.
posted by Falwless at 11:28 AM on March 23, 2012

Response by poster: NEVER thought of Barbie forum(s). /facepalm. Heading there to lurk right now. And thanks for the alibaba.com suggestion, Falwless, have never even heard of that site!
posted by PeppahCat at 12:39 PM on March 23, 2012


Yes, really.
posted by misha at 10:55 PM on March 23, 2012

If something is selling on eBay/Etsy, it's generally not 'overpriced' -- that is the reasonable going rate. Which does not mean it's not cheaper at garage sales and thrift stores; there is a premium for the convenience of being able to click, click, PayPal, and get it in your mailbox instead of going out and hunting for it. You are paying for the seller's gas (time, etc) instead of your own.

A pity you are not near thrift stores as some of them sell bags and bags of Barbie whatnot quite cheaply. Rarely does one see just bags of accessories, though -- that's what gets lost, dropped down the heating vent, vacuumed up, etc.

There are wannabe-eBays: bonanza.com, ioffer.com, both a little more difficult to use/not get taken on than eBay/Etsy, but perhaps worth a peek.

Of course a wanted ad on CL is a great idea, and a freecycle request may net a wee pile. I would not count on getting too much for free/dirt cheap; people do collect this sort of thing, it is not without value, 1980s is old enough that the people who bought them in the stores now want them back again for their own kids, hence willingness to pay the going rate on eBay.

If you are not set on the items being Mattel, dollar stores can be a rich source of plastic fripperies like this -- as with thrifts, some won't have a thing, and some will have a whole rack. Often the designs are not particularly modern, too.

I nearly bought a $1 doll in a dollar store recently for her clothing; if you found the right accessories coming with cheap dolls, you might consider that there is almost certainly another crafter who wants a terrific quantity of fashion doll torsos and one who wants the heads etc etc; you could buy away, and recoup some costs by breaking up the excess into lots and selling it on Etsy.
posted by kmennie at 9:47 AM on March 24, 2012

Response by poster: @kmennie The listings aren't doing much selling, from what I can see and most seem to have been relisted a few times. The ones that are selling are the newer stuff as far as I can tell. I think all my own Barbie shoes from my childhood were eaten by the vacuum or stolen away by the cat, who had an affinity for taking lots of Barbie's personal items. So those being difficult to find in bulk together makes sense. =)
I didn't think of it in the way of buying cheap dolls for their accessories, then selling the dolls. Is quite a good thought considering I have several other Barbie/Barbie-type dolls who have gotten decapitated or have lost a limb (My Barbies were always daredevils.) and are of no major use to me anymore...could likely sell them on a large lot for a low price and have them off my hands.
I think I will post a CL ad today to see what I come up with, and maybe hit up the dollar store near the house to see what they have. Not totally opposed to cheaply-made shoes but I'm doing some rough crafting with them so I wanna have something semi-durable! Might even find a few carded cheapies at WalMart or the like.

Thanks gang!
posted by PeppahCat at 9:46 AM on March 25, 2012

I totally spaced on something here, sorry -- CHILDREN'S CONSIGNMENT STORES.

Some won't have any of this sort of thing, but we were just in one that had baggies of Barbie accessories, most not terribly new. Jackpot for us (we have S. Shortcakes who need plastic pizza, etc). $4 got one a zip-lock baggie of Barbie accessory whatnot.

Call around as kiddie consignment places are everywhere nowadays, and they vary quite a bit. Some only deal in posh stuff; some are happy to flip stained pajamas for a buck. Some have a big toy section, some not so much, and you will need to find the kind that does take bags of random Barbie-ana. The good thing is that many of the people running these shops are happy to take your name and number and call you when they get what you're looking for.
posted by kmennie at 2:27 PM on March 26, 2012

Response by poster: Oooh have not even THOUGHT of that, kmennie! Thanks! We've got several around here that I've never been in (no kids to shop for lol) but I'd have never thought of it, they always seem to have nothing but clothes in their ads so it wouldn't even think of it. There are a handful of children consignment shops around (and shockingly not many adult ones other than Goodwill, which has been a letdown of epic proportions on all counts...and we've got about a million Goodwill stores here!) so that's next on my list. Have gotten a couple decent deals off of boxed lots on eBay after finding a couple "auction has ended" auctions and emailing the seller to make a deal. People have been surprisingly happy to work with me there, much more so than I'd expected (figured they'd rather re-list and take the chance in hopes of getting a bit more off of the lot!).

Also, Craigslist has been pretty good for me...gotten about 5 offers with stuff, have taken up 4 of them. Not totally what I've needed/wanted but they're definitely things I can clean up and sell or trade with someone.
posted by PeppahCat at 7:04 PM on April 22, 2012

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