I recently discovered the wonderful world of eBay and it has added a totally new dimension to my miniatures collecting. Since I started my Sylvanian Families collection, I have learned a lot about market prices and commercial values of miniatures.
I won this lot of dollhouse furniture in an eBay Philippines auction and paid a relatively small amount for it. I fell in love with the details of the furniture; they reminded me so much of SF furnitures. I inquired on the scale and while they were a little bigger than currently released SF furniture, for the price tag of a little more than US$20 for the lot, they were serviceable for the larger SF characters.
I did a little more research after purchase and was pleasantly surprised that these were Tomy Products. The design of the furniture still calls to mind current SF designs, perhaps in part because Tomy also had a license to produce SF items in the late eighties till 1993. Aside from being Tomy products, the furniture was around 30 years old, having been released as part of Tomy’s Smaller Homes and Garden Series in 1979 and 1980. Further research showed that individual pieces go for as little as US$5 and as high as US$10, the furniture set can fetch as much as US$120 on eBay, and the dollhouse and furniture for as much as US$300.
The furniture I got were not complete but were in perfect condition. There were no scratches or color changes in the vintage pieces. Moreover, the kitchen set came with a complete set of plates, saucers, and cups, not to mention, a pitcher and sugar and cream bowls. The wardrobe also revealed a few surprises- vintage clothing, some in hangers and others folded in drawers. I had a great time setting them up and pretending the Evergreens were shopping at their favorite furniture store.
The living room set comes with a five-piece sectional sofa with cushions, coffee table, side table, lamp, plant, record player and speakers, record player stand, and a Bentwood rocker.
The kitchen comes with an oven and sink & combo, a stove and hood piece, cups and saucers drawers, table and four chairs, and a variety of kitchen accessories.
The bedroom set consists of a standing mirror, a vanity and stool set, wardrobe and a four-poster bed with linens.
The study comes with a bookshelf, a potted plant, and a study table and chair set. At the back, you can see the bathtub, a toilet, and a bath counter with sink.
It pays to have a working knowledge of the market; that way, you don’t pay over the set market value. Of course, certain items may carry premiums, but it would be wise to do some research before bidding on anything. The key to buying online is to realize that while good bargains abound in the Net, you need more than just money to make the experience worth your while.