Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve My Doll Restoration From My Ebay Bitty Baby Purchase

So a few weeks back my friend Dacia of Mini Me Dolly Divas let me know about an Ebay listing for a Bitty baby here in Canada.I was THRILLED!!! No one had bid and the auction was about to end. I put a base bid in and in the end got the bitty for under $10 and shipped for under $22 when it was all said and done. I was really excited, the photos were not great on ebay very blurry,  but the seller had good ratings so I took a chance.
It said in play with condition, when she arrived it was clear it was way worse then that.

What I got was a bitty baby that had been bought at a value village or a thrift store for the purpose of making money on Ebay Resale, it was filthy, scratched and looked like mold on the fabric body. No attempt to even wipe down this doll before selling and sending really rubbed me the wrong way. I simply can not imagine doing this to someone.  This left me with several choices... I could rate poorly the seller for misrepresenting the product and send the doll back at my expense, cause a great deal of damage to the reputation of the seller and expose them here on my blog,which I think is just poor karma, so I will not reveal who I bought it from, even though I did think and consider it. But I decided I could do my best to restore and love this doll to a "played with condition".  When I purchased the doll I was looking for a doll my niece would like to play with that was slightly different then the bitty baby I rescued from the church sale a few years back. I had no intention of selling or giving it as a gift so I decided to try to restore this doll to played with condition as I had expected her to arrive and add her to our dolly family.

Here are the photos of the process and how in restoring this doll to "Played With Condition" made me truly appreciate and learn to love this doll.  The dirt that came off this doll is not from doll play and love but rather neglect and ignorance.
I to clean the doll I used:
-A towel
-A dish scrubby
- Baking Soda
-Shout spot remover
-Clearasil Pads
-Pimple Cream

I started on the head and tried not to get any water or baking soda in the dolls eyes. I wet the dish scrubby and dipped it in the baking soda. I used circular motions, removing the grime, dirt and some of the "stains" as I went.
 The head alone was enough to gag the roto-rooter man! I was impressed at just how much came off this dolls head. Some of what I thought was paint or scrapes was actually easy to remove so I have no idea what was on this dolls head!
The dirt and grime washed away well and fairly quickly, but the mold spot on the dolls body really was a challenge.
What really bothered me and I think any normal person would be bothered by was the dolls cloth body.  The idea that it could be mold really weird-ed me out. I used Shout on the dolls body and the stain did fade after I scrubbed and re sprayed it three times. But I could not get it to disappear completely. So I undid the neck ties and removed the dolls head. I was worried that the stuffing might be moldy too, so I pulled it all out. I was thrilled to see there was no visual mold stains on the stuffing but decided to replace it to be safe. I rinsed the dolls body under the tap water to try to remove any shout residue and baking soda. Then I let her dry.

The price on the leg proved to be much more difficult to remove. So I left the cream on the dolls leg over night. Well the stain stayed on the leg and I hear that it will take more then a month to remove it using the cream every day.

Well the next day the body was dry and the stain mostly gone as you can see in the photos above. I re-stuffed baby and put her head back on. She is twice as stuffed as my other Bitty Baby! I found a 5lb baby sleeper at Sears for $5.99, it is Purple and Velour and fits just right!
Thea was thrilled to see our New Baby, all cleaned and freshly dressed. All in all I got what I had hoped another Bitty Baby for her to love.  Thank you for reading the journey of our Dolly Restoration. Even though she is not in perfect condition we love her anyway!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com


  1. What a transformation! You did a great job with it.

  2. She's so cute! What are you going to name her?

  3. Your post really moved me. This doll was in great need of love and this is just what you gave her... She looks so happy now! Welcome home, Bitty Baby!

  4. I was "burned" by an Ebay seller with a Kit doll, but it was simply ignorance of the brand on his part. Like you, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and returned the doll without hurting his Ebay reputation. (The same day I returned that one, I got a fantastic deal on a much nicer doll from another seller.)

    Apparently "played with" condition doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. Some people's children must be *very* rough with their toys for this to be considered "played with" condition! :)

    I'm so glad you were able to rescue the doll, though. You did a great job!

  5. Thanks everyone! Thea did name the doll but I am not sure what she called her exactly I am very sure she made it up! I will let you know the next time she comes to tea.

  6. I think it's wonderful that you were able to restore this doll, and I enjoyed reading about and seeing pictures of the process. However, while I would not care to trash a seller's reputation, I think it is a disservice to other eBay buyers to not comment when a seller's description does not match the item. A factual description of what this seller considers "played with" condition (filthy, scratched, mold-like body stain, inked price on leg) would be helpful to other buyers and perhaps educate the seller so that he or she could write better descriptions in the future. I would also note in my feedback that I chose to keep and restore the doll. Like you, I would not reveal the seller's name on my blog.

    I hope you don't think I am criticizing your decision. I just wanted to bring up another possible good choice. And I also want to thank you for your blog which I read every day.

  7. I agree with the previous commenter. When leaving feedback for the seller I would note the condition the doll was sent in and state that you chose to keep and restore the doll. It will help other buyers to know what this seller considers played with condition.

  8. We bought Samantha on ebay last year and while her condition was as described and we were happy with her, the shipper chose to send her in a padded envelope instead of a box. I was not happy with that choice since she could have gotten very damaged that way and my daughter paid $19 for shipping and said so in their feedback. I gave a high rating and said the doll was as described, just that I wished it had been boxed instead of in an envelope. That was my honest opinion of the transaction. He replied with why he made his choice, that to box her would have been sent sitting instead of upright. I understood that (kind of) but still would have preferred a box. This was not a person with a ton of other AG listings so it wasn't his normal thing and maybe next time he will choose a box. I don't see anything wrong with being honest. It's good to see how well she came out after all your hard work. I still think you got a good deal. Nice going!

  9. She looks exactly like my sisters pleasent company bitty baby! Does she say Mattel or pleasent company on the back of her neck? The bitty baby she has has paint or scratches or something all over her head and I was trying to figure out how to get it off. I'll have to try what you did. This doll has been passed down from sister to sister to neighbor to my sister, so she's not looking so good. I think her tag says 2000 or 1999 so she's pretty old and I seriously need. To do a mini doll hospital at my house. :)

  10. Pleasant Company both the bittys I have!