Beanie Babies with Tag Errors Are Not Worth What You Think

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Rare Beanie Babies

error tag beanie babie

You may have seen eBay sellers trying to sell rare or retired Beanie Babies. You may have seen them selling the plush toys for a gargantuan amount of money. I’ll bet your heart skipped a beat or two. Your thoughts went right to the collection you have gathering dust.

You felt an adrenaline rush when you realized you might have the same Beanie Babies. The thought of selling Beanie Babies on eBay for thousands is appealing to anyone. Who wouldn’t want to make a killing by selling an old Beanie Baby or two, right?

Spoiler alert: This article is about to disappoint you. The reality of it is that those adorable, collectible Beanie Babies are not worth a fortune. It is a rare Beanie Baby indeed that might bring in some big profits.

The tag errors do not make every Beanie Baby worth a fortune. Nor do the oddities. Now a bit of an exception to this rule is a “One Winged Hoot” I found on WorthPoint that sold for $250,000.00!

hoot beanie baby

Bad Beanie Baby Information

There’s a lot of misinformation spread in articles all over the Internet. It’s unfortunate. Some misinformed and fraudulent people are attempting to sell Beanie Babies. When they do, they are trying to sell the plush toys for gross amounts of money.

To understand Beanie Baby value, it’s important to explore a bit of Beanie Baby history. It’s also important to examine how to find the value of Beanie Babies today. Bear in mind, there’s a big difference between Beanie Baby value and what people think these toys are worth. Therein is the heart of the problem.

The Beginning of Beanie Babies Production

the launch of beanie babies

In the early 1990s, Ty Warner creates the first Beanie Baby line in Chicago. The initial line is not as popular as later designs. Below are the nine original beanie babies Ty Warner produced. Now, the toys are not quite a fad.

1) Brownie the Bear: Brownie was born in June 1993 and retired in the same year. This bear only saw one generation. There are counterfeits of this bear on the market.

2) Chocolate the Moose: Chocolate was born in January 1994. There were at least five years of production for this toy.

3) Flash the Dolphin:This cute toy was born in January 1994. It had four generations before retirement. It does have a known oddity where it has no fin.

4) Legs the Frog: Legs is born in April 1993, and gets retired three years later in 1997. Four generations of the frog plush toy exist.

5) Patti the Platypus: Patti comes in an array of colors. It was a production having fuchsia, magenta, and maroon colors. There are different birth years for the various colors.

6) Pinchers the Lobster: Pinchers has seen at least five generations. The toy was born in January 1994 and was later retired in May 1998. This toy hasmany oddities including several incorrect names. The names Misty, Speedy, and Waves appear on the tush tag.

7) Splash the Whale:This toy saw four generations. It was born in January 1994 and retired in May 1997. Several oddities appear in this toys production. The toy has a tush tag on the with things likes Splash, Happy, Doby, and Chocolate. One version even shows up without eyelashes.

8) Spot the Dog: The plush toy was born in January 1994 and retired just a couple months later in April 1994. The toy saw all of two generations.

9) Squealer the Pig: This plush toy was born in April 1993 and retired in May 1998. It was available for at least five generations. This toy was also produced with many tags producing incorrect names.

The toys were available for $5 each. Initial sales were poor. A group of collectors in Chicago began trading the toys. The trading group established rules for trading. Certain trades were acceptable and fair among beanie owners.

The practice caught on and the Beanie Baby collecting and trading fad spread. Soon it was a nationwide phenomenon. Soon adults were trading the toys for thousands. The media began highlighting the toys as well as the trading craze.

The Rising Popularity of Beanies

The massive success of toy collectors like Peggy Gallagher lends fuel to the fire. The success she had in profiting from buying and selling beanies is remarkable.

She bought $2,000 worth of collectible beanies she in Germany. Back in the US, the toys ended up with a value of $300,000.00. Her success led others to believe the Beanie Babies were a long-term investment.

Gallagher’s success was right around the same time eBay was emerging as a major selling platform. During this time, ten percent of all profits on eBay came from the sale of the TY plush animals.

Ty Warner helped in popularizing the sale of his creations. He was meticulous in making the toys. If he grew bored with a design, he would end its production.

The toys he retires became instant sellers among collectors. Why? Because, the collectors see retired designs as worth than the newest productions. Hence, Beanie Babies are available for several generations before they see permanent retirement.

Also contributing to the idea Beanie Babies are worth bookoo bucks is the first tag error ever made. When Valentino the Bear was in production, some of the hang tags featured a typo.

The word “original” appears as “origiinal.” This simple error made collectors believe the toy was a rare and a true original. Although mistaken, collectors felt the errors increased the bear’s value even more.

Strange but True Beanie Baby Facts

Here’s a tidbit that will give you a true sense of the Beanie Bear craze at its height. As a bizarre moment in history, there was a time that Beanies were so in vogue a lawsuit was inevitable. A couple parting ways went to court.

Why? To decide how to divide up a Beanie Baby collection with a total value of $5,000.00. The couple couldn’t agree on who would get custody of what Beanies. A judge had to decide.

Warner saw major success with his Beanie Babies. He sold the toys to the tune of billions. Fortune published an article explaining Warner’s success. His plush toy company is the first to ever turn into a billion-dollar business. Years later Warner got in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service for tax evasion.

The Anatomy of a Valuable Beanie Babie

You cannot plan on retiring on the money from a Beanie Baby sale. Yes, some Beanies have value, but many have little to no value at all. eBay sellers try selling Beanies’ at high prices are basing pricing on misinformation. Either they don’t know the truth about the value or they are being fraudulent.

These items attract a lot of attention. Some sellers use the attention to draw traffic to other things they want to sell. Other unscrupulous sellers will try to pull the wool over your eyes. Then you must consider the counterfeits out there that are adding to the confusion.

do a google image search

So, how do you know if your Beanie Baby has any value. First, you need to understand the anatomy of a Beanie. Certain features make one Beanie more valuable than another. You need to do some homework.

You’ll need to do research to discover the right valuation for your Beanie. Here are some features that your beanie must have to retain value:

1. Swing Tag: All beanies have swing or hang tags. The tag is often connected to or near the top of the head of the Beanie Baby. A good collector invests in plastic cases to keep the swing tag in perfect condition. Why is the tag so important? The toy loses 50 percent of its value without the tag attached.

The swing tag should have no creases, tears, or marks. The print must be clear and easy to read. Different beanies stem from different generations. The Swing Tag looks different from one generation to another. These tags have 20 generations in the US and 19 in the UK.

2. Tush Tag: This is the small tag that appears sewn into the fabric on the bottom of the toy. The Tush Tag is important because it will reveal how to care for the toy. It also reveals the type of material the manufacturer uses to make the toys. The material inside the bear makes a difference in value.

3. PE Pellets vs. PVC Pellets. The first toys have PVC pellets inside. It was in 1998 the toys were being produced with PE pellets because they were ecofriendly. Hence, a tush tag revealing a toy made with PVC pellets indicates earlier generation toys. PE refers to polyethylene. PVC refers to polyvinylchloride. PE pellets are non-toxic. PVC is a known carcinogen.

Bear in mind it doesn’t increase the value of the toy by thousands or even hundreds. But, it does express more rarity. It is something taken into consideration when valuing the beanies.

This factor influences the price of the Princess beanie. But, the bear is not worth at all what consumers believe. We will explore the Princess Beanie’s valuation later.

3. Red Stamp: On the inside of the tush tags on some beanie babies is a red stamp. You might need a magnifying glass to read it. The number that appears there is revealing. It suggests the factory where the toy was mass produced.

The quality control stamp mark helps some collectors assess the toy’s rarity. Some bears have no red stamp. Such is the case when any toys manufactured in Indonesia.

Things that Do Not Influence Beanie Babie Value

Some beanies have oddities. One such oddity is where you might find the wrong name on a Beanie Baby’s tush tag. In the 1990’s when the toys were popular this tush tag error made the toy worth two to three dollars more.

Today, even with this oddity, it does nothing to increase value. But, you will see eBay sellers pricing the toy at high amounts because of the oddity they identify. There are even counterfeit versions of tush tags with incorrect names. Crazy right?

Believe it or not, tag errors do nothing to increase the value of a Beanie Baby. You will see many sellers telling you they have an ultra-rare bear with errors. The collectibles you see are commons. This means they were very popular and of little value, to begin with when sold. This also means the errors have no influence on the toy’s valuation.

Commons are mass-production in large quantities. If you paid $5.00 for a beanie and you have tag errors, you have a $5.00 beanie with a unique tag. It won’t sell for thousands.

You’ll see plush toys like the Millennium bear and Valentino selling at high prices. You will also see Kicks, Peace, and Curly sold with tag errors for super high prices. These price increases began in 2014.

Why All the Confusion in Beanie Babie Valuation?

beanie babies confusion

There’s no coincidence between the rise in beanie prices and the end value guide productions. With no authoritative references in print, Beanie Babie owners started pricing the toys. The prices are whatever they decide the toy is worth.

The basic rule is this: If it was not worth anything between 1996 and 2014, it’s not worth anything now. Sellers have the right to ask whatever they want for what they are selling. Just because it’s happening all the time on eBay, it doesn’t mean it’s ethical.

The Princess Diana Bear Myth

beanie babie influence

Some beanie baby owners argue that they’ve seen articles revealing they have a rare beanie. They believe it should sell for thousands. This is most common argument with the purple Princess bear.

This misinformation stems from a story appearing in the Daily Mail. A couple bought the bear for $15.00. They later claimed it had a value of $100,000.00. The truth is a far cry from that value.

Ty released the bear in October of 1997. One month later, a strict limit goes on how many stores can order. The limit on ordering suggested to collectors the beanie was a limited edition.

This increased the demand and value of the beanie. The price rose over $200.00. Later, tush tag variations came out and this also influenced the pricing of the bear.

Questions about the bear’s manufacturing leave room for unethical sellers. They can and do to take advantage. It is hard to believe people are paying top dollar for a beanie worth between $45 dollars. If you are lucky enough to have a first edition, it’s worth about $54.

So, What’s the Bottom Line?

ebay research

The bottom line is that if you own a beanie baby you want to sell, you’ll have to do research. Sites like Worthpoint will help you explore the types of beanies sold. For example. on eBay, the current pricing for a Peace bear with tag errors is just over $26.00. That selling price is out of 545 active listings equaling a 4.7% sell through rate.

You can review prices of the sold bears to determine a fair value for the item you have. Tush tags and swing tag errors are irrelevant. The condition of the item is the most important factor in determining value. The rarer the toy, the more likely it is worth something.

If you want an easy means of seeing how the Beanies are selling today. Go to eBay and look up the bear of interest. Now filter out the items and view those that sellers have sold. It gives you an idea of the least you can sell the item for as well as the upper price limit. Keep in mind being fair to your buyer.

However, the absolute best history you can find with this type of research is provided by WorthPoint. Their database dates back 10 years. When you do a search on the site for “Beanie Babies” you will see the madness with this trend. Many of the highest prices sold are those in “Box Lots” or “bundles” of different types.

Authenticating the bear is another means of determining value. With an authentication certificate, you can prove the bear is of value. It also increases the likelihood of a sale.

Of course, authentication also ensures that you are not selling a counterfeit item. You can also do some research through site helps you discover scams or fraudulent practices.

Can you try to sell your beanie for thousands? Could be but RESEARCH IS KING! Do your research and learn more about the reality of those “bags of beans.” Plan a strategy and accept the reality if the value is not there. 

Need more assistance? Just type in the type of beanie babie you have and see if an expert can guide you.  There are many types of experts available. Some may charge a small fee to assist you. 

Beanie babies helped buy my home in Florida! I was a part of the madness of this success. 1997 was the launch of my eBay career, mainly because of Beanie babies. 

I will forever be thankful for those bags of beans that taught me so much! The most important lesson I learned from all this was “Sell when the market it hot.”

41 thoughts on “Beanie Babies with Tag Errors Are Not Worth What You Think

  1. Danna Crawford March 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Kathleen, If your beanies are worth any value then yes, the value would drop with issues like that usually but you will have to do the research to determine the current market value. And if you do list them on eBay, be sure to explain all that information in the description. Best of luck, Danna

  2. Kathleen Gillette March 25, 2019 at 4:38 am

    I have a couple of beanie babies that could be worth some money because of the ones that they are, and also some errors on the tags. The problem I have is that the plastic piece connected through the ear that holds the tag on had somehow broken, I’m guessing because of age the plastic was deteriorating… will they still be worth anything?? The tags are still in excellent condition.

  3. Danna Crawford March 12, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Your welcome! Good luck!

  4. Terry March 11, 2019 at 12:50 pm


  5. Danna Crawford March 11, 2019 at 7:10 am

    Hi Terry, the only suggestion I have is to try to research at WorthPoint. You can Sign up and cancel at anytime. It will make your life easier. Use the link from my website. Enjoy and good luck! Danna

  6. Terry Edmondson March 8, 2019 at 11:52 am

    I’ve been trying to make my through my kids’ old Beanie Babies, and have gone through the same steps you talk about here on your site to do research! I have one that has stumped me, though. I can’t find one like it anywhere. It is Batty the Bat, tush tag Batty 1996, but his swing tag is for Waddle. Apparently Batty’s style number is 4035; Waddle’s is 4075. Do you know anything about this one?

  7. Danna Crawford January 27, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Awesome! You will have to start the research process. You can compare with previous SOLD on eBay or log into WorthPoint and take advantage of the 7 day, 7 look-up free trial, this is my referral link: – OR Ask the expert using the box above. I think they charge five bucks to ask a question but you can dig deeper into the identification and value going forward. Best of luck. Danna

  8. Kathy Reade January 26, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    I have a Flip in very good condition with a Snort 4002 hang tag. Tush tag shows 1993 with PVC pellets. Putting in Good Will bag when I noticed. Worth more than a couple of dollars?

  9. Danna Crawford January 1, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    It can be challenging but you must view SOLD and this is why I recommend researching at Worth Point, USE my link :

  10. Doug December 29, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Danna,
    I am in possession of one of the Mcdonald’s Maple beanie babies new in the package, along with a slew of other various babies. It has all of the listed errors, including the tan underarms, all of the others that I find are pure white. I have researched as far as I can, including the sources that you have listed. The only thing I can find is a listing stating that it is the only bear ever seen with the tan underarms and is listing for $19, 995.00, is this truly possible? My father always told me that you have to have a buyer and I understand that, but don’t want to sell a 20K plus item for 5 or 10 bucks.
    I can’t seem to find any other information about this bear with the tan underarms, can you please help?

  11. Danna Crawford December 15, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Sorry you felt this way Julie. I was trying to be clear that “asking” prices are not the same as “selling” prices. 99% of the asking prices are simply that, “asking prices” and the beanie babies never sell for those prices. However, some do. I am not a hater. I am a realistic person that only believes the “current market value” which includes SOLD, PAID and SHIPPED! Thanks for sharing your views. Happy Holidays, Danna

  12. Julie Gaudet December 13, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    You’re calling ppl scammers for selling something that others are willing to pay high prices for. If you know about Economics and a little thing called Supply and Demand, you would understand that has existed throughout history.
    Of course the prices will drop. It’s all what consumers are willing to pay that determine the value.
    You bought a house bc of Beanie Banies. Did you not makes lots of money then when the demand was high. You did. You said so yourself.
    Why be a Hater now simply bc you don’t have any that are valuable. Rarity is a thing. Are you saying that all misprints mean nothing and have no value??
    Quite name calling and making it sound like ppl trying to make money are Scammers. Get for real.

  13. Danna Crawford November 16, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    It’s always worth a try. You could list it on eBay at the lowest price and run an auction. Best of luck!

  14. Danna Crawford November 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    How awesome for you! You should get that listed ASAP. Best of luck. You should do well with it!

  15. Tammi L Olson November 15, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I have found a Peace bear at a thrift shop with a Squealer swing tag. It is from 1996 and has PVC beads. Is this common? I couldn’t find anything about it.

  16. Edward November 14, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Danna, I have a Britannia beanie that is packaged perfectly but on the rear side of the cardboard. Would an oddity such as this be of any worth. Thanks in advance, Edward

  17. Danna Crawford October 4, 2018 at 8:49 am

    You could go ahead and try it but the odds are low that it will sell at that price. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by.

  18. deb October 3, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I have a beanie baby named (Erin) and looking on ebay people are selling them for 4,000$ mine has all the tag errors as they do. do you think I could sell them for a couple thousand?

  19. Danna Crawford September 24, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by!!

  20. Danna Crawford September 24, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Research is king! If you are confused with all the types, one options is to list it on auction with an opening bid of the lowest selling one you found and roll the dice. Good luck and thanks for stopping by, Danna

  21. Danna Crawford September 24, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    It can be very time consuming BUT you have to research each one and start sorting them into “lots” so you can decide which ones will sell best on their own and which ones to put in a box lot or bundle on eBay. You can bundle together the animal types or group them in a way that makes sense, easy to ship. Sometimes I will just get a box ready and sort them out to fill a box. Once the box is filled, now I will list that bundle on eBay! Most consignment sellers like myself will not take beanie babies because the value is not a good deal to split the cost with someone. They are EASY for you to sell and ship yourself. You can list a few at a time. BUT the starting point is to RESEARCH them first. This is the firs step. GOOD LUCK and thanks for stopping by! Danna

  22. Danna Crawford September 24, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    OMGosh so happy we saved her from spending too much! THANK YOU for letting me know. God bless, Danna

  23. Amanda S. September 23, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Dana I have over 1,500 th beanies, buddies and more that are in perfect condition and would love to have someone that knows what’s valuable and what’s not and let me know if I have a collection worth selling. I’m way in eastern Kentucky and have no one here in my area that know anything about these things and their value. Anyone you can suggest to me please. I do have many many rare ones.

  24. Danna Crawford September 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Sorry I cannot spend the time right now to sort them but you can research them yourself to determine the value and then easily list them on eBay. They are pretty easy to ship. Best of luck, Danna

  25. Sarah Carpenter1 September 15, 2018 at 2:28 am

    I have a whole case of beanie babies and I’m interested in selling a few at a time. Is there anyway I could sends a picture to you to confirm? And find out the value!

  26. Stacey denback August 19, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    I have several beanie babies with an extra larger tag plus the regular tush tag. I was wondering if they are worth more. Thanks

  27. Rich Lumbert August 16, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Danna, I want to thank you your truthful article about the real values of the beanies! Just goes to show you how many dishonest people try to fleece the public online. I saw as high as $50K for Princess and $30K for Peace bear all going on an on about all the tag errors. Unbelievable

  28. Marguerite Errico July 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for the information. My son found a Millennium Beanie Baby bear in his closet that he remembers receiving at a Yankees game as a promotion. It has the so-called 5 errors/characteristics I read about. It is in perfect, not touched condition. We want to sell it on ebay but the prices are all over the place and so we don’t know how to price it.

  29. Name Unknown July 29, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. If it weren’t for you my sis would have never found out that she was getting scammed. She was about to buy a princess bear for $100 when it was only worth $45.

  30. Danna Crawford July 7, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Hello Ronda, yes the value of beanie babies can be challenging to figure out. Many times people will just list them as an auction starting at 99 cents with $5.00 or more shipping and roll the dice. It is a good way to “move” them quickly. And the ones that are indeed “high-end” many times will bring in a higher dollar amount. This process brings out the “true” collectors that know what they want. Be sure to include many photos with details of the tags. Best of luck and happy selling!

  31. Ronda Roper June 29, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for your article. It was very informative! I am trying to help my elderly father sell his huge collection of beanie babies he amassed through garage sales, second hand stores, etc. He, like many people, believes there is gold somewhere in those 4 tubs!!
    I have been doing exactly what you suggested, looking at sold eBay listings, number sold vs number still listed, $ sold for vs $ listed, how many in the last 60 days, how many claim errors etc. It is a daunting project.
    I assume that beanies with tags that have had price stickers applied, and have damaged/removed print/torn the back of the tag, are much less valuable? Unless perhaps the beanie was very rare?

  32. Danna Crawford May 15, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    You have to review SOLD and COMPLETED to see if they are selling.

  33. Mandy April 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Hi! So my son bought “Sammy” at a store for a couple bucks. Hang tag intact, tush tag. It has the “Gasport” error, and the extra space between the end of the poem “town !”. Also tag says 1998, tush tag says 1999.
    A lady on eBay is asking $1000 for this.. is this little guy worth anything?

  34. Danna Crawford April 18, 2018 at 9:26 am

    When doing your search for these on eBay, always look at SOLD vs current listings. This will help you seek out those values.

  35. James Morrison April 18, 2018 at 2:16 am

    Hi there,
    Stumbled across 3 of the Mcdonalds “double error” ones. Britannia, Maple, and Glory. Tags are 93 and Oakbrook is one word. Supposed to be rare according to Ebay. Any idea what these are really worth?

  36. Danna Crawford April 16, 2018 at 10:46 am

    If its an early version it could sell for $100. to $200.00 range, More or less depending on demand.

  37. Robin April 14, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I have a Curly bear with a Valentino swing tag. I can not find anything online indicating anyone else has reported this. any ideas of value?

  38. Danna Crawford April 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

    The are cute and a fond memory to look at!

  39. Isabel April 3, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I’m glad they’re not really as valuable as they seem. Why pay $7,500 for a 6-inch stuffed animal? I collect the bears (I love them so) but they shouldn’t be that valuable for a reason like a tag error.

  40. Danna Crawford March 28, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you for stopping by!

  41. Connie March 28, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this article and information. Very helpful.

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