Thursday, November 7, 2013

Post Convention Hunt for Dolls at "Reasonable Prices"- My Theory

Ugh...if I see another post asking for a doll that is in high demand for a "reasonable price" I might snap. Because clearly if you do not ask for a 'reasonable price', the seller would think it was alright to mark these up to a "ludicrous price"?  That is not to say I don't get it.  There are people who mark up their dolls like crazy.  I often see dolls after convention that are awesome only to find out that a nude workshop doll is going for $400 (Elise anyone?).  YIKES!  There are many reasons for mark-ups: factoring in the cost of the flight, registration, hotel, etc....conventions aren't cheap.  You add onto that the waiting in line, shipping and juggling things in your luggage, and the time spent posting sales and answering emails...well selling dolls is work people.  I sometimes mark items to sell higher based on my not wanting to let it go.  If I love a doll...but might really need the money...marking her up to a price that 'overrides' my love is sometimes the only way to go. Basically I love her...but if you want to pay $400 for her...then you must love her more.  More power to you. I did that when I decided to sell my Sybarite Blade dress....I posted it for sale at what I thought was a psychotically high amount of $750 dollars (which I believe was more than I paid for the set complete).  It sold in less than an hour...and I used the money to pay for my wedding.  All's fair in love and doll collecting right?

So what is the resolution to this? I think the buyers hoping to get convention dolls at 'reasonable prices' might be better served by just stating what they want to pay instead.  It makes less work for both the buyer and the seller and no one gets their hopes up.  It is a buyer's market after all...and if the buyers won't pay the huge mark-ups, then the mark-ups will come down eventually.  Of course, that could back fire on you if you try to wait out the prices only to see your grail doll get more and more out of your reach.  I felt that way about Hollywood Jem for a long time.  Took me over a year and half to finally get her at a price I could stomach.  There are some Poppy fans out there that will never get their Bergdorf for less than $750.

I generally try to be reasonable when I sell the dolls that I don't want after a convention.  I feel its better karma to spread the doll joy around in the hopes that someone will do the same for me in the future.  But it is also a good thing to remember that there will be more conventions and more beautiful grail dolls will come along to tempt you.  A doll that haunts you now may not haunt you next year....but if it does, pursue it with patience, a positive attitude, and a heavy dose of a reality.  Know what you are willing to pay for it and know what you might have to sacrifice to get it.  I had to sell three dolls to get the Hollywood Jem that I desperately wanted.  I don't miss those dolls at all...and I love my Jem.  I also don't miss my Blade dress and still love my husband after three years.  I had to sell my prized Dark Romance Helper Agnes this summer in order to afford to move to a new apartment so our baby could have his own room.  I started to sweat the moment I boxed her up thinking I had made a horrible mistake..but then Nightfall Agnes dropped in my lap in all her tan bitchy perfection.  So things have a way of working out I like to think...


Inside the Fashion Doll Studio said...

Well stated! It is so funny because I blogged about this as well. I guess the whole "reasonably priced" is such a movable baseline. What you find reasonable may be totally unrealistic to others. To me this statement always comes off as if I came in too high I was "unreasonable". The market kind of sets itself after these events and the prices are supported by what the market will bear. I completely missed seeing and purchasing your lovely hats this year...makes me sad. Thank you for you insightful and witty voice in blogger land. I value it. :-)

AWadeW said...

Here, here! I go to several websites for disparate collectables (one a certain type of action figure, one a video game with collectable features) and in the past day I have had to set people straight on this issue, twice, LOL. It's amazing the sense of entitlement people have, "I only want to pay what it's worth! All sellers are ripoff artists/con men/profiteers.the devil!" It's so pervasive it's still shocking to me how little people understand any of this and just think that because someone else has done the research, put in the miles, subscribed to a subscription-only service which costs a lot more than that one item everyone desires, or simply been smart about shopping that somehow they are entitled to things at or below cost.

The first aspect is - the item is worth whatever someone wishes to pay for it, as you so well explained. Obviously, someone thought that outfit you sold was worth $750 - or they wouldn't have bought it. I'll never get how you could be considered the "bad guy" there - because...

Second, we are all talking about collectables. Items that we are fortunate enough to be able to buy and collect - not milk for children, medicine for the sick, or other life necessities. Like the commenter above, I also almost find it offensive. Since when I list something I want it to sell, I usually price a bit below everyone else if there are others selling, but it would be really dumb to list it for like half - because all that is going to happen in most cases are "professionals" will buy it, mark it back up, and resell it.

Third, a lot of people who think this way have NO idea how much it costs to buy and sell on eBay - I find myself explaining everything from the eBay and PayPal fees, shipping materials/packing, gas - even before you factor in time, the seller actually ends up with 75-80% of what the buyer paid, to begin with, depending on the price of the item (even more if shipping is included in the price). People just don't believe it or don't want to - it's just easier to, honestly, act like jealous kids and insult those who are offering what they want.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but this is something that really bothers me as well - and it's so refreshing to see someone else honest and who "gets it" - it's just so common for people to have unrealistic expectations and false entitlement - when if they just spent the time and research and paid attention like I or other sellers did - they wouldn't be complaining about having to buy off of me. ;-)