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Curiosity killed the cat

Dec 31, 2016

    1. Ok so I will try to do this post without really mentioning any off-topic dolls. I'm a curious person by nature and I think a lot about random things. Here lately I have been searching the internet forever in search of a bjd. I've been at this search for a couple years now. I have looked all through various dealer sites and all over the wonderful info that this forum provides. I have searched through various Facebook groups as well as Craigslist and ebay. I understand the issue with recast, and no interest in getting one. Now that that is all out of the way. Let me get back to the point before I run off on a tangent. I was curious as to why I can't find more BJD's on for example craigslist. Or even in Estates sales. In two years I found 1 legit BJD on Craigslist for a steal of a price. But sadly it was not meant to be. It occurs to me that the hobby is still kind of a nitch hobby. And unless you were really part of it, you wouldn't really know the value of, or how to go about selling them. But it seems like you would still find more out there. You would also think that given the number of bjd's that collectors accumulate there would be at least "some" in thrift stores (Given away by uneducated family members). Or whole collections in estates sales. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right places? Or maybe I just don't live in the right area. But you would thinking I could find them in say the Tampa's craigslist page. With alllll the people that live in Tampa. Or even Orlando. Or Miami. There are those porcelain dolls all over the place!!. Sorry but I really hate them. It becomes hard to try to explain to family and friends what I am talking about without them automatically thinking of those collector porcelain dolls or your common baby doll. Even worse is when good old mom pops in randomly with "Oh I got you a new doll sweety!" annnd it's one of those hideous $2 porcelain monsters. Then not only do I have to be a jerk and try to explain to her that is not what I am talking about. But I have to keep this heinous creature out of guilt that it was a gift. So yea, those are my thoughts. Have you guys had any luck with finding legit Bjd (honestly I haven't even seen recast on craigslist). Of course I'm not talking about the dealer sites or even here in the marketplace (which I don't have access to yet) I'm talking craigstlist, ebay, estates sales, thrift stores, yard sales (really if you found on in a yard sale I would LOVE to hear that story.)
      • x 2
    2. I wouldn't count on finding many BJDs via craigslist, estate sales, garage sales, or thrift shops, simply because, as your say, it's a very niche hobby, and it's not particularly old, either, as far as hobbies go.

      The majority of research, experience buying and selling, takes place on line, for the average BJD hobbyist, so that immediately eliminates a lot of doll collectors from older generations from participating. Of course BJDs do have some amazing elderly participants, but the knowledge and internet requirements, I would assume, are probably restrictive to those older individuals who are not comfortable on computers. And when I think of estate sales, I normally think that they are sales on an individual's entire life. Years upon years of collecting, accumulating things, and just living life. When I think of estate sales, I think mostly of the elderly. (Perhaps I'm wrong in that?) So, I would think that estate sales would probably have a rather limited selection, if any, since the types to have estate sales have a fair chance of not participating in the BJD hobby, even if they are doll hobbyists in their own right.

      Garage sales and thrift shops would indicate that whoever turned over the doll probably doesn't know its value. A resin doll is likely to be worth quite a bit more than a shop would be willing to pay, so surrendering a doll to such a place would, at least to me, indicate that the individual doesn't really know what he/she has. If that were the case, the individual wouldn't be the doll's original owner, and honestly, I wouldn't imagine that too many of us here would just hand a resin doll over to someone who isn't also a bit of a hobbyist, themselves. These dolls require special considerations and care to remain in decent condition. So, I'd imagine that if someone did find a legit BJD in their hands without understanding its value, they'd likely have just inherited it from someone who didn't want to be bothered with selling it or giving it to another hobbyist. Just doesn't seem like the most likely of scenarios, in my opinion.

      Then, craigslist. I think that Craigslist, out of all the other options, probably involves individuals who have a better grasp at pricing their items, for the most part. Then again, however, I figure if someone has BJDs and understands their value, then they'd probably also understand where people go to buy and sell second-hand. And craigslist just isn't that place. I imagine if people want full value for their dolls, they'd want to try putting ads and selling in places where others in the hobby know to look. And if the doll falls into the hands of a non-hobbyist, then I don't think craigslist would necessarily be their first choice to list a thing of questionable value. If they had been informed of the value but are still non-hobbyists, then maybe craigslist makes a little sense. But is that scenario common? I'm not all that sure that it is.

      There simply aren't a ton of us out there. We are a global community, so the community feels rather big on the internet, but down at the local levels, it's not as if every city in the US, for instance, has hundreds of hobbyists. Some major cities don't even have a dozen. So, we're a small-ish hobby, we're very, VERY internet-based, and we're in a hobby that requires at least some research and understanding of the items we collect. I think those factors about out hobby are what keep people from finding BJDs all over thrift shops and craigslist. I'm sure it definitely happens from time to time, but I imagine that it's probably rather rare for a doll to slip through the cracks like that.

      Now, this is all just me making a bunch of assumptions. My guess is as good as any. :P So feel free to take it all as a grain of salt.
      • x 6
    3. I've heard the rare story of people finding slightly damaged dolls at 2nd hand stores but most collectors and their families know their worth and there are certain places that collectors go to sell their dolls (Facebook groups, forums like DOA). I don't see that ever changing because there is a lot of recasts and con artists in the hobby and us as collectors want to buy/sell/trade places that have feedback/references/a community to hold people reaponsible.
      • x 2
    4. Honestly, I found my two BJDs through Instagram using #bjdsales.
      Obviously you need to ask the main questions about a COA and all, but both of my boys are legit and came in good condition. Most people are honest when it comes to recasts on there as well, and if you ask around, you can find out a lot about the seller from other people. There are so many different BJDs for sale on there, many in great condition, that the options are endless! Hope this helps a little!
      • x 4
    5. Like wherethelilacsbloom said, BJDs are a new niche of doll collecting, with Volks making the first widely available ones in 1999, if I'm not mistaken. That's less than 20 years ago. And this is definitely mostly an internet based hobby. I came into this world a the end of 2012, and every doll I own was purchased online. I have more than 10 now. And some dolls, if in good condition, go up in price in the secondhand market. The odds of finding a BJD at an estate sale or thrift store are extremely low.

      If you are trying to find BJDs secondhand, I recommend you go to the Marketplace here on DOA, or ebay. I have seen BJDs on ebay with a COA and sometimes the original box.
      #5 Leo Pheonix, Dec 31, 2016
      Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
      • x 2
    6. Usually, but not always, dolls (of all kinds) end up in vintage shops, thrift stores or non-doll sites like Craigslist because the owner of dolls has passed away. Families sell off doll collections when no member of the family is interested, and that usually means they do not have any clue if the dolls are of value. If they do know enough about value, they sell through specific doll venues for that doll type.

      There are people who have lucked out and found BJDs at second hand shops and thrift stores, but it is rare. Anyone interested in selling a BJD knows that they are best served by selling directly to the community. Since BJDs are a new hobby, not that many people in the hobby have passed away. Collectors that have passed away, generally their families have kept the dolls, sold them on doll sites (like DoA) or given them/sold them to the collector's doll friends.
      • x 3
    7. Thank you everyone for all your wonderful comments and thoughts. You are all pretty much right on all accounts ha ha :)
      I don't disagree with any of you really. I plan on doing what you have suggested and look in all the regular places. Like DOA Market (once I gain access) and other place. I have never really utilized the instagram very much. It kinda irritates me a but I will look through it. I know it's a lost cause really to look in other 2nd hand places like craigslist and thrift stores and such but I still look lol you never know I could come across a gem :) Thank you again for all your suggestions I appreciate it. Are there any other second hand places you guys have any luck? Like what about tumbler or twitter or anything. I don't really use them, mostly just out of curiosity and trying to find as many places as I can.
      • x 2
    8. I have been in the picking business for nearly 20 years, and I have never found a BJD in a thrift store, yard sale, estate sale, or Goodwill Bins. I heard someone stumbled across a couple at an auction around here, but you know how rumors are.
      It could happen, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.
      • x 2
    9. Sadly, there have been BJD collectors who have passed away recently. In those cases, their collections were sold by family members or friends who knew the value of the collections and sold them via the usual doll venues.

      Also, a side comment about other types of doll collectors-- you'd be amazed (I was) about how much antique doll collecting happens online. I would say that most niche hobbyists are familiar with computers these days.
      • x 3
    10. I'm one of those lucky people who found a doll in a charity shop :) Though it was a complete fluke since it was before I was even in the hobby! It was finding her that actually started me off :lol:
      That said haven't found any others since... I guess you always seem to find things when you aren't looking for them ~ :roll:
      • x 4
    11. See I love hearing stories like that! It just warms the soul. lol I agree, you always find something if your not looking for it. The trick is to look for it it...while pretending to not care or not look for it ha ha anyhow I know I fell out of my chair when I found the one on craigslist. And it was only a hour from me. Sometimes things like that are just meant to be. It wasn't really meant to be in my case as I didn't have the funds. But man it was an amazing surprise to find. And it was Legit!
      • x 1
    12. Unfortunately the chances of finding a BJD in a secondhand shop is about the same as buying a backpack from a thrift store and finding diamond earrings inside >.< The best place for secondhand dolls is right here on DoA on the marketplace :D
      • x 1
    13. Thrift shops and charity shops are much more savvy these days about collectibles. I would be surprised if they thought a BJD that crossed their tables was a cheap doll.

      Linda S.
      • x 2
    14. From what I have heard I will agree with you there. I don't have access to the marketplace yet but I'm working on it :) Still I have heard nothing but good about it

      Yea I thought about that too. At the very least the workers of the thrift shops would get them and either keep them or sell them. I realize how incredibly rare it would be but man...I can keep dreaming lol I have found other rare dolls in thrift shops but only the really obscure ones.
      #14 artistgayle, Jan 1, 2017
      Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2017
      • x 1
    15. I live in a place where there are a lot of seniors, central Arizona. And to put in the most polite terms, when they pass away, the family often donates their giant porcelain doll collections. I find them constantly at thrift stores in piles. How many BJD dolls have I found at thrift stores? Zero. I go a lot too. There is one advantage to this, that if you have female dolls that need clothing or shoes, you will often find very high quality clothing that will fit MSD and SD dolls. I have also found doll furniture and props for photography very often.

      Frankly, the BJD hobby needs to age by another 20 to 30 years before you can expect BJD dolls to become a more common place second hand item. Re-editions of old porcelain dolls were a craze in the 1990s and people bought them up thinking they would hold value, but they didn't hold any value, the craze ended, and now they are dumped at thrift stores all the time when the aging owner dies. They probably won't be as common a BJD collection, but it works on the same principle. The main collector has to age and die before the family gets rid of the collections. Most BJD collectors are in their twenties, so it won't happen any time soon, lol
      • x 2
    16. Uuummm, actually, there are quite a number of BJD collectors who are WAY older than their twenties. I myself am 40. I know a number of DOA members who are even older than that. There are also quite a few younger collectors who are still in their teens. The hobby is small, but there is definite diversity in age.
      • x 5
    17. I've found Tonner dolls in charity shops before, as well as vintage dolls from the 60s-70s which are worth a fair bit in the correct niches. I found a tonner in his original box without the lid once for £5, I think they assumed he was porcelain.
      I always do check of course, and there's always the dream. It happens, but very rarely. If there are markings on a doll, the staff will google it to work out value.
      Added to that, it's unlikely anything other than those sad situations with estranged family would not know the value. But you do hear stories.

      Still, I tend to stalk Ebay as that's where most of my lucky finds seem to come from anyway.

      Generally though, the situations required for someone who has no clue of the value of an item are thankfully rare. You never know though, in a decade or so maybe some cheaper ones will start popping up second hand as people age out.
      I mean heck, I have two Makie dolls here (3d printed dolls, custom made) one of whom was found in a charity shop by a guy who picked the doll up because it "looked interesting" and was told by a friend what it was, and the second of which the parent had purchased it for their kid who'd aged out of dolls so they sold the doll for £8. What was odd in that situation was that they had paid the original £70 for her, they even remarked upon it in the auction saying "man they saw me coming a mile off". I couldn't quite fathom why you'd pay £70 for a doll and then sell it for £8. You'd think you'd ask at least half of the original price... or... check other ebay auctions to see what the going rate was?
      But they didn't. Which meant that during a time where these things were selling for INSANE money due to the business shutting down, I got an absolute bargain. £80 would have been a bargain at that point, some of them were selling for upwards of £200!
      It was madness.
      But yeah...

      point is, some people are weird. I know a few collectors who seem to have more money than they know what to do with, so really will just stuff expensive stuff into cupboards and forget about it. To them £300 is nothing, to me that's a year's savings and I cannot comprehend of hanging onto something worth that much if you don't want it (some of them are all "yeah I bought this and I don't actually like it, oh well." and i'm like "SELL IT THEN!?" but they won't because the effort is too much, the money isn't important.
      I can see dolls from those sorts of collectors being the ones that end up in estate sales and such.
      I find it bizarre though.
      • x 1
    18. I would warn people though that although the marketplace is the best place for second hand, I would actually recommend newbies going direct from the companies or dealers like Alice Collections etc. since (in my experience) dolls sold in the Marketplace are usually just as or more expensive than the new dolls. This is unless you JUST have to have that particular doll or you love some artists face-up. People often think that second hand is cheaper and that's why they scower the Internet looking but that's not really the case with BJDs. Just because your not the first owner doesn't nessararliy mean that the doll will be cheaper. Of course this is just in general and you never know yet still with luck like mine I wouldn't recommend it if your looking for a deal.
      • x 1
    19. I think a lot of people don't give them to thrift stores for a few reasons. I wouldn't ever put my doll in a thrift shop unless I had to get rid of them right now. I want them to go to someone in the hobby rather then some person that might see them as just a toy. Granted I'm fine with the person that buys them doing whatever they like, but I do feel better selling them within the hobby. I can't sell my dolls for as much money as I paid but I have been able to get some money from them too. They may be older but still in good condition. A lot of people sell old dolls that are well taken care of for less then you could get them first hand, so it's a pretty good deal for both parties involved.

      As for not selling on other sites... A lot of people sell dolls to make money in bad times or have some money for new dolls, and your less likely to make money if you sell to an unaware market. You also don't get as much interest from people outside the hobby. I find a lot of people that don't know about BJDs seem to think they should cost things like $12.... They don't understand they are not like off topic dolls that are normally sold as toys.
      • x 1
    20. No, no luck here either. I flagged a search on e-bay and got e-mail notifications nearly every day for over a year. Nothing I either liked or was legit. I did find a couple of new dolls priced quite a lot higher than the manufacturer's price which I suppose impatient people may be willing to pay for. In the end I gave up and bought from a manufacturer. Glad I did because she's perfect and exactly what I wanted.
      • x 1