'Expecting' Gift/Event heads: Have we developed an entitlement attitude?

Nov 11, 2008

    1. I was posting a couple questions on Luts this morning and noticed several people asking "when will you announce the Christmas gift?" or "will there be an event head this year?". It occurred to me that since Luts' first event head, more and more each year people start actually planning for it, oftentimes with the option of turning around and selling it specifically in mind (please note this thread is not about discussing whether selling event heads is kosher or not, there is another thread for that topic here).

      The practice has been adopted by many of the companies, and has started to become a bit.. commonplace almost. It seems like the excitement and special fun out of getting event heads has turned into just another way for us to get something out of the doll companies. I can understand hoping there will be one, and even plans to sell it as a sort of revenue discount, but I really draw the line at bothering the company about when and what their next event would be. I think it's wonderful and very generous that these companies who already work so hard to make us beautiful dolls are willing to give away so many heads as a thank you.

      In a way it's sort of like the 'planned' or predetermined Christmas gift from your parents that so many people end up getting these days. It takes the thrill and spirit out of it.

      Anyone else have thoughts on this?

      Edit for clarification: I think the word "entitlement" comes to mind for me because I imagine there would be some great outrage if, for example, Luts announced that they were not doing a gift/event head this year for whatever reason. I feel like people would be angry and upset with them in the same manner as a child who is told they're not getting what they want for Christmas. I may be wrong though... in fact I almost sort of hope to have people prove me wrong in this thread... :sweat
       
    2. Hmm, I don't think I would mind it too much if I were a doll company, I'd think it great that the event heads/gift items were such a successful draw.

      As to entitlement, yeah, we're all a bit spoiled for spending so much money on fancy toys, but that's also another debate topic.. I think the question should be put politely.

      I don't know about it taking the 'thrill' or 'spirit' out of it. To me that Xmas "Spirit" thing always seems like an icky euphemism for materialism/consumerism, but that's another topic too.

      I'm always impatient for new things to come out, even though it's hard to keep up with what all the companies are doing these days, so I think the excitement is warranted. There are a lot of people who are justifiably passionate about Luts dolls (though personally my passion for them waned when CP got out of it)!

      Raven
       
    3. I think this has been discussed last Christmas season as well...

      I'm of the opinion that there are MANY things in the BJD hobby that people have come to expect, without necessarily having a concrete reason to expect it except that that's the way something has been done before.

      For example, people expect that limited dolls will not be re-released because generally limited edition items in various hobbies are only released once, even if most BJD limiteds don't state anywhere that they won't be re-released, or that it's limited to a certain edition number.

      Or people who expect that their dolls will be able to do complicated posing straight out of the box because of photos on the website (which are sometimes heavily photoshopped).

      I've even heard of people being upset that they didn't get free gift items with orders from shops that usually include them, even though there wasn't an event on at the time.

      I don't know whether I can totally blame people for having too high an expectation, or for what some would call a feeling of entitlement in some of these cases, because usually the doll companies do set up an expectation. However, it's usually only implied by customers that certain "facts" are true.

      I do think there's a lot of entitlement in this hobby and that it can be problematic at times. I do think that people pestering shops about info on event heads and badmouthing companies who do not do special Christmas events or who do smaller events gets to a point where it can be tacky and rude. However.... I understand why people would expect Luts, for example, to have a Christmas even head- they have set up an expectation for such an event by offering it consistently.

      As for asking whether or not a company will have an event... I can understand why people might. If you're thinking of ordering a doll around this time of year, ordering early will mean you might beat the holiday mail rush and thus get your doll up to weeks earlier than you would if you ordered later. However, if a wait of a couple of weeks means you can get a beautiful exclusive gift, most would wait rather than miss out. If you wait and there isn't any event, and you get no added benefit for waiting but still have to put up with miserably slow holiday mail, you'd be a bit annoyed. But yes.... pestering the companies about it in a rude way takes it too far, and treats the generosity of the companies as if it were the right of the customer. :/
       
    4. I don't think we feel entitled to it, necessarily as much as we just look forward to it. If a company makes it into a tradition of theirs to have a Christmas event people are going to eventually get in to the swing of things and start looking forward to that event. Kind of like Black Friday ((Maybe only US people practice that?)), everyone knows that the day after Thanksgiving is when everyone bumrushes the stores for whatever they're trying to get.

      We've come to look forward to that. Yeah, we expect it and look forward to it, but we don't think we're entitled to it.
       
    5. I wouldn't feel entitled to anything. I have a feeling that because Luts has done some kind of Christmas event thing over the course of several years, it is expected in the sense that it has become an annual thing for Luts. If a company wasn't in the habit of doing holiday events or gift heads, I don't think people would expect it.
       
    6. i think the whole idea of Christmas and all the gross consumerism is upsetting in general. there are many threads of people asking "should i buy my doll or wait for Christmas and get it as a gift", or "yay! i am getting my doll for Christmas" or even, " i am so happy, i am paying half for my doll and my (mom/husband/boyfriend,friend) is paying the other half so i can get my doll for Christmas".

      i think a lot of people have high expectations of Christmas and all that it entails, and very often leads to great disappointment.

      so do i specifically think we feel entitled to expecting Christmas bonus offers?
      no more than any other holiday offers. it is the nature of the season.
      we "do" spend an awful lot on this hobby, so i do not think it is so terrible to get a little "perk" now and again.

      i do find the idea of buying a doll just to get the bonus gift and turn it around and sell it for profit a bit disturbing. it seems like taking advantage of your fellow collectors. but that is their choice, and no one is forced to buy it.

      basically, the companies want to keep up their sales, we want more/new things, so it benefits all parties!

      and that, folks, is my opinion!
       
    7. I think it's a very nice surprise if I were going to buy a doll anyway from a particular company, but I wouldn't buy a doll to get an extra head. These companies are competing for the money people are planning to spend anyway to buy holiday dolls, so offering an extra head is an effective marketing incentive, much like chain stores putting things on sale during November and December. I don't think it has anything to do with entitlement. What people do with gifts they receive (doll heads and otherwise) is their business, I think. One good benefit of selling gift heads is that people who want one, but can't or do not want to buy a doll in order to get one, can pick one up on the secondary market. That, of course, is another debate issue that has already been discussed at length.
       
    8. Added a little clarification to my post...
       
    9. I dont think there would be outrage, but I think the company would get less orders. In the end I think the companies make out from event heads. You end up buying a body and accessories for a doll you never would have had in the first place lol. I am not a big christmas person, but I am a shopper and Christmas is the best time to buy things. Sales and events are just a part of the shopping season. It keeps people coming back every year.
       
    10. No-- if a company has regular events, then it's not spoiled-child behavior to expect that there will be another event, and it's not spoiled-child behavior to feel disappointed if it doesn't happen. Loyal Luts customers are justified in expecting that the annual Luts Christmas event will probably happen again, because it's happened every Christmas for a long time. I don't think that expecting annual Christmas heads is fostering some rampant spirit of gross cynicism in the doll community. Just leave the companies alone to defend themselves against pesky inquiries of "when will the next event be?", because those companies are quite capable of dealing with their own customer-relations.

      Also remember that companies love the increased sales brought in by these events. Any imagined 'purity' of spirit/intent on the part of the company, any claim of how sweet & altruistic they're being to give event heads at all, doesn't hold up to this basic fact. Yes, they are saying thank you & celebrating the season & celebrating their customers, and it is a wonderful thing; but at the bottom line, the event is still designed to make more sales.

      Really? Takes away the thrill/spirit for whom? After almost 40 years I never stop enjoying getting holiday presents from my parents, even if it is expected every year. The type of person who finds this custom dull & lacking-in-spirit-- they're the type of person who's just Too Cool For Christmas anyway, and will do nothing but find fault with others' shopping & others' wishlists. (Christmas & its season may be a huge commercial racket, and encourage a desperate and wasteful orgy of unbridled capitalism, but there are a bazillion different ways to celebrate it that don't buy into the hype.)

      Being able to look forward to any recurring tradition, such as annual gift-giving-- or annual sales of certain special items, like heads-- makes things pleasant for both the buyer and the sellers, in that it makes them feel like they sort of have a tradition together. It celebrates something. Entitlement may or may not enter ino this dynamic at all. But even when it does, it doesn't matter: what each person does with the head when they get it home, or why they purchased it in the first place, is their own business, not ours.
       
    11. I think if there was speculation and Luts said "Yeah stay tuned for a Christmas Event" but then didn't deliver then people would probably get upset.

      But I am assuming that if Luts or any other company notorious for christmas events didn't do one, then people would treat it as we do Black Friday. If a store doesn't put out an Ad, for specials for that weekend, no one shops there. Simple as that. o.o

      I wouldn't be throwing a tantrum because there was no Best Buy Ad this year, nor would I if there was no notice for a Christmas event on a doll site for that time of year.
       
    12. I have never been to an event, but I know that thing you mean about feeling a sense of entitlement to a Christmas gift. I know I always expect to be able to get SOMETHING from my parents; of course, I ask other people what they want for Christmas, too, but that doesn't make it less awkward. It would be better if people expected little; then, whatever they get will make them happy.

      So, yes, there is some strange sense of entitlement that comes with repeated circumstances. But perhaps if it wasn't such a given, like maybe if doll companies gave many events with only a few ones where heads were given out (and it wasn't announced beforehand) people would be more surprised and grateful. It could just as much be that the companies take the thrill out of it by making it humdrum instead of surprising.

      Just like how me and my parents give eachother random things throughout the year to show we love eachother; not just on Christmas.
      I think that both sides need to make some adjustments in their attitude on it.

      But I don't know that much about either, that's just one point I can come up with! ^__^
      It's not so terrible that people expect the heads; so long as they still feel grateful when they recieve it. But when they no longer link that gift with the company that gave it, that's a problem.
       
    13. Agree 100%.

      I feel that planning and holding back plan to buy regular doll until an event period, whether it is Christmas Event, half year sale, new doll line promo sale or Anniversary Event are all kosher. Company hold these activities to generate more interest and more sales. Give them more cash flow during period that may otherwise slow.

      Knowing that a company has a history of holding event during certain holiday and trying to plan around it is not wrong. This is smart shopping. I am pretty sure that the company is NOT offended by customers who ask and want to plan ahead. This way, they also have a good guess about the interest in their products and marketing strategy.



       

    14. and Event head is something companies do on their sites, not something you actually go to... like Fairyland did an event where if you spent X amount of dollars you got a Minifee head and if it was between a certain amount you could get the Minifee head and a SD head, its that type of thing.
       
    15. I certainly expect promotions and gifts for repeat customers. We are not spoiled, we are loyal. ~Gus
       
    16. personally, I thought I missed out on an Event once, when I ordered my MNF Marcia from Fairyland, I had ordered her a week before they announced the event, and I was like "damn!! why didn't I wait" because it was a MNF Dark Elf Soo..and I really liked it, but lo and behold when they sent my Marcia..they also sent me the Soo head..I was so thrilled!! I don't know which I was happier about getting my doll or a free coveted head..:lol:

      and as far as free gifts, whenever I order directly from a company, I rarely get anything beyond maybe a pair of blind eyes or free velcro and eye putty..whoopie! I'v read about others getting clothes, shoes, wigs...I got a pen from Dollmore....but just recently when I ordered a Soulkid body, they sent me a little diary because they were so far behind..it was nice to get something nice, but I am kind of beyond a diary.. {I'm old}
       
    17. I can't help but detect a very slight level of 'snark' in this reply. I'm not trying to offend anyone here but apparently I have. :sigh

      I appear to be wrong in this issue, and maybe it's just the attitude that years of retail before I found an office job have instilled in me.
       
    18. I remember a year ago (or was it the year before..?) there was a rumour spreading that Luts wasn't going to give away free heads for christmas. The uproar in the community and the multitude of people leaving messages at Luts' Q&A, demanding a free head because they've been waiting for this event all year, was quite embarrassing. I don't think it takes away the spirit of the holydays ('cause these events are simply a marketing tactic to me), but it does show what a fine bunch of people we all are.
      Maybe I'm cynical, but I truly think that we've become so used to getting free gifts, that we feel entitled to them.

      Btw... it's not only in our community. As Ravendolls said, it's the 'spirit of christmas', that's very materialistic and almost greedy.
       
    19. This already had been discussed. I continue to stand the same position. Just because they're dolls and handmade, it doesn't make it any less of a business. Thus promotions and events is a way to compete on the market and gain customers. Thus there's nothing wrong about companies going that way, and nothing wrong about expecting it as a customer.

      Sales and events is a very common thing in retail. And YES, people wait for them and take advantage of them. Why should it be any different when it comes to doll production?

      But yeah, I'm not the kind to idolize and glamorize doll-making.
       
    20. Sorry, but no snark nor offense exists here-- your detector is just a tad sensitive!
      This is a Debate thread, so counter-claims & differing views are going to happen. It doesn't mean you've offended anyone.