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From your point of view, is any BJD worth thousands of dollars?

Jul 5, 2009

    1. In many hobbies, especially those where something is collected, has limited editions, etc., there are some items that end up being worth a lot more than their original value. BJDs are clearly one of these hobbies as many of us know who are rather fond of certain limited editions or dolls no longer being released.

      A few days ago, I was browsing a few dolls on Yahoo Japan Auctions when I came across a Volks Shinku, a doll released a few years back. Knowing the popularity of this doll, it really wasn't so surprising that it was being auctioned for over $4000. Some may or many not find this value extreme depending on the veiws towards this hobby.

      Is this sort of price worth it for a doll? Dolls show wear fairly easily, especially through yellowing and for an items that is so recent and not so durable, it's a high cost for what it is from a material standpoint. Also, they might not always retain their value. Shinku in particular is from an anime that while popular now, might not be a decade down the road and that might influence the price.

      EDIT: This topic is starting to skew towards the side of dolls being expensive because they're art. This topic is also supposed to spark some debate as to whether or not dolls are worth their price because of "defects" (such as yellowing, seams that aren't sanded, etc) or if those are things that don't really bother you in a limited doll.

      So here are some questions:
      -Is any doll worth that amount from your point of view?

      -If you have ever bought a limited doll from a second hand market for a minimum of a few thousand dollars, what are the pros and cons of this? And do you worry that it may lose value due to popularity (or lack of) or from typical wear over time? What makes that doll worth it to you?

      -To those who would pay this amount but haven't/can't: What makes a doll worth this amount to you?

      -To those who would not pay this amount, even if you did have the money: Let's just pretend that your dream dolly is a limited going for a few thousand, why wouldn't you be willing to pay this amount?




      This really isn't an easy thing for me to answer because I have yet to find a doll that I've really wanted that wasn't unlimited. That said, I answer with inexperience: that I probably wouldn't want to spend that amount because the dolls are only resin that does show age easily over time and while I'm picky about which sculpts I like, there are hundreds to choose from. However, this is easy to say when a specific item isn't coveted.

      EDIT: Since starting this thread, I've found my dream doll. She is definitely pricey for what I would have formerly thought of spending on a doll. However, I've decided that if I were to do exceedingly well in school this semester, I would allow myself to buy her and if I didn't do exceedingly well each subsequent term, I would have to sell her. For me, this ends up being both the worth of the doll and the incentive to do well and to break poor studying habits and that by itself is more than worth it for me.

      Also, I hope I don't come off as being sided on this matter. Everyone has their own reasons for what and why they spend what they do on their hobbies and I respect that. ^_^
       
    2. Hmmm...yes, I think it is possible. If that's the going rate for the doll, and I felt that the amount of happiness it would bring me would be that high, then sure. Now whether or not I'd have the money for it is another thing entirely, lol. It's unlikely that I would spend that much on a doll, but it wouldn't necessarily be because it wasn't worth it.

      I don't worry much about resale value--I buy my dolls to keep them, and you can never tell exactly what something would be worth in the future. It's just not something I want to base my doll buying decisions around. As for durability...many things change over time. While bjds do show wear, they hold together pretty darn well, and over time, I actually have a little more faith that they'll stay in good shape compared to some vinyl dolls. Also, the things that make them so customizable, also make them pretty easy to do repair and maintenance work on--something that I always find to be comforting.
       
    3. On the one hand, a doll is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. So, sure, that limited Volks could be worth 4k, if someone is willing to pay that much.

      Would I? Never. When I first found this hobby, I thought the prices were pretty outrageous for a hunk of very pretty plastic, but eventually you find a "normal" in any hobby, and I found it here. So $600 for an SD becomes not-so-crazy. But there will still always be a cap where you shake your head and say no. When buying/planning my dolls, I don't worry about the resale value- I buy them for my own enjoyment, period.

      As for the limited question, it doesn't really apply to me- I don't buy limiteds, ever, because I like to customize a lot.
       
    4. -Is any doll worth that amount from your point of view?

      Well, I think there is a lot that goes into the value of the doll. Shinku, for example, was never available outside of Japan and even inside of Japan was extremely limited, so I think she is a unique example as she is sort of a pinnacle of how high dolls can go. Most do not get as high as her (though some do get close). There were auctions a couple years ago where a full set Shinku went for $8000...she really is a unique and extreme case. She is also the mold I wanted more than any other doll. I have never seen her outside of Yahoo!Japan...never ebay never the marketplace...I guess she could have been there, but almost every other rare doll I have seen for sale here or ebay so I really think she is an extreme case. What does that mean? Here rarity is worth the price of admission to some.

      -If you have ever bought a limited doll from a second hand market for a minimum of a few thousand dollars, what are the pros and cons of this? And do you worry that it may lose value due to popularity (or lack of) or from typical wear over time? What makes that doll worth it to you?

      Well, I have never spent over $1000 on any doll new or second hand, but I feel that my opinion holds the same regardless. I would only buy a doll for this amount if I knew I would not be selling it. You are never guaranteed of value of anything once you have bought it, so I would not plan to resell and if I did resell at this amount I paid that would be ago because i would have gotten some use (even aesthetic) out of it.

      -To those who would pay this amount but haven't/can't: What makes a doll worth this amount to you?

      I would never spend this much, it goes against my personal beliefs. However I DO think she is worth it. That might seem silly and is detrimental to someone such as me who does not have that amount, but if a limited that everyone gets a chance at cost around $1000 new, I think that it seems to make sense for a doll this rare (yet of a character so popular in Japan and abroad) to be this much. We are talking about something many view as a work of art and as a highly collectible doll. Furthermore, at this point in the hobby, those selling her may not be making a profit, they might have bought her for even more on Yahoo!Japan a year or two ago.

      -To those who would not pay this amount, even if you did have the money: Let's just pretend that your dream dolly is a limited going for a few thousand, why wouldn't you be willing to pay this amount?

      As I said above, I would not spend this much as it goes against my personal beliefs. Those beliefs hold that I have limit to how much I will ever spend on a doll and anything above that amount will never be bought. However, I still think she is worth that price and there is nothing wrong with others paying that if they can afford it.

      I work in a music instrument store and my mother collects antiques. This has taught me that people will and do pay more than original sale value for rare collectible items. Is that wrong? No, it isn't. It is their money they chose what they want to do with it. :)
       
    5. I'll be honest...I feel that the dolls are expensive enough as it is. I would never be willing to pay that much for any doll, no matter what they had.

      I look to a day where collecting BJD will become much more affordable, particularly for teens and young adults in college...people who don't have a lot of money.
       
    6. I would never spend so much money on a doll :aeyepop:. And I don't think any doll is worth so much...
      They're overpriced anyway... Personally, I have a strict limit of how much I spend for a doll. I'm not going over that limit. That includes limited editions. Even those aren't worth thousands of dollars (in my opinion anyway).
      It's fine with me if someone else wants to spend thousands of $ on a doll. It's their money so I don't really care.

      Edit: I didn't mean to offend anyone with this post... It's just my personal opinion. There are dolls that are absolutely beautiful and I love to browse through pictures of these sculpts, but I would not buy them because of the price.
       
    7. -Is any doll worth that amount from your point of view?

      In the case of Shinku? Yes. Like NabeeRain said, she was pretty exclusive and her price shows this. I think that in the case of dolls like Shinku, who are rare and highly sought after, a high pricetag is 'normal' and perhaps even wanted. Just like in any part of our life, the name and the 'specialness' is important.

      I'm less fond of the growing prices of regular limiteds. There was a time that only dolls like Volks Cecile the Scarface (NS) were worth over $2000, today it seems normal to give this pricetag even to dolls who are less popular or rare.

      -If you have ever bought a limited doll from a second hand market for a minimum of a few thousand dollars, what are the pros and cons of this? And do you worry that it may lose value due to popularity (or lack of) or from typical wear over time? What makes that doll worth it to you?

      When I started in this hobby I thought that the maximum I was willing to pay was $600 and only when it was a really good deal. And then I decide to go for Volks Madoka, SwD Lucas and Williams...
      But even now I'm not willing to pay more than $1500 on one doll. It's not because I'm worried that the doll might lose value or that it becomes old, but I don't feel comfortable spending more than that. Even my limit is an extreme amount of money and I will only pay it if there is no other way. If I can find a deal that'll cost me less I will take it with both hands.

      -To those who would not pay this amount, even if you did have the money: Let's just pretend that your dream dolly is a limited going for a few thousand, why wouldn't you be willing to pay this amount?

      Williams is a difficult doll to get for less than $1800, you'd sooner find one for more than 2k. He's my absolute dreamdoll, yet still I'm not willing to pay up. Like I said before, I don't feel comfortable spending this much. Perhaps it is because I'm still a student and don't think it's wise for me to go overboard on doll-expenses, but I don't picture myself doing this when I have a good job either. I think I've found out what my limit is.
      This doesn't mean I don't think he's worth it though! It's just a little too much for me.
       
    8. How do you determine that bjds in general are overpriced? I always wonder when people start going on about how overpriced bjds are...what makes them not worth the money? If the market can bear it, and the prices are pretty standard and knowing what goes into them, how does somebody really come to that conclusion--is it really because they are overpriced, or because people don't want to spend the money on them? Not having the cash or wanting to spend it doesn't really make an item overpriced.

      To me overpriced is when you see a doll being sold far over it's typical resale value for no reason. Having said that, I think it's pretty normal to have some kind of cap on what one feels comfortable spending, because it can get very expensive fast, but I don't think that suggests any kind of value judgment about the dolls themselves.

      I've seen other people occasionally make that claim about bjds, and it seems odd to me to be involved in a hobby, where you (general you) perceive that the dolls are not worth the money.
       
    9. -Is any doll worth that amount from your point of view?

      To me, personally, the short answer to this question is no. I have been in the hobby for more than a couple years, and I have seen some dolls fly by at some crazy prices. Bermanns at 4000.00 USD, Woosoos at 2000.00. Elf Luts Dolls soaring to peak at 1800.00 - 2000.00 dollars, an then of course, Volks Limiteds on the resale market (like that Shinku) at 300, 000 yen (like Cecile) a piece. But that's vthe resale market for you, and alot of people make alot of profit off of that. That's just business, wether I agree with it or not.

      There are some dolls out there that I think justify at least part of these hefty price tags (the resale market for the Soom Monthlies is out of control. I paid 1400 dollars for my Euclase.) when it comes to reselling. Dolls that are incredibly small release, like the Dream of Doll Dark Camines, Shalls, etc. I think tacking on an extra hundred or so (up to four or five hundred, in some cases) is reasonable, given the doll is in incredibly good condition when you sell it. Others, not so much. Like the 4000.00 dollars Bermann. Considering that doll was sold at easily at least 300x his original market price, that's when I think a doll no longer becomes worth it and an alternative must be found.

      When it comes to buying a doll from its original manufacturer, I always find the price reasonable. Volks has a high price tag but they have good quality dolls, and they have some of the strongest artists working there for them to bring us that good quality. Other companies do, as well, and the bar they set for thier price tags often is fair. Even if you have to wait awhile after ordering a doll to recieve it.

      -If you have ever bought a limited doll from a second hand market for a minimum of a few thousand dollars, what are the pros and cons of this? And do you worry that it may lose value due to popularity (or lack of) or from typical wear over time? What makes that doll worth it to you?

      The most expensive doll I've bought came up to 1485.00 dollars after shipping. That's the most expensive I've ever paid for a doll and the most expensive i ever plan to spend on one as well. What made me spend so much money in the first place was knowing that the resale value of this doll, if I didn't get him now (my Euclase) would most likely get higher rather than go down. To people who own these high in demand dolls, if they want to resell them, they're looking at a profit of often 500.00 dollars, which is alot of money and definitely a plus to having a doll. It's not why i wanted mine, as I intend to keep him, but the resale value of a doll shoul definitely be factored in when you buy a doll who is priced very highly.

      Besides that, I was also willing to spend the money because I ended up only paying 300.00 or so out of my own pocket. The rest came from splitting up the outfit from the doll, and liquidating my old dolls into the purchase. I think the old, 'one out, one in' rule can justify a hefty doll pricetag. If you're liquidating a doll to go towards another doll, you're not spending any 'real' money, or you're spending less of it.

      -To those who would pay this amount but haven't/can't: What makes a doll worth this amount to you?

      I no longer beleive a doll is worth more than one 1200.00 dollars in cold, hard cash. i appreciate the value of my money more than I do my hobby.

      Again, I think it would be permissable if dolls were liquidated to buy that 2000.00+ doll, but then, it's obviously got to be a doll you really like, its limitedness aside. I wouldn't spend that much on a doll otherwise, anyway.

      -To those who would not pay this amount, even if you did have the money: Let's just pretend that your dream dolly is a limited going for a few thousand, why wouldn't you be willing to pay this amount?

      Still too much money. I have learned in this hobby that there are many 'dream dolls' out there, not just one. What's more, your ideal dream dolls can change with time as you change and your interests change. Or, you can find alternatives that, with customization, end up being pretty much like the Limited 'dream doll' you've been eyeing. What's more, spending so much time to customize the doll, in my case, anyway, would only make me more close the the doll in question. I worked hard to make it the way it is. It becomes unique to itself for being that way, and a 'Limited' in my eyes. As corny as that sounds, but hopefully, you understnad what I mean. :)
       
    10. -Is any doll worth that amount from your point of view? - Some of the dolls that are higher priced and limited, yes I do believe it is worth it. First them being limited makes them worth it. Second in cases like the Soom monthlies, they are very unique looking dolls and alot of work and items come with the dolls.

      -If you have ever bought a limited doll from a second hand market for a minimum of a few thousand dollars, what are the pros and cons of this? And do you worry that it may lose value due to popularity (or lack of) or from typical wear over time? What makes that doll worth it to you?

      I've personally bought a Volks Yukinojo for 1999 USD. I had to do a layaway on him and it took me a bit to pay him off. But I knew I wasn't going to get him anywhere else. I've only seen him come on the marketplace a few times, and most times he'd been modded or lost his default faceup. I'd had my eye on him for a long time. Since the first time I saw a picture of him, he was one of those "dream doll" situations. I'd constantly see him go on ebay for close to 3,000 dollars. So I considered a thousand less on the marketplace here on DoA was a steal. Esp. seeing as he was just over a 1000 originally. At first I did worry about him losing popularity and his value going down, because that was alot of money for just one doll. but getting him home and even just having him sitting in my home made it worth it. There are some dolls that we really just enjoy their sculpts, look, fullset items, etc. Yukinojo was one of those for me. He was a doll I CONSTANTLY looked at and wanted. And now going thru my house, seeing him sitting there, I'm SO happy with my decision to buy him.

      -To those who would pay this amount but haven't/can't: What makes a doll worth this amount to you?


      The doll itself, his sculpt, his fullset options. And it may seem silly but I'm honestly one who always reads the small stories that come with each Volks doll. I loved his story too. To me he was just a really beautiful doll, he was limited and I felt it worth it to have him.

      Collecting/Owning BJDs is an expensive hobby in itself. But if we look at the work that goes into making the sculpts, clothing for fullsets/limiteds, etc. to me the cost becomes worth it. We are paying for the materials that make the doll, the artists that sculpts, and yes sometimes even the name.
       
    11. At original value, dolls are not overpriced at all.

      For an item that a person doesn't need, they are luxury, but overpriced? No.

      Learning how to make dolls like these, as well as buying the equipment necessary, in addition to actually running a business, not to mention the hours and skill it takes to make these is not cheap. Those that make them still have to make a profit. They don't seem so expensive when you put it that way.

      In fact, when the whole process is looked into on a deeper level, I'm surprised that they're not more.
       
    12. I'm glad they're not more, though. Or else I'd be broke! ;)

      But seriously, I do have to agree with the other two girls, here. Dolls are luxury items. People need to prioritize thier wants/needs before they even consider buying a doll. They're not an affordable item for every one. It's like buying designer clothes - THOSE aren't necessary, but then, you have young men and women who spend 1500.00+ on a jacket just to wear somebody's name on a label. It's the same concept, if you ask me.

      When something's a luxury, it's not overpriced. I think the only thing that makes a doll overpriced, is, as I said, if one were to buy a doll and then resale it for more than let's say 50% more of it's worth. But even then, I still see the logic in it: that's consumerism. Demand > Quantity = $$$$$!!! Demand < Quantity = $.
       
    13. -Is any doll worth that amount from your point of view?

      I think I would have to answer 'yes' to the above question, because quite frankly, I view dolls as a work of art more than anything else. It's like asking if a certain painting is really worth over a million dollars (or whatever outrageous price some paintings go for). If you look at bjds as works of arts, then a doll - especially a limited - can easily be worth $4000 in my eyes.

      However, I personally think that a price tag over $1000 should only apply to those really limited dolls and not regular dolls. Second hand, regular dolls (regular as in you can buy direct from companies) going for anywhere between $200-$1000 (depending on size, sculpt, age, whether there's been modding done or if there are any defects, etc) is a reasonable price to me as long as a regular doll isn't listed for more than its original price on the doll company's website ~__~

      -If you have ever bought a limited doll from a second hand market for a minimum of a few thousand dollars, what are the pros and cons of this? And do you worry that it may lose value due to popularity (or lack of) or from typical wear over time? What makes that doll worth it to you?

      I have yet to buy a second hand limited doll, but I do have hopes that one day I'll be able to buy a Soom Sard. I'm constantly kicking myself for not ordering him when he was released.

      But to the point; if I ever did manage to find a Sard and bought him, I would not be worried about the doll losing value as I don't intend to sell him. Most limited dolls I buy, I buy with the intention of keeping as well, so resale value really isn't an issue to me.

      -To those who would pay this amount but haven't/can't: What makes a doll worth this amount to you?

      I can't say I would pay $4000 for a Sard even though he is a limited and I know I'm kind of contradicting the answer to my first question now :sweat

      -To those who would not pay this amount, even if you did have the money: Let's just pretend that your dream dolly is a limited going for a few thousand, why wouldn't you be willing to pay this amount?

      Well the reason I wouldn't pay over $2500 for a Sard (let alone $4000 if anyone ever tried to sell him at that price) is because Sard, while being limited, was rather popular. Like Beryl, I'm sure there's quite a few Sards out there and there's always a chance that I'll come across someone selling a Sard for a more reasonable price.

      Now, if Sard was extremely limited like some dolls are limited to only 10 in the entire world, then it would be a different story.
       
    14. To answer your questions about paintings, I used to work at an art center with a group of artists who had developmental disabilities. Thier works ranged from 800.00 dollars (and that's on the super cheap, bargain bin kind of deal) to well over 9000.00 dollars. Other artists from other sects in the community could charge more than 25000.00 dollars a pop.

      So, if you look at dolls as an art form, dolls are relatively cheap in comparison. ^^;;
       
    15. -Is any doll worth that amount from your point of view?
      Is there any doll worth $4,000 to me? No. Is there any doll worth $2,000 to me? Yes, a few. :sweat To some, that's just as bad as $4,000 but to me, it's alot lower, all of this really just comes into what people view as alot of money and what they don't. Of course someone who makes $3,000 extra a month after already paying bills and such, with 10 months of living expenses saved in the bank already doesn't view that as alot. But to someone who's saving $20-$60 a month trying to save up for a goal like that, it is quite alot.

      -To those who would pay this amount but haven't/can't: What makes a doll worth this amount to you?
      I haven't bought a limited expensive doll yet, but I plan to in the next 5 years, which I expect by then the price will go up even more just because it is one of the most popular headmolds ever made by Volks. To me, it makes it just as worth it as any unlimited doll, there is no super special reason behind it. :sweat It's simpley that I want it and plan to get it someday.
       

    16. That's my opinion, you don't have to like it. And not having the cash is not my problem. Not wanting to spend money on a hobby isn't the problem either. I don't get the price gap between some of the companies... That really annoys me sometimes (especially if there is a visible difference in quality). Anyway, it's a debate and that's my opinion. I am not saying that they should be cheap. And I know that dolls are art (most of the time) and that they are worth some money. Some off the dolls are worth the money. I did not think that some people would get so irritated about a simple statement. Maybe I should have formulated it in a more precise way. But, like I said above, it depends on the company.
      Everybody can spend as much money as they want, I don't care.
      That said, I don't want to get to off-topic with explaining my opinion (which I don't have to).
      I'm not interested in a debate where people are saying (even in a indirect way) that I just don't have the money to buy expensive dolls o.O. That's getting to personal for my taste.

       
    17. I can't afford LE not new or used and as for spending thousands most I have paid with face up, body work and basic outfit is very close to $1000 and it scared me. So now I have to really think what a doll is worth to me, not just seller.
       

    18. Lol, I was actually just using paintings as another example of art that can go for any price really (from $10 to over several millions!), but people are willing to pay those prices because it's obiviously worth it to them. I think the same can apply to bjds, but only if you consider bjds as works of arts too.

      If you consider them as luxury items or really pretty toys (or anything else along those lines), then I can understand if you don't agree with paying $4000 for a doll, even if it was a limited one. And when I say 'you', I mean in the general sense, I'm not referring to any one person who has posted ^^
       
    19. That's okay, no offense taken. I actually am one of those people. I mean, I do appreciate dolls in a very artistic sense, but I also view them as a luxury. I view ownin art as a luxury, as well. Anything that isn't necessary to live or is more expensive than a standard issue of something (like a car versus a luxury car) would be considered a luxury in my books.

      It just happens that dolls are also very versatile, and definitely pieces of art, as you say. I hadn't completely considered that before.

      Though I still wouldn't pay more than 50% more for a doll, Limited or not, on it's company's original price. ^^;;
       


    20. I'll admit, I would triple check the price of a doll - even if it's limited - before buying it. Honestly, it would be wonderful if I managed to find someone selling a full set Sard for a price close to his original price, but I'd be kind of wary since he usually goes for more. But at the same time, I would also be two minded about buying a full set Sard if he was priced over a certain amount too.

      I guess, for me, it all boils down to the actual condition of the doll AND the price being charged. I know I said I view bjds as works of arts, but I probably would not buy a Sard at $2000 (example price) if the doll was badly yellowed or damaged in some way =/

      EDIT: And I think I'll stop at that because I'm starting to contradict my own opinions from earlier XD!! Common sense and logic (and my bank account crying) always over rules my personal desire to seek out a full set Sard and buy him ><