Hesitant to buy a doll because of owner photos?

May 28, 2020

    1. Have you ever been hesitant to order a doll because of owner photos or a lack of owner photos? If you still ordered it, did you end up liking it? If you didn't order it, do you regret it?
    2. I've had this problem before. When I bought my Withdoll Little Fox Lucy the sculp was new and there were no owner photos. I bought her because she was a limited edition and I was afraid I would regret not getting her. It was the best decision I could've taken. She's the only doll I've got left and I adore her to bits.

      A friend of mine (@Vicky-Rivero) recommends looking at the blank sculpt before buying. She says that sometimes owner photos don't make the sculpt justice and you need to be able to visualize the potential of the doll instead of just seeing if you like how other people have styled theirs. In my opinion, it's more important to know about the quality of the dolls of the company. Are they good posers? Is the resin nice? How is their custom service? In the end, if you don't like the doll, you can always sell it. I've known many people who really liked the company and owner photos and weren't satisfied once the doll got to them.
    3. Yes! I own several dolls that have very sparse owner photos and almost no talk about them. It's odd because I've resold dolls who I loved in photos but disliked in person but my oddball/unpopular dolls have thus far stuck with me.

      I second that knowing the quality of the companies dolls and really studying the company photos can serve you as well as owner photos and some owner photos may make the doll appeal to you less if it goes against the aesthetic you enjoy.
      • x 2
    4. I almost always purchase dolls blind and on impulse. I have liked all but 2. At least this way, I know I'm not subconsciously copying someone else!
      The downside is sometimes when you really love a sculpt and you just want to see how others have made it their own, you can't.
    5. I have definitely passed up dolls because there were no owner photos of them or the ones that were available were awful looking. I don't think I regret not getting them, because the characters I had in mind for them had matured in development so much that those sculpts just didn't fit anymore anyway. However, just last year I bought a doll that I couldn't find any owner photos for and I absolutely adore him! I took a chance and I don't regret it whatsoever. Sylvester is a SDF65 Gray and owner photos are super scarce. In fact when I do a search for them, I only come up with company photos and my own! XD I think it's normal to want to see photos of a doll other than from the company before you buy.
      • x 1
    6. Yep, I HATE when there's no blank sculpt picture. Faceups and lighting and angle can change SO MUCH and I want to know what the base looks like so I can plan and so I can work out if it's the sculpt I like or the styling of the doll.
      So often i've seen a doll and thought "ooo I like" and then seen it blank and realised "oh, that's actually a really bland sculpt" or "oh gosh, i didn't realise it had those eyebags, I don't like that" etc.

      It drives me INSANE that several companies just flat out do not have blank sculpt pictures. Like.. come on guys, I want to know what i'm purchasing. I never buy a doll with a faceup, I do them myself, so I want to know what i'm purchasing when I buy the doll blank. It shouldn't be a big ask. Blank sculpt pictures please!

      Like, doll family A have several really interesting looking sds but can I find owner pics of most of them? Heck no. And DFA don't present them anywhere so i'm like "do I want to take the gamble?"
      it's a lot of money to gamble on whether you'll like the blank doll or not.

      I don't want to buy blind and it really does put me off a purchase.
      • x 2
    7. I've done this several times, and it's kind of 50/50 for me. There was one I ended up hating because there were no profile pics of him anywhere and it turned out that his face was very flat and unattractive, and that was the worst for me.

      But others have been better than expected, like my OfButterfliesNThings Paulette! She's easily one of my favorite dolls I've ever owned. I couldn't find any photos of her before buying, and she's just perfect.

      And then there's the opposite--I bought my Impldoll Aigne because I honestly thought she was somewhat unattractive and my character was meant to be average looking at best and she turned out so much cuter than I wanted her to be. :XD:
      • x 1
    8. I have a few of Soom's LE Faery Legend dolls, so unless its a new version of a pre-existing doll or an Free Choice Event, there are no owner photos. One of the ones I have I was hesitant about because her default face-up makes her look worried, and the company didn't provide any blank photos. I did order her, and I love her.

      However, I by far prefer to be able to see blank photos and/or owner photos before I buy a doll.
    9. I'm only willing to buy a doll "blind" if its a good deal. I've done that twice so far and both times it worked out. One of the dolls I ended up selling the head but still have the body and the other I sold for the same price I paid, which was a lot less than its new price. So someone else was able to get a good deal and I was able to provide them better pics than I had been given.
      But usually I don't like taking a chance for the amount of money some dolls can be.
    10. I kind of had a similar experience recently, I preordered a doll because I really liked his company photos. Other people got him before I did so I saw their owner photos and started to have some fears that I wouldn't like him because I wasn't feeling their photos- the way he was styled, the faceups they gave him, the hair + eyes combos, and the angles, I'm not saying their photos were bad because they did have nice photos and I liked them a lot! It was just not what I had imagined for my doll personally. I got worried that the company photos were misleading or if the doll wouldn't fit in to my tastes.

      But it turns out that angles and styling really makes a huge difference- when I got my doll he was exactly how I hoped, and I'm super happy with the photos I took of him! So I would say that you shouldn't feel discouraged even if there's no owner photos or if you're not into the owner photos that are out there. Each doll can become super unique based on what you do with them. I've seen photos of the same sculpts from different owners where they didn't even look like the same doll because of how different they were! You can only really figure out if you like a doll once they're in your hands.
    11. Yeah, absolutely--company photos are really nice and all, but I also like being able to see what the doll looks like outside of a photoshoot situation. Being able to see blank sculpts super helps me make a decision too, because I know I'm probably not going to be doing the same kind of faceup as what the company's done.
      I've only ever bought dolls that I was able to find owner photos of just because I prefer to have that added reassurance of what the doll actually looks like. I did buy a head that I wasn't able to find many owner photos for, but the exception there was that it was super on sale--30 bucks. >> If it works for what I was planning, then I got a great cheap head. If not, it was just 30 bucks.

      edit ; ha wow I misunderstood!
      But! Still yes. Sometimes, you just can't find good owner photos, and that tends to make me a little nervous about what the doll's going to look like in my hands.
      #11 Orionis, May 29, 2020
      Last edited: May 29, 2020
    12. I have experienced this in the past and am currently going through this right now with Spirit Doll Dahlia. I haven't seen many photos of her, just like I hadn't of my Angell-Studio Virgo. I love my Virgo to pieces and she is SUPER adorable, so it works out just fine that I never saw many photos of her. I'm thinking the same will happen with the Dahlia if I ever do get around to ordering her. I think it's about finding the right angles for a doll more than anything else when it comes to photographing them to capture the light of what the company photo had. The styling is also huge, but the angle is so so important.
      • x 1
    13. I struggled for a long time over whether to buy this cute Island Doll 39cm body because I couldn't find any owner pics of the joints... in the display photos it's difficult to tell if the legs are double jointed and I CAN'T do single joints. :eusa_sile I think I searched and pondered and worried over it for months before finally just biting the bullet.

      Turns out the limbs ARE double jointed, but the joints totally suck. :doh But I still like it enough that It's still in my collection... so I guess it worked out well enough.

      Generally I find display/company pics good enough, though...
    14. Tell me about it? They have some dolls that look so lovely, but i cannot find owner photos or blank sculpt photos. Some of the companies have very particular ways of doing face ups that make sculpts that are in fact lovely, look awful.

      I spent ages deliberating over my first doll (Pipos Aloha) as I could find no owner photos at all, just one unboxing video and no blank sculpt pictures. I decided to go with it, i'm happy i did, she's such a cute little doll and is lovely blank. But it's super frustrating.
    15. I definitely prefer to see owner photos before buying a doll because there are definitely dolls where I love the company photos but then the owner photos are like "who is this?!" and sometimes owner photos make me realize I am more in love with the face-up than the sculpt. It's a lot cheaper to try new face-up stylings on dolls I already own than buying a new head...

      Nothing makes me nervous like limited edition sculpts because it's like if I don't buy it now, it may be harder to get the doll later, but then it's like "what if it drives me insane that they look weird to me at some angle?"

      And some doll companies are so terrible about giving nice all angles photos and blank head photos. =_= I forgot which sculpt a super old doll I had was and then the Dollzone website photos were like "we have weird artsy fartsy angles and hair all over the face."

      I've had some hits and I've had some misses.
    16. When I was actively purchasing BJD, I only looked at owner photos to see if the sculpt looked weird from different angles than the company's promos -- or for blank photos that the company didn't offer. I am weird, so I tend to only like sculpts very few (or no one else) like. Finding owner photos of most of the dolls I own was a pain in the gut back in the day. I mostly looked at box-openings on here to see if the fingers, or other parts would usually arrive intact. Particularly with my Mano, because I had never seen delicately sculpted fingers like his before, on a large doll. I was scared they would arrive in pieces. Luckily, there was one single owner that posted a box opening for their Mano, so I was a to get a good idea about how the doll was packaged and was less afraid to order mine. It's more like I was reassured whether it was a good choice or not, but not because there were a lot of owner photos or lack of them, but because I could safely assume the doll wouldn't arrive broken. (:
    17. I more like to pass if there are no blank sculpt pictures available. Most companies and artists provide them upon request at least, but why not have them up in the first place, argh! To me almost anything looks off in a company faceup and does not encourage me to buy it if there are no blank head photos. My style of painting dolls is very different from company faceups, a bit messy and rugged even.

      Also, I rarely see any owner pictures in the style that I do faceups in, so sometimes I am hesitant to buy a doll because I have absolutely no idea whether my idea will work on it. when I see a sculpt that looks good in a complete different style from what I make, I often get a feeling the sculpt is not for me at all.

      I have bought dolls blind without having any reference how a custom face will work on them (there have for example been only company makeup photos from users), and I'd say the staying rate has been about 50%. So a good half of them have worked out for me.

      Of course there are the cases where owner photos reveal a significant flaw in the doll, something that is hidden in company photos. Can be a posing flaw or the doll just looks dumb in some angle etc. Those get me a lot more hesitant than "does this fit my style" hesitant.. But in those cases I have been grateful that customer reviews and photos brought the issue up and I did not have to purchase and see for myself.
    18. A while back I had a Migidoll Shion. There were very few owner pictures of the doll but at the time I was in love with the sculpt. When I got him, I was still in love and had no regrets. But over time, he just didn't fit what I wanted so I sold him. There was no regret, just didn't work out in the end. I still love the sculpt though. This can happen in cases where there are a lot of beautiful owner photos that you love yet that doll may not be what you want in your own collection.