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How do you find a good doll company?

May 23, 2010

    1. How do you all find the right doll company for your tastes? It's incredably difficult for me to find a doll I find really attractive, but I just don't know where to look...

      How did you all find a place?
    2. Hmmmm, best advice I can give is to research and look, look, look. I did a lot of searching on Deviant Art before I committed to my first doll. Then I came here and researched the company to make sure everything was on the up and up, read reviews and such. I still do the same thing with each doll I buy.
    3. Trial and error for me! :) There's a wealth of resources here on DoA, and just keep clicking company links and browsing until you find the right one for you.
    4. When I was searching for my first I got VERY overwhelmed...every site had a doll I wanted or thought I wanted. For me I had to buy then sell the ones that didn't fit my style. Finally I have a few that I really enjoy and appreciate. I like souldoll, soom, dollshe and DIM. Volks has very nice resin as well but they look a little childish for me...I prefer their limited dolls with the SD16 or SD17 molds. For me the only thing that really worked was trial and error. For you it's a good idea to search through DOA. Request owner photos ect
    5. Hmm yeah. I have been looking on a site called gigglegeek.dk, but I'm worried Its a little outdated. Useful nonetheless.
    6. A very useful thread for me has been this one.

      It's specifically a mass list of various doll types in all size ranges that are $300 or less (this list is huge, too!), but it spans a very large group of companies to peek at to get you started.

      There was a list of nearly all of them, but I can't seem to locate it on the forum.
    7. When i was looking for my first doll, I asked people and they recommended Luts and Volks. I tried Volks and nothing stood out to me so I went over to Luts and I saw what I thought then was my perfect doll CP SHine. And this was way back when, maybe 3 years ago. And since then, that was the ONLY doll I wanted. Everything else paled in comparison.
      Then a month or two back I was looking to see if I could find a comparison chart of some sort with the sizes of the different dolls and somehow stumbled across Crobidoll. From there my CP Shine was forgotten as soon as I first laid eyes on Yeon-Ho,I just knew he was the one. No question about it.

      I wasn't about to buy a doll from a company I never heard of before so I did research and found out from others that this was a good company and that's when it finalized in my head.

      With that being said, I recommend that you do look around, high and low for the perfect doll for you. Don't just get stuck on a company name just because it's a well known name like people tend to do with brand names. And do not settle. I totally believe that your first doll should be exactly what you want ^^
      If you find a doll that suits you, just go for it ^^

      ./hope that made some sort of sense ^^;;
    8. to look for dolls....goodness! I searched the very corners of DoA....and finally found a list with a bunch of companies/links.


      I went through most of them back when I first joined DoA, and I think there's a TON more that have been added since the very first time that I checked. I didn't really find any dolls that I would absolutely REALLY want to have....but just gotta keep lookin'~
    9. The first one is the hardest, because being a newbie means you need to do a lot of research to find out about almost everything--and as others have said, that can be very overwhelming. But also, as others have said, the most important thing is to just look around and find that doll you absolutely love and can't live without. THEN you can research all about it and see if the company is reliable or if there are other ways to buy the doll (such as on the Marketplace here). That makes it easier.

      DoA makes researching companies a bit easier because there are threads about companies and you can ask questions about them.

      Newer companies will always be more difficult because they have no track record.

      I continually check the news threads for new dolls and new companies. I look in the Galleries for dolls I may like, and in the Box Opening photos. There are so many ways to find dolls, it seems to me...

      But if you don't like any of the ones you've seen, just be patient and keep looking. There are new dolls being made all the time. Or you can try making your own by getting a custom minimee head or something like that, and finding a body to fit. Or looking for what is on sale in the Marketplace in case there's a specific doll with a special faceup or special combination of parts that comes up for sale there. Just keep looking at all the doll pictures--there are TONS... If they continue to not appeal to you, then maybe BJDs aren't for you and you'll have saved a lot of money!!! You can always borrow a friend's doll to play around with if you want to have one for any reason, and then hand it back afterward. I don't think it's a good thing to just "settle" for a doll you don't really like...

      After someone has been around for a while, this question will usually go away, since there will be all too many companies one likes and dolls one can't live without... or at least that's the problem with most of us!!! *_*
    10. Thanks all for the ideas!
    11. The main thing I did when I first joined was hang out in the gallery and picture-request areas and look at everyone's dolls and Googling for the company site whenever I saw one I liked. :3 (the pic-request one is good because people ask for a lot of unusual things, so you get to see nude dolls, resin comparisons, size comparisons, how different brands look side-by-side, and learn what clothes and wigs and stuff fit on what dolls) The BJD database, box opening gallery, marketplace, size-specific doll discussions.. these are also great places to lurk, because you'll see and hear a lot of info about all different dolls, and you'll start to notice certain brands that keep catching your eye.
      Just take it slow and enjoy the search. :3
    12. For my first doll, it really was a shot in the dark. DoA had closed registration at the time so I wasn't a member and other than knowing of Dollzone and Angel of Dream because I was looking five years ago when I couldn't afford it, I mostly searched ebay. I lucked out in picking a reputable seller who also happened to be an agent for several doll companies so I just went through them and looked at mostly the ones that were within my budget.

      Having said that, I did know that I wanted my first doll to be a male doll and I wanted the bigger size doll (1/3 size) and I wanted white skin. So using that particular criteria, I bascially looked at a lot of doll pictures and picked one that appealed to me. I didn't particularly care about the company, just that the sculpt had to call out to me in some way and that I could afford it!

      I am now looking for my second doll and I know a lot more than I did when I bought my first so there is a lot more choices and it is very overwhelming. What I am currently doing is checking out owner pictures of dolls I might like and if I see one, I find out what company it is from and search up owner pictures and check out the feedback here on DoA to see what people are saying about the company. I also check out the BJD discussion threads because people do post pictures of their dolls in that too and there is a lot of discussion on both the experience with the company and the versatility of the dolls.

      Also, I tend to email the companies with questions I might have. This serves two purposes. The first is information about the doll and the second is gauging customer service. I look at whether they answer all my questions and how long it takes them to reply to my questions. I emailed one company and it took them a month to get back to me. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed and have since crossed that company off my list of possible companies to choose for my second doll.

      I put a lot of stock in customer service so if a company is friendly, helpful and provides good service, I'm more likely to go with them for my next doll. Customer service is very important to me, second only to whether I like a doll and even if I like two dolls, if one company has shody service and another has better service, I will go with the one with better service because I refuse to give money to companies with bad customer service.
    13. I look everywhere. I go to all of the doll companies I regularly shop, and then expand into the ones I've heard of, but never really go to. After that, if I still have not found the doll I'm looking for, I'll search out other companies I've never even heard of or thought I'd go to. Basically, I look and re-look over every site I can, until I find the doll most suited for what I want. you just have to keep searching.
    14. Dear alexknyde,

      Another place to look is the MeetUps subforum.
      Because if there is a meet that you can go to, you'll be able to meet dolls and local doll collectors who will be a very useful resource. The doll people I have met are very interesting in general, too. :)
      You may even be able to pick up and play with other people's dolls, with their permission, of course, and find if 70cm of resin is too much for you, or a pleasent heft, or if tinies are too small, or whatever your tastes may be.
    15. A doll company (besides being established) has little to do with my choice for a doll. I focus on sculpt and as long as the company I'm looking at has a good reputation in transactions, I'll go with it. I think as I buy more dolls, that I may focus to one or two companies exclusively since I'll have more exposure to the types of doll bodies I prefer. Or just buy a head sculpt from one place and then a body from another.
    16. Just look around on different sites and in the marketplace and stuff :)
      And preferences are for most persons different :)
      good luck with looking around.. it's fun :)
    17. I just know I research a lot, and pick out companies I like most, or vice versa. For example, I'm not really a huge fan of Luts because a majority of their dolls are very unrealistic and anime-like. But in the all, all companies have their ups and downs so I do not really have a "favorite."
    18. You could check out the Doll Databases here, and see if any doll attracts your interest. I also recommend going to meet ups or doll events so you can see them up close and personal. Patience usually pays off in the end, I believe. :)
    19. FWIW -- email response time isn't always the best gauge of customer service response. A lot of companies either don't respond to emails or don't respond quickly to them -- however, if you post to their site's Q&A board, you'll get a response VERY quickly. Relying solely on email response time to judge a company's customer service capabilities is a good way to rule out a company that actually DOES have stellar customer service, just doesn't handle it in quite that way. I had that happen to me a couple times -- emailed, no response, posted to Q&A and got a response within 24hrs. You can see this mentioned a lot in the Buying & Shipping subforum.

      As for the OP...

      I read DoA.

      I found dolls I liked. I read the company feedback threads in the Marketplace. I looked for any and every piece of information I could about a company's reliability. I asked friends of mine in the hobby. Picking a doll is a really personal choice, so I preferred to not rely on people telling me 'well X is a good company' since their tastes in dolls could differ from mine. You've got access to the best possible resource here on DoA, after all.
    20. Well, I ask other doll collectors if they own a doll by a company I am interested in. With my Lee Doll, I took a gamble on a new company called "Angel Street". I have to say I am happy with the gamble I took on him. But I agree with others and examine the Marketplace on DoA for reviews on dolls and purchases. It's one of the best ways to find a good doll!