How is the BJD market fairing now?

Apr 23, 2016

    1. Are things going as before full steam ahead?
      Has the market become saturated and dolls and doll value are on the decline?


      I have been away from the board for a while and just wondering what is popular and what is not?
       
    2. From what i've seen the secondary market is struggling a lot more than it used to.
       
    3. Things seem to be as popular as ever in my opinion. The facebook groups are getting bigger and bigger, and there are what seems to be a ton of bjd cons popping up all over the world.
      I think the secondhand market isn't exactly saturated but the most popular things seems to be hard to find secondhand. Secondhand sales are a LOT harder to make though, unless you are selling something very popular expect a longer sales time. Especially since most companies have an event going on, they can usually get a free head or something.
      Companies have developed with trends (I.e. there were a lot of centaur dolls about a year ago) and desired tones and have become more inventive and creative, appealing to every walk of creative style.
      Fantasy and pet dolls are on the rise, trendwise. Fairyland seems to be the most popular company at the moment.
       
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    4. The marketplace seems much much worse for sellers and excellent for buyers right now. I've seen things marked super cheap still sit for months at a time. I think part of it is that there are so many readily available cheap new dolls that they don't hold much value, and the rare or expensive ones are hard to move without paperwork and/or a box to prove they're legit. If you have a very popular doll especially with papers and box, it will likely move quickly, but otherwise...it's kind of stagnant.
       
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    5. I have yet to make any purchases on DoA, I've only found things I've been looking for on Facebook. I'm glad to have found items I like there, but also bummed that outside transaction give me zero feedback here (and zero feedback for the seller! I've had great experiences but not many people have feedback threads in the feedback group, that i'm buying from anyway). I've also been privy to some shaky transactions here. Not enough to leave bad feedback, but enough that I will avoid those sellers based on my friends' experiences with them. Doesn't make me want to buy anything here. Fairyland dolls still seem to sell pretty steadily though.
       
    6. I can't say I'm well versed in the marketplace, but I am looking to buy a pre loved minifee sometime in the future. I'm guessing the market is saturated with those. Fingers crossed.
       
    7. Agreeing with the others, back then it was easier to sell pretty much anything, nowadays it's important to sell the right doll/company, else it's hard to get people interested.
      We just have so many new companies, limited releases and cheaper options that the second-hand market isn't that important for buyers anymore.
       
    8. I agree the marketplace is harder to sell the less popular sculpts lately. I had a older doll on there for months and finally traded it. Even the popular companies dolls are slow to sell especially if they are the standard sculpts and there are multiple listings of them. I also think there are more secondhand dolls being sold now as compared to three years ago. Back then, less choices meant more competition for buyers.
       
    9. After they changed the marketplace format it seems harder to sell stuff. Maybe it's getting less traffic and getting buried.

      Also some of the companies changed strategies. Like Soom raised their prices and its harder to recoup those costs. Some companies discontinued dolls, which could be because the market is saturated.
       
    10. Reading this about the marketplace makes me sad. This is an expensive hobby - if people cannot rehome their dolls on a secondary market, how will they be able to afford new ones? I have only just returned to the hobby after being away for 2 years, and I am shocked at how slow the bjd marketplace is. I recently listed several dolls which would have previously sold very quickly, but now not getting any interest at all. My beautiful dollies yearn for new owners who will love them and photograph them. Are they destined to remain boxed and in darkness?
       
    11. Chiming in to add the same about the secondhand market - definitely slow.

      But overall, I think the market for bjds in general seems strong. There continue to be more and more new companies, new dolls, new items for the dolls. And we are getting more and more variety and better quality/innovation with cheaper prices and better availability.

      It's not just dolls, either. For example I have a pair of $50 doll shoes from five years ago. They were a fair price then and one of the most realistic shoes available at that time. But today, I can (and probably will, shortly) buy a pair of even more realistic, more detailed shoes of the same style... for $12 on Taobao. Eyes, too - I remember paying $20-30 for simple glass eyes that are now all over ebay with free shipping for $5-7.

      Another factor is that bjd market values are extremely subject to fashion. The aesthetic that was popular back then has been succeeded by the aesthetic of now, and so a lot of dolls/items that used to be coveted are sitting for months at bargain price.

      But you know what? I think this is a good thing. I'm happy that the hobby is growing and evolving, and I'm happy that it's getting more and more varied, affordable, and accessible.

      The caveat, of course, is that I would suggest being cautious about purchasing unusually expensive dolls/doll items. Consider the possibility that in a few years that currently much-in-demand sculpt or accessory might be very firmly overshadowed by whatever the new popular look is, and therefore might lose half or more of its value.

      It's a buyer's market so I'm enjoying myself as a buyer, and I accept that the necessary flipside of that is that it's harder to resell. Can't have your cake and eat it too, so best to simply enjoy the benefits of the situation and accept the difficulties.
       
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    12. I think there is so much variety now, people are spoiled for choice. I'd say about the same number of dolls sell each day, but there are more dolls for sale overall so it's harder to see.
      I do think unless you have a hard-to-find doll with a few dedicated seekers or you have a sought after popular doll, you are going to have to wait or compromise. And the time to sell a doll is sooner rather than later. As others have said, the trends move quickly, and tastes change just as fast.
       
    13. From experience I was only able to sell dolls I had for sale by offering them at a very reasonable price hence I made a substantial loss. Unless you have an "in demand" doll from a popular company resin BJD's depreciate in value considerably even when you offer clothes etc that have cost you extra as a form of enticement. It's without doubt better to be a buyer than a seller.
       
    14. I definitely agree that despite the (really) slow second hand market turnover the options and variety are great for the bjd community in general :)
       
    15. It's an absolutely *great* time to be a buyer... Particularly if you're looking for older dolls or sculpts that have more of an "old school", stylized look than the realistic aesthetic that's so popular these days. You can find some really good prices on dolls that used to cost an arm and a leg if you're patient.

      The other side of that coin, unfortunately, is that it stinks to be a seller. Especially if you're trying to find a new home for those same older, less-desirable-than-the-New-Hotness old school dolls. If you're selling a MiniFee or a Fifth Motif doll, you're golden... But if it's a classic Volks or CP sculpt, or something more obscure? It'll take a lot of patience and probably more of a mark-down than you'll want to offer to get it to move.
       
    16. Being new to the BJD world, I am looking forward to gaining DofA marketplace access because I'm having a difficult time finding any second hand market dolls and ended up buying new from Luts. I saw a few dolls on eBay but there was very little information/pics and the prices seemed high for second hand. Only 38 odd posts an application to go!
       
    17. Dully noted about the MP. I've taken a break for the past 5 years and I remember the MP was a booming place. Well, it's good to know that my doll and heads are going to sit on the MP for a while. So thanks for the heads up, if anything comes down to it I'll sell them on ebay hopefully someone will love them or use them as a mod practice.
       
    18. I think the market is pretty heavily saturated with supply and sellers that have unrealistic expectations. From my own observations I've seen dolls sit up for sale on various platforms for months at a time until they're either sold or just taken down out of frustration.

      I think there are two groups under the seller umbrella: Newcomers with buyers remorse, and experienced members who feel their dolls "should" sell for a high price.

      With the latter I think it comes from a period of time in this hobby when a second hand doll (even a yellowed one) could fetch close to the same as what you paid originally. Companies were really hit or miss with quality and order fulfillment (depending on the company of course) and it really intimidated people to order from a company knowing full well the doll likely wouldn't be finished until after their paypal coverage had lapsed.

      This situation left doll in hand sellers with all of the cards so to speak, because the condition and quality of the doll could be clearly represented and the buyer didn't have to gamble with possible badly made dolls or the company not fulfilling the order.

      However, since that time the hobby and the reach of the internet has expanded tremendously. Good companies are easily researched, and bad companies are easily avoided. In addition to this, having so many more people in the hobby has also flooded the second hand market with an endless rotating selection of dolls. I believe that as of right now, there is a lot more supply in the second hand market than demand, Especially considering the current economic climate world wide has made luxury impulse purchases something to be carefully considered and often foregone. As a completely luxury hobby, I think the second hand market has suffered greatly from recessions in multiple countries world wide.

      As far as the former of the two groups (remorseful newcomers), I think this is another big reason why we see an over saturated second hand market, as well as the extreme prices. I think a lot of people are picking up the hobby because it's "trendy" in a lot of circles right now and they want to feel included.

      However, as is inevitable with trend chasing, you move on from it. This leaves a pretty irritating chunk of expensive plastic in your life you no longer want or need. So they try to recoup their costs as much as possible, and my personal theory here is they include the fees and shipping that they received and build it into the sale price ON TOP of the shipping and fees they have to pay to sell it.

      However, selling second hand is the same as selling imports. YOU have to eat the cost or your item will just sit there. Whenever I order from overseas and use a deputy service, I do so knowing full well that if I don't like the item, or I am doing it with resell in mind, that the deputy fees, local shipping fees, and shipping overseas to me are expenses that are both costly and something that won't be recoverable second hand.

      The same applies to buying dolls, I know full well that I have to take the burden of shipping fees. I am fully aware that my doll will inherently be worth less should I decide to sell it down the line. Second hand markets are supposed to be cheaper, otherwise there is no point in having them over buying new.
       
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    19. I hear ya slgslc! I am looking forward to getting marketplace access too. Some of the dolls that have caught my eye are no longer in production, so the 2nd hand market would be the only place for me to find them. So I'm hoping to find one of them one day!
       
    20. Good luck with your search Snips and Snails! Even though I've ordered some dolls, I keep looking around at other companies and styles. I also like seeing the creative doll photography in the doll profiles.