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Is it 'wrong' to buy dolls to customise for resale?

May 22, 2009

    1. I've searched, and not find anything exactly on this topic - there's a thread specifically about buying multiple dolls/LEs to resell, but that doesn't quite answer my question.

      I've recently been inspired by an idea for a potential 'set' of customs I want to make. The problem is that I a) don't really want to own so many dolls myself and b) can't afford to buy that many dolls all at once.

      But what I've realised I could do is buy one doll, customise it, sell it, and use the 'profits' (I don't expect to get much more than cost back, as I'm not a well-known customiser yet) to buy the next doll to customise. I'm personally happy with just creating pretty things; I don't mind not owning them all (I may keep the last one in the 'set'). Just photographs of them before I send them off to their new owners would be enough to make me happy - I'm more interested in the creation than the owning.

      But I realised that this might be treading close to the 'buying to resell' line. So I was wondering - is there a difference between buying a doll to customise, with the intention of selling the custom, compared to just buying a doll to resell? Does it change things if you buy multiple dolls with the same intention? What if they are all the same doll, from the same company?

      And though I'm not considering doing this with limiteds, would that make a difference again?
    2. Hi personally i don't find it wrong.
      Infact, that is what many people do be it barbies or blythes or bjds. Well granted that I don't know what their motives are for doing so, be it to earn "profits" or just coz they want to make pretty things.
      But I think its just a good way of being able to express yourself through your customisations and without spending a bomb by accumulating those dolls.
      Besides, if your customisations are good, people are bound to appreciate and even want more of your work.

      Bottom line is... if you're gonna create beautiful looks for the dolls, why would anyone complain about that :D
    3. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Some people already do this with damaged dolls. I think it's definitely a great way of doing something you enjoy without accumulating too many dolls you don't have room/money for, while also getting your name out there as a customiser.
    4. I have bought two dolls the the intention of doing this. I told myself that I'd sell them once I fixed them up... and then I fell in love with them. xD Good thing they were just pukis and not something terribly expensive.
    5. nothing wrong at all!:)
      you said it, you like to customize more than to own a doll, and this way, you'll be putting original, pretty dolls for sale, and this may help people who want a certain mold but aren't sure with the character... this way they can have a doll already customize and with a hint of character and all.
      also it's good if you can make some profit out of this. :)
    6. too true sososososoooo true
      I ALWAYS fall in love arghhhhhh
      And end up keeping them :(
    7. Personally I don't see anything wrong with that. You customise them and then sell them if you don't wish to keep them. That can easily happen with just about any doll regardless - I don't see how buying them with that express intent is any difference. It allows you to have your projects, make back the investment you put into them and get your name out all at the same time. More power to you, really. :)
    8. I think these dolls are art objects. All you would be doing is adding your creativity to a piece of art. Even if you do it for profit as things progress, I don't see anything wrong with it at all: you're not trying to make a profit off of someone else's work (i.e., the doll companies', with re-selling limiteds). You'll just make something a little more original.

      (And you won't go crazy with a house full of dolls.)
    9. To be honest... I have the urge to do the same thing (years from now when I'm much more experienced and have the skills to do so, mind you, but still...), so personally I don't think it's wrong. However, I also wonder how other people feel about this, so it's good to see that there are others that think it's okay. ^_^
    10. As long as it's not limiteds, I'm all for it. I mean there are well known customizers that do it all the time.
    11. I see nothing wrong with this. In fact my favourite doll is such a doll (debuzza on e-bay).
      I loved the way she was put together so much for three months I kept her in her "default" state. She still wears the wig and eyes. I say if you can get your art on and make someone else happy, go for it!
    12. I don't think it's wrong, but I think it would be foolish to assume that you'll even make back what you paid, much less turn a profit, especially right now when the market is very, very slow. Dolls don't always retain value, especially when modified/customized. So make sure you don't actually need that money back first.
    13. I don't think it's 'wrong' but it does tend to annoy me.

      I see a lot of rare dolls which were bought to customise and resell for a profit and all I want is the blank doll. I don't want their personalised mark.
    14. This. I don't think there's anything unethical about it, but I usually have a specific idea in mind when I'm doll-shopping. So I tend to stay away from dolls that have a lot of customization work done to them - I'm just going to wipe it, so there's no point. When said dolls are hard to get ahold of and the only ones around are obviously being resold for profit after having a bunch of customization done, it's just irritating. Like babytarragon said, I just want the doll, I'm not interested in buying the character someone else created.

      Another question to keep in mind is: are you going to be upset if someone buys the doll you customized and then wipes the faceup and changes everything about them?
    15. I don't think there's anything wrong with it at all. There are those like me, babytarragon and others who prefer to buy a doll blank and do the creation ourselves, but there are many more out there who don't have the skills and/or the time and would love to get a unique handmade fullset, so it's definitely worth a try.

      Buy something you can readily afford and start the auction at what you have into the project. The rest (if any) is icing on the cake.
    16. I agree with Redfeathers and Babytarrgon on this. It's not really an ethical or moral question, just annoying when some customisers create a 'new character' and you have to pay more for the faceup/creation when all you want is the blank mold. But there are some that like a full package.

      Other than that if you just want to buy a doll with the intention of modification then by all means do it. As long as you're not expressly looking for a profit and aware that some money may be lost (unless of course you're a sort after customiser) then buying merely to customise is your perogative. If you do make a profit then it's a nice turnout.

      Personally I intend to do that, buy a doll or two or even heads and do up as I envisioned. Unless someone wants the doll like that, I would rather wipe the faceup and sell the blank doll. If it's for fun, then how I got it would be how it would be when it leaves. It allows you to do what you want but not having to keep it, of course it's more annoying when it's a limited over a standard but it's all fair game.
    17. I don't think it's wrong and I like seeing what other people make of their dolls. Just keep in mind that customised doll does not have to mean "cash cow". Full sets are worth more than blank dolls, obviously, but not everyone is interested in the "extras" (as several have stated above me.)

      I buy heads now and then for mod projects and then sell them, because I don't feel like buying extra bodies or keeping floating heads around. When I do that I try to get "cheap" heads (like during the leekeworld $50 heads event) so I have a "cheap" head to sell. I'm happy when I can get back what I paid or enough to buy something new to work on. The pressure of making a profit is taking away the fun of modding for me.
    18. I think it's excellent that people customize dolls for resale.

      If this did not happen, I would not have got my first Super Dollfie...

      Customization for resale is a legit practice and is seen much more favourably than scalping or flipping (simply buying for direct profitable resale), mainly because the person put more substantially more effort into redeveloping the doll. And of course the doll's value could go up-- it becomes more unique and has the One-Off factor. Sometimes customization can change a doll's aesthetic value in such a way that the doll's monetary value decreases though. Even so, 'default' or 'custom' are not inherently negative or positive features even though they do have an overall affect on the way the doll is valued.

      The end-user is the one whom the value of the doll matters most to. Whether they appreciate the sentimental, monetary or aesthetic value of the doll most is a feature of the owner's perspective-- it does not necessarily mean that the doll has any of these characteristics intrinsically. The owner imposes their own appreciated values upon the doll to render the doll a significant item. The owner can claim either default or custom as a positive feature to support the doll's significance.

      About customizing limiteds... It seems fans of certain limited edition dolls might become offended if that doll is customized because they appreciate the doll's default form the most. If the doll is aesthetically pleasing then that value can become substantially higher because the doll is rare.
      I think the offense comes from knowing that once the doll is customized it no longer exists in its original rare form; the default characteristics will have been changed. This can have an adverse effect on the doll's monetary value if the customization does not result in an even more aesthetically pleasing or beautiful appearance. Alternatively, the fans can gain an even higher appreciation for the doll if the customization results in high beauty, and are often willing to pay a higher price as a result.

      Another main point is that doll customization can be a creative outlet for artists. I would hate it if an artist was inhibited because others claimed it was just to increase monetary resale value, or that it ruined whatever intangible sentiment the supposedly has by default.

      I am personally all-for customized resale. This is the place where some of the most incredibly beautiful and unique dolls come from!
    19. I see no issue with this at all. I'm one of those people who doesn't have much experience with face ups or any other type of customization, so if I found a doll customized to something I find aesthetically appealing, HELLA YES I'm on that.

      I don't even see a problem doing it to limiteds. Why? As soon as you buy the doll, its yours to do what you want with it. If you want to change it because it's a mold you think would look better with this or that done to it, go for it! The only important thing there is to know that with a LE you're not ever going to get the money you paid for it back.

      So yeah, I'm someone who, funding willing, would pay for a customized doll in a heart beat without wanting to wipe its face when it got home. Especially when the custom looks are more punk or raver inspired.
    20. I definitely don't think there is an issue with it... I mean, most of the people who buy the dolls to customize them are extremely desirable, sought-after artists... very talented people.

      I think it's a good thing to see a little bit of variety around here! ^.^