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Modding: does it decrease or increase the resale price?

Aug 30, 2010

    1. I searched the forum, but didn't find such topic. Mods, please feel free to merge or delete this one if it already exists. Thanks.

      A person buys a doll, probably not with the intention to resell it. They love it, give it a faceup, bodyblushing or other paint-based modifications. Maybe even some subtractive or additive mods like sanding or closing eyes. Or send it to a faceup artist or modder.

      Now, for some reason the person has to sell their doll. Due to the modifications made to the original sculpt: what should they price it?
      Does the modding raise or lower the price? Why?
      Can the same mod by two different people influence the price differently? In which case?
      How does the quality of work done influence the price?
      Have you ever had to deal with such problem?

      Discuss away :)
    2. Does the modding raise or lower the price? Why?

      It really depends on the quality of the mods. Some people prefer unmodded dolls, others are fine buying modded dolls if the doll looks good. For people who aren't comfortable doing the mods themselves, buying an already modded doll can be a good way to go. Mods and faceups done by respected artists can increase the resale price of the doll, as you are paying for that artist's skill and talent. However, a poorly done mod can lower the value as the person buying the doll will have to invest money and time to fix it.

      Can the same mod by two different people influence the price differently? In which case?

      Yes, if one person is better than the other at modifications.

      How does the quality of work done influence the price?

      Answered above :) It has everything to do with it.

      Have you ever had to deal with such problem?

      No, the only doll I have the desire to sell is in her default state. I have however, paid more for a doll that came with a beautiful custom faceup. I was fine doing that, as the faceup was of a higher quality than what I could've done and was extremely flattering for her face sculpt.
    3. I just bought a doll with gear mods in her ears and her belly button.

      Personally, I wouldn't have minded buying the doll without the mods for the exact price she had it at. But, the mods she made just added SO much personality, that it just sealed the deal.
      I don't think I'm going to become a confident modder anytime soon, so this really works out for me! =3
    4. It basically comes down to one word, quality. If the mods or face-up are poorly done it can definitely lower the price of the doll. However if they're expertly & tastefully done they may well increase the price of the doll. Even so, some folks will never want a doll in other than it's original state & some mods, no matter how well done, may only appeal to a limited audience.

      While I'm of the group that generally avoids mods, I do have several dolls that I bought with custom face-ups. For some of them I paid extra as they were done by a fabulous artist that seldom does face-ups anymore. Others I bought for the same price or less than original retail even though the face-ups were lovely but the artists weren't as well known. I've only sold one of them but it went for about the same price I paid for it so there wasn't really any problem there.
    5. Does the modding raise or lower the price? Why?
      Depends on the quality of the mod and if the piece is "ready to go" or is going to need adjustments or repairs or finishing.

      Can the same mod by two different people influence the price differently? In which case?
      As said above, certainly, depending on the quality (or lack thereof) of the mod.

      How does the quality of work done influence the price?
      This harks back to the first question.

      Have you ever had to deal with such problem?
      It's not really a "problem". Most of the time. I've bought several heads/dolls with mods because I liked what had been done and how it changed the face, mostly eye shape mods, or sanding. I paid a price comparable to an unmodded head most of the time.

      A number of heads I've bought have had faceups on them already, and that was part of their appeal to me. However, I don't buy if there is a note that the price is going to be significantly higher because it's a famous person's faceup. I suppose that would matter if the buyer is a fan of that particular person's skills, or if the doll's appearance makes it a MUST-HAVE. But in general, I'm a notorious tweaker of anything I don't like in a faceup (mostly lips and brows), so for me to pay a lot extra isn't worth it unless the faceup is perfectly to my taste.

      I've also bought dyed dolls, but again, usually not for significantly higher than an un-modified doll. But then I usually don't go hunting for cheap, badly damaged "fixer-uppers either. Extensive projects end up taking a very long time here, and I'm not into them for their own sake (nor, therefore, am I as good at it as other people might be!)
    6. I think it has a lot to do with the popularity of a particular mod. Its kind of like remodeling a house: wood pannelling is out of date so its not a selling point, but stainless steal appliances are really big, so you can put that in the sales add as a plus. In the same way something like pointy "elf ears" probably won't decrease the value at all. However something like exstinsive scarification or dyeing it purple might be an issue. I'm of the opinion that all resell prices should be negotiable, so it really has to do with the buyer's tastes and need to have that exact doll or that mold.
    7. I've noticed that in the case of mods that simply adjust small aspects of a doll ie; nose sanding, that price tends to go down than up because these edits are often either a) poorly done or b) only desirable in the eyes of the owner mostly for reason a. though.

      Heavy modding such as very pricey gore modding or fantasy modding results in a very high costs. This may be mainly because skilled additive mods take skill and talent while subtractive mods are typically simple or easy to do or get done.
    8. It really depends on what a person wants. I once found a certain mold with modded elf ears on the market place and although I love elf ears (I modded some on my own dolls) and the mods were done very well, I didn't want elf ears on that particular mold. In that case I wouldn't pay extra for mods that I don't want and would end up removing. Should it concern a mold that I'd love to have with elf ears, I'd pay for the mods too if they are done well. If the mods were not done well and I would have to spend time on fixing them, then I'm not willing to pay extra or even retail price (if it's a non-limited doll).
      If the mod is to someone's liking, they'll pay for it. If it's not, they won't.
    9. it shuld go as this in every outher real world thing from car's to diffrent art and well we can keep going here is a for instance

      You go to the car lot and get a vet or lambo and keep it stock no mod's it hold's retaile price .y cause you know it is all good and you have the right to ask faire price. i have seen on here now a soom monthly kalix with only half outfit and new faceup and has some damage going for 1300.00+ shipping. i have him full set with default faceup and dress and it dident caust me that so YES i think there shuld be a book on resale priceing this would help oh yea and me and a few outher's on her got modded head's mine the eye's were opened and 1 broke when putting the eye's in i paied 140 for and you can get it fo 80 i guess you live and lern
    10. Pricing is very individual and specific to the mod.

      I would say it mostly depends on 3 things:
      • Is the mod done well?
      • Is the mod difficult?
      • Is the mod desirable?

      For an example, I would suggest that most sanding is negative, or at best neutral. I think the perception is "anyone" could do that but the quality of work is unknown. Sanded too much? Sanded unevenly? Finished roughly? You won't know for sure until you get it. Even if the buyer cannot themselves sand, they could theoretically commission out to someone they trust who can.

      Now if the seller was or commissioned a skilled modder (with links to workshop posts and such), then I would suggest the mods would tend to have positive value. Likewise if the mod was extensive/difficult (and done well).

      But this is all academic if the mod isn't appreciated. If a mod is "too unique", it may take a while to find a buyer who cares about the mod's added value; if not, the doll will have to be priced to move. I think a lot of people are perfectly happy with faceups, blushing and other non-permanent mods being the only customizations they ever deal with.
    11. Does the modding raise or lower the price? Why?
      Depends on how well it was done. If you can see where it was modded - scratches, rough or bumpy surfaces, putty visible even after blusing/dying - then that would lower the price. Modding a doll doesn't automatically decrease the value, but if the modification is done poorly, it will.

      Can the same mod by two different people influence the price differently? In which case?
      No, or at least it shouldn't. I say 'shouldn't' because I'm assuming that both individuals are of the same skill level and their work would be very similar. If that is the case, and one is asking for $100 more than the other person, the one with the lower price is probably going to get the sale if there's a market for it.

      If one individual has more experience by a significant degree, then I would think the quality is better as well. If that's the case, then you'd probably see the more experienced person make a sale, regardless of price... but if the modification is the same quality on an inexperienced person's modas well as an experianced person, it would probably go to the one with the lower price, again.

      How does the quality of work done influence the price?
      It just looks good. Many people photograph their dolls at some point - box opening, photo shoots, creating things for them, or game threads, and most owners would rather not have to worry that their doll's ear has to be covered all the time to hide the putty modification marks. Most owners don't want to have to use photoshop tocorrect something they cannot correct on their own, or something they currently can't afford to send to someone else. I think many people expect a certain amount when it comes to buying their dolls. They expect these dolls to have a certain look to them, regardless of the fact that they've been modded or not.

      Have you ever had to deal with such problem?

      No, but I've seen dolls where they've been modded, and marked for more when they shouldn't be.
    12. It could go either way, but I think it comes down to two things. Who is buying the doll and if the modding done to the doll was actually good modding. lol I just recently bought a doll who had been used to "practice" modding on, apparently. I still love the doll and I got a really good deal for her even though she is a well known brand! Love her :)

      And people will buy what they like. So if it is modded a certain way, let's say tatooed, then some people would pay more for it or some people would pay less.
    13. I think it also depends on how extensive the mod is and where. The most risk for an increase or decrease in price is on the head. I can always buy another body or get another set of hands or feet, but the head? If someone's modded the ear in such a way that it's basically a weird looking nub, I am not paying more for that - especially when the doll can be purchased for less on the company's website.

      I'm guessing that it's trickier to sell a modified doll for more when the doll is offered on the company website.
    14. It depends on the sculpt before and after, who it appeals to and how interested people are in it.
    15. I agree with the majority that the quality is the major determining factor in the value of a mod. However, I'd like to add that I don't think a face-up is really a mod, and I don't think a poorly done face-up should negatively affect the selling price unless the previous owner didn't seal under the face-up. After all, a face-up can pretty much always be removed if it was sealed properly.
    16. It really depends on what mod, why it was done and how well. On some sculpts, I love opened eyes or sanded noses or piercings and it would make it worth more to me. I don't like elf dolls (usually) but I've seen several elf sculpts I would have considered buying if the ears had been modded human. I have a boy with what my husband calls "Dumbo ears" that I would have loved to have not had to sand them myself.

      Others make me not want the doll regardless of price. Sanded off boobs often look really odd, mouths with added teeth often look very misshapen, I've seen some really poorly done third eyes and elf ears and vampire teeth. I also refuse to buy a gender neutral body unless it came that way, so anything with sanded off boy bits is out too. Mods like these...I wouldn't want them if it was FREE.

      On faceups...I'll never pay more for a faceup. I do my own faceups, so it really doesn't matter if the doll is blank, has a faceup by an artist worth $200 or has a faceup by a newbie with zero talent or practice. As long as the head is not stained or damaged, and proper materials have been used that won't result in damage when removed, it really doesn't matter to me.
    17. Unless the particular mod is done by a customizer who is an exceptional artist/sculptor, thus making a basic doll into a unique work of art (I'm looking at you, Bluoxide!), I believe modifications diminish the doll's value. For myself, if I ever did sell my elf-eared Dollshes, I would most certainly remove the elf ears before putting the dolls on the MP.
    18. I think it all depends. After all modding is a form of art, and no art is appreciated by everybody.

      Some people can love a mod and be whiling to pay a great deal for it, other may think that you truly ruined the doll. In this area, all little things matter, the artist, the doll modded, the quality of the mod...

      My guess is that every case is a different case and should be analyzed individually.
    19. I agree with the common opinion that it can go either way - even with faceups to some degree, though those can't really be considered modifications. For example an unskilled faceup shouldn't lower the price below the original blank head's price, because it's perfectly removeable. But it definitely shouldn't raise the price either. Now a beautiful and skilled faceup on the other hand can easily raise the price of a doll.

      A well done, and desirable modification will most likely also raise the price of the doll - because you get something special and rare. However if the doll itself is desirable in its unmodded state, one might not be able to raise the price that much - and could even receive some negative attention (the "OMG, you dared to mod a Soom limited?!" effect - it can happen even when the mod itself is nicely done). Of course there is always the popularity-effect, too - if the modder is well known, and respected, their mods will sell for more because their skills are already proven. And if they happen to sell a doll from their personal collection that might also have a "fanbase" as a character...the prices could skyrocket!

      Now on the other side ff the modification is unskilled or unfinished that will most likely decrease the price - depending on the aftercare needed these dolls can go for much less than the original. Of course there might be exceptions - if the doll is so extremely rare, or so in demand and the mod itself is easily fixable, one might have to pay the original price...or even a raised price (but that doesn't have anything to do with the mod, and is all about the rareness of the doll itself).

      You should also consider the nature of the modding. Some are popular and fit the tastes of the majority. However very involved, extreme mods in most cases only appeal to a smaller group of people - regardless of the quality of the mod. In these cases while the price itself raises, the owner might have a harder time to sell, and may have to wait more to find that certain person who appreciates the mod for what it is.

      I have had personal experience with the latter - I'm not a modder, but as a faceup artist I have done certain faceups that made the heads unique. I considered my faceup work an art in itself and priced the heads accordingly - higher than the usual asking price of those heads. I did have to wait longer to sell them, and I expected that, because not everybody wants a rainbow-tattoed doll with swarovski crystals on him (hell, even I don't want to own one. I just like to paint them so :lol: ). On one of them I had an offer to buy it significantly cheaper because the person didn't want the faceup and would have just wiped it - I didn't accept it, because I felt that I'm not only selling a doll head, but an artwork that's kind of a collaboration between the doll company and me.
    20. I think it's uncommon for mods to command higher price than the original, for two reasons. Firstly, original is original. Even a small mod would alter the sculpt, and "altered" by definition is not "original", and (in the case of resin) will never be original again. Secondly, the reason owners mod in the first place is for their personal preference. If that preference is shared by enough people (such as pierced ears), then I think the mod can be sold for at most the same value as original. But again, personal preference is personal, one man's treasure is another man's trash, etc.

      I don't think you can compare face-ups/painting and mods, because one is a reversible procedure while the other is permanent. And even then, the same applies -- a once-off by a famous artist (such as the Volks one-offs) loses value the moment you alter or wipe it, because it's now no longer original.

      The only occasions where I see a mod drawing a higher price than the original sculpt is when it requires a high degree of talent to achieve: High risk, high return. A garden-variety ear piercing or eye reshaping is much easier to do than a detailed full-body restructure (like Katyok's linked example, or that lovely Avatar Ney'tiri doll that I saw in the Workshop forum a while back). A high risk project is hard to achieve, hard to perfect, and necessarily unique. So this uniqueness would already command an increased value -- but not because of the original sculpt, but because the doll has effectively become a "one-off". For people who just want to buy the original doll sculpt, even this modded doll is as good as worthless: it's not what they want!

      Personally, I would not buy a headsculpt with facial mods, because I want the original sculptor's vision, not another owner's personal preference. Likewise, I have a girl doll with a substantial breast reduction, and I know this will kill the body's resale value. I don't expect many others to have my personal preference.