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newer companies charging as much as more established companies?

Nov 18, 2009

    1. Hi there!

      I was just curious about this and was wondering if anyone else had an thoughts on this subject.
      Not too long ago, I purchased a doll from a company that was very new on the scene. I plunked down my $550-ish+ for a 70cm doll. What I ended up getting was poorly packaged, had dirty spots on the resin and on it's clothing, and had spots where the resin didn't match.

      So, I guess what I'm asking is that if a company is new on the scene, should they start off offering lower prices? When you have companies such as Luts and Dollmore lowering their prices for their dolls, I just don't see how new companies can charge what Luts and Dollmore used to charge.... (not sure if that made sense).....

      Anyone else have a comment to add?
    2. I don't think they should necessarily offer lower prices, and there have been new companies come out that have sent out wonderful dolls. I bought my Uni Limited right when they first opened their English website, and though he was (and still is) my most expensive doll, he's gorgeous, came well packaged and the customer service was great. You just can't always tell. That's why ordering from companies when they're brand new can be a leap of faith--you might have great luck...or not. But there's no way of knowing until someone takes the plunge, buys, and puts up a review.

      If a company does offer a really great product, then I don't blame them for wanting to charge what they feel it's worth. If a company does lower the price a bit starting out, it may encourage more people to give them a try, but I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that it should be standard procedure. And sometimes when a company is on the very inexpensive end (relatively speaking), there will be people who are suspicious that they are priced so low.
    3. So, I guess what I'm asking is that if a company is new on the scene, should they start off offering lower prices?
      New or Old doesn't necessarily have anything to do with QUALITY. There are companies who have been around for years who produce lower-quality dolls! It's buyer-beware. With an untested company, you have to take a risk. OR you can wait to hear from owners who can report on the dolls first--which is the wisest option, if you're unsure about things. And buyers should research EVERY company they buy from, to see if there have been problems so they can assess the risk and decide, making an informed decision. It doesn't matter how old or new the company is!!!

      When you have companies such as Luts and Dollmore lowering their prices for their dolls, I just don't see how new companies can charge what Luts and Dollmore used to charge.... (not sure if that made sense).....
      Companies can charge whatever they want. If people want to buy, they will, if not, then not. You are making assumptions that don't have much basis in logic. Soom and Iplehouse are newer companies than Luts and Dollmore and they can certainly charge as much as any company out there. If companies provide something that buyers want, at a price that works for them, then that's all that is necessary. It doesn't matter if they are newer companies or not. The two things have NOTHING to do with the other. The only thing that sort of relates is that companies with a proven track record and decent quality who make dolls people want are usually able to charge more. That's about it. But a newer company can do that. You have to take each company and research it--not just rely on the fact that the company has been around for years (although, we assume the quality can't suck totally if they are older companies, but that's not always a valid assumption, as I've said. Even if lots of people buy from a company, the quality may be less than other dolls. You'll have to research it!)

      Anyone else have a comment to add?

      No. Just don't assume things about certain companies. Luts and Dollmore are pretty reliable and of good quality, but other companies have been around about as long and may not be. And some sculpts by the same company may be better or worse than others, too.
    4. If a company is new on the scene, should they start off offering lower prices?

      I'm gonna say yes, a lowered price not necessarily a low price, just because they have to build a reputation and I think that it would be easier to do if the prices were lower at first. I would say that if the older companies with a good reputation raised their prices a lot of people would buy from them but a newer company would be a risk for the buyer.

      Companies can charge whatever they want, they have that right, but if it's a new company I'm more likely to buy if their product price isn't too high.

      I would also say that our concept of a "new" company might be off since I don't know if all companies immediatly go international. The english site may have "just opened" but the Japanes/Chinese/Korean site could have been open for a couple of years.
    5. I think the company should set their prices reasonably based on their own expenses. It should be based on covering their costs (which often relate to the quality of the dolls, but it's not a 100% correlation) and making enough profit for them to be successful. Of course I also think it's a really good idea to have an opening event including a discount - not unsustainably low prices, but a short-term significant discount off the price.

      I agree that not all the "new" companies we see are actually newcomers to the business, necessarily. Quite a few of them are created by establish sculptors breaking off to form their own company, for example.
    6. What a company charges really has little to do with how established they are or are not.

      If a small-scale company started up tomorrow in the US making SD sized dolls, I can pretty much guarantee you that even if they made the most shoddy pieces of work ever, they'd cost more than even the lowest-priced SD dolls out there on the market today from outside the US simply due to the cost of labor and certain legal restrictions and necessities for handling the materials used in casting and working with resin due to the differences in workplace laws and wages.

      With age comes reputation. Reputation can allow someone to charge more for an item. The lack of it, however, does not mean that a company can sell at a loss.

    7. That's not quite true. Blue Blood Dolls is based, designed, and created in the US. Their prices are perfectly decent and their quality is actually quite comparable to many of the well-known companies.

    8. Companies should charge whatever they want. It's up to the consumer to pay the price. Newer companies might need to charge more due to starting up their business, or to make better products in the future. However, if they want to keep those prices high, they should at least make sure that the dolls are in good condition.
    9. The problem with buying from a new company is there is always a risk that their dolls won't be as good a quality as the pictures or somehow fraudulent. It makes sense to have an opening special and thus introduce people to their company, but not everyone wants to do that. The end result it that it can take a lot longer for a newer company to become known. I was one of the first to buy a Rosette doll and even though we knew they were linked with Soom somehow, it's still a little nervewracking when your doll is delayed for 2 months. Now they have an established reputation and feedback so people know that the wait is part of buying a doll from them. I don't know if I'd like to be the first to buy from a company I knew nothing about. I felt the same way about Oasis doll even though I loved their sculpts. Given that a few people have ordered and received their dolls, I'm a lot more interested now. I'm sure an opening sale would have generated a lot more sales but now they are starting to become known, more people will buy her dolls, more feedback will be left and people will feel more comfortable ordering from them.
    10. Very true--perhaps the issue isn't so much being new, but being unknown. Whether they're new or not, if there aren't any hobbyists around here that have experiences with them, then there's still going to be the same element of risk.
    11. i think quality should be the only criterion. if a company spends alot of money creating a beautiful and well-made doll, they should be able to recoup their expense in charging a reasonable amount of money in accordance with whatever other companies charge.
      if they are fairly unknown, perhaps they could attend doll meets and cons to show their product and get their name known and to build a reputation.
    12. While I think it would be nice in a dream world for all companies that we deemed as being newer to the scene to offer their dolls at a lower price, I really don't think it's a requirement, nor do I expect. My most expensive doll is a Little Monica Kliff and at the time I decided to start saving for him the company had only been open for about a month. I think they had only one price adjustment to deal with fluctuating prices of the market, yet he still remained rather expensive. I didn't let the fact that he was from a brand new company deter me into thinking he wasn't worth his price though-and I find his quality absolutely worth it. Would it have been nice if I could have bought him on sale? Sure. But even though he wasn't doesn't make him any less worth it.
    13. Comparable to the well-known companies, absolutely -- and very nice from all I've heard about them. But when they first appeared, were they selling fullset dolls or heads for less than the Chinese companies? I doubt it, and I equally doubt they would have been able to without selling at a loss.
    14. In a hobby like this, where so much emphasis is placed on finding the right doll for you, falling in love with a specific sculpt, etc... I think that if a doll made by a new company is beautiful enough, and someone really falls for that sculpt, it doesn't matter what the price is because someone will end up buying it. New companies also often have more expenses to pay off than established companies, because they are still trying to recoup their startup costs as well as trying to find reliable suppliers and get a good production line going. So although a sale is a great way to attract customers to a new business, it's often the new businesses that can least afford to offer one! There has also been a LOT of price deflation with BJDs lately, partially because of so many new Chinese companies which can set their costs very low because the production costs are so low in China, and partially because of the collapse of the US dollar, which many doll companies responded to by lowering the USD prices of their dolls. I think the end result is that prices that would have looked normal in the hobby a couple of years ago now seem much more expensive.

      When you get down to it, whether a company is new or old isn't going to correlate exactly with the quality of their dolls or service. Some new companies send out beautiful dolls right from day one. Some older companies suffer a real slump and send out dolls that shouldn't have passed a quality inspection. I think companies have every right to charge whatever they want for a doll, even if they are new. Perhaps they know they can't handle a rush of orders if they put their first doll up deeply discounted. Perhaps they simply think their artistic work is worth a certain price and don't want to sell for less. Whatever the reason, they're entitled to charge what they want, and if their dolls are nice enough, they'll almost certainly attract some customers.
    15. From a buyers prospective I would say yes. I do not want to pay a large amount of money for a poor quality doll, when I could buy a better one for the same price or less. If I'm spending 500+ dollars on something I want it to be of a good quality and packaged properly.

      BUT! From a buisness perspective I would say no. The price you are paying is not just some crazy number they made up to stiff you. It is money used to pay for supplies, labor and shipping. and All companys had to start somewhere. think of it more as your buying the doll was helping them out.
    16. Companies can charge whatever they want but if their prices are equivalent to established companies, they should be of the same quality & offer excellent company service. Even some of the newer Chinese companies are offering rather expensive dolls & personally I don't find the molds detailed or creative enough to worth the expensense plus some of the bodies are just horrid, not neccessarily in posing abilities but in the aesthetics. In general I'd rather buy from a company who's products I'm familiar with & have found to be reliable.
    17. if the dolls of a newer company are as high a quality and as well made as older ones, then yes, they should be. but if they are not as good, then they logically shouldnt be. i dont really take age of a company into consideration except for things like customer service and shipping.
    18. I don't think a company should feel obligated to sell their product at lower price just because they're a newer company. That said, I don't think any company has the right to send out poorly produced and packaged merchandise and charge full price.
      Quality and customer service are what matters, and they should reflect on the price.
      That said, companies can charge whatever they want, it's up to us whether we buy their product or not.
    19. I don't think a new company absolutely HAS to start off with a lower price, although as someone else noted, having a "sale event" or an "introductory special" might be a good way to lure in new buyers and just get people's attention, given that there seems to be a lot of new companies opening every month and the economy isn't great.

      However, I think having a significantly lower price might hurt a company worse than help it because if people see a price that's significantly lower than established companies, they'll wonder if the new company is cutting corners somehow - worse quality resin, bad service, flimsy packaging, etc. People will ask themselves, "what is this company doing differently that it can afford to charge less?"

      As far as whether a newer company has quality goods and is trustworthy, I think I've had just as much trouble, if not more, with dolls I've ordered from established, supposedly "trustworthy" companies that have gotten in over their head in terms of demand or what they're trying to do with their product. I've had issues ranging from shipping delays to discolored resin to poor packaging to the doll just not showing up at all...and none of this has been with some brand-new-on-the-block company. As far as I'm concerned, ordering dolls is just a roll of the dice - you pay your money and you take your chance.
    20. If a company can justify a price to themselves (cost of materials + factory + labour + packaging + postage + profit margin = doll price), then that is a fair price for their product. Some very new companies are started by sculptors breaking away from the bigger companies and starting out by themselves, so the quality of the sculpting and the casting isn't necessarily in question.

      Ultimately, if a company sets a price and the customer is willing to pay that much, then the company are going to think that the price is fairly recieved. Its up to us as customers to read product descriptions, to read fair critiques and reviews of the company and to make up our own minds on whether to take the plunge.

      I've not had a negative experience with any of the companies I've directly purchase from, but for me, the best overall experience has been with Volks. The protective packaging is superb, the customer service is excellent and the quality blows me away every single time. I am willing to pay the premium prices for their products because I know that what I recieve will be of the highest quality. I would be unwilling to pay the same prices for a newer company, because I don't know whether I can expect those high standards from a company just starting out.

      The other big thing is if a company would like to bring their dolls to the English-speaking market, they need a employee who can speak business English. The half-English spoken by some of the customer service reps can be endearing, but as soon as there is a serious problem communication breaks down because there isn't sufficient understanding between the customer and the customer service rep. Again, if a company wants me to give them my hard earned cash, they had better be able to provide me with an effective means of contacting them if it doesn't go to plan.

      What concerns me more, I suppose, is that newer companies are coming out with a full range of dolls in one go, and none of these dolls are particularly finished in terms of face detail and range of movement. As Gwydion said, some bodies are really horrid, whereas other companies bodies are such works of art and engineering they can be admired in the buff and not covered up in shame. Rather than have a brand new company open up shop with a range of dolls marketed at higher prices, perhaps they should work on the sculpt and make perhaps one well sculpted and engineered body and three handsome heads and offer them at a mid-range price from there to establish a reputation and a following.