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Selling: Do we need to justify it? (Sentimentality in sales threads)

Jul 15, 2009

    1. Mods, apologies if this has already been asked before. I couldn't find a similar thread.

      This is an offshoot topic from the Resale Overprice thread in the Dolly Debate forum. There has been some discussion in the thread about the intent of the seller, and what constitutes good intent versus bad intent (see the previously mentioned debate on Resale Overprice for more explanation on what some consider bad intent). It got me thinking, why does seller intent matter?

      I wish to focus this only on dolls themselves, not accessories.

      It seems like a majority of the dolls on the MP have a story attached that explains why they are being sold, or at least a reason. This has always struck me as curious, as though there's some kind of negative stigma attached to selling a doll that the seller is trying to overcome by stating their reasons for selling.

      EDIT: For clarification, I am not talking about listing things like mods or damage, which should be detailed no matter what. I am referring to the sentimentality associated with some sales threads. Why the need to say things like "we aren't bonding" or "I would keep him but...?" If a decision has been made to sell, should/do the reasons behind it matter if there is nothing wrong with the doll itself? Or, to put it another way, should sentimentality enter into a business transaction? Why or why not?

      EDIT 2: Since this thread has come back from the dead, please keep in mind that it was started before there was a standard Marketplace form for selling dolls.

      Some (more) questions to consider.

      To buyers and sellers: Why do you feel there is a need to explain the reason for selling a doll?

      To sellers:
      Do you feel the need to justify your sale in your thread? (IE, do you mention "not bonding" or state the reason you are selling the doll?) If so, why?

      Do you feel you have to justify the reason you are parting with a doll so you don't seem like a bad person?

      Do you think that adding a personal story will encourage buyers?

      For buyers:
      Does it matter whether or not a seller lists their reasons for selling?

      Do you want to hear why a doll is not working out for the seller?

      Are you more likely to buy a doll where the reasons for selling or stated, or do you just see them as an attempt to garner attention or facilitate a fast sale?
    2. Do you feel the need to justify that sale in your thread? (IE, do you mention "not bonding" or state the reason you are selling the doll?) If so, why?
      Here, yes. I personally find it ridiculous, but it's such common practice here that you need to do it to sell an item most of the time.

      Do you feel you have to justify the reason you are parting with a doll so you don't seem like a bad person? That seems to be the general consensus on the board. I still don't understand why you have to justify selling an object.

      Do you think that adding a personal story will encourage buyers?
      Once again, only here. :lol:

      For buyers:
      Does it matter whether or not a seller lists their reasons for selling?
      Absolutely not.

      Do you want to hear why a doll is not working out for them?
      Not at all if it's not directly related to the function/condition of the doll.

      Are you more likely to buy a doll where the reasons for selling or stated, or do you just see them as an attempt to garner attention or facilitate a fast sale? It's just an attention getter.
    3. I have wondered the same thing!

      As a seller, I give a general reason so that people understand I have a need for the money and it isn't because the doll has some defect or something like that, especially if I am selling them at a bargain price. I sold my boy dolls because I prefer girls and at the time I wanted to get an SD size. I don't think the world needs to know any deep personal reasons in most cases, but maybe it helps to reassure a potential buyer that the doll is OK. That is my motivation, anyway. I am not trying to guilt anyone onto buying my doll, for sure.

      As a buyer, I am not really concerned with someone's reasoning as long as the seller is up front about any damages. I am a person who is willing to buy damaged dolls at a lower price to work on them, so there is no need to hide anything from me or try to tug at my heartstrings to convince me to buy.

      However, a doll that is priced significantly lower than what it is worth should have some type of explanation from the seller, even if just to say, "I really need money so I want to move it quickly". Otherwise, it would be suspicious.
    4. Of course you don't need a reason or a so-called "good intent" for selling a doll. More often than not it doesn't really matter why the doll is being sold(except for obvious damages with the doll itself, of course).

      However, saying this I'm also contradicting myself a little as I know I've put up in sales threads that "I'm not bonding". It was mixed reasons for that though. It was absolutely true - I did not bond with her and she didn't "fit in" with my other dolls at all, but I still thought she was a beautiful doll and I still liked her(I've wanted her for a long time and not bonding with her made me sad - I kept her for almost a year just because of that). So, for me it was also a way to say "hey, it's not the doll- it's me" AND also to try at least avoiding the buyers who wasn't as serious about going through with the sale. I wanted her to go to a good home(which she did!):sweat

      As a buyer I like to know that the doll has been loved previously, but it can be overdone as well. Like you feel that you are buying a already filled out character and there is little you can add yourself. If you really like the character it's super, but if you're only looking for the doll sculpt you might want to move on to the next FS thread( for me that is information overload).

      This being said, I really don't agree with the "good intent"/"bad intent" analogy for selling dolls. When is it supposed to be a "bad intent" behind the sale? I really don't see that... at all...*_*
    5. I don't generally think it's too much of a bid deal if someone mentions why they are selling a doll. The vague reasons are okay be me like "personal reasons" or "financial reasons" or "thinning the group" or "just not bonding"

      Just as long as it's not some really complex and detailed thing like "I just had surgery and my car broke down and my bills went up and I really need the money" I don't like when people give their life story when trying to sell a doll.

      As a buyer, I find myself sometimes drawn to the "not bonding" sales. Cause it makes me want to give the doll a loving home. Yeah... I'm a sucker like that.
    6. I agree with Miss_Pygmalion. General reasons like 'not bonding' or 'realized I prefer a different size' shows that their reasons for selling are unrelated to actual problems with the doll. I've no problem with that.

      Anything more specific gives a negative impression. I've seen people give reasons like, 'because I don't like its nose' and then I zone in on the nose too and realize it is a bit wonky and move on. And I really, really hate sob stories, especially financial ones. I worry that they might not have money to ship my doll straight away, or that whatever other calamity they've mentioned will interfere with the deal. I interpret it as, 'I'm having these serious problems, so you will have to be understanding if I ship slowly, don't respond to your PMs, etc.' I don't want to deal with that!
    7. i agree with pretty much this whole statement (even wanting to buy unbonded dolls XD <3)

      i do think some small vague reason should be given just to make sure those of us with over-active imaginations arent at home going "why are they selling that doll? whats wrong with it?!?" but providing your whole life story is so not needed.
    8. I usually like to see a general reason why the doll is being sold. Expecially when it's a new doll that just arrived and they had for only a few days or so. I like this, so I know they are not just flipping the doll. Such as with all the Soom Monthlys.

    9. I sometimes give a reason I'm selling just to indicate that it isn't a problem with the doll. The dolls I'm selling now... there's nothing wrong with them, I just found a doll I like better, or don't really think they're for me. I don't think there's anything wrong with selling the doll, I just don't want buyers to think I'm selling them because they pose terribly or I think they're ugly or something. XP

      Also I do want people to know I'm not flipping. I never buy dolls I don't intend to keep but sometimes I get a doll and realize I was happy enough looking at it on DOA and I don't need to OWN one, and usually I reach that conclusion in less than a day.
    10. Interesting question ^^

      I have a tendancy to be curious about why a doll is being sold. The "she's not fitting in," "we're not bonding", "i need the money" sort of thing can easily sway me to feel more or less comfortable when wanting to buy. Like, if i see a doll i'd like to buy with an explanation like "She's been sitting in he rbox since i got her, and i feel bad, so i'd like her to go to someone who would love her" i'd be more likely to feel bad for the doll and it'd give me more reason to want her myself XD

      Money problems are always a little awkward, though, especially when its like "I only recently got her, and i really do love her so it pains me to do this, but i'm having money troubles and i really need to sell her =[ " since i often end up wondering what my money is really going to be paying for, although if its at a lower price for quicksale or just a really good value, i might not be able to pass it up.

      I also have a weakness for 'damaged' heads or parts, though i havent actually jumped on any chances for any yet. I might not be able to hold back on one i'm eyeing right now.
    11. I usually give a very brief explanation of why I want to sell it, (doll doesn't fit with my collection, suddenly found a similar one I like better, would rather have one in normal skin than white, etc.) and let it go at that. Most sellers I've bought dolls from say something like that too. It kind of bothers me when people sound desperate to sell. It makes me apprehensive that they are an unstable person who will not be reliable when it comes to sending me the doll in the mail. I prefer a straight, neat business transaction without drama.
    12. Honestly, I prefer a very clean sale post with as little and as direct text as possible. All the personal stuff ought to remain personal, in my opinion.
    13. I also wouldn't want to hear a long personal story. While I know that many people do end up selling dolls for financial reasons, it would almost make me nervous that I might never receive the doll... I'm certainly not talking from previous experience on THIS forum (I don't yet have the required # of posts to even look!). I'm just saying that a description that sounds absolutely desperate is a turn off for me. I do like to know the reason for a sale... I just like it to be honest, to the point, believeable... etc....
    14. I generally dislike sales threads with heaps of personal information and reasoning behind the sale because, first, it makes in harder to get to the actually information about the sale (and often there's a lot of it once you've added in rules about payment methods, shipping, ship time, return policies, etc) and, second, as others mentioned, someone who gives a sob story as a reason for selling makes me uncomfortable and also makes me wonder how reliable the seller is. I get, "my computer exploded and I need the money" but a huge list of medical problems, car problems and relationship problems would make me wonder if the person is capable of completing the sale in a timely manner.

      When I sell, I usually don't give a huge personal story introduction I like my transactions to be quick, clean, and pleasant. I always describe the item and take lots of pictures and I feel those are the most important things I can do.
    15. I always thought telling the reason was like others said, just letting people know there isn't any damage or anything wrong with the doll. Or sort of just a little introduction to the thread. If I'm selling a doll I will give a short reason to let people know it's not the doll's condition. (even if it's just to say "I just needed the money" or "I wanted a different doll"). If people give a long crazy sob story, I don't really care because I skip over that stuff anyways and skim the long paragraphs for mold, price, condition, and shipping info.
    16. True, but there are also a number of threads with things like "OMG I would totally keep him, but..." and then a long explanation is launched in to."This is more the thing I was curious about. I understand people sometimes feel guilty about selling a doll, but does that guilt need to be marketed?

      And if a doll is undamaged or unmodded, why the need to say things like "we aren't bonding" or "I would keep him but...?"

      I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of "should sentimentality enter into a business transaction?" I will amend the first post to reflect this.

      I also find it interesting that the "sob story" factor could actually dissuade people from buying, as they think it might impact the chances they may never receive the doll. This was something I hadn't considered.

      On a personal level, I was guilty of justifying my sales transactions until I started thinking about this topic. With everything I put up, I felt the need to explain why. In a community so focused on bonding, sometimes to an extent where the doll is looked at as a member of the family, it's always seemed to me like there is a negative connotation with choosing to get rid of a doll. Like I didn't try hard enough or something. I have found I'm one of those people has to have the doll in my hands before I can make a decision on whether or not it will work for me. Company or owner photos help, but just aren't enough. I can tell right out of the box if someone is going to fit in with the rest of my dolls or not, and the longer I try to bond, the bigger the grudge against the doll until I end up just wanting it out of my house.

      Because of this I do flip dolls pretty quickly, usually at a loss on the price I paid for it. But I've also always felt the need to include the the "not bonding" explanation or some similar line as a means of saying "no, I'm not a scalper," or "I'm not a callous person" or, basically, "I'm not a bad doll-owner, I swear!" because I feel like this kind of behaviour is frowned upon.

      "This isn't right for me, but maybe it will be right for you" is kind of a given when placing something for sale, yet there is also an emphasis on explaining why in the sales post. Like I said, just makes me curious as to why. I'm really enjoying reading all the responses.
    17. Hm...I dunno since it's not something I'd do, but maybe they're also afraid of being seen as scalpers so they post some long winded story to seem legit?
    18. For me, if I was buying a doll off the marketplace, a simple line like 'just not bonding' helps reassure me. It's not a problem with the doll, just a lack of connection. I don't want to read a whole long story, but a quick, simple reason doesn't feel like an attention grab.

      If I was going to sell a doll on the marketplace? I'd probably give my reason in a concise, no-nonsense fashion. I'm pretty sentimental about things myself... even though I like to keep interactions straightforward and non-gooey.

    19. I really don't understand why poeple are writting thinks to explain why they sell somethings the only time it's matter it's if something is broken frankly what the need for me to know that your don't bound with her or you need the money because of this or that . You are selling a doll not asking for charity no need to play the violon here. Make me laft when i see story like this If you sell your car or your house you won't tell your story life don't you, so do the same at the market place anyway always think that just a few body will belive you. As for me when I read this kind of argument in a selling tread the voice inside me always said oh! yeah blablablablabla. It is just my opinion as I had bought few things at the market but never sell something
    20. I would rather see specifics about the doll -- not the character it represents -- laid out simply, the price being asked, whether negotiation or layaway is welcome, and that's about it. Information about who did the faceup, or whether it will come with one or not, whether it's body blushed and so on is all important info to me, but the reasons for selling it really aren't so much.

      If I'm curious about why the doll is being sold, who it 'had been' to them, and so on, I'd just PM and ask -- but I'm very unlikely to ever do this if I buy a doll here, and it's actually because I'm sentimental in my own way. While the doll's travels around the world and from owner to owner may be interesting in some way, if I'm looking for a doll, nine times out of ten it's because I have ideas in mind for that sculpt that are my own. Knowing too much about 'who they have been' or how much they have meant to previous owners may very easily color my perception of the doll and who or what they are capable of being. If my idea for a sculpt is to turn it into a cold, vicious ice queen, and the previous owner goes on at length about how this was their precious princess of sweetness and light, I'm probably going to browse past it -- in part because I really doubt the previous owner would be too keen on my reinterpretation, and in part because it would already 'be' Ms. Sweetness and Light, and could still just as easily be perfectly that to someone else.

      As far as sob stories go, I just don't care for being manipulated when it comes to purchases of any kind. I hate it for $1 items, I'm not going to like it any more for costly ones. A simple explanation, like, "medical bills came up" or "moving to a smaller place, I have to thin out the collection" isn't any kind of issue to me, but long, drawn-out dramas are.

      I also don't like the idea of taking something away from someone who still wants it or is attached to it in some way. Something about it has always creeped me out a bit and made me feel a little dirty -- one of the reasons I haven't bought second-hand (yet). "I loved the promos, but when it arrived in person, it just didn't seem to have the same magic" wouldn't bother me. "S/he's so beautiful and I wish I could keep her and I'm going to miss her so very much because s/he's so wonderful and lovely and perfect, but I can't!" is going to get me to browse on to the next listing for certain.