Blah blah repeat topic mods lock etc etc (please note, I'm aware that there's a topic about the economy & BJDs but the economy really isn't the focus of this topic, just mentioned as something that is relevant ) I've been browsing around the marketplace a lot lately, I like looking at the pretties, and I thought it might be interesting to discuss how things have changed over the years from back when BJDs first became popular (before my time) to now. I've noticed a definite affect on the market from the economic recession - dolls that once could fetch a pretty penny are going for barely what they cost in the first place, if even that much. People are putting things on layaway more and those layaways are getting longer. I've seen more people offering layaway too, and giving terms in excess of 2-3 months which shows (to me) how people are noticing the effect that parting with a large amount of money each month might have on their buyers. Has anyone noticed whether the availibility of dolls have increased or decreased since way back when? I'd assume that it would increase with there being more people in the hobby and more variety of dolls to choose from, but perhaps people are keeping hold of their dolls more? I can't really comment, I've noticed more FS threads certainly but - as I say - I think that's largely due to the influx of new dolls available over the last couple of years. Are particular dolls/brands becoming more available while others are being held back? How have trading practices changed? It seems to me that there are more people out there recently who are... less than honest. Not a particularly significant amount compared to the number of people who use the marketplace, but definitely more than I noticed when I joined the hobby. Does this affect your buying/selling practices at all? I've found myself becoming a little more wary, but otherwise nothing much has changed and I'm generally quite trusting I also actually check people's feedback these days, where back when I started collecting I never bothered to - preferring to assume that if they were a problem user they'd be mp banned in my little nooblet bubble of obliviousness, lol. On the other hand, the larger majority of members who are honest and trustworthy seem to be becoming more so, and more generous to boot. I've found people much more willing to haggle and offer shipping discounts than ever before, where previously I found people generally had a figure they wanted to stick to and there wasn't much leeway. Although I have to admit that (probably due to the aforementioned problem members) some sellers have become more restrictive on what they will and won't do - refusing to mark down (occasionally), requiring insurance, etc etc. Which is perfectly understandable given the amounts of money we're talking about. More people also seem to be buying and selling only within their own country, but maybe I'm only noticing that because of the ridiculous customs charges we're getting at the moment in the UK Also shipping. I've had quite a few sellers lately refunding me the excess if their shipping prices were over-estimated. That's really nice, and really sweet of them too~ It's not something I expect, obviously, but is a really pleasant surprise Buyers seem to be becoming more wary too, and clocking on to the Personal Payment type scam. I've noticed a number of the Problem Transaction threads started by buyers include them having paid by Personal Payment and as a result when the seller runs off with their money they can't really do much about it. Don't do it people!! If the seller wants you to pay fees work them out via ppcalc or something and send them the normal way I've also noticed buyers (well, in my experience anyway!) becoming more desperate for a shipping notice. I have minimal access to postal services (despite living in a city, I'm on the outskirts >.<) so my shipping schedule is a bit crazy. As a result it can sometimes take me a few days to get things shipped out, and I've had a few people PM me after only a couple of days asking for an update. I don't mind, since it is my responsibility to send the item out as soon as possible after payment, but previously I didn't seem to find people asking quite so quickly. Although I think that's actually quite a good thing, since it gives slow shippers, like myself, a bit of a kick up the bum to get things posted, lol. How are you finding the BJD market at the moment? Are there more/less dolls around that you want? Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect? What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices? Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally? How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby? Any other observations to mention?