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The state of the market - prices, availibility and trading practices

May 13, 2011

    1. 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 :lol: 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~ :aheartbea 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!! :sweat If the seller wants you to pay fees work them out via ppcalc or something and send them the normal way :sweat 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?
       
    2. I'm still pretty new to this hobby,only entering the first anniversary this coming end of June^^"
      but definitely ,the changes mentioned doesn't apply only to the BJD market,it takes effect on other markets as well.
      What can I say for the cause of this?
      Well,blame the economic recession then >.>" This forum has a rather safe MP as compared to the one I visit almost daily ?
      That place is really sucky,I could see like 1 ~ 2 threads about scammers or being scammed appearing almost everyday....
      Initially when I've first started out,I don't buy a second hand doll,it's only until when I realised myself falling in love with a particular sculpt but that boy has already been taken off the rack -_-||,then I started looking at sites like Y!J....

      How are you finding the BJD market at the moment?
      Most of the time,overpriced ...I even feel that owners are no longer getting the doll to their own satisfaction but getting a doll and selling him or her off after a day or two at an overrated price~_~||ESPECIALLY for limited dolls....

      Are there more/less dolls around that you want?
      None at the moment,my wishlist has more or less fulfilled.

      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect?
      Hmm,well definitely more than what I have first expected.....

      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?
      -Definitely.I honestly,prefer a full shot payment for a deal instead of layaways.....but it's really hard to fork out from a few hundred bucks to few Ks in a shot ~_~||...That's what I thought of after putting myself in the shoe to visualize the situation.Then,I started offering layaway within a short period.To be frank~_~ Economic recession cannot fully be the blame for this.The spending and saving habit contributed too.I mean,if my pocket is really that tight,I wouldn't even be thinking of getting a new doll regardless of it being second hand or first.I would be calculating and planning out my spendings wisely for survival!

      How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby?
      Changed...to appeal to buyers/sellers perhaps?^^""

      Any other observations to mention?
      Like mentioned?I realised that people are no longer getting a doll for their own wish but some are just trying to fetch a pretty penny from the doll.I dislike this kind of sellers actually,yet sometimes,if it's not for them,I wouldn't be able to get something I like too...^^""
       
    3. I have noticed this happening as well, but not particularly an increase since I joined the hobby. I've seen a few people buy, for example, Soom Monthly dolls then upon arrival immediately put them up on the MP for way more than they paid because often a lot of people at that time are seeing arrival pictures and realising they want the doll... It's very unfortunate, but then again I have also seen some people who just instantly don't want the doll any more (I've had a couple of occasions myself where a doll has arrived and then I really go off it) and put it up for sale, but you can usually tell who these people are because they don't put the doll up for a massive sum :lol:
       
    4. How are you finding the BJD market at the moment?
      The economic recession + greater availability of dolls = dolls selling for less in some cases, and stuff sitting longer.

      There's definitely a lot available secondhand which makes sense considering that there's a lot more that's available direct from companies and through dealers than there used to be some years back. This means more dolls are being purchased by more people, and more are ending up in the secondary market.

      What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices?
      There is always an element of buyer beware when buying second hand. However, I feel much safer on the DoA marketplace than I do with places like ebay. Here at least the community cares what happens and whether or not their are scammers. I use the marketplace a lot, and have overall had very positive experiences with it. This has not changed for me over the years.

      When it comes to companies themselves, there are a few that seem to be not doing great in the trustworthyness/customer service department. CH is a great example of a company with a stellar reputation when I joined the hobby who has developed real issues over the last couple years. Of course their are companies with great customer service too, it's just a matter of needing to do some research before buying. As many new companies have come on the scene I find it interesting to see which ones stick around for the long haul, and which ones fall by the wayside. I was surprised to see Unidoll go for example.

      Are there more/less dolls around that you want?
      There are a lot of lovely dolls being made. However, I've grown pickier and really narrowed down what I want, so there's really less that I seriously want to buy. I think my days of "Oooh, pretty, must buy NOW" have passed. This has nothing to do with market really, and more to do with just figuring out what I really want as a hobbyist.

      Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally?
      Yes, I have a lot less hobby money at my disposal, so I have to choose very carefully where I put it.

      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect?
      Often less -- I've gotten some great deals second hand. I also like companies who break down what comes with their LEs so you can pick and pay for only what you want which also provides a monetary break. However, this also depends on what dolls you're looking for, as their are some that can cost more second hand or who are quite pricey direct. I guess I got lucky in this department.
       
    5. Things are definitely changing, and one of the changes that makes me really happy is that so many people are dumping their earlier BJDs (say, pre-2006) in order to "upgrade" to newer ones. For those of us who like the earlier dolls, this is windfall time!

      How are you finding the BJD market at the moment? The secondary market feels glutted, especially with rapid-turnover "starter dolls" and five-or-more-years-old dolls. The primary market doesn't interest me much at the moment, except for some of the artist sculptors' work--it's exciting to see so many artists making heads and entire dolls.
      Are there more/less dolls around that you want? More, and they're dolls that I would never have expected to find or be able to afford. I've brought home several super-rare dolls and heads recently that were completely out of reach just a few years ago. I no longer think "well, I'll never have X doll"--I'm pretty sure that all I have to do is be patient and eagle-eyed.
      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect? Less, less, less, less. Secondary-market prices have plummeted--it's definitely a buyer's market.
      What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices? Actually, I've been having a much higher number of wonderful secondary-market transactions lately than I ever had in the past. I do see the rise in Problem Transaction threads, but I think that's proportional to the explosion of new BJD owners in the past few years: the percentage of dishonest/immature/careless/uninformed people seems pretty consistent to me over time. I think your observations about sellers' being more willing, overall, to make layaway arrangements are on target--I know I'm more flexible than I used to be.
      Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally? In terms of more desirable (to me) dolls being sold at lower prices, yes--a positive effect. I also think that small items like clothing, wigs, and eyes, tend to sit on FS threads for much longer than they used to, but that's also a result of the enormous increase in the size of the Marketplace and in the number of inexpensive new items available on eBay, etc.
      How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby? I don't think they have changed in any significant way, to be honest. Maybe I'm slightly more willing to offer layaway, but I'm no more "patient" or "understanding" with idiots than I ever was. ;) And I'm just as ready to spend money when I have it to spare.
      Any other observations to mention? The only other thing I notice on the secondary market is a spreading and phobic fear of "flaws," "damage," and "yellowing" that are either inherent qualities in resin BJDs (seamlines, for example) or inevitable and natural properties of the material they're made of. With my buyer's hat on, I'm not complaining about this, nuh-uh: it means that those of us who love older BJDs can quietly snap them up at great prices. But this trend does make me hesitate before putting anything up for sale--no matter how minutely (and phobically, heh) I describe every possible imaginary flaw in a doll, I do always wonder whether this is the transaction where I'll be accused of bad dealing by someone who brings unreasonable expectations to the purchase.
       
    6. Yea,Soom MDs especially^^"""""
      but it amazed me the most when you see the sellers first,happily taking box opening photos,even edited the photos nicely etc etc...I thought they were enjoying with this doll=A=|||....Yet the next day or any day of the following week~_~,you can spot that doll in MP.....Most of the time,at an overrated price =A=||...Some thought maybe the price was so because of the shipping and taxes?....I don't know about most countries but even if the shipping and taxes cost 20% of the price =_= then WHY did that doll's price went even way more than 20%? There's times when the dolls' are priced at twice the original O___O....

      Too,I believed there's people letting the baby off :/ because it's not to his or her's appeal X:...Until now I'm still pretty against the thought of ,letting the doll go immediately without even trying to play around with him~_~" I got scolded by my parents when I first had the thought of letting off one of my baby (which I thought was hard to bond with,but I'm enjoying his existence right now o_O).She said why did I even bother to get new one then?If this happens for now,there's chances of the same thing would happen again =A="...(Which I really agree '___' I only let go unless I tried to bond with him after a few months time.)

      Yea XD .... I agree who are those who really let go because of reason A)profit and who are those letting go because they don't want it XD....The price tells everything XDDDDD.
       
    7. I think that's a good thing, personally :lol: I was a bit of a spacktard when I first joined the hobby and a few people who neatly whipped me into shape have helped me a lot :lol:

      Taco and Cynthia, it's really interesting to see longer-standing members' observations. I didn't consider that the rise in poor transactions might have been due to the influx of new people joining the hobby recently, but I definitely agree that's something that will be playing a big part. Also seamlines and yellowing... you're totally right. I've noticed a kind of obsessive-compulsive disclosure of anything that could be considered 'damage' recently, complete with pics and all. Now, that's a good thing, don't get me wrong, but I am more used to just expecting people to say 'he/she is a bit yellow, but not too badly' and leaving it at that :lol:

      And Taco, I totally agree with you about feeling safer on DoA. While I have conducted a couple of (very positive!) transactions elsewhere I do always prefer to do things via DoA so that I know that not only do I have the paging system to fall back on, but also because everything is (pretty much) conducted publicly here, so it's easy to see who the traders you should be wary are. The feedback system, while not perfect, is brilliant and I definitely feel much more comfortable here than anywhere else :)
       
    8. Agreed. There does seem to be more threads with people complaining about or panicking over yellowing, seams, or very minor flaws. I have dolls packed up that I need to sell, but I feel a bit intimidated by selling on the Marketplace which is ironic, since I'm so very comfortable buying there. But like you, I fear that I won't describe something well enough or will miss something leading to an unhappy buyer. The one doll I sold was in person at a meet up, which was a big relief since I didn't have to do it on-line. I realize that I'm being over cautious, but as someone who has never sold before, only bought, it does add to the stress level -- especially since the dolls I want to sell are dolls I've owned for a couple years at least. I know I'll get my other guys up eventually, but I've definitely not been in a hurry about it.

      I love older dolls too, and I have gotten some great buys. I'm just not that into needing fancy jointing, lots of optional parts etc. My very favorite abjd body is the Volks SD girl body without the torso joint, and wow they tend to sell cheap. I got my oldskin Sara at such a fantastic price.
       
    9. I really agree with a lot of Cynthia's observations. I have also been involved in this hobby for a fairly long amount of time, though I know people who have been involved almost since the beginning. It really is a buyer's market right now, and I really wish I had the money to scoop all of these wonderful old Volks LE's you see being sold off for much less than they would have years ago. It also pleases me that the older bodies, which I find much more superior than the upgraded ones being released with too many joints, are coming down in price on the secondhand market. People still try to sell YoSD's for more than retail but with Volks making more of them, they all sit on the marketplace until the price comes down except for a few specific molds. Of course, the interesting thing I find with this is that even though prices have come down for Volks dolls, they still maintain a decent resell baseline. You don't see people practically having to give them away to get rid of them the way you do with some other companies who are much cheaper but have also flooded the market.

      I've seen trends come and go, and it is interesting to watch the bubble burst on certain types or companies. Remember when people paid $1000 for Woosoo heads and Breakaways? I'll go out on a fairly safe limb and say that bubble is deflating for Soom. Too many in the marketplace for too much that aren't moving because the market for them is glutted, and some LE sculpts that were fetching crazy amounts 2 or 3 years ago are barely moving for retail. Right now there is one that has developed for Lati Yellows based on the size finding newfound popularity and the company being 7 months backed up on orders. People are unloading them for 2 to 3 times their retail price to people who don't want to wait that long. Will this pricing trend continue when Lati gets caught up, if they ever do?

      People really want to hold onto the days when selling secondhand meant recouping all your costs for every doll and if it had LE next to it's name it meant you could make a tidy profit. Those days are definitely over and the market is finally starting to adjust.

      I've always been really thorough with checking feedback for people I buy from, but thanks to the rise of a lot of insane problem feedback threads, I actually check the feedback of buyers now too. If I see problem signs that they have had lots of issues with sellers in the past, I will skip the sale. It's not worth the aggravation.
       
    10. How are you finding the BJD market at the moment?
      Saturated. There are an incredible number of dolls out there, and an astronomical number of accessories to sift through when shopping. At once it's a blessing and a curse - say you want to find shoes for a certain size. You're going to see a lot of good options, but you're also going to waste your time weeding out the overpriced ones, the damaged/cheap secondhand ones, the bad sellers, etc.

      Are there more/less dolls around that you want?
      I'm very picky. Despite there being many new dolls out, almost on a daily basis, I don't fall in love easily and for me there's a fat black line between 'want' and 'will plan to buy'. Most of the dolls I'd like to own/plan to buy are the same ones I wanted several years ago.

      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect?
      Less. I got a whole wardrobe for a new doll within $200 from several sellers - and this was including some very high-quality, brand/atelier items. Don't even get me started on the secondhand doll market. It's soaked in cheap resin and limiteds that are so bountiful they hardly feel limited anymore. I think the moment I realized how crap the seller's market is was when I saw a Jun T, original in box, all her stuff included.. for $900. Sitting on the market for months.

      What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices?
      Misbehavior and questionable practices are no longer tolerated. The community is less shy to proclaim that they were scammed, duped, robbed, etc, whether it's by a no-name private trader, a popular company, or a big name atelier. There's a lot of private sellers who are making a 'big' name for themselves by setting up a brand, an Etsy store, or taking commissions through a portfolio of work. This is nice! It means there's more quality work, since the standard goes up. While there's still sometimes the rubbish thread of scarf dresses and sock hats, it's very rare to stumble on them now.

      Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally?
      No. Admittedly, I don't pay too much attention to that sort of stuff anyway.

      How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby?
      Not very much. I follow simple rules - communicate clearly and frequently, don't do business with anyone who has a single negative transaction or that you personally dislike, be honest and detailed, and respect the rules of the marketplace, whether it's DoA, Etsy, Ebay, or whatever. These guidelines have served me very well - I've only encountered one 'problem' transaction (in quotes because it's still being solved and it's not that awful) in all my years of collecting. I follow several venues to vent/discuss/solve problem transactions quite closely, and I have to agree that while it seems like there's way more problems than there used to be, there's also way more collectors.
       
    11. How are you finding the BJD market at the moment?
      I also find it saturated. There are so many new dolls and companies to choose from and it seems to me that people are trying to ditch their older or badly modded dolls to buy the latest and greatest.

      Are there more/less dolls around that you want?
      I've had several on my wishlist for a couple of years, but they either haven't appeared in the marketplace when I had ready cash or they haven't appeared at all. Most of the dolls I see listed are not to my taste.

      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect?
      It depends; some are a very good deal, others seem ridiculously inflated.

      What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices?
      I am always very cautious about buying and selling and have not have any disagreeable experiences except for one, but that person was well known for being difficult, so I just chalk it up to personality. Most people here are reliable and want to protect their reputation. I always read feedback threads and member posts to get an idea of the maturity of the person involved and will not buy from or sell to flakey and dishonest persons.

      Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally?
      I am more careful about money and try to curb impulse buys.

      How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby?
      Because the market is saturated, there is no guarantee that I will be able to sell a doll if I find I don't like it after I buy it and finally see it in person, so I try much harder to be sure I will love a doll before I buy. I hunt for owner threads and do lots of research about resin color before I put dolls on the wishlist or order them.
       
    12. How are you finding the BJD market at the moment?

      Slow. Patience is definitely required,but the MP is still a thriving place and for the newbie there are deals to be had! Some of the inflated prices are painful but to be expected. Some things DO appreciate in value. I would not mind at all paying $650 for an Afi if I had that lying around and no other dolls to sort out.

      Are there more/less dolls around that you want?
      It's hit or miss. An reasonably priced Afi is just not going to happen- even the parts are hard to come by. Meanwhile my Volks grail Ran is a bit scarce too right now. (and I want the fullset). So, yes- there is a lot less of what I want on the MP right now. Y!J Auctions is more likely but I really am waiting for the French dolls to start coming out. Lillycat, Dust of Dolls and the unobtainable Enaibi.

      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect?

      Well I paid a pretty penny for the Afi parts I've collected so far and they are on par (I guess). Other than that most everything I've seen hovers around 'going cheap to sell quick' to the really expensive LE heads *coughreisner*


      What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices?

      Most every transaction I've been in has been smooth. I have heard complaints though of young members being flaky and seen the startling downturn Custom House has taken. I was sorry to see them just abandon Dollcatch- I had a Stella and she was a lovely doll. Soom- I hate to say I did not think my Teschan is the greatest quality. There are air bubbles in the head and the inside of the head is lumpy and unfinished. As I began to face-up him microfine scratches appeared when I put the blush on too so that was disappointing. I don't think the quality control is what it was now that they have 2? 3? factories to keep track of.

      Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally?

      Yes. The dolls I like the most (Volks) are as difficult to get an as pricey on the secondary market as they ever were and there is less money/more expenses coming up. For the most part I just have to give up on anything I want from Volks. While other companies with ordering period and layways get more of my attention because layaway HELPS a lot!


      How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby?

      No. I have 5 pages of good feedback and I work to keep it that way! I want to be a reliable seller and buyer. It's difficult, if not impossible to recover from a black mark. I keep in touch, and I'm active on the forum.

      Any other observations to mention?

      I think there has been a glut of new companies, some better, some worse. I know everyone is always looking for a cheap doll but cheap isn't always better. Patience always wins out, even though I don't have much LOL!
       
    13. It certainly seems that the market has been flooded with dolls lately, a trend I can mark even though I've only been in the hobby for a couple of years. It used to be that if you had a SOOM MD from a year or more ago, you could actually get twice what you paid for it. Now, it seems that with the influx of other alternatives for people who like fantasy dolls, SOOM MDs have sort of dropped in demands. That's not to say that people don't still mark up their older MDs, but it doesn't seem to be such a drastic increase. This may also be because more people are buying the MDs than back in, say, 2008. I would be really interested to see the statistics of how many of each doll SOOM has sold starting with their first MDs all the way up through the most recent. Of course, they're not the only company but they are a good example of what's going on, since they've been around for a while and do both limited and non-limited releases. Just look at the increasing frequency of releases from that one company alone. With competitors popping up, they've increased their output to remain ahead.

      As for dolls I'm personally interested in, unfortunately my "grail doll" is one that hasn't been rereleased, so I'll likely be hunting her down for a long time. A Shadow Onyx recently sold on the marketplace for over $1k, which is to be expected, but it will be a while before I can save up enough to make a serious offer for one. More likely, I'll simply buy the head I want and put it on another company's body, which will be just as good as far as I'm concerned.

      I've bought and sold a few things on the marketplace during my time here, and I've been impressed each time. Communication tends to be pretty good... I can say that I'm generally surprised by people in a good way. I recently sold some doll parts and got just about what I wanted for them, which was weird because I thought I would have to go lower due to the economy. Makes me think I probably could have asked more, but I'll just remember that in the future. As a buyer, though, I'm the type to subscribe to a thread and watch it for weeks until it drops to a price I like. Of course, this has cost me a couple of dolls I really wanted, but I would have had buyer's remorse if I paid more for them, so it evens out in the end. I've always got a price in my head for what I'd like to pay, and if I can't get it, I would rather pass than pay too much more. I'm okay with waiting until my next opportunity. It may be that by the next time a particular doll comes up for sale, I'll be willing or able to offer more.
       
    14. How are you finding the BJD market at the moment?
      Many, many new dolls are available. That will make some prices lower because of competition.
      Many, many older dolls available. Same thing... prices will lower.

      Are there more/less dolls around that you want?
      MORE. More choices all around--more new and more old available at better prices.
      Of course, the new ones and old ones aren't cheap! They are still not mass-produced and there is still a growing market for all bjds... so prices are dropping a lot or quickly, but they are definitely on a down-trend rather than an up-trend over-all. New ones can be gotten at lower prices from companies that are able to produce them more inexpensively. But new ones can also still be quite expensive if they are limited and there's the market for them--and there IS. People will pay as much as they can for something they really want. I'll still buy at retail because I don't want to risk not finding what I want on the secondary market--and there's no guarantee that I'll find it cheaper second-hand. Many dolls maintain their price pretty well. They just aren't sky-rocketing over retail as much as they did in the distant past (as in 2003-06).

      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect?
      Well, I'm used to the higher prices of the early years, so prices these days seem "average" or "lower"--but they are still plenty high. It's to be expected for something that is hand-made or made in limited quantities. BJDs remain a boutique business. It's never going to be like mass-produced $14 Barbie dolls.

      What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices?
      I'm buying as much as possible in the Marketplace (although I do plenty of buying new from companies, too). I find private sellers pretty reliable. There will always be problems with a few... That's just life. But I don't think it's worse than anywhere else--and I think BJD-owners in general are honest and reliable. It's a large--but also a tight community. We don't want to screw over friends and fellow-owners. But bad things can happen. And bad people can happen.

      Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally?
      Yes. In my first years involved with BJDs I'd avoid the secondary market like the plague because it usually was full of dolls with huge mark-ups. Now, I been able to buy some limited dolls at prices that weren't WAY over retail, at least! There aren't a LOT of bargains, but more and more as time goes on.

      How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby?
      hmm... pretty much covered above.

      Any other observations to mention?
      I think it's a lot more possible to find Grail dolls these days. And to find decent dolls for low prices if you don't want to pay the higher prices. A lot more choices in doll clothes, too. But the Marketplace here is crucial for good second-hand items. Ebay is OK, but not as good as the marketplace.
       
    15. Rhapsodies, I'm seriously not understanding your complaint. You blame people for buying a LE doll and sell it later at 30% and 40% increased prices on the marketplace while you yourself are doing the very same. Just now you are selling a LE CB Kitten Lance for 800$ while the original price of the doll was 350$. Even with shipping & tax you still make almost 100% profit from this transaction.


      To the questions, well I certainly noticed that prices generally went down on the marketplace. Or to be more precise: there are still some dolls with hilarious prices on the marketplace, but there seem to be less people willing to pay them. LE dolls that would have been sold after only a couple of days (or should I say hours) now stay on the marketplace forever.
      It surely has to do with the economy today, but I also guess it has a lot to do with much more companies and much more variety in dolls being available today. As a consequence many buyers are just more picky today in what to choose. I can tell, because I'm just like that as well. When I started out in the hobby, I prefered to buy from local collectors who sold their dolls, now, some four years later I'm most of the time buying the dolls directly from the companies themselves.

      As for the business practices from private traders vs. business traders I cannot complain on either one. Until now I was fortunate enough to do business only with responsible and careful sellers (and buyers). I thankfully never encountered any problems on the marketplace until now and I really hope things will stay like that.
      Like it was mentioned before I think that the growing number of problem-transaciton threads is only due to the likewise growing number of collectors nowadays. It's just as safe or unsafe to buy on the marketplace like it used to be four years before. Actually I think it is even safer now, because I noticed that the moderators nowadays are taking much faster action when it comes to giving marketplace bans for people who misbehave there.

      My personal trading practices did change in the last years. Like many others I prefer to buy a doll on layaway if that option is available. Even if I have all the money needed to pay the doll off at once I like to keep a rest amount easily available just in case I see something I really must have ;). Likewise I also grant my buyers layaways up to three months or even more if the doll was very expensive.
       
    16. How are you finding the BJD market at the moment?
      I love strolling the MP, looking at what everyone has for sale and lol'ing over things that cost over 3 grand. I've noticed that dolls are getting both more expensive and less. When I first started window shopping for dolls, I noticed that most heads were less than $100, and now it's hard to find good heads for that price.

      Are there more/less dolls around that you want?
      Mmm, I'm not really bothered by MP availability at any given moment, but that's because I'm a patient, patient person. What I want will eventually be there.

      Are the items you want costing more or less than you expect?
      I find that things are more expensive, but I figure that's to be expected with (from my end, at least) the deterioration of the American dollar, people wanting to recoup what they've spent (doll + face-up), and in general, the economy being what it is. At the same time, I'm finding things on the MP that are so much less than I've seen recently.

      What are your observations in terms of both private traders and business practices?
      I think people are becoming more aware of scammers and flakers and such like. We want to cover all out bases before going out on such a big financial limb. While the necessity of this does make me sad (why can't everyone be honest?), I think it's a good thing.

      Do you feel that the economic climate has affected your trading personally?
      Eh, not really. I try to read potential buyers feedback threads, but honestly, sometimes I forget until after payment's been sent. /shot. I'm not so honest and trusting as all that, just that I'm that forgetful.

      How have your personal trading practices changed over the time you've been in the hobby?
      Yes and no. When I have money, and I know I'm going to spend it on doll accessories or dolls themselves, I check feedback, hunt for exactly what I want or just look for something to catch my interest. When I'm broke, I window shop and see what people are selling. I'm curious like that.

      Any other observations to mention?
      Not really...
       
    17. I always wonder how much less bodies are worth after having been used. Do the prices typically drop drastically from the original selling price? (Even if they do not show much physical wear...)


      Feel free to move this if it is in the wrong place.
       
    18. Short answer? Nope. BJDs do not tend to depreciate in price once they are "Used", even after being owned by multiple owners. Damage or yellowing can cause a slight reduction in price.
       
    19. No.
      They might be selling for less because the owner needs money right away, or needs to free up space.
       
    20. Ah ok. I always wondered if the prices magically dropped. lol Because I am buying a boy. If I ever chose to resell his body to get a double jointed one, I won't get completely jipped? Awesome. lol