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Try before you buy - theoretical debate on dollfie lending.

Sep 13, 2010

    1. What if companies would 'lend' a dollfie to a potential purchaser?

      Say, for example, Company X has an option for you to pay a deposit and take home a dollfie for a trial period. If its too big/small/not your thing? No problem - return for a refund of your deposit.

      This could be expanded to outfits, shoes, wigs and accessories!

      I can imagine the lists of problems this could generate, but I'd like to hear some ideas, opinions and feedback - what do you think? Would you take up an offer to trial a new doll with no option to purchase it? Would you 'rent' accessories for your doll?

      I know that in reality this will never happen :) It'd be a fun idea tho!
    2. I have to say no, I would never use such an option if it existed. In the past, my family has used services like rent-a-center, which is kind of similar. You can rent furniture, big screen tvs, washers and dryers, things like that. Well, in one case back in 1998 we had rented a very expensive washer/dryer stacked unit and everything was fine. Until we called the company to come pick up the item when we were done with it and one of their company men who was loading it onto the truck scraped it along the side of the truck by mistake, making a huge dent and scraping the paint from the truck onto the unit.

      Well, the company said since it was still 'technically' in our possession and on our property, we had to pay for the replacement of this very expensive unit, which we could not afford, hence renting it. In the end it was a big hassle and we had to go to court over it and blah, blah, blah. Since then, I learned my lesson about borrowing/loaning/renting items, specially very expensive ones. I could imagine the hassle of that with BJDs and their accessories. You drop the doll, a nose or finger breaks off and then you're stuck paying for it, or someone steals it or a sibling damages it. A wig gets damaged from dust, wind, pets or anything else, then you have to pay for it. A dress gets a stain or a rip, you're stuck paying for it.

      No, no, no. I'd never put myself in a position like that, specially if like you mentioned, I had no intention/option to buy the doll. It seems like you're risking a lot just to have an expensive toy to play with for a while. For this reason I am even uncomfortable with friends loaning me their dolls, which they have offered to do before to sew their doll some clothes. If something happened to them while they were in my care not only would I feel horrible, I'd have to replace them.
    3. I'm with Rikka_Mika here, for much the same reasons -- it'd be a bit on the scary side. To this day, I get nervous holding anyone else's doll, despite being familiar with how to handle one, for the "OMG what if something happens!" factor.

      Also, more sadly, there are also very dishonest people out there, as the stickied list of scammers in the marketplace problem transaction forum will attest. I'd imagine these people would leap to the head of the rental queue with no intention at all of returning the dolls or items.
    4. From the company's POV, I don't think it would pay off- I think they'd have a lot of people returning dolls with damage or not returning them at all, and depending on what payment types they accept it might be difficult for them to get the money for the doll out of doll renters. It would also not be so economical because of the shipping costs, unless it was run by a dealer and only a domestic service. If you have to pay two lots of $50+ shipping on top of a trial deposit you're probably better off saving up a little bit more and just buying!

      From an individual POV, I'd also be nervous of really doing much with the doll. Actually, a friend of mine let me borrow her doll for a couple of weeks when I was nervous about buying an SD-sized girl of my own (my other dolls are all minis and tinies) and even though I already had 3 BJDs of my own and was not a doll-noob I was really scared of damaging her since she wasn't actually mine! I definitely didn't treat her like my other dolls.
    5. Very, very little in this hobby is returnable. I don't see any company being okay with this, and up to a point they'd be right. People drop out of layaways and leave companies hanging, what happens when they just don't return the doll? Especially if they're in a different country?

      Even if this were practical, I think it would make things less fun, not more. It would still be a hassle to return a doll after the trial period, and it could well raise the same feelings any failed bonding does. In the end, the financial cost would be about the same as reselling at a slight discount as is beginning to become the norm now.
    6. Along with the issues that other people have mentioned, there's also the problem of attachment. For a lot of us, our dolls are very personal objects, and we put a lot of character and personality into them. With a rental doll, that's not possible at all - the doll that might be a very specific character in your mind is going to go on to be something completely different for the next owner. I think it would make it much harder for someone to say no to a doll they can't afford if they've spent time actually playing with it, for lack of a better term, than if they've just been looking at it online or admiring a friends. We all know that it can be hard enough as it is! Probably, a lot of people would end up buying dolls they can't really afford, because they "fell in love" with their rental, and just couldn't bear the thought of giving him or her up.
    7. I could see it work for other things, but it would be difficult for dolls. An optician once lent me two spectacle-frames (both worth the same as a an MSD sized doll, I have insurance that covers accidental damage and so has the optician shop) so I could go home, show them to my friends and boyfriend, get opinions and then decide which one I wanted to buy. You wouldn't use a loaner spectacle-frame the same way as a doll and with spectacles you want to know how they look with you, while with a doll you can look at pictures to see how it looks.
      Maybe comparing loaning dolls with loaning violins is better. When I was shopping around for a violin I ended the day with several loan violins at home, all costing way more than a standard doll, but you need to try a violin to be sure it's the one for you. It's not that different with dolls. ;) I asked one violin builder what would happen if the violin got damaged and he told me that his shop has a special insurance for that kind of damage. I didn't have to pay any kind of deposit, so I was curious.

      In both the spectacle-frame and violin cases I had to pick up the items in person and bring them back one week later. There was no way I could blame damage on shipping and I can see dolly renting work, but only if it's something done locally.
    8. This makes me think of tennis racquets. My younger brother's coach told me that there are some stores (pricier) that will let you take a raquet for a test run. I think this idea could work if there were stores from more companies in [insert your country and region here]. Like for instance, if Iplehouse decided to set up a store in the Galleria here in Dallas or FairyLand built a store in Austin. You wouldn't have so far to go and the company would likely have an easier time staying in contact. All assumptions, but that's the best I can think of. I think there is a trial period in this hobby in the form of doll meets. You have the opportunity to see and handle different models from within or without a given company and you can talk with their owners.
    9. Awful, awful idea.

      For all the good people in the hobby, there are just as many people who are waiting for opportunities like this to scam, cheat, and steal their way into doll ownership or some easy cash. Information can be falsified or stolen from others to fill potentially binding areas - ID, credit cards, proof of address. To be worth the risk, the deposit would have to be equal to the doll and by that point, you may as well buy it. Never mind that if it was allowed, there would be other concerns.

      What happens if the shipping company of choice loses the package, and the customer had tried to save a buck by shipping with an uninsured method? The deposit likely does not cover the full extent of the doll. The company loses money.

      What about the risk of a broken doll? Sure, the customer can ship back the remains and lose their deposit, but time is still wasted to then repair the broken parts.

      Have you considered the effects this would have on recast ABJD? If it were a successful business move, and people could do this, what would stop people from getting casting supplies, renting a doll, and recasting it for themselves? All they would have to do is pay the likely refundable/partially refundable deposit, recast the doll, and clean it up to send it back. Properly done, the crime could be invisible.

      Would you really want to play with a doll that's been in countless hands, doing god knows what? There are people who do iffy things with their toys, and anyone who's been on the internet for a minute knows that there is always someone who does something horribly creepy and disgusting with whatever your hobby of choice is.

      I just think it'd be a really bad idea. Too much potential abuse, and what for? The chance to see a doll in person? If you oh-so-badly want to see a doll before you buy it, it'd be cheaper and safer for everyone for you to go to a meetup and hope someone else has it already in their possession.
    10. I'm with everyone else. It would be all too risky. Would I want to play or do anything with this doll, knowing that she wasn't technically mine? It would zap all the fun out of it, due to the fact that I'd be ultra careful to not damage them for fear of liability.

      I don't think people would be doing crazy things to the dolls, but wouldn't it be better to have a doll you could call your own? Saving up to get a doll that's yours I think would be a much easier feat than to rent one. Then you don't have to worry that you're going to owe someone just as much cash for a scratched one.

      I could understand loaning my doll out for a weekend to a friend who was well-versed in how to deal with BJDs. Like, a friend wanted to get a doll like mine, but also knew a lot about them - not to touch the face, and all other things you must take precaution over.
    11. In addition to all the reasons mentioned by others that this would be a bad idea, I just don't see the point. Buy a doll if you want it, put it on layaway if you can't afford it, sell it if you end up not liking it when it comes to you.
    12. Well... Most other things (including collectables) are returnable as long as they're in the original packaging/unopened unless they're custom-ordered. Lots of BJDs are custom-ordered, so obviously no, but if you get a non-custom makeup/whatever doll set in the mail, open the box, and see that it looks absolutely nothing like the pictures? So long as you don't take it out and play with it, I don't think a return period would be too unreasonable. Depends on the maker. But since they seem to do great service without that option, I'm guessing 'not likely.'

      Getting to see them in person before you buy them is awesome, though. I would settle with a local doll store. There is one, that stock asian fashion dolls, and that is wooonnnnderful. I also have a good dolly friend that I will swap dolls with (think of it as dolly sleepovers), and that's very helpful too.
    13. If this were a local person dealing with a doll company close by, the issues would still be quite big. When we're dealing with different countries, different cultures, different currencies...the problems really stack up.

      In my day job, I work in a petrol station and if someone doesn't have the means to pay for their fuel on them (through forgetting a wallet/purse...) we have to fill out a form and they get 24 hours to come back and clear the debt...some people we never see ever again! If people are capable of giving false details to avoid paying for £10 worth of petrol (about $15 USD), I imagine giving false details in order to borrow a doll for a trial period might end similarly.

      I would greatly prefer to visit a Sumika-style doll boutique to see the dolls and maybe handle some of the products before I bought anything, than pay a fee to have a doll flown so many miles from Asia to Wales just so I can have a little play for a while. I just don't think it would be very cost effective to have a doll on-loan from the company.
    14. I don't think that it's a feasible option - too many problems that could occur in relation to damage and theft.

      Not only that, but each doll is custom made to order - it's why there's such a wait period for some dolls. So making a doll to custom order that is only going to be played with and then sent back is not economically feasible. I don't think that doll companies would take up a scheme which would cause them to loose money in the long run.

      In a perfect world where everyone was honest, the system could work with a lot of fine tweaking. Unfortunately it's not a perfect world.
    15. Agreed with all of the above, however I have borrowed my one very good dolly friends dolls, to "try them out". In fact one has been hanging out here for quite some time, I am really attached, sob.
      It would be amazing to have a store nearby to me. Meetups are amazing, as dolls IRL so often are completely different from what you imagine them when you are seeing them on line. Dolpa is also amazing, I am so grateful to Volks every year. And I show my gratitude by giving them all my monies, heh.
    16. I agree one hundred and ten percent with this person.
      Like, especially if I put a deposit in, and I had to be shipped the doll, and then ship it back. :< That wouldn't be so fun.
    17. Also I would never do it. It would be like getting a puppy and then trying to return it. Um, no. For the companies with me it would work out great for them, as I would just buy the doll.
      However it would clearly be nuts for them to do it.
      I also would not really want the risk of shipping hither and yon.
    18. Shifting the topic to renting doll clothes or doll furniture, I could see a use in that for stuff I'd like to use in a photo shoot, but would not like to own permanently. It would definitely help keeping the doll clutter taking over my home.
      In practice I could buy the stuff I need only temporarily and then sell it after I don't need it anymore. I may lose money with buying and reselling, but it's possible I break even while renting will most definitely cost me money.
    19. I'm with Muisje in that renting specific items for a photoshoot and then passing them back would be ideal for me in many ways. I like lots of different styles of clothes, but for storage's sake I can't hold too many. Renting an SD-sized fer from Dollheart would be wonderful for the few photoshoots in which I'd use one, or borrowing a doll-sized chaise longue specifically for photos.

      Ultimately I'd like to own these things, but they would be more like clutter to get in my way than actually necessary for my collection. Borrowing off another collector might work out much better than renting specifically from a company.
    20. It would be great to have a opportunity to see the doll live and make sure if she is the one and my stylization idea fits her. But I think I would be worried all the time that something bad can happen to her. So I think I could never fully appreciate having her.