Volks Super Dollfie - SD, SD13, SD16, SD17, SDGr, SDGou & FCS - XXXI

Jun 15, 2021

    1. I emailed Volks Int and Volks USA regarding the proxy ban. I haven't gotten a reply back from Volks Int yet (not surprising since they usually reply slowly to English emails), but Volks USA replied to me!

      VolksUSA recommended that we send our feedback directly to Volks Int because that helps them gauge international interest!

      The international email address is [email protected].
      When emailing, include the following information (or else they might not accept it):
      * Name
      * Volks membership number (if you have one)
      * Address
      * Telephone Number

      This information is all specified on the Volks Int contact page: お問い合わせ | ボークス公式サイト | 株式会社ボークス

      I think it's important that we keep our emails to Volks polite. It's probably more effective to take the angle of "I love Volks dolls, and I'm disappointed at the lack of channels there are for international customers to purchase FCS" than something angry.

      If you're uncomfortable mentioning proxies for whatever reason, I think just expressing interest in more ways for international customers to purchase FCS would be helpful!

      ----------- Notes ----------

      Important links:

      Volks International
      Volks USA
      Angelden

      DoA Wiki

      • DoA databases:
      Volks (A-E)
      Volks (F##-Fz)
      Volks (G-K)
      Volks (L-P)
      Volks (R-Z)

      Previous discussion thread:
      * XV
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      * XIX
      * XX
      * XXI
      * XXII
      * XXIII
      * XXIV
      * XXV
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      * XXIX
      * XXXI
       
      • x 17
    2. So I'm just curious but when are we going to stop pretending that Volks doesn't know exactly how much interest there is internationally (not just on the Western side). Are the sales data from open preorders not enough? What about the amount of lottery entries the International and USA sites receive? If they're not monitoring second hand sales (and prices, which generally equals demand), how is it that the CEO can make snarky comments about Chinese hobbyists at Dolpas? We already know as fact that they monitor social media. This is the response every time. And hey, in a couple years when everyone is fed up with the FCS offerings on the USA side we can gather a group to email them again to get a single head changed out to a half a decade old sculpt so that in a few more years we can do it all over again.

      I like Volks dolls as much as the next person here, obviously, but it's just games that the company is playing with international hobbyists - not even touching on all rigged sales that goes on domestically too - let's not pretend that they're ignorant. Excuse my frank way of speaking.
       
      • x 15

    3. I totally agree with you, and this might change their policy, if they saw a mass messages from international customers are interested. As we all noticed Volks has done twice now a pre-order for some of their limited lottery dolls :3nodding:.
       
      • x 7
    4. I emailed Volks about the Katakana letters issue and it's fixed. However, another issue was with my card couldn’t be verified even I’ve been using the same card info. Today, I eventually figured out how to solve this problem by deleting the card info and adding it back. You should shoot Volks an email and explain the situation. Good luck!!!
       
      • x 2
    5. I'd rather at least try to talk to them about expanding FCS than just sit around and gripe over it, even if there's only a small chance they'll actually do something about it. (At least they're not as bad as a certain other off-topic company where you can get banned from the store for asking any sort of question that might even vaguely come off as a criticism...)
       
      • x 11
    6. LOLLLLLLL i think we all know EXACTLY who you're talking about...
       
    7. [​IMG]

      On a whim I put this v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶n̶k̶y̶ wig that I got and put it on my Jo (Paige).
      Even though this is not the color I intended for her character, I think there is something charming about it.

      I've been mostly sucked into the world of vinyl dolls, so unfortunately I've been neglecting my SDs.

      I'm in a little dilemma right now about her make-up. I really love the Junichi Nakahara collab make-up but I kind of want to give her a different look to truly make her mine.
      Getting an alternative head is definitely too cost prohibitive for me so I'm not entirely sure what I should do.
      Of course, this is something I'll have to ultimately decide on my own. But it's sooooooo tough to come to a decision. :horror:

      Has anyone felt this way before?
       
      • x 18
    8. First of all, LOVE the colour on her. She looks amazing, @pleiades !

      Secondly, yes, I’ve been in that situation before. Paige looks gorgeous with her faceup, but I understand that desire to really want to make her ‘yours’ and not just another Jo. My only advice would be that if changing her faceup doesn’t do it for you, recreating a similar look wouldn’t be too hard. It won’t be the same, and maybe that’s better, but worst case scenario she could look similar again. Best case scenario is you go for it and love her new look, and you have a Jo that is different and special and unique.

      I wish you all the best with whatever you decide! She is a beautiful sculpt, regardless of the faceup. :love
       
      • x 1
    9. @pleiades - She is gorgeous in that purple wig!

      I actually felt the same way about my Beth when I first got her. She's been default this whole time and while I really like the default, she didn't feel like my own doll. She still has the default currently, but I've finally decided to have her repainted later this year. It took me a good 4 years or so to work up the nerve to realistically change her up, but I'm happy with my choice. Just do what makes you happy. She's still going to be a lovely doll either way.
       
      • x 1
    10. Had a little photoshoot with my first Volks dollfie and the latest arrival. It's a bit wintery, but the weather here has been so temperamental that I think it is fitting! And I wanted to try the fluffy cape on . . . ^^
      [​IMG]
       
      • x 16
    11. Can you explain what you mean by "rigged sales?"
       
      • x 2
    12. I have a general question for GL members. I live in Japan so am not familiar with the GL membership situation. Has anyone actually seen the form Volks is proposing for international customers? I was discussing things privately with some doll owners and was curious about how things would work.

      Here is how things work in Japan at Tenshi no Sato (as far as I am aware and if others are more aware please do correct me). I have included notes to Volks for how to help international visitors also participate since I have known visitors who had to unfortunately miss out on some of the fun things.

      1) Bisque Dolls

      The bisque doll events are two-day (Saturday-Sunday) events. People get an entry from the front desk upon entering and then drop it in the entry box in the basement with the number of the doll they like. The dolls are all on display with numbers and prices next to them. Dolls with ribbons have full body make-up. Entries are collected for the two days with the lottery held on Sunday afternoon. Winners then attend a special bisque doll workshop and get their dolls on Sunday. Time requirement: 1-2 days.

      The time requirement exceptions: Upgrades are available. If people wish to upgrade the face-up or add body blushing or get extra hand parts that can take extra time. Extra hand parts, however, if paid for upfront at time of sale ***might be*** able to be shipped to a Japanese address but I am not sure.

      Note for Volks staff who may be reading this: If hand parts can be shipped in Japan, it would be great if international customers could have bisque hand parts (if they have a bisque doll and proof of purchase at Tenshi no Sato) via a service like Tenso. I recall Tenso working well for international customers during the Dolpa where Jo and Beth were available.

      2) FCS Orders

      FCS orders can be a bit complicated because of all the options available. If you do happen to go to order a FCS doll it does take a bit of time. And, even when one knows what one wants it can be confusing. The last doll I ordered (a long time ago) had a SD body with long legs and long arms. I made the mistake of indicating I wanted a SD13 doll (because of the long legs) but I actually had to order a SD doll and the Tenshi no Sato staff had to switch to a SD10 book and completely rewrite the form. I felt terrible. But, it can be difficult to actually see all the options before placing the order because the books are not always openly shared with customers. Although, to be fair, the main reason for that may be the FCS counter can be busy.

      Note for Volks staff who may be reading this: It would be very helpful if international customers who do not live in Japan and have limited time at Tenshi no Sato could be given time ahead of the appointment to research the options.

      My concern at this juncture is that people will visit Tenshi no Sato and buy a FCS for themselves and then want to buy twenty others for all their closest friends. Please do not do this. Please limit yourself to two. If the system becomes too arduous for the staff to handle, they could cancel it altogether.

      FCS orders tend to take 1-3 months to create for the new owners. That is not an issue, however, if a service like Tenso can be used to ship dolls overseas. FCS orders can be paid for in two ways. The first way is with a deposit. Then, the remainder is paid for when the doll is completed. This requires a second visit to the shop. The second way to pay is for the buyer pays the full price upfront. Then, the FCS doll can be shipped to the customer upon completion. If a service like Tenso is allowed, that means the FCS order could be shipped to Tenso and then Tenso would direct it to its international destination.

      Note for Volks staff who may be reading this: It would be wonderful if international buyers could use Tenso for Tenshi no Sato FCS orders. Purchasing a FCS is a special experience and it would be nice if international buyers could experience that in-person "adoption process" themselves.

      3) One-Offs

      This is a longer process. When one enters for a one-off it requires 2 or 3 visits to Tenshi no Sato.

      First Visit: This is when one enters the lottery.
      Second Visit: This is when one pays for the doll.
      Third Visit: One picks up the doll unless the doll is shipped to the new owner.

      The time between a first and second visit will vary depending on how long the one-off entry period happens to be at that time. From the end of the lottery it can take, from what I observed, 4-8 weeks for lottery winners to be contacted by... mail. And, this is where I am really confused. How will international buyers be able to enter if they are in Japan for a few months? Yes, it is a special letter. Yes, it is a wonderful gesture. Yes, it is an exciting day when one sees it in one's mail box. But, that only works if one has a mail box in Japan.

      Note for Volks staff who may be reading this: For international visitor winners of Tenshi no Sato one-offs, could a "in Japan until <date>" be added to the lottery entry form? And could international visitors be contacted by email?

      One would need to go back to Tenshi no Sato to pay for the one-off, but if Tenso is an option, the one-off could be shipped via Tenso to international locations. That said, if one is in Japan for long enough, the doll could also be picked up at Tenshi no Sato.

      Note for Volks staff who may be reading this: For international visitor winners of Tenshi no Sato one-offs who can enter and pay for dolls while in Japan, could you please consider allowing the use of Tenso for the shipment of one-offs overseas?


      Kindly note, I do not and have never offered a proxy service. I am merely in the unique position of being able to see both sides of the issue so wanted to share this publicly so to perhaps maybe create a way for international visitors to experience everything I can experience when I go to Tenshi no Sato.
       
      • x 14
    13. The page on GL Benefits is here - it is light on detail to say the least: 会員案内 GL会員 | ボークス公式サイト | 株式会社ボークス

      Since all the in store benefits are suspended no one has tried to use any of them, so there’s no practical experience either.

      That being said, this is the thing that implies everything must be done in store in regards to what you’ve discussed above.

      2)天使の里 有料会員限定・特別商品
      これまで日本在住のお客様にのみ提供していた天使の里特別商品もGL会員なら購入OK!

      • ・SD Pure Skin Bisque OOAK modelへのご応募 ※
      • ・SD フルチョイスシステムのオーダー ※
      • ・SD 天使の里ワンオフモデルへのご応募 ※
      • ※いずれの商品もお申込みやお渡しは天使の里へのご来館が必要です。
        日本国内外を問わず、発送サービスはご利用いただけません。
      • ※フルチョイスシステムのオーダーをご希望の際は専用フォームで事前予約が必要です。
        ご予約連絡時に言語対応スタッフの必要有無を確認いたします。
      I’m not perfect in Japanese, but my understanding of that sentence is, no matter which of the above (One off, Bisque and FCS) application and hand over (of the doll) must occur in store. You may not use shipping services whether to locations within Japan or abroad. So yeah, it seems they are not allowing GL to ship, at all, when using these services. (Edit: Just thought about this, but they only discuss using these services at Tenshi no Sato, so unclear if GL can do FCS etc. at other stores, though in this case I’d like to think you can…)

      Of course, it’s literally a sub-bullet of a not at all detailed process so maybe they’ll adjust. As you’ve noted above there’s also questions around how a person would be notified of winning a doll at all which they’ll have to address somehow. (Edit: Tbh with how old fashioned things tend to go, I bet they try to use phone numbers which could pose various issues)
       
      #13 abs2891, Jun 16, 2021
      Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
      • x 5
    14. @abs2891 I certainly understand what you are saying, but my question was can people actually access the proper form to apply for FCS? Has it been made available yet? If so, that should offer some clarification concerning detailed information. I do not know what the details are, merely sharing how the system could potentially work for international visitors if services like Tenso were an option.

      My question actually resulted after reading this statement here:
      日本国内外を問わず、発送サービスはご利用いただけません。

      The translation would be "Shipping service is not available whether one is in or outside Japan." But. It does not say "whether or not one *lives* in Japan" and that is an important distinction.

      That is why I think when shipping is permitted within Japan for members like me, it could potentially be an option for international visitors who are GL members via a service like Tenso. That said, without seeing the actual form Volks is referring to, I cannot know the details and it is pure speculation.

      Also, if international visitors require a Japanese telephone number, you can use Skype from what I understand. I have a Japanese phone number since I live here so do not know the details about that.

      Hopefully, Volks will offer future international visitors some clarification soon.
       
      • x 5

    15. She is extremely beautiful, purple wig suits her very much :D.
      I have felt the same way as you did, but when I changed the doll face up, my feeling wasn't the same at all :doh.
      i didn't feel that she is the same doll I fall in love so I had to send her back for her original make up. This happened to me with Volks oscar.
      Also, very recently, I had purchased a lorina II and had the same dilemma whether to get her original make up or custom one, since she came blanked :sweat

      In my opinion styling the doll differently make her yours. I always come across same doll with factory make up but with styling, they made her their dolls :3nodding:
       
      • x 1
    16. Yeah, nothing is available yet so we don’t know unfortunately - they rolled this announcement out but it’s never actually been available for use because of covid. Seems that they are waiting for the border to reopen for tourists (which does make sense though it leaves us in this limbo of not knowing exactly how it really works).
       
      • x 2
    17. I did write up a long complicated e-mail to Volks yesterday complaining at them for all the problems I had with their statements, but I want to go back and revise when I'm in less of a mood before I send it to them. I also made suggestions for ways they could give international customers access to FCS - although I'm sure everyone would love it if we could just order any doll with any options online whenever we wanted, that would obviously put way to much of a strain on their production lines. The Volks USA system isn't perfect obviously, but it's still a nice option, and I think having that option available worldwide would help a lot.
       
      • x 5
    18. I think this is definitely the reason for the recent post discouraging using a proxy and why GL membership is so limited, they just can’t handle the volume.

      I can’t say how culturally universal it it among Japanese business but I worked for a Japanese owned business in a non-doll industry for a few years, and the owners just didn’t know how to handle customers who were demanding and placing large orders on short notice. (Customers who did this were considered rude for not understanding the care and time it took to produce and that the business was very small.) They would try their best to meet the needs of the customer but would often retroactively impose awkward rules instead of outright saying and explaining to the customer that they couldn’t handle something well with our small staff. I feel like something similar is happening here.
       
      • x 10
    19. The one good thing is I think it’d probably be impossible to order that many in a day - my understanding is you have to have an appointment block for each doll you make and the block is an hourish? so yeah, not enough time - and easy solution for them is put a limit on how many appointments you can book in a single day (but even with proxies making a doll a day assume it becomes, uh this is your tenth doll this month…)
       
      • x 2
      • x 18