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When the market levels out [Doll values in future years], BJD market saturation

Aug 29, 2007

    1. I started typing this out in the "scalping and you" thread, then realized how relevantly off topic I was getting and thought it might be worth a separate post.

      I am offering the question of when the BJD market will bottom out, and what will happen when it does. (Not really bottom out, that's the wrong term... perhaps what I mean is 'level out') There will eventually be a point where the pace of new BJD companies outstrips the growth of the fandom.
      Everyone seems to want a piece of the BJD action right now, even quite a few companies who don't quite 'get it' and think that sticking anime eyes on their regular dolls will produce a BJD sensation.

      People who will argue that this won't happen, that the doll fandom will continue to grow indefinately- I saw it happen when I posted a thread back on 2002 on cosplay.com (I believe) asking when the amount of cosplay would level out. I got quite a few "COSPLAY WILL NEVER STOP GROWING!" angry replies. Of all the replies along those lines I got, maybe 1/5th of those people are still actively cosplay. And I've deffinately noticed the ratio of cosplayers: street clothes at conventions going in favor of street clothes slowly but surely.

      I think we are approaching market saturation even now- I've seen a couple of CP art dolls that have just sat on the marketplace, as no one was willing to pay what the scalpers wanted for them, even when they attempted to split them up and sell them off piecemeal.

      People may say all the dolls retain their value, but I've been watching threads for DOC old bodies- and people are *lucky* to get full resell value on an old DOC body even now. (From what I've seen recently in the marketplace, that is. It has and always will fluxuate somewhat.) There were at least three sitting around recently at or below company price, and they just weren't moving.

      I'm afraid I just can't see every doll maintaining their market value into the future when we are already seeing people having trouble maintining the market value on certain dolls they have now. When there get to be more standards for sale than there are people to buy them, their prices will necessarily have to go down in order to get them to sell at all. I'm also wondering when/if this will affect the companies directly- when it gets cheaper to buy a second hand because people selling them below cost just to get them to move, why pay the company full price?

      [This is how it relates to the other thread]
      When the market levels out, I do think we will see a drop in scalping. Some dolls will always retain their value, I think- I can't see Cecil the Scarface or Sasha dropping in price anytime soon. But eventually there will just be so many dolls available that people are going to say "Huh. I like that limited, but there are so many non-limiteds on the market I also like, I might as well not bother with that price." It would seem natural that it would go the other way around as more people want a fixed number of dolls, but that doesn't jive with the general trends I've been noticing...

      Which is that, the general trend as far as new people coming to the hobby is towards the cheaper dolls. Or, rather, I should justify that with that I've seen a population explosion of doll heads from more expensive companies on Angel of Dream bodies. I am NOT saying this is bad; I'm just noticing that at least in my local fandom, they are multiplying like bunnies. [I have Dollzones, so no moral judgement from me there!]

      TL:DR version
      1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?
      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?
      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?

      And one more question not asked in the longer diatribe:
      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market?
       
    2. This is my first post on this forum, what a brilliant thread I love things like this!

      My answers would be as follows:

      (I have just re read this and I sound a bit opinionated, like I am saying "this IS how it is, I just want to add this is just my opinion and I would love to hear others views!)

      1) The market will level out if and when cheap brands start to produce knock off bjd's. Fakes. Look at the porcelain doll market, there was a time when a porcelain doll was a piece of art, now you can buy a 20" fully dressed porcelain doll in Poundstretcher for £2.99.
      At this point there will still be the die hards who know exactly what they are looking for, but people who are merely curious or just want something that looks like a BJD will go for the cheaper option. At this point the supply of quality dolls will outweigh demand and prices will have to fall. This will knock out the secondary market as new limited editions will be available and people will want these over and above "last years" editions. (There will always be some exceptions and dolls that are always wanted)

      2) There will be some levelling out of the market happening now as supply is increasing (more companies making more dolls) at a faster rate than new collectors are being drawn in. Increased awareness and better worldwide availability would help here for a while and slow this down.

      3) Once supply and demand has levelled out then the second hand market for limited editions will fall. I assume scalpers are people who buy the dolls then sell on for a profit. (If I have misunderstood then sorry!) At the end of the day, limited dolls will become like last years fashion. Some will become highly saught after and some will just become yesterdays news, as companies strive to capture the market with new and innovative limited dolls.

      4) The levelling out of the market will actually have a positive affect on fandom. As supply and demand begin to level out, the second hand market will reach out to those who couldn't previously afford to buy the dolls. As with all second hand products, even if they are selling at cheaper prices, they will not cut out the firsthand market as to a true collector a second hand doll bought at a bargain price will not suffice. There will be a distinct market for people looking for the latest doll, and people looking for a bargain.

      I am new to BJD's, so this is all speculation, do you think I am on the mark or way off??

      ~Life
       
    3. Honestly, I already think that the market for BJDs (outside Japan) is already a rather localized phenomena, fiscally speaking. I would not be surprised that, given the right intervening factors, the prices on used doll goods became to fall significantly at any time. Since they are (no offense) fundamentally a luxury good, they are much more affected by generalized economic pressures, because the elasticity of consumer demand is greater than for, say, food.

      How this will be influenced by additional doll companies, I cannot guess. If consumer demand stays sufficiently high, it might be in the best interests of the doll companies to collaborate and keep the prices high for their goods. (They may already do this.) However, that is probably not the Nash equilibrium when you consider a long-run model with increasing market participants, and therefore I would expect that eventually some things might occur: quality may become an even more meaningful factor in purchasing decisions (striating the purchases much like the different types of car demand different prices contingent on perceived quality), some companies might not be able to make profits and shut down (thus returning us to where we were before), and the used-doll market might possibly begin to lose the high resale turnaround ratio as increasingly alluring options become evident.
       
    4. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?
      I would put my money on a gradual leveling-out over about the next 5-10 years as a good percentage of the collector population ages and moves on to other things.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?
      From what I can tell there has already been a peak and a valley with a group of new companies jumping on the bandwagon and then going out of business. I don't necessarily consider "certain bodies and molds depreciating in value" to equal a levelling out of the market for new models of doll. I would guess that some depreciation is simply due to the fact that there is so much new stuff coming out that the demand may be reduced for an older and possibly yellowed doll. Whether this indicates a "levelling out" depends on how you define the overall market.
      To analogize, if the demand for old classic Cadillacs goes down because there are newer, sleeker, more fuel efficient cars, you're really talking about two different markets: the collector market for old/vintage models and the market for new releases. It may be that we'll see some specialization like this happen in the BJD market, that ten years down the road someone will only want "vintage Volks" for example, and someone else will only want newer limiteds.

      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?

      As more new model dolls come on the market, and as limiteds age (and possibly yellow, etc., or just don't have the features of the new dolls) it is likely to make the demand for the older dolls decline. It is therefore likely that some limiteds or dolls commonly scalped now will decline in price. It's difficult to anticipate what newer limiteds and so forth will go for, except that it's likely the price will fluctuate based on the cost of materials. Also, the international strengths of different currencies will affect prices for different country buyers, so it's hard to give one across-the-board answer that's going to fit everybody's situation.

      And one more question not asked in the longer diatribe:
      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market?

      I don't think so because it seems like a lot of buyers really don't want secondhand, older, pre-owned, possibly damaged dolls even if the damage is slight. More likely the market will split into "classic" buyers and "new" buyers just like for Barbie where collectors may specialize in certain eras of doll, or only in the new MIB releases.
       
    5. 1) I'm not sure that there's any way of knowing for sure. Because it draws in hobbyists from so many different areas (anime, J-Rock, fashion dolls, etc. etc.), there's lots of oppurtunities to draw in new people which equals a larger pool of buyers. However, I wouldn't expect the bjd hobby to always go this strong. I expect it will eventually calm down, but I don't see it suddenly dying off anytime soon.

      2) Value on the secondary market is in part determinied by supply, but I expect popularity plays a part too. Some sculpts will undoubtedly be more desirable than others. While not all dolls are going to hold or gain in value, they are of good enough quality that their prices shouldn't hit absolute rock bottom. Sometimes things go in cycles too.

      3) The very limited dolls that get scalped aren't going to be as affected by saturation, since there are too few of them to be saturated (it will be the more common regular runs that will be hurt the most in terms of price). As long as there are collectors that want them, then there will be scalpers trying to make a buck or 200. One thing that may happen, though, since there are a lot more companies now, is that there will be more dolls to compete with those LEs for popularity.

      4) I don't know that the secondary market would completely undermine the companies--there are people who prefer a brand new doll, or want a company face up, some people aren't as comfortable buying from e-bay or the marketplace. However, with so many new companies coming out plus the large secondary market, together that will probably have some effect.

      Some companies most likely will become or stay very popular with large fan bases, while the less popular may not make it. Or, it's possible that it will become harder to break into the market with so many companies already producing dolls, and the number of newer companies may drop. It's going to come down, I think, to the number of hobbyists vs the number of companies.

      It's also likely that as there is so much competitiion, that companies will try even harder for new innovations in terms of posabilty, customization etc. to draw the attention of buyers.

      As for the general trend you mentioned about less expensive dolls--that's not surprising that they are popular. They are good quality, attractive, and more affordable for people. However, I think there will always be people willing to pay for the more expensive dolls as well. I just see it as an example of the every increasing variety of what's available these days. And it's that variey in price, size, sculpt, jointing systems etc. that will keep the hobby new and fresh and continue to attract new hobbyists.
       
    6. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?

      Yes, of course, it is impossible for any market to continually rise. I personally think it has already started to level out and I think it will only flatten more as time goes on.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?

      Definitely some, I mean there use to be a time you could put any Yo-SD in the marketplace and ask $600+ and people would rush to pay it. Even though LEs, because there are now so many more molds available: Rengemaru/Suzuna, SwD Renegemaru/Suzuna, Anne/Piccolo, SwD Anne/Piccolo, Kuuta/Chinatsu, Puff/Papi, Shinn/Lin, and Ayumu/Tampopo (and this doesn't include Yuki, Kasumi, Yuh and Mamu) Buyers can wait and pick the mold they want or wait for a new mold to be released. Some of the molds still get high prices, but a high price for a Yo is no longer guaranteed.

      I am sure there has been other leveling of the market as well with other brands and other types of dolls.

      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?

      There will always be scalpers because there will always be some new mold lots of people have to have that is a limited edition. It sort of goes along with the topic on whether BJD fandom creates a culture of debt. Our fandom doesn't necessary create a culture of debt, but we do have a culture that seems to grant more attention and interest in the latest and greatest and the newest.

      I think the leveling out will mostly affect smaller companies, since they need to have a certain amount of sales to continue in business, and will affect those of us who decide to sell dolls to afford new dolls/bonding issues. (which will slowly affect companies.)

      I think those who paid a really high "scalped" price will have a nigh near impossible time recovering the amount spent.

      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market?

      I think the biggest problem for the first hand market is most people have a limited budget to spend on several hundred dollar dolls. Many people sell dolls they didn't bond with to buy a doll they think fits their character better. If they are unable to sell the older doll for the amount they want or the amount they need to purchase the new doll it will affect the first hand market.

      But I do think the fact that the companies are constantly releasing new LE and new bright and shiny dolls affects the market.

      I've also noticed almost trends within the market. Someone influential gets a doll and suddenly everyone wants one and the prices in the second hand market rise, until a peak is hit and the trend starts to die.
       
    7. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?

      Within 5 years.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?

      I'm not a student of the values and availability of certain bodies and molds, but I'd say there's probably some levelling out already. Just think of the range of bodies and headmolds that have entered the market in the last couple of years. It wasn't long ago that you were severely limited if you wanted to do, say, a tall mature woman. Now, you've got Model Dolls, Feeple, SD16 girls, and IIRC, Dollstown and Unidoll are going to release some 60cm+ girls in the future-- and that's just a handful off the top of my head.

      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?

      I think price adjustments will vary on a case-by-case basis. One-offs and limited will stay high, simply because they're one-offs and limiteds. Commonly-scalped items may go down in price if there's a suitable replacement out there, and I think the growth of the market will ensure that people will have plenty of choices, no matter what they want for a doll. Standards I don't really see going down in price overall. Individual companies may bring out cheaper dolls, but companies like Volks will be able to continue charging their current price, as you're paying a bit of a premium for the brand.

      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market?

      First part of the question: I think the growth of the market will outpace demand for a bit, and we'll see the fandom shrink. Some people will leave because of life changes (preteens entering high school, high schoolers going on to college, college students getting jobs and families of their own-- dolls may fall by the wayside in any of these cases) and some people will get out because it's "too popular" and they can't get their loner/rebel/anti-establishment fix any more (you know who you are! ;) ) like I've seen in anime fandom. From there, the market may have to adjust prices and such to appeal to a broader/different consumer or, more likely, the marketplace will shrink. The bigger companies will continue right on, while the upstarts will close shop.

      Second part? I don't think so. Those dolls still have to come from somewhere to make it into the secondhand market. Besides, that's where limiteds come into play. As long as doll companies have some kind of "hook" to keep people buying new product, they'll be fine.
       
    8. Member, Linderhes mentioned a key word in his/her reply-quality. As long as a bjd company's products maintain high quality, there will always be a demand for these dolls. Included with quality will have to be constant innovation to keep customers chomping at the bit for their latest offerings. One example of a company (in my humble opinion) that has shown this and whose dolls have been in most demand is Volks-they really market well and keep a tight production!
       
    9. Very well put, everyone above!

      The one thing I think will really knock the secondary market for BODIES is the arrival of more double-jointed bodies by various manufacturers. It may well become more normal for older heads sculpts to sell, but find few takers for a single-jointed, limited poseability body, except to the real "collector" end of the market.

      Perhaps, too, as the market gets saturated with choices, more companies may become more flexible in selling their regular heads separately (those who don't right now), or create additional head sculpts sold without bodies, like many of the artist-producers do. And if there are more heads being sold separately, particularly if they are "backwards compatible", that might well stimulate the second-hand market for older, aka cheaper bodies, to keep the floating head population in check!
       
    10. To make my answer short and sweet. I think the market has already leveled out to some degree.

      When I started in '04 if you had a bjd FS you could get the same price or better than you paid new guranteed. It did not matter if it was a Volks or a CH or a AR.

      Now, certain dolls are very hard to sell except at prices below original retail, and I am not talking damaged or modded dolls, oldskin Volks unless they were a limited or one-off that is in high demand, some AR dolls like Kai seem to linger in the marketplace (sob-Kai fan!). I think Volks 4 sisters standard girls even in pureskin are hard to move beacuse they are easilly obtained. Some older limited dolls may be easy to get.

      It already seems to be less common that a limited release sells out in seconds, unless the doll turns out to be extremely popular or the relase is ridiculously small like 10 items. Probably becuase there is more choice out there to be had.

      I think the next step is that at some point more new product will be put out than companies can sell and we will begin to see a manufacturer shake down, were some of the lesser known companies dissappear.
       
    11. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?
      I think it is starting to now.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?
      Yes. It depends. I thought oldskin Volks bodies/parts would always be cheap and readily available. I find that they are getting MUCH harder to find now, though the prices are still reasonable so far.

      CP bodies seem to hold their value if you can adequately describe their color, or you remember what year it's from. People will always be searching for a good match.. and those to whom it matters will be willing to pay more for a perfect match.


      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?
      Well, some people are always willing to pay more to get something faster or that hasn't really hit the US market in volume yet. I think the general trend may be toward scalpers getting less. People know that the item will eventually be more affordable later, and many will be willing to wait. I think in general, the way that Volks (for example) does business, keeps their resale value comparatively high.

      And one more question not asked in the longer diatribe:
      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market?


      I think the fandom will be, and is fine. I'm learning I really have to consider what I buy before I buy it, and make sure it's something I can resell, just in case. It's not as easy to resell as it used to be... it takes longer and there's a lot more fraud and flakes in the marketplace (here) now.

      The companies haven't come out with much that interests me lately. Too much "Fashion", too much Lolita, too much JRock. Yawn ^_~ Those companies that survive well will be doing interesting things along with the usual, and have good quality and engineering as well as beautiful sculpts.

      As for the secondhand market affecting the firsthand market for Standards... Well I think they'll just produce fewer of them as time goes on. I think Volks keeps interest up by making their dolls hard to get, particularly the FCS.

      It think it'll be awhile yet (a few years) before they become "really" cheap. We still don't know how badly they'll yellow, etc. in time.

      Raven
       
    12. I see the BJD market as at a high point now--but you are right in that it will level out, and IMHO in the next 5 years or less. I have seen it happen with many other types of dolls--I don't know if people lose interest and move on to a new type of doll, or if the market just gets so saturated with a certain type of doll that they cost less and less until it is no longer reasonable for the manufacturers to make them. The doll market seems to change with the world situations and the upcoming "generations" of doll buyers.

      For some reason, certain dolls seem to never lose value and can get almost any price asked for, but others don't sell well on the secondary market. I remember a few years back, when Volks had a doll--I think it was Lady Sylvie? You couldn't touch her for under 1000. Now I see her on Ebay for 5 or 6 hundred.

      I also see the dolls getting more and more beautiful in their sculpts, as new artists emerge. I think the newer dolls will always go for the best prices, while the "older" dolls become less desirable. How many of you have sold off an "old" dollfie to buy a new one? I bet most of us have.
       
    13. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?
      I do believe this is already occuring, but I predict a more intense fallout within the next 5 yrs as well on pricing overall for these dolls from newer companies in an effort to stay competitive.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?
      I have definitely noticed the limiteds sitting and unadopted, it seems people can't break even on their purchases of older bodied dolls already (a good example is luts full size girls in type 1 bodies for around $500 now w/ faceup, eyes and makeup, and people not snatching them in a heartbeat.

      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?

      Depending on the fan base, you can have a slight or severe drop in price. A good example would be a popular mold like say WooSoo, still easily 1,000usd right? But what if there was a re-release and WooSoo became a very normal in stock standard for luts? I still say demand determines price, and if a demand for a certain mold can be satisfied then people who are in a position to habitually resell for profit will not be able to draw on that limited supply as a bargaining chip in reselling.


      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market?

      People still have a seemingly innate need for "newest-bestest", so if they are always trying to get that newest doll, there will be turnover in collections and older dolls leaving. However depending on desperation and circumstance, your second hand dolls will be leaving at lower prices than originally purchased many times.

      The main factor I think is going to be the uniqueness of the new releases. If companies don't keep pushing for something unique there will be less people compelled to buy firsthand. It might push more for people to branch out in customization though in order to have something unique? Not sure, just a little musing thought there.

      One thing I kept thinking in my head while reading this thread was Beanie Babies. They were SO in demand in the 90's, but by the time I had left for college they had pretty much went on a downswing, and now are carried I think as a bit of an afterthought in drugstores and convenience centers. I remember at the beginning being with my mom and standing in line to add to our 'collections'. It was exciting! A chance to see the brand new right there in your face. However, as production was upped, and more and more beanie babies came on the market and you could start finding them EVERYWHERE it was just a burnout. It wasn't unique and exciting anymore, and though they did have cute ideas, you could only take 5 gazillion of the same bear in different fabric before your eyes were ready to melt.
       
    14. I'd also say that the market has leveled out a LOT. Back in '01, when I got into the hobby, dolls were rarely seen on the second hand market. You had to go through the trouble of purchasing one through a shopping service to get one yourself, so it was great to be able to snag one on the second hand market!

      Even when shopping services were no longer needed, it was still easy to get at least what you paid for a doll. There just weren't that many around! But there has just been an explosion of BJD makers in past years -- first it was the ones in a similar price range to Volks (CP, DoD, etc), and much more recently there have been a lot of significantly less expensive options such as Angel of Dream and Dollzone. So I'd have to say that this does make the hobby more acessible and attracts people who might spend $400 on a 1:3 doll but not $600+, especially younger collectors IMHO.

      And the more molds there are available, the less likely it is that someone just HAS to have a specific (LE?) doll, because there is more likely to be one that has a similar look. So, yes, some limited dolls will probably have lower secondary market value -- but note I say some. There will always be fans of particular companies, and quantities can be matched to lowered demand. Volks has learned this with their LE's, just look at how many Emmas and Carols there were compared to how many Lunas and Cristals!

      And here's a funny thing to consider. A couple years ago, when I told my dad how much my BJD's cost, he looked skeptical and asked where BJD's were made. I told him Japan and Korea, and he said, "just wait until they make them in China." XD At the time, I hadn't even considered it! :lol:
       
    15. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?
      I think it will level out and then spike and then level out again.. depending on what the companies do and I find it's just a general fandom things. Things come and go in waves.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?
      You're right about the old DoC bodies. They're selling for less and less because the new bodies just have so much more to offer for people and they're new and shiny so it's what people are after.
      This might level out a bit cause I'm sure there is still a few people who consider minis to be children so will look at the less mature minis bodies and such.
      CP bodies also have the new types but there's also a matter of preference in the girl body particularly of having a torso joint or hip joint which will make sure the type 1 bodies actually keep their value.

      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?

      I honestly don't think limited will be overly affected. They might sit for a bit because people have to gather the money but there will always be someone for the scalpers to prey on simply because there is always someone who will go 'ooh shiny limited, i want to be special and show off that i have a -limited- so i'll buy this one'
       
    16. It's already leveled out-- or at least, the market is way lower & squishier than it was in '05 when I bought my first dolls. I paid yea bucks for them then, and probably couldn't get all that money back if I wanted to sell them now. But all things go in cycles. My weakest subject was always Economics, so I'm not keen to predict when/if, for example, the Tokyo Boys will all be regularly selling for $2k (but I don't care because I am not selling anybody right now, for any price ^^).

      It also depends on where you're trying to buy/sell things. There used to be fewer things randomly floating around the DOA Marketplace, and more activity on eBay or YJ, so the bidding-wars would be huge (and the prices would match). People seem less willing to get into bidding-wars, now that there's so many different kinds of dolls on the market, so many cheap dolls, and more places to shop for them.

      Re scalpers: I think Limited dolls will always be scalped, because by their very nature they are limited, finite, desirable. And I don't think scalpers will ever bother with the cheap regular stock dolls because they don't have to, so they probably won't affect the price. People's current preference for cheap dolls may affect the price of regular stock dolls in the future, by dint of market saturation & competition... but perhaps that swing will reverse itself when people start to prefer higher-end dolls again.

      "Beauty" being such a subjective thing, I don't know if any particular style or sculpt will ever go completely out of fashion. There are those who specifically seek out that old-school noseless anime style of Volks face, as opposed to chasing the newer/more realistic sculpts... And I haven't yet seen Tsukasa Konoe's price droop very far in the past 2 years, and he's getting pret-ty old. It would really depend on the sculpt, rather than the age of the sculpt.

      Also, no, I've never sold off an old Dollfie. ^^ For any reason.
       
    17. 1. When do you think the doll market will level out. I agree with most, it is beginning to level out now.

      2. Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value? Yes, the older type bodies are lowering in value, just due to the fact the newer bodies are easier to pose/hold poses. The newer ones are also more realistic.

      3. Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards? Yes and no. It will not affect the "cadillac" limiteds like the ones that Volks or Luts produces to a great effect. The doll market is like any other consumer product. These older premium doll manufacturers will still hold their own, just like Lexus or Cadillac, Coach, and other known brand names that hold their own in resale value.

      And I would like to add one more thing. As this doll market grows a lot of these companies are going to learn more "customer service". Once you achieve a certain standard in your product customer service is your next step in keeping people in a line at your door. It is the ability to rely on the quality of the doll as well as the company standing behind her and guaranteeing their product. (Can you tell I work in Quality Assurance??)
       
    18. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?

      It seems to me that quite a bit of the BJD market is made up of artists who like to work in the style of anime or visual-k. Most of these people are not particularly old, around their twenties or so, and while I think BJDs are a perfectly legitimate medium for artwork, I also think it may be a bit of a phase for some of the current owners. Considering their age, the likelyhood that they will become interested in another medium, and 'move on' from bjd is pretty high. Of course different people will change their interests at different times, but I give the market about three to five more years before its over-saturated with producers who have a bored consumer base.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?

      I don't know that I have seen anything drastic recently, though I don't keep up with the market value of dolls much. As for the example of the old DoC body, it seems to me that old bodies have always lost much of their value when a new one appears, so I don't think that's a sign of any real levelling of the market.


      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?

      Well, I don't think 'established' molds that are typically scalped, like Sasha or Bermann, will lower in price much. They've already shown that they can withstand the fads and trends of the market, so they would still make a fairly safe investment. But...I do think scalpers will be less likely to purchase any old limited or Dolpa doll, thinking that it will make them a good profit.
      I think the prices for standards will probably remain the same, because as far as I know they were never outrageously marked up over the cost it took to produce them in the first place. However, I think only companies serious about their appreciation for the dolls will remain in the market, because they're more likely to view it as a labour of love rather than a 'get-rich-quick' scheme.
       
    19. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out? I honestly, agree with some people that its already begun to level out. As better dolls come out, new options, etc I think it'll spark up again.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value? Like it was stated before, yo's aren't as expensive (least that I've seen.) Even molds like kid delfs and doc's, and a few other minis don't seem to get the market value anymore as either. Even some 60cm+ dolls dont seem to get the full retail value merely because theres so many of them out there.

      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards? I think standards, eventually over time will go down in price. With all the new companies popping up, I think once they get good customer service and perfect their dolls it will bring more compeitition that in turn will attract more people for a lesser price and companies like volks and CP might have to drop prices (it could happen not saying it will.) As for scalpers, hopefully the market will cut down on them.

      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market? For the fandom, I think its going to depend on each person. Some people go for the limiteds, I think over time people are still going to want the standards, they might go for the second-hand market merely because they want a certain doll but dont wish to pay company price. (example: I want a girl SD but I'm probably not going to buy a company one for a long time, I'd rather wait to find one I like cheaper on second hand market)

      And I dont think the first hand market will ever disappear, the dols are always improving and companies are the ones who make that happen.

      As for an overall, it's like any other fandom. Anime, jrock, conventions, cosplay.. over time people get sick of it and drop it for a while. Some people dont want to pay the large price for company/originals so they go to bootlegs/cheaper things. It really will depend on the person when it comes down to the market and companies. In all honesty, I'm pretty sure that if the companies for BJD would die out then some of the fandom might too. There are massive amounts of dolls out there but as we get more people we need the companies to help supply the dolls and clothes. (Sorry if thats not exactly on topic?)
       
    20. 1) When do you think the BJD market will level out?
      I think it's already leveling out, compared to when I first entered the hobby, 6-7 years ago.

      2) Have we already seen some levelling out of the market, in regards to certain bodies and molds depreciating in value?
      Yes, I have. Some of the heads that were popular when they first came out are selling for much less secondhand than original market value due to more sculpt options becoming available.

      3) Will the market levelling out affect the prices of limiteds or dolls commonly scalped? Will they go up or down? How will it affect the price of standards?
      I think (hope) the rate of scalping will go down. With so many new companies producing quality, beautiful dolls (and a number of companies have competative prices) consumers are given more choices. To stay afloat, some companies may have to lower their prices on standards to promote more sales. And perhaps consumers will become a bit more dollar-wise and realize that paying $4500 for that limited sunskin [doll X] is a bit of a rip-off, and put some scalpers out of buisness. ;)

      4) How will the market level out affect the fandom, or the companies themselves? Can the secondhand market for standards actually get large enough to overwhelm or undercut the firsthand market?
      Even now, I think the secondhand market has a huge supply but not much of a demand. I'm sure anyone who has tried to sell a standard doll recently has noticed that things haven't been moving as quickly as they did a few years ago.
      Companies are offering shopping with English sites, new companies have price promotions... absolutely anyone can buy a new doll now.
      IMHO, it's begining to reflect the Barbie market; everyone wants the newest one, but few like to buy second-hand...