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Your thoughts on the Secondhand Market?

Dec 31, 2017

    1. I was not part of the BJD community until this year but I know some people who sold items secondhand and we have been talking about the secondhand market. They have told me before it was much easier to sell things in the past and get a decent amount in return but nowadays it has become much harder to sell secondhand items and the amount earned is sometimes much lower. What are your thoughts? Has the second hand market become a place harder to sell? If you have sold in the secondhand market what has your experience been like?
    2. IMO, this hobby is very fast paced now. There are lots of new dolls and companies are coming out with 'bigger and better' dolls all the time. That means that dolls become outdated faster, and a don't hold their value, whether because peoples tastes have changed, because something better has been released, or because there is more to choose from.
      With a few exceptions, I don't expect to get the price back that I paid for a doll. I'm ok with it, the difference in price is sort of like 'rent' for the time that I had and enjoyed it.
      #2 Cydril, Dec 31, 2017
      Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
      • x 14
    3. In my experience, dolls don't generally sell for as much as you've paid for them. A lot of times, shipping from the company drives up the price you pay (at least in the USA), and you usually don't make up that cost when you sell it. I'm okay with it, because when I sell something on the marketplace, I'm just happy to be making most of the cost back, and finding someone who will hopefully enjoy the doll more than I did. Plus, knowing I won't make all of it back helps me not impulse spend because I know I won't make it all back if I sell it :sweat

      A lot of the time, you have to wait a while for someone to contact you about buying something, unless it's a super rare item or there's someone looking for that exact thing and has the money at the moment you post it. It's kind of funny, because I post things and want them to sell fast, but they never do until I really need the money, whereas I didn't really need it when I posted it. I just have faith that someone out there will buy it when the time is best!
      • x 4
    4. I love it but I did get two of my girls from trades versus purchasing on the second hand market (and I'm eternally grateful their old owners worked with me on it) my first MSD boy came from the second hand market. Honestly I'm glad it's there as it does make a chance for someone to get their first doll for a better price. It's also interesting seeing where a doll's past lay.
      • x 1
    5. I know you have to be a LOT more careful to buy on the marketplace these days than you have in the past, with the increasing rise of recasts that unscrupolous people will (and have attempted to) sell as legitimate dolls. This has, in turn, made selling legitimate dolls that much more difficult as buyers tend to be a lot more wary of what they're purchasing, especially with the popular brands. You need to make sure you have things like receipts or some sort of proof of purchase, the paperwork like COAs, the doll's history in the case of it having been bought from another owner, ect... People want proof that they're getting the real thing.

      And yes, because the hobby has grown SO much and there are SO many choices out there now, you will rarely, if ever, make back the money you spent. I've gotten some good deals that way, so on the buying side, this is a good thing. On the selling side, it kind of sucks. So, it's a mixed bag. But I have been able to sell some dolls when I really needed the funds and I've also been able to get a few hard-to-find sculpts for a good price, so I'm glad it exists.
      • x 3
    6. As with things like comics and trading cards, I feel making money from selling collectibles is a nice bonus. Making it a major objective of how one experiences the hobby seems more stressful than fun.
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    7. As with all hobbies things secondhand tend to go in a cycle. high initial demand may drive prices up as people clamor to get a thing (though this step is usually skipped when it comes to bjd since its a made-to-order product unless its like a limited 50 release), then the next new thing comes out and object 1 drops in price over time things such as wear/damage/etc can also lower the price on an individual listing, and then when enough time passes.... and the thing becomes super rare... Poof! the price can jump back up again.

      I admittedly have more experience with this in regards to my other much less expensive hobby of tamagotchi collecting/playing, but the seconhand market is a great way to find something that might have flown under your radar originally, or a favorite of yours that you couldnt afford during its limited run! You could even sometimes find something at a good deal if someone didn't bond well with their doll and just wants it gone. Secondhand markets are also one of the few ways to obtain OOAK customizations of dolls. Some companies/sculptors will do their own OOAKs but 50-100 limited runs seem more the norm

    8. This is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. I've been in the hobby since 2008 and sold a doll for the first time in 2010, and things are quite a bit different now. Back then, I don't think I ever had a doll listed for sale for longer than two weeks before finding a buyer, and I usually sold them for close to what I paid. Now, I consider myself lucky to sell within two weeks--two months is usually more realistic, and I have had things on the market for around six months before finding a buyer.

      When I was new to the hobby, many dolls didn't come with a CoA or paperwork, and some never had boxes. It often wasn't a big deal to buyers, because there weren't many recasts, and the ones who did exist were obvious fakes and pretty rare. There was typically no worry at all that a secondhand doll was legit. Now, unless you have a box, CoA, documentation, etc, it's much harder to sell a doll, even though older dolls are very unlikely to have all of that. Many of us also don't have purchase records of them because PayPal and other sites don't keep records that far back, and they just weren't that important to hold onto at the time.

      It's also true about availability changing the market. It used to be difficult to find less expensive dolls when there were fewer companies. We also used to have a much smaller group of people in the hobby, so it was harder to find things secondhand, and so when things did pop up, we grabbed them immediately. For example, there are currently 2,470 listings in just the large dolls section of the market. That's not including other sizes and whatever is on eBay, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or other sites. That gives buyers a LOT of options to choose from, and to shop around for the best prices on things. In the past, you might be searching for awhile for a certain doll, but now, unless it's extremely rare, you're likely to find more than one for sale and choose the best price, or wait until an even cheaper one gets listed.

      Another thing I think might hurt is US shipping costs. When I ordered my first MSD from Junkyspot, he was in his box, in a larger shipping box with extras, and tracked/insured shipping cost $8 from California to Kentucky and he arrived in 5 days. Now, I can barely ship a piece of clothing via Priority Mail for that price. Shipping an MSD now usually costs close to $20 within the US. International shipping from the US for a full doll is very often over $100, unless you can manage to fit them in a flat rate box, and it's still around $70-80. I think this hurts the US secondhand market, when you can have a doll shipped anywhere in the world from Alice's Collections and other companies/dealers for less than the price of shipping secondhand.

      So, in short--the need to prove everything is legit in several ways, plus the availability of so many things and shipping costs makes selling secondhand more difficult.
      • x 4
    9. Im actually becoming more open to buying my dolls secondhand then buying them through the company(not that there isnt anything wrong with that). As long as the seller is decent you should be fine.
      • x 1
    10. Eh, I think it depends what you're trying to sell. You can certainly make your money back on sought-after/limited edition dolls. But the larger the production and the more in circulation, the less you're going to make back.
      • x 1
    11. I love secondhand dolls & many, many of the ones in my collection are secondhand. But most of my dolls are older ones that I bought "almost new" way back when. Several years ago when I became interested in slim minis I would cruise the marketplace & look for bargains. I found a lot of lovely dolls that way that I wouldn't have been able to buy new..

      I've sold a lot of dolls too through the marketplace & it's generally been a positive experience. I don't expect to get back my cost but I call that loss "play rental." I've had the doll, played with it, displayed it, had a lot of fun but it's time for that doll to move on. I just always hope that the buyer has as much fun as I did. I don't mind giving a bargain as I know what it's like to want a doll.
      • x 5
    12. I’m quite picky with dolls so I have a wishlist with very specific dolls and unfortunately most of them are harder to find and right now when I do find them in the secondhand market they’re at least $100 more and sold fast i.e. Dust of Dolls, Sio2, Depths Dolls, DreamHigh...etc which all have very limited runs and there aren’t a lot circulated. On DoA a hard to find and sought after Sio2 Peach Deer Head was sold for I think $200-250? But it retailed for $80. DreamHigh’s Aldou elf was just sold on eBay for over $600 though he retailed for $255.

      So I think for small companies or limited run dolls this issue hasn’t hit them but it’s a problem for dolls from bigger companies where their dolls saturate the market causing less demands as some lower their prices more and more to make a sale.
    13. I have found that to be true. I started the hobby 12-13 years ago when many companies could only take bank transfers and orders were through email. It’s so much easier to order right from companies now. The second hand market has def gotten slower in the last few years. I do remember items selling faster and having to jump on something in the marketplace quickly! Now, it can take months to sell maybe because so many dolls are more advanced now in their joints and anatomy making older dolls less desirable.
    14. From a buyer's point of view... especially one (like me-) who prefers the kind of "old school" sculpts that have become very out of fashion and Oh-So-Last-Year among much of the hobby community... it's a great time to go cruising the secondary market. I've had very, very good luck finding interesting things for reasonable prices over the last several years. Things I would never have expected to find, much less afford, back-in-the-day.

      As a seller... I suspect the picture isn't quite as exciting. It's been ages since I sold off any of my crew, but just looking at the marketplace, I know that if I tried to I'd get absolutely no interest in most of them, no matter how I priced them. I doubt I could give some of them away at this point. :lol:

      Not only are they out of style, sculpturally speaking, but the lion's share of them date from a time before CoAs and the requirement of proving iron-clad provenance. Like a lot of us who have been at this for years, I never kept boxes. Companies have come and gone and transaction databases have been lost with site redesigns. There's simply no way to prove that my dolls are legitimate to many current would-be buyers' satisfaction, even if they bothered to stop to look at something like a CP Delf or an old Lati sculpt in the first place.

      So... my opinion of the Market is mixed. As a buyer, I've been lucky. As a seller, I know I'd be completely out of luck.
      #14 Brightfires, Jan 4, 2018
      Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
      • x 6
    15. If you are selling anything collectible, it's all about availability & condition. If you've got discontinued sculpts in mint condition, you can get your money back & more (depending on the popularity of said sculpt at any given time - it changes). If you are selling currently available sculpts, then you have to offer an incentive to buy from you instead of the company. Often if the company takes forever to get dolls to buyers (Dollshe!!!) or if you sell to someone in the same country as you (no shipping) then that's all the incentive needed to buy a doll from you instead of the company (IF the doll is in mint condition, intact box, etc etc).
      For outdated bodies, unpopular sculpts, damaged dolls - well, those are will have to have a price reduction to entice buyers.
      It really is no different than any other secondary market (for collectibles).
      Also there is the consideration of whether you have a deadline to sell or can sit about waiting for the market to get interested in whatever you've got to sell.
      • x 3
    16. Having been in the hobby since 2008, I can say that yes, it's became much harder to sell anything in the second hand market. For example, eyes: if they are not from a well-known urethane eye brand, nobody is interested, however low the price. Same with dolls, I've sold a perfectly good doll (with quality faceup) that was originally $600 for $190 after trying to sell her for over a year.

      On the other hand, there seems to be a group of people that try to make money with selling secondhand dolls. There are several minifees, for example, that are being sold for $600-700. For the blank doll with company faceup. Excuse me, what? Why would I pay $200 extra for a used doll?

      Because of that, I try to avoid secondhand market...
      • x 2
    17. It used to be that dolls from certain companies kept their value, especially Volks. But when you see a Volks Hinata languishing in the marketplace at under 600$ when a couple of years ago you were lucky to find one at $1500 it shows you how saturated the market has become and how tastes keep changing. I've been in the hobby for over 10 years and the amount of doll companies is staggering. I'm much more picky now in my purchases and very careful in appraising potential sellers because of recasts.
      It used to be that you bought a doll telling yourself if I don't bond with it I will resell it for close to what I paid for, but it is no longer the case, and companies that once had OOAK dolls never to be re -issued cannot be trusted not to re-issue them driving down their value ( Bermann anyone?) Now, I ask myself if I buy that doll am I ok with never seeing that amount of money again?
      • x 1
    18. This hobby is very new, the dolls have only been around since 1998? 2000? Volks dolls continually command high prices, for the most part, even tho the hobby is barely emerging from infancy. Let's think about Barbie collectors before laughing at the idea of these dolls retaining value LOL Right now, selling your dolls on is a way to get some money for new ones, not to make money. Give it another 25 years. Really.
      • x 5
    19. I have gotten tons of my dolls second hand, and I have been lucky to have all good experiences. I like that I can get my doll faster, and some of my friends have had bad luck getting dolls in poor shape from the company (fairyland and dollzone) so at least secondhand I can see pictures of the actual doll I get. I also like the idea of "adopting" a doll someone doesn't want anymore.

      Being a card collector (pokemon) I also see the fluctuation of prices a lot.Cards that are currently popular are going for over $60 to $80 even though they are not classic or collectible because they are playable. These same cards might drop down to $8 in a few years as the playability drops and new cards come out. Classics, of course, hold their value and sell well to big collectors. I think I have seen the same trend in the doll hobby as well.
      • x 1
    20. Brightfires completely hit the nail on the head for me.

      BJDs have evolved aesthetically and the older, more stylized and less brilliantly engineered ones (looking at you, all you single-jointed lovelies!) are completely out of fashion now. A lot of the companies that offered these dolls have folded, too, and it's harder to find information on them as a relative newcomer. For people like me who prefer this style of doll, the secondhand market is amazing! I have literally found and bought SD-sized dolls worth $600-$700 for close to $100 because no one wants or remembers them anymore. It's undoubtedly an awful atmosphere for sellers with a lot of dolls going for almost bargain bin pricing.
      • x 2