Selling kits + why aren’t dolls selling

Hello,

I have two kits on sale:

Eloisa which I will let go for $90
Luca by Ping Lau which I will let go for $120. My Luca didn’t come with a COA from MacPhersons. I assume since he is open edition, he does not have one.

Also, I been trying to downsize on my doll collection and it is honestly getting frustrating. I had 10 dolls for sale for over 2 months and no one is buying. I cannot do down any lower…like I discounted the prices to half or a little over half than what I paid. They are all good quality dolls.

I have listed on reborns.com, eBay, made Facebook posts, Etsy, and Instagram.

They are getting lots of watchers but no buyers on eBay. But I am scared of using eBay due to their policies like if someone regrets their purchase, even though it says no returns, they can get their money back. But seems eBay may be the place if any they will sale. With reborns.com, I’m just disappointed. Paid for no sale and I really don’t wanna spend another $20 for no sale again.

All I get are sob stories, low ballers who evidently need to buy the $100 doll in their price range, traders even though I said in my posts no trades, or time wasters.

I don’t get what is up. Is anyone else having a hard time selling? Is it the time of year?

I just need thoughts and opinions.

Thanks in advance

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Sorry about your sales :frowning: It’s just the time of year. It’ll pick up eventually but it sucks for sure.

Thanks for the words. Hopefully it is just the time of year.

Kinda makes me sometimes wonder why did I spend so much on dolls even though I loved them and I appreciate good art and it was worth it at the time.

But when my fiancé keeps digging at me each day they don’t sell and people sending insults when I don’t go from $325 to $87 for them, then say, “Well I can get a better doll or rooted doll from reborns.com”. Then it does get to me.

It’s literally like if you can find a doll on reborns.com you love for $100, then why did you bother me?

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Exactly lol Because those dolls aren’t nicely done, that’s why they’re so cheap. But they see those prices and think that’s all the doll actually costs and everyone else is just raising prices to get rich lol When actually the 100$ dolls are losing money and FAST for the people who make them. Just ignore them and stay firm with your prices. My Darren took 9 months to sell, which isn’t ideal. Usually they do sell within a month or two but sometimes it does take a lot longer. I get the stress of needing to sell at least one doll because you need the money. It’s rough for sure.

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Yes. I have so much going on from coming home from vacation to a flooded apartment cause of the air conditioner, doing an emergency move right now, with property damage, and such.

I just want at least one doll to sell.

Then with the time waster. She was on eBay with 0 feedback and could not spell properly. Like I honestly was in a rush to sell to her…it is like why does a complete stranger feel entitled to big discounts and they always include the sob story. Either cancer or the doll looks like their dead child. Then gets mad when you do care if it is true, but they still must pay the price.

I hear ya, I have had my Lil Treasure kit from LLE which is sold out and a limited edition for some time now and no bites. Haven’t listed any reborns in a few months so don’t know about those. Hopefully things pick up soon.

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@913gigi44 I would like to know your nursery name on reborns.

I also very curiose about ‘it’s that time of the year’.
I started reborning in January 2019 and since then I constantly hear the same answer every time when somebody raises this topic.
In Jan - Feb - Mar it was - because everyone already bought what they want for Christmas;
In April - May- June it was - because 1) lots of people planning to buy them at IDTS and ROSE or 2) summer vacation time coming/ started;
After July - because lots of people already bought them at ROSE;
After August - because everyone is preparing for school to start;

Seems that really hopeful time is only before Christmas. Is it correct? If this is true than it’s no reason to spend money on the membership during the year.

In addition, reborn market is getting flooded with those cheap Chinese sites and whoever is looking for a cheap doll will buy it there (till they will realize and regret their purchase I don’t see any raise in sales anywhere else).

With all that said, what is the best way to build skills & reputation if your dolls are not selling?
Seems that established RA doing well on their custom orders from repeat customers, but not everyone has an established name.

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Selling takes time. And the market is flooded with cheap China dolls and poorly made reborns by people hoping to make a quick buck. All you can do is hold out.

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I have been kinda thinking along the same lines as you. I personally have never had babies take this long to sell, ever, even mid year. But Facebook has shown me that there are so many people making and selling babies the market is quite flooded. I recently mentored a lady to help her learn to Reborn. She finished her first two babies in a few days ordered more, has painted them and has them all up for sale. Now I am in no way faulting her, but just pointing out that this is what is going on in this industry. Of course she is unhappy because her babies are not selling either.

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Yes, due to availability of tutorials the army of RA grows rapidly every day (I am one of them :wink:).
I see new nurseries listed on Reborns every day.
Soon it will be more reborn artists than people who collect/ buy reborns :upside_down_face:

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I’ve been doing this since reborning began. Before kits.

I refuse to stop and give up the art to quick buck. Poor artists and China dolls. They can’t keep losing money forever. All I can do is make the best babies I can.
The ones losing money will quit eventually. They always do

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@YelenaRey - I am selling second hand dolls that I bought from other artists. I state that I am not the original artist and I name the artist. And I am very honest up front about everything. It’s called Cool Beans Nursery. Most of my babies are listed on eBay and instagram under the same name. All of them well taken care of.

I am hoping to make my own soon, which I am painting as a hobby, but I cannot sell dolls unless I feel that I would personally pay for them. Until then, they can be presents or donations.

The thing about these cheap Chinese sites and such is that time wasters never want to go to those…they want to beg us for $60 dolls with a sob story about how they can’t pay the $250+.

And everyone is right, everyone and their mama and children and making dolls…it’s ridiculous. It is like you have to be big in the reborn community, like Youtube wise or a real good artist to get an instant sale for second hand dolls, even brand new dolls.

I am the kind of collector that appreciates good art and would pay for that. I appreciate when artists these days still take their time to make a quality doll that shows in the price.

Even good quality artists who paint wonderful dolls are taking forever with some of their babies.

I put up a post on Instagram, feeling kinda frustrated at time time with everything, especially after that chat with the idiot on eBay about how she can find cheaper, to make me a reasonable offer above a certain price for my dolls. Still nothing on that…

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This is what my husband keep telling me.

“All I can do is make the best babies I can.” - Absolutely agree with you!

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I “think” the market will eventually correct itself. Yes, there’s a flood of new artists entering the market, making babies quickly, and listing them cheap for a quick buck. And yes, the market is flooded with China knock-offs. But, eventually things have to even out. The new artists will either realize the effort isn’t worth the payout and will give it up or will work to develop their craft out of passion and strive to become a true artist, making and selling babies for what they are truly worth. And most of the people who buy the cheap china dolls were never going to pay for a true work of art anyway, or they’ll realize the cheap doll is a piece of “cr*p” and seek out a higher quality reborn from an actual artist. Either way, I believe eventually the market will correct itself, for both the sellers and the buyers. At least that’s what I’m telling myself lol. In the mean time, all we can do is stick to our guns and not lower our prices, ignore the time wasters and free doll seekers, and try to be patient while we wait for sales. And that’s the end of my thesis lol.

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I think too since you are selling your collection which means the dolls are considered used. Used dolls don’t sell as well. From what ive seen. Even prototype used dolls.

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I wonder if the slow sales are due to the time of year and will magically pick up again around the holidays.

I hear a lot of people feeling frustrated about this.

I do well on both Easy and Reborns.com

It is a little slower but that gives you time to build up stock for the holiday season.

That being said have you posted your babies to a forum you trust and asked fo honest feedback.

Buyers are picky because they can be, there are so many babies to choose from.

-Is your photography clean, well lit, free of personal items in the background? Are you providing photos of top of head, left and right side, feet, full body?

-Are you styling your baby in a way that will be appealing not just to you but across the board. Sometimes keeping babies styled simply is the best way to go.

-Have you compared your baby to other babies that are the same kit and artists who are at the same skill level as you? How are they selling, what are their prices like, are you competitive or at the same price point?

-Are you being honest with yourself about your skill level? What are the areas you need improving, what can you do to get to a place where you feel really confident? What are your strengths and how can you show those off with photography and description?

-What sets your baby apart from everyone else baby? Do you have a personal style? Is there something about your babies that stand out like great hair painting, superb rooting, do you have a painting technique that gives your babies a unique look?

Research some prototype artists and look at their work, what makes them unique?

Example:

Ladonna Briggs: she is know for making beautiful vintage babies, she shops for unique vintage clothing and accessories. She has a background in restoration so she paints in a way that reminds you of old composition dolls. She has a unique hair painting style.

Bean Shanine: She does alternative art babies, she paints with thick bold color, her babies have wild hair and unusual eyes, they are all dressed in fun mismatched outfits, they are fun and wild, and no one else uses the color she uses the way she does.

Cierra Watson: She specializes in AA babies, she styles her babies simply so that the doll is the focus of your attention, her skin tones are flawless and glow, no one does AA skin like she does, she has worked really hard to perfect it. She also roots beautifully.

These are just three examples. You would know their babies by looking at them and you would never say, “she paints like…”

I am not familiar with your work so I don’t know what might need looking at if anything at all.

We should have a thread here where people can get some feedback and feel safe to ask for that. In order to do that the people who offer feedback will have to have the language to do that, be honest, kind, helpful, and not judgmental.

This is an awful long reply, I apologize, I may copy and paste it and create a thread for it.

I just feel the need to help people who are feeling frustrated, we have all been there a time or two.

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She is not the artist but you make very good points. I may consider your advices seriously.

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I in no way compare to an artist with a new doll. You advice is great.

Yes, I am aware second hand dolls sell at a lower rate than new dolls. It’s even harder when you got a fiancé at home lecturing you daily about me saying if I really had to sell the dolls, they would sale for at least half and now how I was stupid for spending so much on dolls. Maybe I have to retake photos…or change outfits but I am not giving up an outfit I love.

I buy to love and cherish, not sell, but during hard times, people have to let go.

But with being active on Instagram and watching YouTube and Facebook with second hand dolls, it feels like everyone else is selling, even if it takes a few weeks. And some pictures be far worse or less detailed.

Heck, at times when artist drag a new doll they make to Walmart and other outings, in their car, and have it around the house or in public with everyone touching it, I wonder at times if I should be considered as completely new.

Maybe it depends who you are, if the artist was big or not, and how popular are you on social media, and how popular is the kit or just your doll itself in the reborn community. None of them are by the real big people, and honestly, when I tried ordering from some of the real popular people (not any mentioned if or when I did contact them), I end up not buying because of their attitudes. If I am paying $400, $800+, I do not want snoot or feel like I can’t ask questions.

I don’t have a bunch of professional lighting, but I make sure the picture looks cute and I show off lots of details of the dolls. If I take any pictures with objects, it is usually in a portable crib (which is all I got) with toys, trying to keep as true to its color with the lighting I have.

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Very well said. You should start a reborn blog!

Just to be clear, I’m leaving the community because it’s not very realistic for me financially to keep participating in this hobby.
The emotional undertones that made obsessed and motivated to better my painting have dissipated. And I’m okay with that. I might do a doll or two per year but I no longer find myself getting swept away in collecting kits and spending beyond my means. That part I will not miss. I never felt satisfied with what I had. There was always another kit that was just too cute to pass up.
I’m not leaving frustrated or in victimization mode: I feel I just have a realistic view of my ability to sell my work. The market is flooded with beginners like me. The hobby will definitely not suffer with one less. I love the artform and really enjoy the passion behind this hobby. You can rest assure that I will still be admiring other people’s work and making a comment or two on the forum.

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I’ve had Ethan Russell on eBay for almost two months. Lots of watchers, lots of LOW offers received, but no one is buying him for his price, and I’ve even lowered it a little the past few weeks. This is the longest I’ve had a doll listed in almost four years. I wonder if the cheap knock-offs and such are interfering. People may be thinking that real reborns are too expensive because they don’t understand the pricing of real art dolls and what art dolls actually are. Here’s to hoping that this will pass.

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