What's wrong with the Reborn Market


If I step on any toes So Be It.Any good reborner that has been around awhile will tell you that running these first and second dolls usually very poorly done on Ebay and selling them cheap which is actully what they are really worth is lowing the doll market and It’s not going to get better guys.There is absolutely no reason a well done BB reborn should be selling for any less than most others.The quality in these kits is the same or better and yet because Nevin trys to keep his prices down some people tend to devaluate them. Actually the BB prices are one great bargain as it stands.As long as people are afraid to tell the newbies the truth about their work how does that help them get better. We all had to start somewhere but rushing poorly done dolls into the market because other new reborners tell you how wonderful your work is not doing anyone a favor.Thank goodness I don’t have to depend on Ebay for my sales… but I know the lower the prices go The more it’s going to hurt all reborners. I have seen some really bad rooting lately and yet these some people feel qualified to give advice to others. At least I can say with all honesty I have never pretended to be an expert on anything even though I have received many many compliments. Happy Doll making everyone. Hugs Kay


Kay, Let me start by applauding you for stating so many truths in the Reborn world today. I am fairly new to this forum, and do not post very often; but I felt compelled to respond to this post. I started reborning nearly a decade ago; researching, practicing, and improving by skills for three years before listing a baby on eBay. When I listed my first baby on eBay in 2003, I was beyond nervous…because at that time all the reborns were “pretty and cute”, not realistic. My babies were realistic and so I took a lot of jealous wrath and harassment from many other artists. I didn’t let it get to me, and soon many others were asking for my techniques, which I willingly shared. What I am trying to say, without offending any artist, is that it takes many years of practice before you can really get this art form together and produce quality reborns. I totally agree, Kay, in that I’ve seen many poor attempts at reborning on eBay over the past several years and they do not do this art form justice. I also agree that many reborns are being offered at ridiculously low prices…which truly hurts this market for everyone. I continue to reborn, however, I have not and will not list a baby on eBay because of the overall financial situation and the flood of poor quality dolls. There are some quality reborns out there, but with the thousands listed, people get tired searching and searching trying to find one. Reborning is an art form that requires countless hours of dedicated practice and learning from past mistakes. If you are serious about this art form, delve into it with enthusiasm and the willingness to accept honest, constructive criticism. I only improve my work with criticism…and learn from my mistakes. I will never be perfect, but only strive to improve and strengthen my skills. Also, be truthful with each other when asked for honest opinions. That’s what these forums are about, learning and improving our skills; not to be told every thing we do is “perfect and lovely”. I’ve sold many babies created from BB kits for well over $600, the kit is the blank canvas and what we create is what the buyer is purchasing. The cost of a doll kit is not what determines the price, it is the quality of the baby the artist creates. BB produces wonderful doll kits, but I must admit I don’t prefer the vinyl that is made in China. Kay, thanks again for your honesty, I agree with what you say 200%.


Thank you Bev.I remember when I first started there wasn’t much but Secrist dolls and acrylic paints and almost no help available.I can’t understand how someone can do a couple of reborns and think they are pros. Heck you can give an elephant a paint brush and paint but that don’t really make him an artist. Personally I think Nevin should keep the prices higher as this might discouraged some of the the ones who are in too much of a hurry to think they are going to make a lot of money at this. If you can;t afford to practice practice before you offer your work maybe you should find another hobby. It’s going to end up with the old law of supply and demand which . What a shame for the Reborning world. Kay


I’d like to put in my $.02, also. I was selling at a craft show 2 weeks ago and a woman approached me and commented on my dolls (very positive comments) and asked if I was going to the Doll Show in Hackensack NJ. Well, I wasn’t and she said she would see me at my next show which was this past weekend and that she would bring the doll she bought last year at the Doll Show. I was excited to see it.

Well, let me tell you - - - - - (although she is thrilled with this doll) I was extremely disappointed. She had purchased a Berenguer doll (I do not know what she paid for it) with it’s original cloth body and 1/4 limbs and the grooved hair lines. The reborner DID use a wig and had set in new eyes and lashes B U T this doll did not have eyebrows, the nose was not opened, the vinyl was original and not painted at all and the nails were entirely painted in a white !!!

I think just because some one is touting their work as reborn baby dolls that many people perhaps have not seen enough truly reborn dolls to appreciate them. She loves this doll, but I was appalled.



Kay I am not sure what you are trying to say and what was your motivation to post? I am trying to understand?


— Begin quote from “DebiC”

Kay I am not sure what you are trying to say and what was your motivation to post? I am trying to understand?

— End quote

Me too!!


That makes three of us. Sounds like she has a grudge against someone. Perhaps she should approach the person she is having the grudge with personally, like in a PM rather than open and not making a lot of sense to others?


Sorry if you can’t get the message .The point is that there are too many poorly done reborns now flooding the market and when that happens reborning will go the way of porcelain doll making. When China flooded the market with cheap dolls all the artists that had spent thousands of dollars on molds wigs shoes and eyes were put out of business because there was no way to compete. My point is just because you have done a couple of dolls please don’t consider yourself an expert and rush them out on the market. when you do that you not only hurt the buyer who thinks the are getting something well done but you hurt yourself , Believe me we all thought our first few were great but has you learn more and practice you will find out how much you really didn"t know.The art of reborning was supposed to be to make a doll look as realistic as possible, Now the new fad is painting the hair. Well let me tell you in all my years I have never come acrosss a baby with natually painted hair. Babies are either bald or have hair period. so I see this as just another excuse to make a cheaper doll. This is mostly for the newer people it takes time to get really good at this art so please take your time and don’t let all the compliments of other newbies go to your head. Later on you will look back on your first few and think my goodness I sure have come a long way. Kay


Kay, I understand what you are saying. I look at the reborn dolls on e-bay and wonder whats happening to this “art”. Altho there are some very well done and beautiful dolls there, there are twice as many dolls that don’t look good. Sometimes I’d like to post a doll or two here on this forum but am afraid I wouldn’t get a true critique of my work. I’ve seem some people ask how they are doing and it seems like everyones afraid to say what they are really thinking. I’ve only been reborning about a year and know I have a long way to go so I’m not looking for compliments but constructive criticism. I have learned alot from this forum so I’m not putting anybody down, just stating how I feel.


What I don’t understand is what difference does it make what other people sale thier babies for! If yours or so much better, then they can just buy yours. I can buy any kit I want no matter the cost ( because I can afford it) and I can sale them for what ever I want to. It doesn’t effect me one way or another what other people do. This is a craft for all not just the ones who think they are good!! We all reborn because it something we love to do!! It doesn’t matter if you have been reborning for 20 years are 1 month, its up to the person reborning on what they do with thier babies. There are alot of older people who would love to have a reborn but on fixed incomes can’t buy them. So maybe the newbees doll are not the best but someone out there, like the lady that Judy was taking about who loved her baby it may have been all she could have bought at the time and she loved it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Happy Reborning!!

I would also like to say to Reborn Wonders you have some Beautiful babies!


I do think that Ebay has too many quickly done shoddy babies slapped together to make a buck, however I don’t see those types of quicky done crappy babies made by the ppl on this forum. There are newbie babies and of course they usually dont sell for as much and they generally shouldn’t. However I think that when you put your dolls on Ebay then buyers determine the value of your doll, so good pictures that show the TRUE quality of your doll is important. The problem with the reborn market is the ECONOMY, dolls are a treat and a pleasure not a necessity so the amount ppl can afford to spend on them is less.

Casey, I think ppl are afraid to post real critique because they don’t want to hurt ppls feelings. If the person has asked for suggestions I try to give them if I can be helpful. If they are just showing their babies I try to find something specific they have done a really good job at.


Okay Tonya aren’t you lucky. However who it does affect is reborning in general.Please don’t blame it all on the economy. That is the Easy way out.The ones it really hurts is those new people who have dreams of making big money in this art and there will be only a vey few MELISSA HELLEN OR SELENAS. i"m afraid some of you will never get the point . By the w
ay I do make a lot of reborns for nursing homes,so those sweet old people don’t have to put up with crappy dolls.
BY THE WAY THE OLD SAYING IF YOU CAN"T SAY SOMETHING NICE DON"T SAY NOTHING AT ALL, shouldn’t apply if someone wants the truth so they can get better. or it affects the art I love. Enough said


whats with the hostility?


— Begin quote from “kay’s kids”

Okay Tonya aren’t you lucky. However who it does affect is reborning in general.Please don’t blame it all on the economy. That is the Easy way out.The ones it really hurts is those new people who have dreams of making big money in this art and there will be only a vey few MELISSA HELLEN OR SELENAS. i"m afraid some of you will never get the point . By the w
ay I do make a lot of reborns for nursing homes,so those sweet old people don’t have to put up with crappy dolls.
BY THE WAY THE OLD SAYING IF YOU CAN"T SAY SOMETHING NICE DON"T SAY NOTHING AT ALL, shouldn’t apply if someone wants the truth so they can get better. or it affects the art I love. Enough said

— End quote

Kay, I never said anything about the economy. Do you think you will get to were Melissa Hellen or Selenas are? I never said you had crappy dolls, because the only one I have seen is in your sig picture. I never said anything about nursing homes either I was thinking of my mother and her friends and none of them live in nursing homes. I was not aware that I said something that wasn’t nice. So SORRY if I stepped on your toes!!! by the way I am VERY LUCK!!! Thanks


I don’t get the hostility around this topic either, except I think that it has touched a big nerve with some of us. And, it SHOULD!!!
I agree with the premise that as a newbie if I ask for real critique I should get it. But, either I don’t or I am way dang good! LOL and I KNOW it isn’t the latter!
I have NEVER seen a reborn in person except one I just received in a swap. I have no way of learning, if someone who is good, really good is too nice to tell me the truth.
There is another problem here too…how can someone critique if the pictures are not excellent? Not many of us can afford the type of cameras that take those fantastic shots of skin texture and tone and painting that are really true to life looking.
I so truly want to be good…not great, I am realistic and know that perhaps Mrs. Murphy my 7th grade art teacher was right when she told me to not tell anyone where I had made and painted my fish platter that I was extremely proud of! I never took another art class! Until I found reborns on Ebay on Christmas night last year! I have completed 7 dolls since, and I can see HUGE differences between each one, but whether someone else who is a reborn artist would find them attractive, I don’t know. I know it hurt a lot when I was told that I should not bother reborning my Buggy kit and putting it up for sale. That I should just sell the kit, that it would be worth more that way. But, it is true! It hurt, but I appreciated the honesty. But that same person later praised my work up and down on a doll…so how am I to know what is right? The only thing I can do is look at my babies and ask myself if I would pay 300 dollars for this doll? (providing I had 300 dollars anymore)! LOL I ama stickler for sloppyness. I go over my babies creases and folds before every bake to make sure there is no caking in them. My rooting is not great, but it is a lot better than it was in the beginning and even BAD rooting in my opinion is better than GREAT painted hair!

So, I am trying to understand if the real issue here is the lack of honesty of the critiquer? or is it the lack in general of disposable money in this economy that is driving down the prices of the dolls? I really believe it is the latter…and I don’t think it will ever get back to where it was two years ago. It has really stratified now. There are the GREAT babies from Cassie, Jen, Salena, Melissa etc. and then there are the cheap dolls. Not many in that medium range anymore of 250 to 500 dollars I think what will make the difference in the long run is if we never go sloppy with our quality of work. If we keep our quality at the highest we can do then we will be OK. Otherwise the Chinese reborns which are already on the market for next to nothing will destroy this art form once and for all.
The solution is in each of our own hands…good critique, better and better techniques, clean un sloppy work, and pride in our product will definitely help keep us afloat.
bol to everyone


i understand what you’re all saying and i somewhat agree.i have been reborning for about 2 years and i know i am still learning, but ,i have to sell the dolls i make in order to afford new kits .i price my dolls according to what i think they are worth with my experience . i tought myself and it is a everlearning process. your experience and know how is how you get the prices you get,i will have to get the notoriety andrespect you ladies have in order to sell my dolls for $600or $700 and up,which i know i will do,but, i have to practice to get perfect like you. i love reborning and i hope to never have to stop, but , i cannot afford the kits if i don’t sell the ones i already made,and i can’t get better at it without practice. i respect you all and hope to some day be able to say i am a master reborner.
sincerely & with my respect,


The art market has always fluctuated - that is life. Great reborn dolls are not new any more. People have been burned by great pictures of - not so great dolls.

Yes, people don’t do a good job of critiquing - I’m happy to say I’m not part of that bunch - although I have encouraged a few beginners - instead of stomping all over their work.

Joy - here is an auction of buggy you should see:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Reborn-Doll-kit-Bug … dZViewItem
Sometimes a great kit is strongly desired by people who missed out and want to do the artwork themselves. The question you should ask yourself - did you what to make a money profit - called ‘realize on your investment’ or did you want to create art and make money on your work? No one can really answer that for you. It’s a lovely kit and it really is worth a lot, especially if it becomes unavailable. It sounds like that in your heart you really wanted to reborn this one yourself. Listening to your heart, over your bank account is personal and can be really hard to do.

I sold a Yarie doll kit to someone that I thought wanted to reborn it herself. It turned out that she wanted to sell it on a different market for more money. I was really sorry I sold the kit. I won’t do that again.

To go back to the original issue of sloppy reborning and all the problems concerned - I posted on that issue, over a year ago, here on this very forum. I wanted to make sure I could return the doll, offered on Ebay, and said I would pay for shipping both ways and a $50 ‘art viewing fee’. Okay, I made up the term of the $50 fee. I got a truly hostile response from people from this forum. Haven’t been on here much since - although I still buy from Bountiful Baby.


I wrote this this morning, actually but held off posting it, trying to decide if I should take the risk. This might make for enemies in the doll world for me, but I don’t do this art for those people, I do it for me and for the hope that something I create might bring joy to someone else.

I’m sure I am one of the new ones you are talking about here. You state it takes years to get this art form down? Perhaps that’s true if you’ve never been an artist before in your life or hold very little artistic talent. Some of us have extensive art backgrounds including painting porcelain dolls or portraits. Yes, the technique is slightly different but that doesn’t mean it can’t be picked up easily enough, especially with all the information that some of the older reborners are willing to share with the newer ones, albeit normally for a price. I’m not saying I’m great, and trust me, I wish people would give me a fair and honest critique, but I do know where to go for it now and I do.

Some of us newer ones are on all sorts of doll forums and ask for honest critique. Its not our fault if some of you older ones still prefer to dole out fluff. 7-10 years ago, reborning was new and there weren’t a lot of people doing it. I know this because that is when I began researching this art form and even bought my first Berenguer for practice. Well, as with any art form, there are more people doing it now. That’s going to bring the good, the bad, and the ugly. What should you care what we get for our reborns? If your skill was truly up there, your sales would also be truly up there and you wouldn’t care what we get for ours.

Not everybody has $1000 to gather up a dozen or so kits just to practice. Some of us need to get enough out of the kit we do to get another one to keep going. People who buy our dolls surely know what they are getting. You say you don’t sell on eBay anyway so I fail to see why you are so concerned.

I don’t believe anybody on this particular forum claims to be an expert. We do share what we’ve discovered works for us and if that is wrong by your standards, then why aren’t you offering the help when asked for, if you are so darned good. We answer each other because people like you would rather just complain about the newer people instead of offering any real help to us, unless you sell the information to us, and half the time, even that information that is sold to us is incomplete!

I’m truly sorry some of you older reborners are feeling threatened by the new ones coming into the reborn world but you do not hold a monopoly on art in any form. If you aren’t willing to offer the same critique you say we should accept, then don’t come here posting nasty comments to just make us all feel badly. If you really feel something is wrong in the world, don’t just make comments about it, do something to change it.

Here is some food for thought:

Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful. ~Author Unknown

If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it. ~Author Unknown

If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

“When kicking the unworthy to the curb, kick correctly lest they bounce back to you.”
– HBI Member, Karen H.


Very well said Karen!


Well I see I did step on some toes. Sorry about that. I did make some people stop and think. I don’t pretend to be an expert and at least I don’t pretend to be but Karen you may mean well but you do tend to come off as a bit a of a know it all. but I do think you can and well get better at reborning goodness sake I just don’t think you are able to really see your work yet.We all go through that stage at the beginning of a new venture.I remember looking back at some of my early ones and thinking my lord I thought that was good. But I was just not picking you out. The way it is going no matter how good the economy becomes the day of the really good prices is going to come to an end. China will see to that just as it did for porcelain dolls. I have poured cleaned fired and China painted hundreds of those until the price of slip cost more than a whole dressed Chinese doll.and that not counting the price of the molds.Any way none of us is perfect just remember that . And Tonya When I said you were lucky I meant it in a good way as so am I that is why I can afford to make and donate babies to nursing homes. Wish all you guys well and actually I’m a pretty nice old broad. If you all want to go on being hostile be my guest. Dolly Hugs anyway Kay