Putting a price tag on your dolls

Any tips on pricing your dolls? Do you calcuate a dollar amount by how much time you invest in each doll? Or a flat rate up and beyond your materials?

I am fairly new to reborning. I have finished two dolls and one monkey to date. A few friends have inquired about buying them and or having me make them one.

I don’t even know where to start pricing them? Please help!

The problem I am finding, though, is that when we price the dolls like we would like - nobody buys them unless you are well known. So, starting out… we have to settle for less (sometimes lots less!) if we want to sell them at all. I have three dolls listed on reborns.com and they are in the $200 - $250 price range. It would be nice to get more but in this economy, it’s just not happening.

1 Like

I agree Carmen. I listed Anna twice now and no bids. The first time I had $199 with free shipping, the second time $185 with free shipping. No bites from anyone. It is unfortunate that people just go for the big names. There are many people here who are just as good, if not better, than some of those so called “big names.” Come on people, give us a chance.

I agree with Carmen and Kim…no way are we paid what our work is actually WORTH, even though yes, we are just as good (and maybe even BETTER) than some of the big names out there who have developed a following and get top dollar time after time for their babies. Heck, I’ve been reborning for about 10 yrs. now and I STILL don’t have a following…or maybe I DO…they’re just following very, very quietly.

1 Like

I agree I am trying to get 150 for mine but will entertain offers as long as it covers my expense in the doll. Which I have mostly bought on sale like you. I hope one day I can get more but being a newbie don’t think I can get the prices like the other ladies who have been doing it for years!! Just trying to get my name out there and be able to buy another lil one and do it again!!! Good luck to you!!!

Thanks ladies,
Your insight on this topic is very helpful.
I guess we all do it for the love of reborning these little dolls and bringing life to them. I am enjoying the ablitity to use my artistic talents in a new and fun hobby, the money made is just a bonus.

As long as my costs are covered and I am compensated for my time that is all I need for now. Maybe as these dolls become more popular we can see a better response to raising our prices for what they are really worth!

I live in Utah…home of BB and believe it or not you cannot find any boutiques or doll stores that carry them in the valley.
Has anyone had any luck selling your babies in a boutique or to local doll stores in your area?

Has anyone had any luck selling your babies in a boutique or to local doll stores in your area?

Not around here. There are no doll stores here. I have, however, taken my babies with me to the bookstore where I work & showed them off to customers who come in. Everyone wants to hold them, comments on how real they look, asks the price, and when I tell them $199 they very kindly hand them back to me or say “FOR A DOLL???” In all honesty, I have NEVER sold a doll in this town or even in this STATE. People here are cheap and do not appreciate the value of art. If they want to buy a DOLL, they’d just as soon go get one at Wal-mart, I guess.

1 Like

Karen, I agree - people do not want to pay for “a doll”.

I am going to try something this year though. I have asked my husband to help me photograph and prepare a little photo album (the $1 kind made of vinyl that carries 6x9 copies) for my dolls. Since I too take a newly finished doll into work occasionally to share with my friends there and I am inevitably asked how much it costs, I will be able to pull that album out and let them look it over!

It always make me uncomfortable to quote a price, even a very fair one, knowing that people will look and say, well it’s just cloth body and vinyl with some stuffing, overlooking all the work. My idea is to create a list by item with pricing for each portion of creation, basically a bill. At the front of the photo book I will have the listing for Mohair, Eyes, Paints, electricity for the oven etc. Then include extras like clothing, shoes, accessories, Then show the price lists for the dolls with a photo of a blank kit – even with sale prices, to show you CANNOT make one for less than $60 for just components (even buying the kit for $14.95) and that doesn’t include your time. I am hopeful that it makes people reconsider what goes into creation and will weed out serious collectors. The pricing for each doll will be listed on the bottom of the individual page on each doll, and refer them back to the introduction page for pricing information!

I know this sounds like a lot of rambling here, but I am one who will almost always undersell and cheat myself. I think this way, I can present the information and if I get an order – I know everyone is informed and I can expect to get what I’ve asked for it.

I’ve had so many people want the dolls - but no one wants to pay – they want it for cheap or for free!

I have been watching the prices of reborns over the last 2 years and it is scary!
When I got “hooked” lol in 2009 the average baby was selling around 400 dollars…and the ones from the BIG names went on the average of at least 7-8 hundred everytime they were up for auction. Now the average baby from just us “regular” reborners sells for around 200 dollars! And unless you are Cassie Peek, or Melissa George or the REALLY BIG names who get a thousand or more for their babies, the experienced and named people like Lara Antonucci are only getting around 300 to 500 a doll! That is a BIG difference. It takes as much time and talent in January 2012 as it did in January of 2010. And the kits are even more expennsive.
The money is just not there anymore for anything! I am going to hang in there because I love it…but I can see where those who were in it for the money are leaving.
I make real sure I know what I have invested in the doll down to the joints in the body then I add 50 or 100 dollars to start. And hope I get it.

Stephanie is 110% correct! Nothing more to add.

I agree - presentation is very important.

I still haven’t sold any of my dolls, being the first in my contry doing reborns I wanted to first present them to the public on various creative fairs, TV and other media.

But I’ve been thinking - no way I’m gonna sell them for less than 200-300 dollars and that’s only for those cheaper kits that came from my “lucky” Ebay auctions. I’ve paid A LOT on shipping. Sometimes, even more than on the actual kit and supplies. And sometimes even unreasonable customs. But still, I always try to get the best looking kits, and best materials. In Croatia I haven’t even found the right stuffing for my dolls except for glass beads and polyfill. No kits are produced or imported here. There are no bodies, glass or acrylic eyes or mohair. Everything comes from USA or England (and China, once). So I can’t afford to sell them for peanuts. I’d rather keep them for myself then give them away for close to nothing.

Many people are now asking if I can make them a portrait baby but when I say the price, they back out. I don’t ask for unreasanable amounts, just for them to cover the kit, material, shipping + about 200 dollars for my work. And it will still be less expensive than for them to order from somewhere else in the world. Ah well, I just need to reach more people

I’ve only shown my dolls in person to a few places that I go to~salon and dog groomers. They ask for a business card or my website information. I currently have neither. Although I would really like to get a website started this year, I don’t feel comfortable talking to “locals” about my babies. There always seems to be that gasp when the price is mention and it seems that I spend too much time explaining the making of the baby or made to feel embarassed for the pricing. There is no telling what is said once I’m out of earshot. I’d rather deal with buyers on the internet where there is no surprise about the price and(with the exception of a few) most have already ventured into the reborn world and know what to expect.
My Poppy is on her second listing this month and will end in a couple of hours. Doesn’t look like she will sell. I do not want to go down on the price~again. I’ll box her up and wait a couple of months and relist. I’m afraid to list my Teagan and Cuddles right now, also. On the other hand, there could be that one person that is looking for a baby right now. And, I sure could use the money right now.

I have sold my “painting service” locally. As in I take a baby with me and someone says “omg how much!!!” And I say, “well, this one is 250, but if you buy a kit, or have a doll you want reborn, I will paint it for you for 50 dollars.”

I have painted a bergener someone already had
And a thrift store play doll and fixed up her wig with fabric softener and glued it back on and stuff
And am working on a Clyde awake kit bought by a coworker.

50 sounds way better then 199, even if they end up spending almost that much in peices in the end

(Or would it all the peices were new and high end)

This is 5 years old thread, but things have not changed much, have they.

I think that most important thing for listing is that the doll does look like a real baby. When people are scrolling through the thousands of dolls in the index, those that look real will make people to have closer look.