Top 7 Mistakes Made When Running a Reborn Doll Business

Running a successful and profitable reborn doll business isn't an easy task by any means. Far too many people are attracted to the business because of the high price tag attached to some of the most notable reborn dolls. What they don't realize, however, is that it takes dedication, persistence and countless hours of hard work before you even start to make a profit. To help you get started on the right foot, you should read the following 7 mistakes that beginners make when running a reborn doll business.



Mistake #1 - Not Branding Yourself

Branding is a critical to the success of any reborn doll artist. Now, by branding I don't mean pocking yourself with a cattle iron (that would probably hurt), but instead spreading the word about y0ur reborn doll business.

Far too many artists overlook just how much of an impact branding has. And as a result, they lose a significant portion of their repeat customers. You can learn more about branding your reborn doll business here, but the basic gist is to come up with a unique name for your business and spread the world through any and all means necessary.

Mistake #2 - Creating Too Many Dolls

I can't stress enough just how important it is to create high-quality reborn dolls. Yes, it takes longer to meticulously add half a dozen or more coats of paint along with rotting each individual strand of mohair into their scalp, but the end result is something reborn collectors will take notice of.

By producing high-end reborn dolls that are naturally more realistic than other artists, you can likely sell them for more money. The bottom line is that you should focus your reborn doll making business based around quality rather than quantity.

People Networking

People Networking

Mistake #3 - Lack of Networking

If you stay cooped up inside your home making reborn dolls, you are missing out on an essential part of the hobby -- networking. The reborn doll industry is highly social with various shows and conferences setup throughout the world. Whether you live in the US, UK or Australia, there are reborn doll shows around. Visiting them will give you the opportunity to not only sell your dolls to collectors, but you can network with other artists as well. This alone makes shows and conferences worth attending. You can read the Reborn Doll Mart's news section for past, present and future reborn doll shows.

Mistake #4 - Bad Customer Service

If there's one thing that nearly all successful businesses have in common, it's positive customer service.  Whether you sell insurance, apparel, furniture, real estate or even reborn dolls, you must treat your customers with respect and dignity; otherwise, you run this risk of not only losing their business, but others as well. News about poor customers service travels quickly, and one customer will likely share their experience with friends and family members. To prevent this from happening, you should make it a point to treat each every customer with a friendly, professional attitude. Even if you never see or interact with the customer face-to-face, you can still offer exceptional customer service through other means.

Website Logo

Website Logo

Mistake #5 - Staying Offline

Let's face it, you can't expect to run a profitable reborn doll making business if you remain offline. As some people already know, the reborn doll industry was essentially spawned thanks to the interent. During the early 90s, a few reborn dolls were placed on auction sites like eBay. Doll collectors and enthusiasts took notice of these newfound, highly realistic dolls, and the craze soon followed. The fact of the matter is that 90% of all collectors purchase their reborn dolls online. By not utilizing this medium in your business, you are leaving a staggering portion of sales on the table for other artists to snag.

Mistake #6 - Only Doing The Minimum

If you really want to give your buyers the impression that you a seriously talented reborn doll artists who's worth purchasing from, you must go the extra mile. Instead of shipping off solely a reborn doll with no other accessories, you should "doll" it up a bit with a cute outfit, birth certificate, pacifier, etc. It will only take a small amount of time to add these items with your reborn dolls, but the impact it has towards buyers will be profound. They will naturally want to come back to purchase YOUR reborn dolls rather than dolls from other collectors.

Mistake #7 - Not Treating It Like a Business

The seventh and possibly most detrimental mistake reborn doll artists make is not treating their venture like a true business. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the reborning process and customer interaction that comes along with it, but you must treat it like you would any other business. This means keeping track of all expenses, payment, customer information, etc. Trust me, you'll be glad you did once tax reason rolls around next year.

Running a business also means valuing your time and energy. If a doll takes you 40 hours to complete, then you should reflect this in its price; otherwise, your business will never take off. If you haven't done so already, start tracking everything it takes to create a reborn doll from start to finish. In addition to basic supplies, you should also factor in your time and energy. Using this information, you can then decide on a more appropriate selling price for your reborn dolls.

18 Responses to “Top 7 Mistakes Made When Running a Reborn Doll Business”

  1. Mariela Plaza says:

    Hello! I’m 50 and I really want a silicon baby reborn but I don’t know how can I get it. I also want to know how much it is.

  2. Alice Avery says:

    just to let you know Ronda someone did read your post 😉 hope you are well on your reborning journey x x

  3. Sarah Persson says:

    Thank you so much for all your help!I´m also in need of some advice. I´m working with business economy, but my lifelong dream was to work creativly and make people happy. I´ve been restoring(makeover) dolls that I find in thrift stores and garage sales. So they are not really reborns and no pricey antique dolls either. I can´t sell them for more than 50-100 dollars, sometimes less. But I love the thought of giving an old doll a new life and make someone else happy with it so much. Do you think I could ever start a business, or is this a stupid idea? Thanks for your thought on this!

  4. Mykenna Sherwood says:

    I want to sell my 4 reborns how much should I sell them for?

    • Alexandra says:

      If you remember the original price, take that and subtract it with a number you find fitting. If you have had them for a long time, or if the dolls aren’t looking there best, the price should be lower. If you’ve had them for a short time, or if they look exactly like they did when you got them, the price can be higher (but not higher than the original price).

      Hope this helped!

  5. Valeriz says:

    I love these dolls they are expensive i am going to get my first one they look so real

  6. dee dee says:

    Hi ladies im in need of advice how did you no what to value your reborns at when finished and ready to go to there new homes? Thanks x

  7. ashanti says:

    I am 13 and I am beginning to make my own reborns and I would love any starting information

  8. cynthia says:

    Hello, I am 56 and have always loved the reborn dolls and finally made my first one. It is the Clara fairy from climber creations. I use to do china painting and porcelainne doll making. so I thought this would be easy. NOT, LOL. It was a challenge indeed. But I loved every minute. and am looking for my next baby to start on.

  9. Lorraine Ring says:

    I’m another 58 year old disabled empty nester just starting reborning.
    I am really struggling to root the hair in my first ‘baby’ . I have broken 4 needles on 4 rows of hair and am getting frustrated but not giving up.
    I can’t find anywhere on here about how to do eyebrows?
    Anyone any ideas?

    • Desiree says:


      You tube has a lot of video’s that you will definitely benefit from. I like to watch Jackie Ortiz and also Custom Doll Babies. There are others but you will be able to tell which ones do a really good job. Good luck!

    • rasma bode says:

      hi lorraine my name is rasma bode and yes i have allso broken many needles, damaged many dolls by overpainting but i have never given up the challenge is truely amazing i have so many reborns now but havent the heart to sell them they are truely my babys and i have put so much love in has been good to me all the information is at your fingertips happy reborning.

  10. Linda says:

    I am also in my 5o’s and on disability for severe rheumatoid arthritis. I have loved being creative since I was a kid. I got my first Reborn a few years back. I actually won a bid on eBay for her. My boyfriend said I sounded like I was actually giving birth by the way I was screaming at the computer and then squealing when I won her. lol I fell in love with the Reborn dolls. I’ve wanted to make them for awhile now but just had no idea of what or where. But…I’ve found pretty much all I need to get started now and this site is a God’s send. I really just lucked onto the site and am so glad I did. It gives information I didn’t even realize I needed. So thank you so much! And good luck to the other ladies in their Reborn ventures. Hope I can do it too!

  11. Dona says:

    I am new to this as well and am attending my first doll show with some made to sale. I am excited and nervous as this is the first time Im presenting them to the world. Like you both I am trying to learn new techniques and getting better. We should all stay in touch.


  12. Cathy Casper says:

    Do you know if Zest it Clear painting median can be baked when mixed with Genesis paints?

  13. Donna says:

    First of all I’d like to say that I LOVE your website!!! 😀 I came across reborns quite accidentally. Rhonda, you have found a “soul-sister” in your reborn babies venture! I too am in my 50s,disabled,and an “empty-nester”as well. I’ve always,as far as I can remember,been a crafter& was doing research on another type of doll when I found this WONDERFUL site! I’ve not yet made my first reborn baby,and my fiance says he hasn’t seen me this excited about getting started on a craft in a looong time!! I cannot wait until my local craft store opens tommorow,so I can begin(after I watch a few videos on youtube)Rhonda,contact me any time,I will be happy to chat w/ you & share ideas,techniques,WHATEVER!!I look forward to LOADS of fun w/ this& again-THANK YOU for your site!!

    • Alice avery says:

      Just want to let you no I read your post and quite enjoyed it, tho I do feel for you living in that area, you should just up and leave and head for the country things will sort themselves out once you get there . Good luck X X

  14. Rhonda says:

    Thank you, this IS just what I needed to get my new business venture going in Reborns. I started the reborn crafting December 2013. I have made 9 dolls, sold 4. I must admit that the first 2 were horrible. Then I bought one from “Jogranny” on eBay to see what really goes into one. Being a sewer, quilter, painter and creative thinker–I didn’t need to be told how, just do it!!. Now I am doing some research, this article has been very helpful. I have been thinking that I should be keeping some kind of record of what I am making and buying for supplies. Today, I received a box of supplies, not realizing it, I purchased the same things last week! Dumb me.

    now, I am going through videos and articles and guides to make sure I know what I am doing. Just because I had 3 babies, I really do not know how to paint one. I like instant gratification.

    I will be back. If anyone ever really reads this reply, I started making dolls when my daughter was born in 1978. I evolved to my Fancy Textile Art dolls, 2 of them are for sale on my eBay. I started with a purchased pattern, then developed my own. I designed the dolls and the clothing.

    Well, thank you for having this article. As you can tell, I have no one to talk to about my crafts. I am 59, disabled and living in a Senior Citizens building for people over 55 years old. Out of 400 residents, I have found 2 that sew, 2 that draw and 1 that paints. No one has my passion here for creativity. I’m a country girl living in the city afraid to leave my apartment. My area has the worst crime stats in the whole city. last night as I was walking my dog, I had to take cover–shots fired, 6 of them very near me. I called 911. it took 2 hours for them to show up.!!

    Thank you again.
    Rhonda Peterson

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