The popularity of collecting reborn dolls has literally exploded in recent years. Although it originally developed in the U.S., the reborn doll hobby has quickly spread into the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and several other countries. If you're a reborn artist, you can take advantage of this growth by selling some of your dolls. Of course there are probably some that hold sentimental value to you, but you can make some money if you're willing to part with some of the dolls in your collection - you just need to know where to sell your reborn dolls at.
The truth is that selling reborn dolls is actually a lot easier than most people realize. As long as you are able to make high-quality reborn dolls (we walk you through the reborning process here), you shouldn't have a problem finding collectors eager to purchase them. While most big-name toy stores carry dozens if not hundreds of different types of traditional vinyl doll, they don't offer true reborns, and that's a niche you can fill with your skills.
Ever since Craigslist was launched by by Internet entrepreneur Craig Newmark in 1995 , they've been the "go-to" site for free local classified ads, which is why I recommend listing your reborn doll there. Not only is it completely free to create listings, but you also don't have to worry about shipping costs and labor. Just sign up for an account, post a description or your reborn along with a few pictures and wait for potential buyers to call you. I've found that it's usually better to list your items (reborns included) on Craigslist with a price higher than you expect and work your way down as you negotiate with potential buyers. Most people who purchase items off Craigslist are looking for a bargain, so you can expect some price negotiating to take place.
The downside to listing your reborn doll on Craigslist is that you aren't going to get the same reach or exposure that some of the more popular online marketplaces offer. The reason for this is because everything is done locally, which means only local buyers will call you regarding your reborn. If you live in a small town where there's not a lot of reborn doll collectors around, you might not get any calls, making it impossible to sell your reborn using this platform. Even so, with listings not costing you a penny, what do you have to lose?
Tips for selling reborns on Craigslist:
- Only accept cash in exchange for your reborn dolls. Unfortunately, there are fraudsters EVERYWHERE in the world, some of which may try to pay for items with bad checks or money orders.
- Whenever you list a reborn on Craigslist, include at least 2-3 pictures so potential buyers can see exactly what they are purchasing.
- State "no refunds" in your listing in case someone damages the doll and tries to return it.
- By default, Craigslist orders listings with the most recent at the top, which gets the most exposure. For this reason, it's recommended that you renew your reborn listings every 48 hours (site won't let you renew sooner) for maximum exposure.
- List your reborn dolls for sale at a price slightly higher than what you are hoping to get for it, as buyers tend to negotiate prices down.
- Never offer to ship your reborn dolls out to a buyer. They may never send you payment or claim that you never shipped the doll. Either way, it's better to avoid the possibility of shipping scams altogether.
- Meet in a public place, such as a library or in front of a police station to ensure the transaction goes safely and smoothly.
- Never give out your personal address for safety reasons.
A more effective method for selling your reborn doll is to place it for sale on eBay. As you may already know, eBay is the world's largest auction site with over 100 million users worldwide and growing. With such a such a large user base, you can bet that your reborn dolls are going to be seen by numerous potential buyers from across the world. Naturally, the more exposure your dolls have, the easier it will be to sell them. This is the basic principle of supply and demand, and it holds true in the nature of eBay.
Unlike Craigslist, selling your reborn dolls on eBay will cost you a money out of your pockets (or profits). They frequently run special deals that allow members to list items for free, but you will still have to pay a small amount once your item is sold. In my opinion, however, this is a small price to pay for the increased exposure, liability protection and overall ease of use offered by eBay. Remember, your reborns will likely sell for more money on eBay, so the listing fee and final value fee (FVF) is usually worth it.
In addition to the eBay seller fees you'll have to cough up, you can also expect about 2-3% to be taken out from PayPal. I know the thought of giving up another 3% of your revenue probably doesn't sound attractive, but using PayPal is well worth the price. You'll instantly have money in your account once the buyer sends it, and they ensure a safe transaction for both the buyer and seller.
Have you heard about Etsy.com yet? If you haven't, chances are you will soon. It's quickly becoming one of the leading marketplaces for buying and selling handmade goods, vintage goods (20+ years old) and supplies. Since reborn dolls fall under the category of handmade goods, you can place them up for sale here. The only bad thing is the somewhat steep learning curve to using it from a seller's perspective. Don't worry, as we'll provide some tips and pointers on how to sell your reborn dolls through Etsy.
Etsy was originally launched on June 18, 2005 by a small startup company named iospace. Like most major e-commerce platforms, it wasn't an overnight success after it's launch. It took several years for Etsy to improve their tools, features and gain traffic before it was considered a key player in the field. According to the website, there are now over 15 million individual buyers, sellers and companies who use Etsy.
To sell a reborn doll on Etsy, follow these steps:
- Visit Etsy.com and click on the "SELL" button followed by the "Open an Etsy Shop" button.
- Continue through the signup process by entering in all of your information including name, gender, email, password, username, etc.
- Confirm your email address and then log in to your account. From here, you can begin to add products (which in this case are reborn dolls). One of the keys to creating a successful Etsy shop is to use high-quality images, which we talk about in a previous post regarding reborn doll photography.
- Decide how much you are willing to sell your reborn dolls for. Remember, Etsy charges a .40 cent listing fee for 4 months or until someone buys your item. Once an item is sold, they take a 3.5% cut, which is quite low compared to eBay.
- Promote your Etsy shop through any and all available means to drive traffic that hopefully converts into paying customers.
Another outlet for artists to sell their reborn dolls is Amazon.com. They boast themselves as being the world's largest retailer, which is quite an accomplishment to say the least. When it's used properly, Amazon can be a powerful platform for selling reborn dolls. However, you must follow some simple guidelines and be aware of their unique system.
For starters, there's no auction platform available for Amazon listings. If you intend on listing reborn dolls for sale on the site, you must choose a price that you are willing to let them go for. Also, remember to choose the quantity of your product (obviously 1 for most cases involving reborn dolls). Amazon will take a varying percentage from your selling revenue (around 8-10%), so adjust your prices to make up for this loss.
There are a number of trade shows that pop up across the country focused on the reborn doll hobby. Some collectors come here to sell their high-quality reborns, while others come to purchase them. You can even find training seminars and educational groups to join at many of these trade shows. The bottom line is that you're almost certain to find someone willing to purchase your reborn dolls if you take them to these events. Be warned, though, renting a full or even partial booth at a reborn trade show will likely cost more than selling your dolls on eBay.
The best way to find reborn doll trade shows is to look in the newspaper, scan online forums and blogs (including ours), and simply talk to other collectors and artists. News spreads quick when a reborn trade show is about to happen, so don't be afraid to ask other collectors if they know of any if your area. Alternatively, you can drop a comment here or send us an email and we'll let you know of any that we are aware of.