Wondering where to start in the secondary market? Let me show you the ropes!
Many doll collectors have braved secondary markets such as Ebay, the DollPage Show & Sell, message boards and Amazon for hard-to-find dolls. Those people have generally either experienced an amazing deal or a horrendous disappointment. Here’s some advice I’ve learned over the years:
- Accurate description. Even an honest seller won’t know everything important to you about a doll. Ask important questions about a doll--stains, yellowing, odors--before taking the plunge.
- Accurate photos. Do not rely on manufacturer’s photos, even for never-removed-from-box dolls. You never know what you’re going to get--ask for and insist on photos of the actual doll.
- Return policy. If the doll is not as described, you should be allowed to return it. Ebay requires sellers state their return policy--ask about it before you buy from other sources.
- Buyer protection. Be aware that if you send funds as a “personal” transaction, you lose any fraud protection from Paypal. It’s worth covering the cost of those transaction fees (which your seller should be paying, anyway--it’s the cost of doing business)! I prefer Paypal for the extra protection in disputes.
- Insure your items. If you’re spending $50-$5000 on a doll, why wouldn’t you spend the extra money to insure your purchase? Don’t upgrade to priority shipping, if you’re looking to save money--but don’t scrimp on insurance! Ebay says it is the seller’s responsibility to insure the item makes it into buyer's hands, and the seller may no longer require a buyer to purchase insurance. But in other markets, don’t take the chance!