Friday, April 10, 2009

How to sell your dolls on the secondary market...

... without using Ebay. The last time I used that source, I ended up paying so much money in auction listing fees, it hardly seemed worthwhile. This time, I decided to do it on the cheap.
  1. Figure out what dolls you want to sell, and how much you need to make. I actually decide what my main monetary goal is, and set my prices from there--unless I'm selling a special doll.
  2. Research prices on Ebay (you can check completed auction listings, too, under the advanced search button), Prego doll message board and/or Pink Parlor/Vinyl Lounge, and the Doll Page Show & Sell marketplace. List your dolls for comparable prices, or they may not sell.
  3. Write up your selling policies. Is your home smoke- or pet-free? What are your dolls' conditions? Do you have boxes and paperwork? Do you offer a return policy? (I do, within three days, if my buyer will pay for shipping charges. It really doesn't hurt me any--and it really helps with sales and customer service.) Be sure to include your EBay ID (even if you don't include it, buyers can look you up by your email address) and any other feedback forum (like the Doll Community Feedback Forum). Will you charge your buyers for Paypal fees (I work these into my prices--it's just the cost of doing business, in my opinion)? Will you split a doll from the outfit? Are your prices firm or negotiable? List your prices--do not put on your listing, "Make me an offer." It makes potential buyers uncomfortable, and you will lose potential buyers.
  4. A note here on shipping. First, I suggest you charge only cost for shipping. I personally hate flat-rate shipping charges if I feel like I'm getting ripped off. I know it doesn't cost $20 to ship a doll. Second, I think it's a great idea to offer international shipping. I live here in the states, where I can get any doll I want for reasonable shipping charges. Many international doll collectors do not, and if they can buy a used doll, they jump at the chance. It may require an extra trip to the post office, but you can even print out the customs forms you need from or from Paypal directly. It's easy, and it will increase your sales. Plus, with the dollar being at a low exchange rate right now, it's an especially good deal right now. So pass along the good deal, and do a good deed for the US economy.
  5. Next, take photos of your dolls. Good ones. And post them online. Be honest about any stains or odors. Some collectors (like me!) are very particular about these things!
  6. Now, write up a message board post and post it to either Prego or the Vinyl Lounge. Also, create listings for your dolls on the Show & Sell marketplace, too.
  7. Respond promptly to email, and be courteous to your buyers.
  8. Once you've sold a doll, reply to your post and mark the doll as sold--or remove it from the Show & Sell page.
If you need the funds by a particular time, you can set yourself a cut-off date.  Lower your prices if you have to, or list your items on Ebay if they haven't sold by then--they will at least sell, and you'll get market price (less the Ebay and Paypal fees).
Good luck and happy selling!

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