7/21/2010

Dealer Information and Recommendation

A newer collector posted that she didn't know who the 'good' dealers were or how to find out. I can certainly understand that. When I began collecting dolls in earnest I relied on eBay at first. It was only by joining doll chat boards that I learned there was another way to buy dolls.

Always do research before buying to determine if the price you are getting is the best.

LOCATION
Location is very important but sometimes you have to make an overseas purchase when buying an exclusive doll. Shipping usually costs more when importing from abroad. European collectors often must pay import/duties tax. The criteria of location should be based on your location and you need to find out if the dealer will ship to you when you are in another country. When you must have a doll and the dealer won't ship to your location, get a shipping buddy. This should be someone you trust who will accept the shipment from your dealer and then forward it to you. Of course, your postage will increase by the additional voyage your package makes. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice. ;-)

NOTE:
This is a work in progress. More dealers will be added as time goes on.
I cannot endorse or guarantee results from any dealer and this is by no means a complete list of doll dealers. These are the ones with whom I've had transactions in the last few years. Please feel free to email me recommendations or caveats you think are important but please include relevant facts.

This list will be accessible by link in the right hand column of my blog and will be updated when appropriate.

Angelic Dreamz New York  NOW CLOSED

-All things Barbie.
This is the website of Mattel for it's Barbie Fan Club. From here one can access the bulletin board to chat and see sneak peeks.
Pretty much everything sold directly from this site can be purchased for less money except for club exclusives. However, when BC.com runs a sale, the prices are very good. BC.Com usually has dolls for sale before the dealers get them. Inquiries are answered within 24 hours. Shipping is reasonably priced and average speed. Does not ship outside of the USA.

Bella! Studios California, USA
-This company carries their own doll line, Clea Bella, Room With A View background system and props.
The website has nice pictures but can often be confusing as there are a few links that don't go anywhere. Communication is irregular. Their shipping has improved as far as packaging but can take a while to arrive even when an item is in stock. The RWV items and they are well made and very useful.

-Integrity Toys, Doug James BJD, Joe Tai, Tonner, Barbie, Ashton Drake, Madame Alexander, Ginny, Berdine Creedy, Momoko, Effanbee and more.
There are two stores which are basically divided into fashion dolls and 'little girl' type dolls.
Website is excellent and easy to navigate. Communication is excellent. Prices are discounted off MSRP. Sales are excellent. Shipping is lightning fast.

Cheryl's Dolls & Collectibles Florida, USA
Ships internationally.
Requires deposit for Pre-Orders
-Tonner, Pullip, Adora, Madame Alexander, Barbie, Ashton Drake, Berdine Creedy, Integrity, Kish, Vogue and much more.
I have never ordered from this company. The website is OK. 

Couture Dolls Chicago, IL USA 
Owned and operated by the former Angelic Dreamz owners.
They sell only Integrity Toys products. 

Denver Doll Emporium Colorado, USA
-Large assortment of imported BJD dolls, clothes and accessories as well as Ashton Drake, Creedy, Ginny, Kish, Madame Alexander, Tonner, Plusczok, Zwergnase and more.
Excellent website. Excellent communication. Standard prices. Excellent shipping.

Dreamcastle Dolls Texas, USA
-Tonner Fashion Line, Character Line, At the Movies Line, Doll and Outfit Splits. Fantastic Tonner Reference page. Easy to navigate website. Fast and friendly communication. Prices below retail. Fast shipping.

Dream Dolls Gallery and More West Palm Beach, Florida
-Enormous list of available doll lines including Tonner, Integrity, Madame Alexander, Barbie and so much more. Amateurish website not always easy to navigate.
I recently ordered a Monogram doll from them and it arrived very quickly. I have purchased Cissy in the past there at a good price.

Doll Market (The) North Carolina, USA
-Madame Alexander, Tonner, Kish, Adora, American Girl, Bears, Furniture, Clothing, Carriages, Effanbee and so much more.  This place has tons of stuff organized by category and manufacturer. Website is easy to navigate although pictures are often small. Prices on some items are good but you have to do research in order to find out if you're getting a good deal. Communication is slow and often curt. Shipping is average to slow.
Update on the Doll Market: Apparently they have had a restructuring for the better. I recently ordered a doll and she was processed immediately. She arrived 4 business days later! What a difference!

Doll Peddlar (The) Arkansas, USA
-BJDs and pretty much everything else under the sun including Integrity Toys and items that no one else has from the past at higher prices. Be prepared to spend a lot of time browsing this website and bring a magnifying glass. You can find good stuff. The type is small as are most of the photos. Good communication. Shipping is slow to me in PA. My regular doll dealer seems to get the merchandise a full 10-14 days before Doll Peddlar. I have to admit that she is in PA but why such a big time difference?

etc. again Maryland, USA
-Sydney Shure is well known and recently became an authorized Integrity Toys dealer. She carries only the Integrity Toys line. I have met this fun lady but I've not had any transactions. I've been told that communication and shipping is "great."
Many discounted IT dolls show up after they've been listed and unsold for a while.

Fabric Friends & Dolls  Maryland, USA
International shipping is available. 
Huge selection of lines available including Tonner, Horsman, Kish, Creedy, Ashton-Drake, Integrity, Momoko, Monster High and more.
I currently have a pre-order with this company. It required a full payment. I did not find my initial email contact with them to be very friendly. 
Read their Shipping & Returns policy prior to ordering. 

Facets By Marcia New Jersey, USA
-Rhinestone jewelry, belts, pins; shoes; wigs
Website easy to navigate and understand. Excellent photos. You will find items here that are not available anywhere. Excellent communication. Fast shipping.

-FDA dolls and clothes
Nice website with clear photos. Excellent, friendly communication. Free, fast shipping.

Happily Ever After Philadelphia, PA USA
-Many and varied doll lines including Tonner, Kish, Wright, Madame Alexander, Ashton Drake, Integrity, Boneka, Zwergnase, Iacono, Greene & Lam and more. Prices at retail.
Easy to navigate website with good sized pictures. Great communication. Excellent shipping. The owners are often at events and are friendly. They often have signings at their store.

Integrity Toys Direct Maryland, USA
-Limited Integrity products such as past season dolls and convention exclusives. Basically the items offered here are the overflow from events and other unsold products. Prices usually stay at retail for a year or more. When there is a sale, prices are excellent. Communication is good. Shipping charges are average. Shipping speed is irregular and unpredictable.

Joe Blitman's Fashion & Celebrity Dolls Los Angeles, CA, USA 
I am not familiar with this dealer although I do know that he has been around a long time. I believe he was associated with MarlB originally and mainly dealt with Barbie dolls. He is a new Integrity Toys dealer as of 2010. On his website he is now selling Tonner, Integrity, Barbie, Dressmaker Details, Randall Craig and Celebrity Dolls. 

John Robert Collectibles (eBay Store)Will ship Internationally.
-Effanbee, Kish, Madame Alexander, Barbie, Ginny, Tonner, Ashton-Drake, Bradford Exchange, Kruse.
One of my readers recommended this dealer but his prices are usually the highest around. That could be the reason he has stuff no one else does. So, if you are desperate for something, JR will probably have it for sale.
Neat, organized website with big pictures. Response time to queries is very good.

Kingdom Dolls United Kingdom  
The newest 16" resin doll company recently shipped their first doll (February, 2014.) Shipping was fast but very costly, just like other overseas BJD sellers. 
Excellent response to queries.    

 Lone Star Dolls Texas, USA
Integrity Toys, Tonner, Mattel, Ruby Red Galleria
Ships internationally
Excellent response to email communication.  
  
Manika  Ohio, USA
-Joe Tai, Dolly Style, Randall Craig, Masaki, Annz, Azone, Re-ment, Susie and more.
Easy to navigate website with good photography and information. Standard prices. Excellent and friendly communication. Standard shipping.

Marl and B Florida, USA
-Large vintage Barbie collection, Integrity, Tonner, Randall Craig, Dressmaker Details, Effanbee, Modern Barbie, Convention items (Secondary Market) and more.
Good website, easy to navigate, Excellent and friendly response time for inquiries, Standard prices. Standard shipping.

Marsha's Dollhouse Kansas, USA
-Barbie, Tonner, Integrity, Randall Craig, Gene. Prices appear to be retail and I did not see anything on sale.
Another collector said, "She works full time so, probably due to time constraints, her site isn't always up-to-date. She is, however, quick to answer emails."

My Favourite Doll  (MFD) Canada
-Tonner, Integrity Toys, Effanbee, Ashton Drake, Elf Dolls, Kio, Gene, Wigs and more. 
Good website, easy to navigate.  Prices listed at retail or 10 to 15% off, depending on the doll line. Sales on older merchandise are often 50% off. Excellent and friendly response from Marg Matsui, well known doll collector/dealer. Good shipping.

Pat's Potpourri (eBayStore)  Pennsylvania, USA  Ships Internationally 
-Integrity Toys Dolls, Ashton-Drake, Tonner Dolls
On eBay Pat goes as kaydee3 dolls, and dolls4emma
Good prices on many items but you should do research. Lots of merchandise. If you order directly via email, you get a 7% discount on Tonner or CED dolls that are listed on eBay. Web links take you to the auctions.

Pink Ponytail  Oregon, USA  Ships Internationally 
-Barbie, Randall Craig, Dressmaker Details, Re-Ment
Great website, fast response to query, average shipping time.  Do research to determine if you are getting the best price. 


The Matilda Company Connecticut, USA
-Madame Alexander, Tonner, Kish, Marie Osmond
Easy to navigate website. Prices stay at retail. Has many discontinued items from the Gene line.

R and D Fashion Dolls Taiwan, Republic of China
-Barbie, Integrity Toys, Momoko, Susie, Annz, Jenny, Volks, Blythe, Pullip, Rune and more.
Easy to navigate website. Excellent communication and shipping. Ships worldwide.

Superdoll Collectibles aka Superfrock.com  United Kingdom
-Home of Sybarite Dolls.  Items are packaged very well and sometimes arrive in appropriate time for an international shipment.
Update: The last time I ordered something it was taking so long that I wrote and asked where it was. Apparently it hadn't even been shipped! It arrived shortly afterward with an apology.
Update2: I've had several transactions since I last reviewed this seller. Shipping is very good and also quite expensive. 
Update 3: February, 2014. Since my last update I've had several transactions which were difficult to say the least. Two consecutive Sybarite dolls arrived with obvious damages. I did get full refunds including return shipping. Most recently, I received the wrong accessory item. It was half the price of the item I ordered but in any case, I decided that if I didn't order it and it was sent here, it was a gift. They are sending what I ordered but it will have taken more than three weeks since I paid for it.  
Update 4:  Today is April 2, 2014. On 2/28/14 I ordered and paid for a fashion. It's not here yet. When I wrote to them asking about it, I was told by Charles (one of the owners) that it's being held up in customs. When it is released, it will ship. It's just another in the series of difficulties I seem to have with ordering and receiving their products. This one is not their fault.

Susan's Shop of Dolls Maryland, USA
-Barbie, Limited Tonner Lines, Fashion Royalty, Gene Marshall, Randall Craig. Many discontinued items. Prices vary with regards to discounts but tend to stay at retail. I've been informed by another collector that they do not accept foreign credit cards.
Fast shipping.

The Toy Shoppe Virginia, USA
-High quality and high priced toys, teddy bears. Many fine and limited edition dolls. Website is a joy to browse. Cissy, Riley, Kish. Limited Tonner items. Lots of other goodies.
Excellent response. Excellent shipping.

Tonner Direct Ships from Northeast USA. (Company is actually located in New York.)
-All Tonner Lines. Some prices stay at retail for a long time; however, they have many sales and often compete with dealers who carry their product.
After special events and conventions, they are the source for left over dolls and souvenirs.
Excellent all around service and shipping.

Two Daydreamers California, USA
-Broad selection. Madame Alexander, Tonner, Effanbee, Kish, John Wright, Gunzel, Zawieruskynski. Always has a clearance section but rarely as low as you can get elsewhere. Robert Tonner's Ashleigh sculpt is their exclusive.

Wilde Imagination New Jersey, USA
- A branch of the Tonner Doll Company and the only place to buy Ellowyne Wilde and Evangeline. They also have three re-imagined Wizard of Oz dolls on the site.
Excellent eye-candy photographs and easy to navigate. Beware! This website makes you want everything.
Sales happen every so often along with occasional free shipping. Service is excellent. Shipping is lightning fast. 

Windy City Dolls and Collectibles  Chicago, Illinois
-Integrity Toys, Tonner, Effanbee, Madame Alexander, Kish & Company, Sideshow Toys, Dressmaker Details, Randall Craig, Barbie.
I haven't done any business with this company and I'm not sure why. It could be that their shipping seems high. They will ship overseas. Strict return policies.

16 comments:

  1. I hate Two Daydreamers. They have the absolute RUDEST "customer service" I have ever experienced and any store.

    I have bought from every other dealer and had fantastic transactions.

    Beware of Two Daydreamers.

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  2. The shipping fee of Two Daydreamers is really higher than my expection

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  3. Might have caught Dreamcastle Dolls on a bad day but the customer service was rude and unprofessional.

    Very sad to say, I won't shop there again.

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  4. After a purchase from Annette & Friends, I sent an polite inquiry re: shipping overcharge.

    Received a long condescending reply explaining that the added fee was for handling.

    Handling fees are fine, rude customer service is not.

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  5. Lynn and the staff at Cherished Friends have provided a consistantly high standard of customer service, great prices and excellent shipping (packaging/rates/speed) on every transaction I've had with them.

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  6. Helpful and friendly customer service from Shannon and Kaley on 3 purchases from Denver Doll Emporium. Fast shipping.

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  7. Doll Peddlar sent wrong doll then decided that the price was too low on the correct one and wanted more money to send the correct doll. Judy also refused to pay the return postage for the incorrect doll to her. I am happy to see it still sitting for sale on their site.

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  8. Thanks alot Terry for this very useful list. I think this is a great feature added to your already indispensable blog :)

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  9. There are quite a few doll store choices these days, and so I prefer to spend my money at a place where the staff are lovely and friendly and even remember who I am (!!) after a few purchases. Very impressive.
    Two Daydreamers never did anything awful to me, but they are aloof and sometimes even snappy and critical and they never had any idea who I was after 5+ years of loyal patronage--they even used completely false information about my order history in a snippy correspondence with me, leaving me sort-of confused and sad. Who needs it with so many other extraordinary people out there working hard to give you a perfect shopping experience??
    Thank you to Lynn and George and Barrie and Ann and so many others who put in the time and effort to do it right.
    I think these reviews are spot-on, Terri. Thank you for putting this together!

    Oh--and I can add that Carolyn at Sweetheart's Dolls in NY is lovely and nice and I have found a few treasures at her store. It is a bit cumbersome to place an order (you have to call it in, and this keeps me from ordering a lot at her store) but I would love to visit someday and shop there in person.

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  10. I absolutelly love purchasing from Marge (My Favourite Doll), I often pay more for shipping, just because of how special she makes me feel!!

    As for Chelsea Collector Cottage, I have to complain about their communication (almost inexistent, and rudeness too), and their shipping time... 2 times I purchased from them, both times packages took over 3 weeks to arrive to Portugal.

    I like to buy directly from the Integrity site, even though shipping could be a bit more fair, but I always get my packages in 5 to 6 days!

    Bic is another WONDERFULL place to buy from... shipping is very fast, Kazue is very nice to deal with.

    I was never successfull when contacting Susan's Shop of Dolls, so I never purchased from them.

    I have purchased onde from Gigi's Dolls & Sherry's Teddy Bears, they were really friendly and they shipp overseas, but too bad they don't have Paypal... I had to pay with Paypal to a US friend who then payed them (a money order as too expensive).

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  11. I would recommend MFD and Denver Doll highly.Ive purchased several items from both of these dealers and they are professional,polite and excellent in communicating with their customers.Very friendly staff,great layaway plans are available,reasonable fast shipping and safely packed too! MFD has really good deals on secondary market and sale dolls and Marg is a pleasure to deal with.Im a new collector and was kinda intimidated reading all the terms and conditions on the policy pages of these 2 sellers but 1 email was all it took for me to order and layaway stuff and they have a loyal repeat customer.That example of expecting a buyer to pay return shipping on a wrong item is just nuts!!!

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  12. I've found things at very good sale prices in-store at Bearzabout; I live nearby so haven't ordered online, but they've been great to deal with in person.

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  13. I highly recommend DDE,MFD, and Cherished Friends. Excellent service and fast shipping. Best of all, all of them were friendly and polite to a newbie and very helpful.

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  14. I Have to say I have had great transactions with all the dealers I've dealt with. My #1 Doll Dealer is Sydney from Etc Again. Her communication is great, she's fair, and a hoot! I also have done business with Marlbe and The DollPeddlar. And they were great!

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  15. Just wanted to clarify that Pat's Potpourri and dolls4emma are not the same person. Pat's Potpourri is in PA, USA and dolls4emma is in BC, CANADA.

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  16. I've had excellent transactions with MFD, DDE and Angelic Dreamz. MFD is my go-to since I'm in Canada and I love shopping there.

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