3/31/2011

How much profit is acceptable?

It's a topic that comes up over and over again. How much profit is acceptable?


 The newest Poppy Parker gift set, "I Love How You Love Me," has been shipping to collectors throughout the US this week. The retail price of this set was $150. plus shipping. I have seen three different people asking $500. for the set since yesterday. That's pretty shocking  I wonder if anyone is desperate enough to pay that much.

I'm not saying that I don't resell and make a profit on certain new items because I often do, but when I see someone asking for a really huge markup right on the W Club board before most even got their new doll, I cringe because of the "in your face" timing and location of the sale. You see this all the time on eBay and sometimes on the Show & Sell pages but there it's different.


A few years ago when I was buying the FR grails I needed, I paid way over retail especially for Poesie Sans Couleur Vanessa and Cosmetic Takeover Natalia. These dolls had been out for quite a while and were in extremely high demand. I did not resent the sellers for taking their profits at all. Many of the other early dolls I purchased were also high priced. I am happy to have most of these still in my collection - most notably the Veroniques from conventions.

One of the wonderful things about being part of a good doll community is trading. Once you have established a good reputation as a seller/trader, you can find people who have stuff you want and can trade. No money needs to be exchanged and you both get what you want!
My last Vanessa grail, raven AFL, was a result of a trade. I had a convention Agnes and she had the Vanessa. We both got what we wanted due to the successful completion of a trade.

Then on the other hand, maybe it's good that collectors are upping the prices. Doll values had fallen or stayed flat for the last two+ years. Is this a sign of economic recovery?



What I would really love to know is how much this set (or any doll) cost to manufacture.

12 comments:

  1. this is indeed an INTERESTING topic...
    First off we have all bought dolls and sold them for a profit at one time or another, we've all taken the oportunity adn ran with it..just cos is the way collectors are
    I don't know how much profit is too much...it really depends on how much people want to pay for certain items, I had a chance a wile back of buying a couple of FR (grails to some) and passed becasue I thought the price was too high (later I realised it was actually the oposit)..so think the price reallyt depends on the buyer (if you find a buyer that is willing to give you $500 for a doll then that is fine..)
    Now, I, tend not to buy from habitual re sellers, if I see that a collector tends to buy to resale (I pay attention and remember these things pretty well) then I don't even bother looking at that persons posts, because I must admit their shamelessnes in doing this annoys me....I find it accetable sometimes but when somebody doest with every doll than I think they are screwie and not a doll collector at all...
    JMHO

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  2. You read my mind Terri! I was wondering what warranted this particular Poppy a $500 secondary market price tag. She is no Bergdorf and I would not have paid $500 for Bergdorf. I guess it's supply and demand and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe because she is a gift set? I don't know. I am amazed to see those prices straight out of the gate. I need to see many more pics of this doll before I would even consider paying double for her. I would be very interested to see what she would go for on ebay with actual bidding.

    SmittenKitten
    Teri

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  3. By the way, I LOVE the picture of the little girl with the dolls. My mom told me that once when I was a little girl around 3 years old that we had company over. They had several small children around my age. Even at three I was very particular about my dolls. She said I gathered them up, put them in a corner and sat in front of them. LOL!!!!!

    SmittenKitten
    Teri

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  4. I also adore your first pic! It is so darling! That little gal just made me smile!
    That should have been me, back in the day, when my Mom said she was going to sell some of my Barbies at her (infamous) yard sales. Mom just might have backed off!
    Seriously, you have the best blog out there! Keep up the good work, Dear Lady!

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  5. Thanks for addressing this topic. I'm new to FR and the prices are so breathtaking on ebay that I decided I was just going to have to start from the beginning and buy myself a new doll and just forget about trying to purchase any older ones. Of course this works both ways, too, if I buy a new doll I don't care for I may be listing her on ebay for a ridiculous price. Having been on the receiving end, though, I don't think so.

    Love the blog, Terri, thanks so much. Lisa

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  6. I wanted to post this topic on a few of the doll boards, but I was too scared to, as I was worried about how my comments would be accepted. I think it is one thing to re-sell at a profit, after all one had to pay shipping etc and taxes in the first place..but I think in this case, many people bought this doll just to re-sell to make a profit...otherwise why would you be selling a doll you haven't even seen or recieved yet? It is kinda sad for those of us who actually collect these dolls..as they are in limited editions and not everyone who wants her can buy her, and are left with a hole in their collection. I certainly not blaming just the seller..(and I too re-sell dolls that I don't like, or have tired of, and of course I prefer to get my money back or if I am lucky make s few dollars to put toward new dolls)...but it's us buyers who pay the HUGE mark-ups that are adding to the problem as well...personally I will wait til the hoopla about this doll dies down and see if I can find her for less...I certainly won't be spending $400 or $500 for her no matter how cute she is! :)

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  7. Good topic! There have always been speculators in any field, and like day traders they don't buy to hold they buy to sell.
    What I find really interesting is how this practice seems to be more prevalent with some dolls then with others.
    IT seems much more interested in building up a quick frenzy for an unreleased doll (prior to anyone discovering any production problems) then in creating a network to actually market and sell them.
    The W club setup seems to really encourage this. If someone isn't "in" they are out in the cold.
    The funniest for me were the EBay sellers asking $300 for Hot Trot and On Edge when the dealers still had them on their shelves and were marking them down to $150.
    I don't begrudge them their selling...I'm just not going to be an uninformed consumer or be seduced by promotional hysteria.
    Remember the tulip bubble (and if you don't google it)
    Will C.

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  8. What I don't understand is how they all decided that $500.00 was the price. That's the only price I've seen, you would think somebody would have a different price, but they're all trying to sell for the same thing. Some of them don't even have the doll yet & they're trying to sell & that annoys me. It's the same old "people only buying to resell when real collectors want the doll" syndrome. They deserve to get stuck with the doll, I hope no one buys them at $500.00.

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  9. I totally agree with your comments Terri. I was fortunate enough to win this Poppy however when I saw the price being asked for her on the W Club forum (before she was even received), I felt so sorry for those collectors who were unable to get her and so desperately wanted her. To advertise her $500 on the W Club forum is really rubbing salt into the wound for them. I love it when sellers on ebay have a low starting price and let the doll find its true secondary market value.

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  10. I also love it when someone lists really high, no one bites, then it is "reduced" or removed from sale! There is making a fair profit, as opposed to making yourself look like a greedy pig.

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  11. i am puzzled by this question.

    i tend myself to resell very fast my dolls as to get a new doll i need to have the funds for it. i bought my first dolls, like most of us, on ebay as super high prices.. and it was years ago it was harder to get them thru dealers.. and in europe like impossible.

    i dont mind, i saw bergdorf selling for 650usd, opticverve is impossible to get for me either her price is so high. so why this poppy goes high? well she is popular thats all , it was known from the start. vERO retail price is 90 and she is still selling for 300usd minimum.. too much proffit??

    at the end, even tho it is a real pain for me, as i am, with all the international people, still waiting for this poppy.. and that she will ship only on monday for me and so i wnt get her before like a week and half.. i see people that got her right away sell her even before opening the box.. the price doesnt matter to me, it is the responsability of the buyer and who are we to judge right?

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  12. I believe that the market sets the price; something is worth exactly what people are willing to pay for it! If it's priced too high people won't pay that for that and eventually you'll see the item on sale or relisted at a lower priced. If it's priced too low and on auction the auction gets bid up. And if it's priced right it sells at that price. So the answer to the question is "there is no such thing as too much profit if people are willing to pay the price." Of course I believe in reasonable start price to an auction, no reserve, no BIN, and let people, the market, bid it up. Anyway the sellers are not demanding this price or profit. They are testing the market. If it sells at that price, good for them. If it doesn't then they have to relist. It's the buyers who set the prices, always. Many times, after a convention you see the convention dolls on ebay at very high prices and you see them sitting there not selling. Then you see the prices go down as sellers relist. So the buyers speak with their wallets, everytime.

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