Sunday, July 28, 2013

First Foray Into Selling Dolls on eBay

I have been putting this off FOREVER.  Of course, I knew I should sell my old vinyl and porcelain dolls on eBay, because something has to fund my addiction to resin ball jointed dolls, but deep down I was scared.  I have read horror stories--who hasn't?-- of sellers being bilked by unscrupulous buyers.  On the other hand, I have bought lots of lovely things myself on eBay without any problems whatsoever.  There was one issue, long ago, but I eventually received the item I had paid for so all ended well.

Goodreau Innuendo, vinyl first edition with new faceup.

Every so often, eBay sends me emails trying to entice me into listing items for sale.  The most recent was an offer to list items at a fixed price (i.e., no auctions) for free.  The catch is that I'm limited to 80,000 fixed price listings.  Excuse me?  I don't have 80,000 items to sell.  I don't think I even own 80,000 items.  I think I'm safe there.

So I dragged out the list of dolls that I would love to part with, limiting myself to the ones I currently have shipping boxes for.  (That's another thing:  I need to get shipping boxes.) 

Evangeline Ghastly wrapped in her box.

I tried to list a doll once before, but gave up because I couldn't figure out the shipping costs.  Since then I have purchased a digital postage scale.  Problem solved.  I now know what the box weighs without hauling it to the Post Office.  That said, you have to keep an eye on eBay.  I noticed as I was writing my listings that eBay calculates the size and weight for me--and sometimes does it wrong.  Tell me, how does a 16-inch doll fit into a box that is only 7 inches long?  These are not BJDs, capable of being disassembled and packed into a smaller box for shipping.  These are vinyl dolls.  They were not meant to be taken apart.

Essential Prudence with her 3 wigs.

I listed 5 dolls today:  Wilde Imagination's Evangeline Ghastly "A Tangled Web"; Wilde Imagination's "Essential Prudence Wigged Out"; Ashton-Drake's Gene "The King's Daughter"; Tonner's Mary Engelbreit "Queen Ann Estelle"; and one BJD:  Goodreau's vinyl Innuendo.  While I was working on my listings, eBay would send me a notice confirming each one.  At one point I noticed that I had more emails than dolls listed.  I took a closer look.  Evangeline Ghastly sold while I was listing other dolls!  How's that for fast?  I don't expect the rest of them to sell so quickly.  In fact, I'll be thrilled if I manage to sell even one or two more. 

The glorious Gene Marshall, by Mel Odom

One person has asked me a couple of questions about one of the dolls.  I don't know if she is honestly interested.  She sounds more like she is challenging me.  I understand the impulse to do that, because I have been tempted myself on occasion.  The only difference is I didn't actually ask my question.  In answer to this one, all I can say is I didn't photograph the doll wearing each of her 3 wigs because it never occurred to me to do so.  She insists the doll arrives in the box wearing one of the wigs.  If so, I don't remember which one.  They're all there.  What does it matter?

Queen Ann Estelle, just as Mary Englebreit envisioned her.

OMG, I've sold another one!  Prudence is spoken for.

Updated 7/29 to say that Queen Ann Estelle has sold.  I'd better go home tonight and list a few more.

I'm that much closer to placing an order with Fairyland!

** I am having problems with Internet Explorer, which stops working each time I try to insert a photo.  I will try to upload the post now and insert the photos later.  Sorry for the inconvenience. **

** I am also having difficulty with Firefox, which insists on turning photos of Gene and Ann Estelle on their sides.  Is there any search engine out there that works? [ grumble grumble mutter] **

*** Problem fixed, by converting my sideways photos to .png files, which allows Blogger to "see" a Canon portrait photo without converting it to landscape.  I still needed Firefox to upload them, because IE kept crashing. ***

Updated 8/3 to report four dolls sold out of six listed.  Just as I was trying to list a seventh doll, a message popped up on my screen informing me that I had surpassed my ceiling for earnings in one month.  There is a ceiling?  I never heard of that before.  Is it only for new sellers?  Very curious.


  1. Now you really can't grumble too much, after all you have sold two already! :) The sideways thing happens when you have taken photos as portrait and not landscape...I've had that happen too and have had to use Windows Live Photo Gallery to rectify them before uploading again.
    Good luck with both the photos and the sales!

    1. I have never tried Windows Live Photo Gallery. I'll have to look into that. Your comment reminded me that I sometimes need to convert photos to .png files before I can upload them. That only happens with older photos, because these days I don't bother to shoot portrait format. I shoot landscape and then crop the image in Photoshop. Gene and Ann Estelle were photographed over a year ago, which I had totally forgotten until I tried to upload the photos.

      Thanks for the good wishes! I need a few more sales to take advantage of Fairyland's summer event. I am so bad!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I have a couple vinyl dolls to sell as well, but have put it off because eBay seems so alarming...Maybe I'll muster up my courage and give it a try! :)

    1. Go for it, Randomfish! It's a lot easier than I thought it would be (and I think a lot easier than it used to be).

  3. Wow...maybe someday you can have your own doll business via ebay.

  4. Awesome sales! I'm glad everything seems to be moving quickly for you. It always feels so good to have the things sell quickly, watching the funds pile up in paypal, so you know you can pay off the dolls you're waiting to arrive!.