Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Year In Review ...

First, I must apologize for this lengthy narrative.  

I have not been very good at keeping my statistics updated this year.   2015 was a very complicated year for me, so I am hoping 2016 calms down a little.  There were some career and hobby changes that took place in 2015 that were beyond my control which contributed to my frustration as a collector.

Collectors lost "The Doll Page Show and Sell Site" in 2015.   It was probably the best way for fashion doll collectors to purchase or sell dolls.  The individuals who ran this site did a fantastic job and provided a great service to the community.  Collectors could donate to site maintenance through Paypal.  Unfortunately, technology just got the best of the site as it was unable to keep up without substantial expense to the owners.  There have been other sites that have tried to fill the void, but so far those sites have not reached the success of "The Doll Page Show and Sell Site".  

I do NOT like selling through e-bay.  The Doll Page had developed a sense of a community and most collectors who bought and sold there knew each other.   People seemed kinder, more responsive, and easier to work with.  I've had some horrible experiences on e-bay, but I have already started listing there in 2016.  In 2015, I was only able to sell 18 dolls from my collection.  Which leads me to the fact that I completely missed my mark on "Guideline 3:  If a new doll comes in the house, one doll must leave the house."   When I did my final tallies for 2015, I was distraught to find that 51 dolls had come to live here (that's almost exactly 1 each week!!!) which means I have 33 extra residents here.  No wonder I feel overwhelmed!  It was my original intent to add 35 dolls and sell 35 dolls, essentially breaking even in my collection.  Didn't happen.

I did not completely follow "Guideline 1:  Focus My Collecting.  If I don't already have some, I don't need one."  In my blog entry of January 28, I noted that I added a Deja Vu Ready to Wear Judy Watson to my collection.  I was curious about these dolls and this line.   Fortunately, one was enough to satisfy my interest.

I am proud to write that "Guideline 2: No Impulse Buying" was a resounding success this year.  I have tried to show restraint and avoided secondary market prices as much as possible.  With patience, I was able to add all dolls I missed in lottery drawings at original prices.  

This leads me to "Guideline 5:  Excluding convention dolls or Exclusives, I will not pay more than retail for any doll."   Fortunately for collectors, the edition sizes for the Integrity Convention were so high that most of those dolls were easily picked up at retail.  I lucked out by getting the most sought after dolls before prices increased.  I had to pay secondary market prices for one doll from my grail list this year, Quiet Storm Annik.  I believe my efforts on Guideline 5 were successful!
Unfortunately, I was not able to follow "Guideline 6:  Never buy a doll without seeing a photo of it."  For the first time in 2015, Integrity Toys allowed its W Club members to purchase a convention exclusive.  The preview only included a sketch of the doll.  The doll was called Reigning Grace Eugenia Frost.  Even without a photo, this purchase was a no-brainer.  I still believe I met the intent of Guideline 6 and Reigning Grace Eugenia Frost made my Best of 2015 Top 10 list easily.

Finally, I need to write about "Guideline 4:  No doll stays in its box for more than two weeks, it either comes out of the box or is sold.  If a doll stays in its box, another NRFB must come out."  This guideline was a complete bust.   From the 51 dolls added, 22 were actually released from the box.  An additional 5 dolls that were still NRFB were taken out for a total of 27 dolls.   That's still one doll added to my display every two weeks.   Just the thought of 29 boxed dolls added to my closet makes me shudder!

I am a teacher and this academic year has been a total mess for me.  The program that I usually teach was completely upended due to budget cuts and curriculum changes.  I now teach Advanced Content Math for grades 2, 3, 4, and 5.   With the "Common Core" program, I have parents and students at their wits end.  It is very frustrating and I have been unable to devote the time necessary to keep my blog interesting, timely, and productive.   This contributes to the dolls that arrive and go directly into the closet.  If I am busy with school work, I put my collecting on "the back burner".     I apologize to my followers for this shortcoming.

So now to "moving forward".  

1.  When a doll comes in the house, it must be immediately added to the "New Dolls 2016" list.   If it is sold, it can be removed from the list.  Next to the doll, I will put NRFB if the dolls is not taken out and displayed.  No doll box goes into the closet, until the doll is logged in!  This will keep me honest in 2016.  "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" is not a good doll collecting habit!

2.  I will continue my goal of following my "Guidelines for Collecting".  They do help.

3.  I will be less fearful of E-bay and begin listing dolls for sale there.

1 comment:

Phyllis said...

I don't think you did so bad what with all of the challenges you faced this year! I definitely went overboard in 2015 with all of the new Mattel Fashionistas, Made to Move and becoming a member of the W Club. I desperately need to sell some dolls this year! Have you ever thought of adding a tab on your blog to show dolls you want to sell? I have seen a few others do that and then link to ebay. I don't know what kind of success they have, but it is worth a shot!

Look forward to seeing more of your collection in 2016!