Monday, June 21, 2010

Rolling in the Dough??? NOT hardly~

Yes, I know, I know. TNGUN has had some good sales lately but I'm going to take a moment and break those sales down just a little bit~just for a reality check. This is for ALL the reborn artists out there~especially the ones who make a good sale and get harassed because of it.

WHY do I want to or feel need to do this? Well~because I've seen posts where good artists have been criticized from having good sales even though the starting bid was low, I've had one lady write me and harshly criticize me for even asking for $$ for one of my dolls and because I never got paid for selling prototype Capri and am now having to proceed with the non paying bidder claims through eBay. And I can't leave that buyer negative feedback. SHE can leave ME negative feedback, but I can't her. And I've done all I can to work with her by changing the auction payment plan to make it easy for her.

Back to the lady who had harsh words. When she asked for a price on the doll, she said that she wanted it for a baby shower. I gave her the price, ($1000) she asked for a lower price ($600), I told her that I could not do that price as I had too much time into her. She responded with well heck, I'll just post it here:

"Well Thanks for your time now I don't need your help anymore because now I see you just try to use people really 1,000 for a lifelike doll all because you put time into it many people can love it like I wanted a doll because I cant have children and I looked on a million websites and your the best one so just forget about it and really wanted Kristen you just hurt me even more"

This has bugged me all month long, then to add a non paying bidder on top of it all. NOW that lady who wanted the doll claims she cannot have children??~that was not the case before. But even so, why should *I* work myself to half death and then just give my work away? I am a very compassionate person but I simply cannot run my business by other people's circumstances. I would not expect to go back to my old job at Safeway and work for no pay. Heck...I'd have MORE money if I went "back to work" because I would not have the expenses that I have. I'd get more sleep too, play with my horses, husband, children, grandchildren and dollies more as well because I can tell you~I've never worked so hard and for so many hours a day in my life. I am not trying to be mean or smart. But I'm tired and frustrated.

So I sold Jayden~at the time my highest sale, of $1475. Whoooooo that was SOOOO great as it had been so long since I had a sale in the first place. That was my income for May, other than some mohair sales. Let me tell you~it did not last long! I don't have time to go and pull up all the expenses for last month but just my month to month operating expenses are around $500 a month. Then add supplies, annual fees, ebay fees (yes that has to come out of that $1475 PLUS remember that Paypal would keep their 4.3% (I think that is what it is now~it could be more or less) so even to start, that $1475 is only a GROSS pay, not net.

So then Capri sold for $800. Paypal did not take any fees because there was no money paid for her. I was asked to cancel an e-check once through the sale of Capri, which I did and made other arrangements for payment but that payment never came. And the lady will not respond to my emails and contacts. I did have $63.30 in ebay fees to pay on that sale though. So, the income remained $1475 GROSS.

Then Kristaleta sold in June~Whoooooo! And she topped Jayden's sale and is now my highest sale and things are going well with her sale. She is on layaway so I've received the first layaway payment of $589. That will cover June's monthly operating expenses. Remember, this is a business. I pay taxes, internet fees, phone fees and a whole slew of fees!

So I am fully thankful that I am NOT going to Dubai as I would not have a dime to stand on. My current cash reserve is under $400. I am thankful too that the trip to Missouri with Dianna Effner is postponed (there are production delays in her kits) as I barely have enough to cover a flight. Ugh, but I do need to purchase a flight to North Carolina for Expo.

I guess the point is~I work. I work hard. I cover all the expenses of this business. I do not work for a company that gives me paid vacations nor sick pay. I don't get time and a half. If I don't work~I don't get paid...oh dear...I do have to add this chuckle.....LOL....Even when I DO work, sometimes I don't get paid! Ahhh...a sense of humor always helps!

I do not work for a company that pays all my expenses when I go to a convention/show. (Dubai was another story...I have NO idea how they were going to manage the travel for the artists~and obviously, they were NOT as it all fell through). I pay them. Have you ever checked out the price of a show table at a show like EXPO or IDEX? (I will say that at IDEX 2010, my show table WAS sponsored for me~but not the shipping, hotel, food and other hidden expenses). A table runs around $650 and a booth $1650. Who knew, right? Add a flight and a week at a hotel with food and a good sale is gone before it ever came!

Oh and teaching! Do I make money from teaching? Well, it really depends on where I teach but even so, not much. Last year at IDEX, IDEX kept 25% of my students fees. I provided the majority of supplies for each student, including a doll kit so that 25% came off the cost for supplies that I already paid. EXPO will not charge me for teaching, which is a HUGE blessing but even then, I will have about $145 in supplies for each student for the day and a half class. I won't be teaching at IDEX this year as I am not exhibiting at IDEX this year and the % when one is not exhibiting is 40%!!!! IDEX will be my vacation. My husband usually buys my flight as my birthday and Christmas gift. :)

So when it comes to the prices on my dolls, they shall remain. They ARE worth it and I put everything I have, and more, into them. If I am asked to drop the prices I will simply turn around and ask the asker what they would think if their boss asked them to just give up 1/4, 1/3 or more of their pay this month. Do you think they would say "Sure!"???? Not hardly.

And that's me. Not hardly rolling in the dough. Just a reality check for those who don't give the life/business of a reborn artist much thought.

What I AM hardly is this. I love my work. I am blessed. I am excited for the future~and I won't be casting my gift to the trash and "going back to work". :)


  1. No need to make excuses for your business and the prices. It is your business and you have expenses just like any other business. As for the lady with the negative comments...she just wanted a deal; that's all. Don't give her another thought. She was probably lying anyway.
    Keep on moving forward.

  2. Debbie, what a wake up!! Thank you so much for sharing the behind "the scenes" of reborning with us. I know how much work you put in to these beautiful works of art and I love them (and you!) dearly. That is a real eye opener for sure! Shame on the non-paying bidder for Capri!!
    Hugs, Dolly and Otherwise

  3. Some people can be so rude. They are the ones who always want something for nothing. Your dolls are amazing and worth every penny; I haven't seen one in person, but the photos say enough. It's an art form that isn't as easy as it looks and there are MANY people who should probably go back to work and leave the quality reborning to the pros. Quality costs something; don't feel bad for getting a decent price for what you do. I for one appreciate your effort. Keep up the amazing work!
    Big hugs,

  4. Debbie, Lucky you love what you do, huh? This entry brought some questions to mind for me.
    I, like many those of us who follow your blog, am interested in bettering ourselves as artists. I would really value your opinion. (duh! of course I would I'm here following your blog)
    In regard to eBay & sales there. Do you think that the huge amount of less than stellar reborn offerings help drive down prices on the better babies?
    re classes: Do you think a person can actually learn from on line classes or do you think "in person" classes are better. What are the benefits of one vs the other?



  5. Some people are just too selfish, and don't care about others. You shouldn't waste your energy worrying about people like that (although I know that's easier said than done). I agree with SueAnn that that lady just wanted a deal. She wanted to "win" in that situation, and said whatever she thought would help, which in the end was to make you feel awful about yourself, and feel sympathy towards her. People like her are just not worth your time, energy, or concern.
    I'm sorry you had to experience that though.
    This too shall pass!

  6. Gosh gals, thank you, each of you, for your support and kind words. I don't like feeling bad. This is a great industry but I guess with any thing that is wonderful, "things" will happen.

    Kate, I think that the overload of the less than stellar reborns not only drive the prices down, they also set a mindset in people that there is not much to this art hence the dolls should only cost $600 or less. If they look around and compare, they will see that there are apples and there are oranges in the market. Add this to the way that eBay now markets our items (unless you have a high start bid, a high legitimate bid or a high BIN, the doll never makes it to the forefront of the serious collectors pages) added into that sea of less than stellar reborns, sometimes they just don't get the traffic of the serious collectors.
    I can't answer your question regarding the online classes vs the live classes as I've never taken an online class and, everyone has different learning styles. Maybe someone who has done both can chime in. :) I love the live classes (both teaching and attending) as so many things can happen that can extend the teaching opportunity. When a mistake happens in a live class it is such a wonderful way to teach added lessons right there on the spot. We can learn a lot making mistakes as a group! Hence another advantage of a live class~a real person to help you through all aspects of reborning.

    I hope that helps Kate! Again, thank you all! ((((((HUGS))))))

  7. Aww debbie I know what you mean about those "collectors" I had one offer $30 before for a completely reborn baby that the kit alone was $89 on. Don't let it get you down just do one of two things kindly tell them simply "Thanks but no thanks for you offer" or IGNORE them when its ridiculous.

  8. Those people just want something for practically nothing, and they are inconsiderate, ignorant people. I too have had people say they couldn't have children, can I give them a better price, and I say, NO way. I don't know why people think artists should give their creations away, we work hard to make these babies. Thanks Debbie for sharing with us, I can relate completely. Judy

  9. Well Said Deb! What a great article and so true!
    Sadly this is a job for us and a luxury item for those buying, not a necessity..yet we end up as the villains.
    I will have to send people to your article here when they request a lower price, because its "just a doll" LOL
    I will no longer justify my prices or feel guilty for requiring payment for my time too.