Welcome to what I hope will be a series of messages to the bobbing head doll hobby. As most of you know I have sold my business, The All Doll Auction to John. Reasons were many but suffice to say it has worked out great with the Nodder Exchange and I can now resume my teaching career (if I can find a job) and help John as a vested consultant.
When I decided to sell the business John was my first and only option.The All Doll Auction is the ONLY auction connected with bobbing head dolls that has always made sure that each doll is represented correctly. John and I both know for a fact that other auctions with dolls invariably sell junk. Expensive repaired junk that often times shows up at our door for an unfortunate confirmation. John is determined to make sure future All Doll Auctions never waver from the commitment of "collector first". To make sure of that, I will for the next several years at least, be serving as chief authenticator/grader and large collection handler for Nodderexchange. Through both our efforts the All Doll Auction will always be the better alternative, bar none, when it comes to buying or selling your dolls.
With that said, a few observations:
Ebay effect- For the last 5 years bobbing head dolls have constantly been offered on the pages of ebay. Such is the influence of this company that before they came around virtually no one referred to the dolls as"nodders". Now look!
Although many, many people have been taken in with fake and repaired dolls, although I saw my own business suffer and despite the fact that you have to wade through a pile of rubbish to see anything worthwhile , I still believe ebay is generally a positive for the bobbing head doll collector. There are so many dolls to see and that alone makes it worthwhile. There is some great stuff that would have been impossible to see in the"old days." It has also certainly made it much easier to discern what is truly rare and not so rare. Even a cursory weekly glance at the dolls for sale shows many of the same ones. Lucky for Cardinal green bases that they are so attractive, they certainly aren't rare. Yet you are lucky if once a year a Black Yankee, Dick Tracy, rare football promo etc shows up. Have never seen a Black Colt.45 there. Then of course the price goes wild despite concerns on what actually you may be bidding on.
Recent Auction Trends
-Non sport doll market really suffering. Rumpus Rooms going off at $25-30. The plethora of generic animals and Orientals cannot be given away. Even rare(and not so rare) advertising dolls are down 25-30%. Disney dolls often go unsold at starting bids over $40. If you collect to invest this is a troubling sign as often a leading indicator where the hobby in whole is heading price wise. Sports dolls seem down about 10-20% from recent highs.
-Ebay listings down last 6 weeks.Where there was a constant average of about 7 pages of vintage nodders we now see 4. Maybe one decent doll per day. Lots of rubbish.
-Have to laugh at the amount of times”rare”is used in ebay auctions. Auction today offers a”fabulous rare”Notre Dame doll in“excellent“ condition. Of course the dolls incredibly faded colors turn out to be red and white but why quibble over such details.
-Saw another fake Celtics doll on ebay yesterday. Seems to be a bit of a cottage industry in these things. Remember the real gold base Celtics has a white chest decal and NOTHING on the base.
-All Doll Auction bucked the downward price trend once again proving that quality dolls still have a very strong following.Nothing worse for a collector to get all excited about a purchase only to have the buying experience turn into a real drag with disapointing goods and the sometimes nightmarish ritual of returning the doll.
-High grade sports dolls also have also done very well lately.High grade and rare is a magic combination in dolls where prices seldom retreat.have seen a number of examples of this lately.
THE DANGER OF EBAY
Everyone in this hobby realizes that not all nodders listed on ebay are what they seem to be.Take for instance ebay item #1982803833.Here is the exact description copied from the Ebay site. "This item()is in box mint. Call me for any additional info. Barry 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx Fla."
Fair to wonder why this incredible rarity (NY Ranger mini which has never been seen in the original box) is listed under"NFL Football" and sold for"only" $375. (Easily worth $2,000 if real or $75 if not)
Or take the many times a dealer tried to move an obviously repainted Phantom of the Opera.Finally had to package it with a Universal Studios example to get rid of it.
How about all those IU and Kentucky basketball dolls? 1985 dolls as"vintage"?
Even here though I see some improvement. Many of you have taken the time to point out,how shall we say it,"descrepencies" to various sellers and sent some of them revising their descriptions or scurrying to the exits.Keep it up. Only you can protect your own hobby from those who care only for the quick buck.
That's all for now.See you soon.Tim Hunter