Business of Dollmaking Tips

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What doll should I make to sell?

Which Doll?

When starting out, make dolls to please you. If you try to please everyone else, you will not have that inner satisfaction.

   
How do I price my dolls for resale?

Cost Tracking

Keep track of the cost of each doll. I use a "project" page in my Time Design. List doll`s name and artist, the copyright date of the mold and your cost to purchase the mold. List anything you add to the doll with the price, such as eyes - 18 mm $7.86; wig, size and price; lashes, earrings, armature; stand if you are selling it with the doll. When you price the doll it helps you to remember your cost to make it.

   
How can I increase my sales?

Sell Change of Clothes

Suggest a buyer purchase a change of clothes to dress up the doll for the holidays or seasons.

   
How can I bring the cost per item down?

Business Tips

When making doll clothes to resell, make several at a time. The more you do something, the easier it is. Especially if there was a difficult aspect that you finally figured out.

   
How can I get discounts on items for resale?

Discounts

Ask about discounts with everyone you deal with. Many require proof you are in business. You can save 20% or more.

   
How can I lower a price when there isn´t any leeway?

The Final Price

If a customer wants to pay less, change the product. I will often sell a doll undressed at a lower price. At a doll show last year, I broke a doll's hand on the trip. I showed the doll anyway with a sign that it was broken but would be at the next show complete. Someone bought it! I made sure I noted what was broken on the sales slip, but she was happy and I made a sale I didn't expect.

   
How can I tell where the request for price list comes from?

Test Your Ads

Add a code to your address when you place an ad. This allows you to follow how your ad pulls. If your address is 1234 Main Street, you can add Department E or Department B to the address. Allows you to study where to spend your advertising dollar.

   
How can I be sure the molds will be secure when shipping?

Molds

When shipping a mold, use wide tape to hold the mold together. Rubber bands will not keep it from moving apart during shipping.

   
How do I figure the selling price of greenware?

The Business end of Pricing SFGW

Pricing greenware can be simple. The normal rate is 20% of the retail cost of the mold. If your overhead is low, charge less for the greenware.

   
How can I make the most of my time with displays?

Making the Shoulder Plate Easy to Remove?

Fold 4 - 4 inch peice of the same type tape, and
sew the fold to the body leaving the sides and ends loose. Then I would put the shoulder plate on the body (with head attached) and tie it on, threading each tape
through the holes. I use this method if I plan to display different heads on the same body. Makes it easy to remove.

   
How can I start selling my dolls?

Show off your doll

Take your doll with you when you go to work or medical appointments. This could be the start of your doll making business.

   
How can I find out about current trends?

Keeping Informed

If you want to sell your dolls, watch what sells. Subscribe to magazines like DOLLS. In addition to being a business, it will help you with popular colors and styles.

   
How can I interst people in make a doll?

In House Advertising

You can advertise right in the shop by working on new dolls. Your students can see the doll and many will want to make it also.

   
How can I make it easier to assemble things at the shows.

How-to Directions

If you travel to shows, label and number each piece of a rack, or shelving unit you assemble. Write directions matching the numbers in the correct order to assemble the part. Makes it easier in the rush of the show.

   
What is indirect cost?

The Cost of Doing Business

A shop with indirect overhead such as rent, electric, phone, heat, air conditioning, postage, salaries to name a few need to charge enough for supplies, greenware, classes and completed dolls to cover both the direct and indirect cost.

   
How do I figure the price for bisque?

Pricing Bisque

Pricing bisque can be simple. The normal rate is 2 times the amount of the cost of SFGW. If you sell your SFGW low, you should figure 40% of the retail cost of the mold. It might cost less to produce the SFGW, but from that point on, you should be paid for your time, effort and the cost of firing the kiln to bisque, which can take up to 12 hours.

   
How can I help students pick their next doll?

Display Your Finished Dolls

Put a completed doll where your students can see it as they work. Soon they will want to make the doll they have been viewing. Another happy student.

   
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