Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Penny Worth of Thought

This entry is inspired after reading another blog (http://dollsaga.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/when-barbie-was-9-99/). So when did doll prices sky-rocketed?

Some say it was when these dolls were seen as collectible items that could fetch a higher price in the future. That sort of gave them the right to be expensive to start with. Dolls are mainly grouped in two--the collector/limited edition and the play line. That distinction alone spells a big difference in price. Some play line dolls have comparable quality with the collectors edition dolls, so it's not always about quality. It's the mere branding.

At first, I thought it was our fault that the prices went high. We kept on patronizing their products. They saw we were willing to pay so they asked for higher prices.

But then I asked myself, why are we doing that? I realized that they made us. There is this delusion being unconsciously implanted in our minds that a high price means a high quality.

I have a friend who creates custom jewelries. I asked her how she prices her items. She said that one should know the buyer to figure out the best price for the item offered to the specific buyer. Some customers wouldn't buy a cheap item for the sole reason that they are cheap. When she figures out that a certain customer abhors cheap jewelries, she instantly charges them triple the price she offers to her friends.

You have to understand their need for this delusion. The more they can make us pay for something, the more they will earn.


Andrea said...

The FF dolls were really tempting to stroll the doll isle and pick on up during shopping trips. They were so fashionable and reminded me of my childhood Barbies in the early mod era. And you really got a lot for 10. But even their later fashions had some quality issues, badly hemmed and frayed edges.

If prices go up the quality should at least be maintained. But if prices go up and you can clearly see, that there is no quality anymore and everything looks just cheap, then a price raise is a no go for me.

My Dad always used to say that quality is more expensive. But I learned very early, that this is not always the case. I was given a brand tape recorder. Yes, I am that old, lol. It was very short lived. I then bought a cheapo one from my savings. It worked for more than 10 years.

That led me to expect something (quality) for my money. So I closely inspect the objects of my desire and if I'm satisfied, I buy - if not, I save my money. So the quality delusion doesn't work here and I am sure that goes for a lot of people. I wonder if companies ever think of that, or do they think we are so addicted, that we need their products so badly.

So if the first market doesn't supply my quality standards, I shop secondary market. I still hope to score some FF dolls I missed in the stores.

D7ana said...

I thought the prices going up had something to do with higher oil costs. Some link between plastic/vinyl creation and oil or maybe the transport of the plastic from one place to another or the maintenance of the factories. Shrug. Then again, oil gets blamed for a lot, lol.

I spend more time looking now than buying. More often now, I will wait for a sale because the quality does not warrant me rushing to get it. Especially Barbie stuff that looks bright but has little substance. And some of it isn't even nice bright.

Short answer? I buy less. Get excited by the possibility of something new, but in reality, don't put out the way I did even as early as 2008.

Andrea said...

Just a interesting pic I found on the net concerning the production cost of a Barbie doll and who makes how much profit out of it:



Niel Camhalla said...

Thanks Andrea and Dana. I'm really glad to hear from both of you about this.

There might be some truth about the prices of petroleum products affecting the prices of plastic products. If that is the case, all plastic products should be affected, right? I mean, plastic prices should increase just like doll prices but I don't really sense that price increase in other plastic products.

It's true that oil prices affect plastic prices. It's that little truth that can be twisted to justify a huge increase in some plastic products. This twisting of the truth (advertising, branding, marketing, public relations management etc.) takes some talent (& talent fee) and of course adds to the final price, as illustrated by the image shared by Andrea.

And the only thing we can to not be victims of this delusion is NOTHING. We don't do anything. We shouldn't buy their products if it doesn't make sense buying them.

We can also keep on complaining but that takes too much stress and effort. I rather sit, relax, curb the temptation and just enjoy the dolls that I already have. It's more peaceful that way. :)

D7ana said...

Ah yes, Niel, I like the idea of answering them by saving money for dolls worth buying and ignoring the crappy stuff. Although sometimes the crappy stuff inspires us to do better on our own, lol. Like when you sew your gorgeous fashions ....

Oh and Andrea, I will post some FF dolls I am selling - most for $15 before postage. They'll be on my blog in the next day or so. Let me know if you are keen on any of them. My email is d7ana AT yahoo.com.

I'm appreciating what I have more when I see some of the stuff issued today.