Reborns are a big purchase. Even the most basic dolls from beginner artists run about $200, and if you want a baby that’s more realistic, your doll could cost $300, $400, $800… and that’s not including clothing and accessories like a crib and carriage.
I don’t condone running up huge credit card bills to buy a doll, but if you share finances with someone, or if you’re a young person asking your parents for the gift of a reborn, you might need to explain why you want a doll that costs so much, rather than a $25 doll from the toy section at Walmart.
Why ARE Reborns So Expensive?
The very cheapest reborn doll kit – which includes their blank vinyl head and limbs – costs $40 when purchased during a Kit of The Day sale on Bountiful Baby.
However, most kits cost closer to $100.
A cloth body costs $15-20. Polyfil and glass beads for weighing come out to about $15 per doll.
A portion of my paints needed to paint one doll, I’d estimate, might be $5-$10.
So for the cheapest possible kit, it would cost me around $80. A typical kit plus materials costs $140.
Then add in eyes, acrylic ones might be $7, glass ones are up to $30, and if the hair will be rooted, that’s another $30-$70 depending on the quality of hair.
If I’m making good time, I can create 1-2 babies per week, and I estimate my labor costs on a weekly basis, because hourly would likely come out to less than minimum wage.
I don’t usually root hair, painting a head of hair takes about 4 hours, and rooting an entire head would take about 20-40 hours, I’d estimate.
So, the cost of supplies, shipping, packing materials, homecoming clothes, a box opening, plus cost of labor ends up making reborns pretty costly.
Even so, I think it makes sense to save up a little more to get a doll you really adore, rather than the cheapest doll you can find, that way you can cherish him or her, rather than long for an upgrade.
Why Buy A Reborn?
You might already know why you’d like a reborn, even if you have trouble justifying the costs.
They offer the companionship of a vulnerable little someone who needs you, a sweet little someone to hold for comfort, yet they’re more affordable than…
- A pet, which may cost a few hundreds dollars to adopt and thousands in vet bills over their lifespan.
- A real baby, for which the hospital bills alone will greatly exceed costs of a doll (if you live in the USA, anyway!)
- A video game system and games – I’d say this is a pretty equivalent cost comparison, both dolls and Play Stations are valid, worthwhile purchases that relieve stress and provide fulfillment and entertainment.
Is A Reborn Doll A Good Investment?
Reborn dolls can be played with, held, changed, or they can just be displayed and collected. Both are valid purposes.
The resell value of a reborn is typically lower than the purchase price. Artists make dolls every day, and a brand new doll is typically going to be more valuable than one than has lived in your home for a while.
The exception would be limited edition kits.
If you choose wisely, buying highly sought after dolls that are limited edition, and you buy from a reputable, talented, well-known artist, your doll might appreciate in value when the kit sells out.
Generally speaking, buying and reselling dolls isn’t very profitable, but it could be a good way to refresh your collection.
If you plan on eventually selling your dolls, make sure they’re stored carefully. If you live around smoke or pet odors, you may not be able to tell if your dolls are being affected.
Financing A Doll
Although I do not feel people should buy dolls unless they can truly afford them, it can still be wise to finance your doll so you can pay it off at once. Just because you can make a $500 purchase all at once doesn’t mean you have to.
If you pay with PayPal, you can apply for PayPal Credit and get instant approval, and you can pay over a 6-month period with 0% interest at time of this posting. Their terms may change.
You can also purchase through Etsy through Klarna. I don’t have experience with it so I do not know how it works.
There’s other payment plan processors out there like Splitit. I haven’t used these, but they would greatly reduce the strain artists have with having to chase after nonpaying clients, storing dolls, and making invoices.
Many artists accept payment plans of their own. However, you will have to pay off the entire balance before your doll can be shipped to you. It’s like layaway. You’ll typically need to pay a nonrefundable deposit.