We are entering the holiday season again, and just as in last year, there is something of a frenzy of searching for hard-to-find Monster High Dolls by Mattel toys. Here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind.
“Rare” dolls may be plentiful later. The only dolls produced in any limited number are the ones released during the 2010 and 2011 San Diego Comic-con. Dolls that were hard to find last year during the holiday season, were up until recently in plentiful supply this year. Although Mattel has released new dolls, the first waves were not entirely abandoned either. This means that if you can’t find one of those hard-to-find Monster High Dolls now, you probably will by next spring.
Preorders can be a gamble. Many stores are offering preorders on these dolls. I urge caution on this because dolls that are in short supply will be allocated. This means that a retailer will probably not get all the dolls they order. A retailer may order 100 dolls for example, and only receive 60. So what happens if they accepted pre-orders on a doll and they did not receive enough to fill all orders?
Additionally, under Federal law, retailers who take preorders must advise you monthly of the status of your preorder. Consumers have the right to cancel a preorder at any time up until the order ships.
Deposits on Preoders? Credit card providers expect merchants to not charge for an online order until the order is ready to ship. Some merchants have gotten around those provisions by demanding deposits on preorders. A deposit on an order is appropriate where custom work is involved, in dressmaking for example. Expecting a deposit on mass market products taken in preorder is unethical, in my opinion. None of the larger online retailers do this.
Consider gift cards. A parent might consider giving a gift card, that a child could use to purchase dolls later when they come in stock. Keep in mind though; merchant associations report that many gift cards go unused. Make sure the gift card you buy does not have an expiration date.
Don’t support theft. Monster High dolls have not officially been released in Hong Kong, Indonesia, or China. Any company located there offering to sell them have stolen the dolls, or produced fakes. Monster High dolls are being made in Indonesia.
Why are dolls hard to find? Monster High is very popular. Companies don’t conspire to keep them out of stock. However, decisions on how many to stock, and how many to produce must be make up to a year in advance. This year, we continue in slow economic times, and major retailers are going to be cautious with how much, and particularly, how much of a “new” product they are going to stock.
So enjoy your doll hunting!