For my birthday I decided I wanted a new Dollfie Dream girl. Initially I had planned to get one during a trip to Japan later this year, but with Covid-19 going around I doubt we will be able to travel. Dollfie Dream are ball-jointed dolls made by Volks and they are iconic for their anime/manga look. I own one already, she is a 1/3 scale girl but I really wanted a MDD which is a smaller scale girl (1/4 size). Because I want to avoid the hassle with customs, I normally try to buy through European dealers and for Volks doll that’s a bit hard. I only know of two official dealers here in Europe which are Sakura Dreams and Papettes Store.
Just received notification that my girl is in the process of being shipped, but I’ll write about her when she gets here.
In my doll collection I do not have a lot of 1/4 scale dolls (they are around 45cm and called MSD), I have either SD (60cm) or YOSD (30cm). The MSD that I have is a slim version which means that her clothes are more mature and don’t really fit the bulkier shaped MSD dolls. So I need more shoes and clothes for my girl that’s on the way. I had already bought an outfit from Volks so she won’t be nude when she gets here. But she still needs more.
Etsy is my normal go to for doll apparel but I really wanted to try ordering from somewhere different. I’ve been eyeing Taobao for a while but ordering is difficult as some sellers don’t ship abroad and everything is in Chinese. Taobao is like an online marketplace, where sellers offer their handmade products. There is also a lot of knock-off products on there so you have to be a bit careful with what you buy. Orchid Dolls‘ review on BJD Bhiner gave me a proxy service I could try out.
Bhiner is one of the many proxy services that help you make purchases from Taobao. They communicate with the sellers and collect your order in their warehouse before shipping it overseas. For their services they will charge you a fee. What differs them from the other proxies, is that they have a website that collects a lot of BJD related sales on one page but you can also add links from other Taobao sellers if you find something off-site that you want to buy through them.
The sale pages look a lot at what you find on Aliexpress and ordering almost works the same way. I think Taobao is owned by the same owner as Aliexpress. Only difference is that you can quote the items that you have in your cart, Bhiner verifies with the seller if the item is in stock and confirm this with you. It’s your own responsibility to not wait to long with your purchase or else it could be gone.
Payment is always upfront as they have to pay the sellers and the shipping costs to the warehouse. When the items are received by Bhiner, you will get sent photo proof that the items have arrived and get the second quote for shipping from China to the Netherlands. I was amused to see that from mainland China you can have your parcel shipped by train. How cool is that!
I ordered 5 items from Bhiner. 1 wig, 2 pairs of shoes, a graduation hakama for my DD girl and a Neko hat. The hat is a custom order, which means it can’t be refunded. I had more in the cart but the order was already at $99 so I called it quits. I find it easier to spend money on clothes and shoes for my dolls than on clothes on myself ^^;;.
So on an order of $99 the agent fee is $6.67, which is very low in my opinion. I had to pay around $14,90 in domestic shipping to the warehouse and now I wait until it arrives there. I have no idea how long it will take, one item in my order will take around 5-10 days before it ships.
I’ll write again when it arrives at my house.