I recently had a negative experience regarding recasts as legit. The poor gal thought, with good reason imo, that an item I sold was in fact recast. They were not, but I ran into trouble proving this. In order to spare you the headache in the future, learn from my mistake.
- Always ask for proof of ownership, even if it's someone you know or have traded with before.
- Always ask for more pictures, even if you're happy with what you see. Don't be afraid to ask them to take a photo with the item next to a paper with your choice of text.
- Always ask for proof of legitimacy EVEN IF IT'S SOMEONE YOU KNOW. That's fine and dandy, but how do you do that and what should you ask for?
- If they are the first owner, ask for receipts from the company. Screenshot the purchase screen. Most companies keep records of sales for several years. Fairyland still has the record of the first purchase I made from them 4 years ago.
- If they purchased it second hand or traded, where did they do this trade? DoA? Facebook (and thus, which FB group)? Flickr? Ebay?
- Ask for the username of the previous owner before them, if any.
- Research to know what comes with the dolls direct from the company.
- Does the company send certificates? What do those certificates usually say?
- Does the company use headplates, and if so, what do those look like?
- Always keep print outs of your company receipts. A file cabinet is a good way to store these things, or else keep a copy of the company receipt or packing slip in your doll's box or in your doll storage area. You can also keep a small plastic storage tote for certificates and receipts. (Keeping receipts is a good life habit anyway. You never know when you'll need them in the future.)
- Always keep your certificates. Take photos of these certificates and keep them on hand for when buyers request them.
- Be prepared, and willing, to provide more photos, including photos of the item with their choice of text.
- If you received the item in a trade, keep track of where you conducted the trade and who you traded with. Be sure to keep records of any proof that person gave you. Print out their receipts, save their pictures to your hard drive. You WILL need these in the future if you sell the item or trade it again. (I didn't have this and it nearly cost me my reputation and my DoA.)
- Follow the above safe buying tips.
Don't get caught without proof like I did, or at least without readily accessible proof. It's not worth the headache, the loss of income, or the loss of reputation. Keep records, ask for records. Be meticulous. With the proliferation of recasts it's become ever more important we do this as collectors to protect ourselves and our future potential buyers.