The wonderful thing about pre-ordering dolls is that there is often a fun unveiling event that surrounds this release. Integrity Toys, for example, does a live presentation for W Club members online. It's fun to gather fellow W Club members (and fellow doll collectors) for these releases, and discuss your excitement for each new release.
On the other hand, there is the waiting period after you order your doll. While I can understand that this makes it a lot easier for dealers to know guess many of each doll they need to order, it doesn't usually determine edition size in the world of vinyl and plastic. Very few items these days (with perhaps the exception of Mattel's playline dolls) are produced as open editions.
The wait time can be as short as a week, or as long as a year (or more, depending on licensing issues), with the average about three to six months, I find. Many companies have tried to reduce the wait time for their dolls by scheduling several unveilings throughout the year, closer to production time, which helps reduce the waiting. I understand that it takes time to design, produce, and approve a quality product.
In the BJD world, most dolls aren't even cast before you order them and pay for them in full. Casting and pouring the doll can be affected by weather conditions, which can affect the delivery time of your doll. While most companies strive diligently for a 30 to 45 day delivery time, most take about three to six months to ship a doll.
Considering that each doll is hand poured and cast and sanded, and each doll is strung and painted by hand, and you may also be waiting for another manufacturer's wig or outfit--waiting can be lengthy.
If you are an impatient collector, and you don't mind putting a little work into a doll, you can risk the secondary market for both vinyl and resin. Above, one of my recent secondary market purchases was nothing short of miraculous. It's Iplehouse nYID Rexy, large bust, face-up option C, in special real skin, exactly what my heart desired.
I posted a WTB listing on Den of Angels, and within the hour (or possibly two), I got a response. The seller sent photos the same day, and after receiving my payment (also the same day), she mailed the doll unstrung (to save me shipping) the following day.
Rexy is perfect. Plus, I didn't have to wait for three months. And I feel like my money has stayed within the US economy, and I feel like I've given a new home to a doll--it's like recycling--kind of.
I adore the secondary market. When Steve and Rae decided to keep the DollPage open, I was thrilled beyond belief. So be sure to visit your favorite sites and click on those ads. Don't cause problems or gripe. Be a good customer! Collectors like me really need the secondary market!
If you like, you can see more photos of lovely Rexy on Flickr.