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Why You Should Never Let Your Husband Sell Dolls on eBay

...and other tales about spouses from the doll collecting trenches


Quick! Hide From Her Husband!

Quick! Hide From Her Husband!

Denise Van Patten
Many, many a good therapist will tell you that you shouldn't work with your spouse. I think that this admonition should be doubly heeded if your spouse is your husband, and your business is selling dolls.

My doll store business has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. This is good, but it is also bad...it meant that I couldn't by myself handle the online end of my business, including my online store and online auctions. My husband, to be helpful, offered to assist with my doll business part-time. So, one fateful day, I sat down and trained him how to list dolls for sale on eBay.

Its been bedlam ever since.

I've Created A Monster

I've truly created a monster. He now eyes every doll in my possession as a possible eBay sale. For instance, I brought back some lovely dolls from the UFDC convention in New Orleans. Well, hubby now quotes me daily on the going prices of those dolls. I constantly hear: "Did you know we could get over $500 for R.John Wright's Musette on eBay?" or "You CANNOT keep the Robert Tonner Matt/Sean doll! They are selling for over $400 now!" Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, this gets old pretty quickly. I have NO intention of selling my Musette or my Matt, who are both hiding in horror under my desk at home.

Sneaking Dolls Into The House

This has led me to the necessity of sneaking into the house any doll which I want to keep for my personal collection, something I have not been forced to do since my early days of collecting. Yesterday, my store received an order of dolls from the Tonner Doll Company. I had sold out of my first order of the Ready to Wear Tyler Glamour dolls without getting one for myself, and I received one yesterday--perfect! Finally, one for my collection. But, I realized if I brought the doll home in the white Robert Tonner shipping box, I was going to hear an earful from Russ (my husband, who can now identify any doll in the ubiquitous white shipper as a Tonner doll). I was quite sure I'd hear: "Robert Tonner doll! You have enough of those--if you don't want to sell it in the store, give it to me for eBay!" So...I took the RTW Glamour out of her white shipper, and out of her tube, and stuffed her in my computer laptop bag for the trip home. Unless he reads this article, he'll never know.

Messy Hair Ruins Hubby's Day

Of course, there is a certain hilarity factor in your husband selling dolls on eBay for a living. I had a very difficult time trying to keep a straight face the morning he stormed into my office, slammed a Madame Alexander doll on my desk, and yelled: "Would you LOOK at the messy hair on this doll? How do you expect me to sell this!" I also love the "sugary prose" tone he adopts to sell sweet little dolls like Marie Osmond dolls. If I imagine him saying the prose in his deep voice, stuff like "this sweet little dolly," it cracks me up. Another point of amusement--I have a very feminine name for my main eBay seller ID, which my hubby is now stuck with, since we are not about to change an eBay ID with a great feedback rating.

The Lean, Mean Listing Machine

Now, on the positive side, the man is a mean, lean, listing machine, and now that he's caught on, he's dangerous! He's been a PowerSeller for years now. He's also frighteningly organized, and can seemingly deposit boxes ready to be shipped via UPS at my store within an hour or two of a Paypal payment--that is so cool! I used to hate shipping and packing and would usually let it all sit around until the 3rd business day (when I said I'd DEFINITELY ship by in my listings).

Stay Away From My Antiques!

At least he can't list the antique dolls without my assistance--he doesn't yet know enough about antique dolls to list them without large amounts of input from me. When he figures out the antiques, I'm in REAL trouble.

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