I am writing this guide as the unlucky buyer of a Pedigree doll with advanced hard plastic disease, in the hope that it will help others to avoid the experience. There are several excellent eBay revues of how to identify Hard Plastic Disease in eBay's revues and Guides, so I am not focusing on the disease but on the steps that may have prevented me from buying a doll in this state.
The doll I bought was advertised in the auction as "not perfect, but physically very, very sound, a superb restoration project". The 2 very poor quality photo's of the back and front showed a slightly bleached looking doll, so I assumed the mention in the advert of "slightly pigmented skin" referred to this fact. However, to be on the safe side, I asked a question about the condition of the plastic and the sellers response was: "the pigmentation is i suspect from light damage, there is no smell and the hairline cracks are more from the seams then anywhere....i hope this helps......she is is nice baby, she needs a little tlc"
Photo from Listinng
The use of a camera flash has produced a bleached looking doll
This is where I made my first mistake and placed a bid on the doll, when what I should have done was to ask the seller to send additional photo's, close-ups of the doll's head and body. Certainly, even poor quality photo's would have shown this dolls condition. When I received the doll, the hard plastic disease was so apparent that I could smell the disease before I opened the packaging completely. The smell was absolutely toxic to the point of taking my breath away.
These two close up photo's from my camara show quite a different doll
Close Up Photo's are best
I contacted the seller but had to open a dispute before she would communicate. She then said that she would refund me if I returned the doll, which I did recorded signed for. However, the seller then said she had not received the doll or delivery card and continued stating this even after I received verification from Royal Mail that she had. This experience certainly opened my eyes to the low level selling practices of some eBay sellers but it has also taught me a valuable lesson.
ASK SELLERS FOR ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE QUALITY OF AN ITEM. CLOSE UP PHOTO'S ARE BEST. AN HONEST SELLER WILL BE HAPPY TO PROVIDE THEM
I would like to thank all of the eBay members who encouraged and supported me with their heartwarming comments and emails when I listed this doll in the eBay auctions as a "Vintage Pedigree Hard Plastic Baby Doll With Disease." Also, a very big thank you to eBay member and author of the guide "How to Detect Hard Plastic Disease" wondersofyouth.