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SakuraSylph

Dollfie Dream Lottery & Purchasing FAQ

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SakuraSylph
How many people win the lottery, exactly?

This is the subject of much speculation. In short, we don't know because Volks never releases stats to the public.


SakuraSylph

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shinegamix

as many as there are dolls made


making my triumphant return

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ArthuriaPen
as many as there are dolls made
How many people win the lottery, exactly?

This is the subject of much speculation. In short, we don't know because Volks never releases stats to the public.

 

Ohh, thank you! At first, I thought they would only release like 20 dolls because they're of limited edition. D:

And the lotteries are exclusive for Doll Parties, right? Or other conventions hold them too e.g. Dollism?

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SakuraSylph

As of May 2014, VolksUSA has completely restructured their business. Now the USA branch is online-only (no physical store) and no longer does doll lotteries. I updated the FAQ to reflect this new reality. However, that required removing a lot of text. Just in case VolksUSA changes again, I'm saving all the removed text here, in tiny font, for future reference if needed. I wouldn't want to have to retype it all .

 

For Now, please IGNORE the remainder of this post because it is not currently true.

 

[*]USA, Canada, Mexico: VolksUSA retail store, VolksUSA online, Volks Authorized Dealer online, Volks International online.

[*]South Korea: Volks Seoul retail store, Volks International online.

 

VolksUSA and the Dealers are one pool but sort of split, which I will explain more about later on when I describe how to enter the lottery.

 

The other difference is the items that are available. Volks tries hard to make all items available in all lotteries, but every so often that can't happen thanks to licensing issues. All the dolls will be available in Japan, and basically all of them will be available in Volks International too. It's the USA and Korea lotteries that run into the most absences. These will be announced in advance so you will know before the entry period starts. Example dolls that have been Japan-only: Touhou Project (Reimu, Marisa, Sakuya, Cirno); The iDOLM@STER (Haruka, Miki, Chihaya, Yukiho); Sword Art Online (Asuna).

 

US Dealers: a few days before Day X

VolksUSA: Day X

 

--

How Do I Enter the Lottery at VolksUSA?

 

VolksUSA will post a page on their website store showing all the Limited Items up for lottery along with their prices. There will also be an entry time period specified, which is a few days only in length. Those dates are super-important, since that is your window to enter!

 

For VolksUSA, essentially what you will be doing is creating an order in their system, an order that consists only of lottery items. (If you want other items, place a separate order, and VolksUSA does tell you this.) Here's how to go about it.

  1. Go to VolksUSA during the entry period and click on the item you want. When it is within the lottery entry period, the item's page will have an "add to cart" button. Add it to your cart. For USA, you don't have to create an account.
  2. Repeat for any other lottery items you want from that lottery.
  3. When you have all the lottery items you want in your cart, click on "checkout" from the cart page.
  4. Enter your shipping address and payment information. This does include your credit card number, but don't worry, you do not get charged anything until you win the USA lottery. It is at this step when you'll find out how much shipping will cost you.
  5. Recommended: In the "comments" box of the order form, enter your Tenshi no Sumika LA Member Number if you have one. It helps Volks process your order faster, so it's only to your benefit to include it. You get a Member Number and a card the first time you place an order, so if you don't have one yet that is OK.
  6. Complete your checkout. That's it! Your name is now in the hat for those items. Each item is independent, so you could win some items but not others. Or you could win all, or none. Who knows! Time to sit back and wait.

 

There is a long list of rules and stipulations on each lottery item's page that can seem scary at first. But don't let the tone of the rules fool you - the VolksUSA staff is actually very nice and helpful! They just have to cover themselves legally. Nevertheless you should read all their rules as well as their own VolksUSA Shipping FAQ (linked from the lottery items' pages) if you haven't bought from them before, just so you know all the rules about your lottery entry.

 

By the way, like with any order, you will get an e-mail confirmation of your lottery entry from VolksUSA. Please save this e-mail since it can come in handy later on.

 

How Do I Know if I Won with VolksUSA?

 

You will get a second e-mail later on telling you that you won. The winners are announced a few weeks after the entry period closes, usually, so please be patient. There will be a note on the lottery item's page telling you approxmiately when notices will go out.

 

People usually start talking about it on the forums when the winning emails start coming in, so you'll know about when to expect yours.

 

When you win, VolksUSA will charge your credit card within about a week of when the announcements are e-mailed. Your item then ships out a few months later without you having to do anything else, once the lottery items arrive from Japan.

 

How Do I Know if I Lost with VolksUSA?

 

No news is bad news. People who lost do not get any follow-up e-mail. Now, if there's nothing in your inbox during the notification period, it could mean you lost or it could mean VolksUSA hasn't notified you yet. The emails do not go out all at the same time.

 

There is something you can do to check, though. Remember that order confirmation email you got when you entered the lottery? Go click on the link in that email to take you to your lottery order status page. If it says Cancelled, then that is confirmation that you didn't win.

 

Anything Else I Should Know About VolksUSA?

 

VolksUSA charges in US dollars, and the exchange rate is set in advance by the Japanese Volks head office (USA has no say). Sometimes they pick a rate and leave it at that for months, regardless of what happens in the actual currency market. That means the US price could be way cheaper than Volks International, about the same as international, or way more expensive than international. We've seen all three states within the last 18 months (as of this writing). The price level of the various lotteries may affect which you choose to enter.

 

VolksUSA's stock is shipped by boat from Japan in bulk to the US store, and from there the dolls are mailed out to customers. This means that winners of the USA lottery will get their dolls in hand about three months after the end of the lottery. You'll start seeing owner pictures show up from people who got the same doll in other lotteries before that, since VolksUSA winners end up being the last to actually get the dolls in hand. This fact may or may not matter at all to you.

 

If there are any leftovers from the lottery because not enough people entered or people cancelled and lost their dolls, then the leftovers will be sold in the Tenshi no Sumika LA showroom. They will not be advertised on the VolksUSA website anywhere. But you can email them and ask if there are any extras of a particular item and they'll tell you how to order them online if so.

 

How Do I Enter the Lottery at Authorized US Dealers? (We Love Dolls)

 

In addition to VolksUSA, there are a couple independent doll shops who are officially authorized to sell Volks dolls and offer lottery services. This dealer arrangement predates the existence of VolksUSA, which opened in 2005. The two shops are Kerbey Lane Doll Shoppe and We Love Dolls. Although, now that KL has closed, we have WLD only.

 

Entering the lottery with WLD is just one step: 1. write an email to wldanswers@welovedolls.com and tell them which items you want to enter for, as well as your shipping address. No other information is needed at this time.

 

There is no pre-defined entry period; you can write to them at any time. There will not be a call for entries publicly announced anywhere, so don't wait around for that (unlike VolksUSA). There's also no such thing as "too early" to write in: you can send your email as soon as you decide you want a doll, even if US pricing hasn't been announced by VolksUSA yet. However, there IS such a thing as too late: all dealer entries must be made before the official VolksUSA entry period begins. More on why that is true is below.

 

The authorized dealers use the same US dollar pricing as VolksUSA.

 

How Do I Know if I Won with WLD?

 

You will get an e-mail confirmation telling you that you won, and asking for a 30% deposit via PayPal. You must pay the deposit right away within the given time period in order to confirm your win. The other 70% plus shipping will be due several months later when the dolls arrive from Japan.

 

The announcements usually come around the same time as VolksUSA's winning announcements.

 

How Do I Know if I Lost with WLD?

 

No news is bad news. People who lost the lottery will not receive a confirmation e-mail / payment request. There is no automated way to check status for WLD, so if you hear nothing for a long enough period of time after announcements start coming then you can assume you lost.

 

Anything Else I Should Know About US Authorized Dealers?

 

In addition to pricing, the shipment of dolls also follows VolksUSA's schedule. WLD's allocation of stock is in the same cargo container that VolksUSA's is and goes to the VolksUSA store first, who then sends it on to We Love Dolls. Your individual shipment will be sent out from WLD thereafter.

 

It is permissible to enter both the VolksUSA lottery and the WLD lottery without fear of duplicates. This is the only situation where that is true. Each store has their own pool of dolls, but they talk to each other so that you can only win in one place or the other, since combined the two pools are considered the "USA allocation". This is why WLD's entry period ends before VolksUSA's begins - so that WLD can forward their list of prospective winners to Volks for de-duping with the eventual VolksUSA winners. Now, the deduping process is manual so sometimes there's a slipup and you'll get winning confirmations from WLD and VolksUSA both - this is the one place it is permissible to cancel an order.

 

WLD is also the one situation where we do know how the lottery is processed, at least as of this writing. It is first-email first-served. Winners are selected in order, and if there are more people than allocated dolls, the non-winners automatically become alternates in the case a winner does not pay the deposit. Once all dolls have their deposits made by prospective winners, that's when WLD's lottery results are finalized.

 

If there are any leftovers from the lottery because not enough people entered or people failed to pay the remaining 70% due, then the leftovers will be sold in the WLD website. Leftovers usually will be advertised online at WLD, and you can use their online system to buy them. But you can also email them and ask about leftovers to double-check, if something you really want isn't listed.

 

One useful thing about the dealers is that they will use Priority Mail for shipment, which will save you some money. VolksUSA insists on Express Mail only as their one USPS option.

 

*

A lot of the time the VolksUSA & dealer results will come out before the International entry period is over, so for those in North America, you can usually know whether to enter or not in the International pool.

 

*

The Los Angeles Volks store does not do in-person lotteries for dolls, only for Sumika items, so the following applies to the Japanese Volks stores only.

 

------------

The USA store offers the Sumika Items in a separate event from the doll lottery, and this Sumika event will usually occur 2-3 months after the same clothes are released in Japan. Watch the website for announcements! If that delay sounds familiar, it's the same amount of time it takes those dolls to arrive by boat. Thus, while the dolls from an event are sold in advance, the clothes are only sold once VolksUSA physically has them all in hand.

 

*

There are two different kinds of clickwars, too, depending on the store you're shopping at. But don't let that throw you off since the procedures are simple. Everything you need to know is in the questions below.

 

*

The procedure for participating in a clickwar is the same as placing any order at VolksUSA. You don't need an account, you add your items to your cart, and then you check out when you're ready. A more detailed description is available above in the lottery section for VolksUSA. Just be absolutely certain to be online as soon as the sales period opens, which is usually 11am PST.

 

The important thing to know about VolksUSA is that during a clickwar it's he who pays first wins. There is a very small quantity of each outfit available (maybe 3 copies?), so it is a fierce race. Adding something to your cart is only the first hurdle, since all quantities can sell out between the time you added the item and the time you finished checkout. When you're at the very end of your order and attempt to finalize & pay, that's when the system does its final official check to see if you get to buy the items in your cart. If you can, the order will go through. If you can't, the system automatically takes the sold-out items out of your cart and gives you a new total with the items that remain. You can then try again to complete checkout with the smaller cart by clicking again, or choose to abandon the order if you don't like it.

 

 

What Can I Do to Better My Chances in the Clickwar at VolksUSA?

 

This really is a race where seconds matter and they will make the difference between success and failure. So, anything at all that gets you to that final checkout button faster will help. Be creative! Some thoughts that could be useful:

 

  1. Be sure to be on time. Have the website ready to go right at 11am PST.
  2. Be on the pages of the items you want already, scrolled all the way to the bottom where that "add to cart" button is going to show up, and using multiple tabs is OK.
  3. Use the reload all tabs feature to reduce time spent waiting for each individual cart button to show up.
  4. Buy less stuff. Fewer items to click on means a faster checkout.
  5. "Pre fill" your name and address information by going through the entire order process with a regular item, except just don't click the final checkout button. Instead, go back and remove that item from your cart. All your information except credit card will then be saved for when the clickwar happens. Less typing when it counts.
  6. Have your credit card number typed out in a text editor window so you can quickly cut and paste it into the order form when you get to it during the clickwar. Again, less typing when it counts.
  7. Write a computer program that will automatically scrape the pages for that add-to-cart button and complete the order process for you. (No, I haven't done this, but if I moved back to the US again I probably would.)

 

There are probably other ideas out there that I don't know about. Most people will be reluctant to share tips like this, since giving away techniques reduces their own chance of winning. I don't mind publicizing what I know though from when I used to live in the US, and there it is.

 

How Do I Buy Sumika Items in Person at VolksUSA?

 

If you're in the Los Angeles area, you can also go directly to the Tenshi no Sumika LA store to buy the items the same day as the clickwar is held. The in-store item pool is separate from the online item pool, so you don't need to worry about competing with online shoppers. Instead, the in-person release event is done similarly to the Japanese stores: line lottery.

 

You will arrive at VolksUSA at the designated time, draw a number from a box, and then line up in that order. People at the front of the line will be let into the store in groups of threes. Those folks can buy one copy each of anything they want, and the event continues until all customers have been served.

 

How Do I Buy Sumika Items at US Authorized Dealers?

 

We Love Dolls handles Sumika Items the same as doll lotteries, and once again follows VolksUSA's pricing and time schedule. Email them at the address specified above in post #2 with a list of the items you want. First come first confirmed. As before, the entry period won't be advertised, so you just need to get your email in prior to VolksUSA's event dates.

 

*

, but you still get your items faster than the US stores this way.

 

*

Yes they do, and you'll get one automatically with your first order. However, the card doesn't do anything. It used to allow admission to Dolls Party USA when there was such a thing, but there has not been one of those for years now. You can't use the member card to get discounts at the LA store, sadly.

 

That doesn't mean you should throw it away though. Keep it safe in a file folder somewhere just in case it ever does become useful again in the future.


SakuraSylph

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deadlegato

I've tried to find the answer to this question and can't:

 

Can you see your lottery entires after they're placed up until after the drawing, or do they vanish for awhile? I entered for Saber and I got the email confirmation, but there's no lottery entry order in my account any more. I tried searching the order entry number and got nothing as well.

 

What I've been seeing suggests I should still see the lottery entry, so I'm not sure if that's a change or if it got lost/cancelled for some reason. :/

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mitsuki

I can't remember how Volks USA does its lotteries anymore. They basically don't do them anymore though. Volks International is easy to enter. You just click on what you want to enter and submit. Then you get an order number. After the lottery, they email winners on the first day they announced they would contact them. They wait for them to pay. Unpaid DDs are offered to others with a lottery entry. During that time, the order will say "lottery." At some point, the order will say "canceled" I think. It can be weeks till that happens or it can be quick. But generally, if you don't get an email quickly, you have lost. They don't send emails to people who didn't win so it makes it hard to tell what it going on. I have also heard you should check your spam email folders too in case the email went there and you didn't notice it.

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deadlegato

I did end up winning the doll, but even after I paid, I still couldn't see her in my order history so I emailed Volks.

 

They said Volks USA closed the "auction server" when the auction was over, so it wouldn't show up in my order history. They confirmed my order was recieved at thes same time.

 

So to anyone else wondering- that's why they can't see her in their order history.

 

Now to just wonder how long it takes to ship!

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mitsuki

Congratulations on winning! Shipping seems to take forever. I heard there were strikes too which are slowing things down.

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Gunter
Does anyone know if it's possible to change the address of a paid Lottery order before it has been shipped?

 

No, once you pay that is the shipping address for good. The estimate is for that address, and so if you were to change it it'd upset it.

 

At least last time I tried this I got outright refused by Volks.

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Sariachan
Does anyone know if it's possible to change the address of a paid Lottery order before it has been shipped?

 

No, once you pay that is the shipping address for good. The estimate is for that address, and so if you were to change it it'd upset it.

 

At least last time I tried this I got outright refused by Volks.

Thank you! Hope things turned out alright for you. ; ;

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Gunter

NP! And it wasn't a big deal for me, was just trying to ease up an issue for a friend a few Dolpas ago, but thank you for your kind words! I wish you luck on your end, and GZ to your sasara~

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zandikor

This all still kinda confusing but will try to go to one of these in the future.

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migi

I have a quick question about purchasing DD's -- I've heard about Volks USA and Volks JP, but whenever I visit the USA site, every link takes me back to the same holding page... Why is this? Am I on the right USA site? I gave up trying to figure it out, so I purchased my first DD through the Japanese site in the end


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Gunter
I have a quick question about purchasing DD's -- I've heard about Volks USA and Volks JP, but whenever I visit the USA site, every link takes me back to the same holding page... Why is this? Am I on the right USA site? I gave up trying to figure it out, so I purchased my first DD through the Japanese site in the end :?

 

Well, I'm unsure what error you ran into, but honestly, you can't order from the USA site anyways if you are resident of the UK. They only ship to North America (USA, Canada and Mexico.).

 

Also USA has more inflated prices to make up for the costs of importing and the weak JPY to USD conversion, so technically you saved going via international anyways. :P

 

This is Volks USA: http://volksusastore.com/webstores/dollfie

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aquilla429

Well, I'm unsure what error you ran into, but honestly, you can't order from the USA site anyways if you are resident of the UK. They only ship to North America (USA, Canada and Mexico.).

 

Also USA has more inflated prices to make up for the costs of importing and the weak JPY to USD conversion, so technically you saved going via international anyways.

 

This is Volks USA: http://volksusastore.com/webstores/dollfie

 

The Volks USA site doesn't actually work from the UK, I have exactly the same issue, it just instantly reverts back to the home page constantly. I can only get onto the site if I go through a USA web proxy.

 

I mainly look as they sometimes have different things left over compared to Volks International and I do have friends in the USA who could order for me if need be but I do agree, it is generally easier and cheaper to order from Volks international where possible.


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migi

The Volks USA site doesn't actually work from the UK, I have exactly the same issue, it just instantly reverts back to the home page constantly. I can only get onto the site if I go through a USA web proxy.

 

I mainly look as they sometimes have different things left over compared to Volks International and I do have friends in the USA who could order for me if need be but I do agree, it is generally easier and cheaper to order from Volks international where possible.

 

Oh my god, thank you SO much for that info. I honestly though I was doing something wrong, and I couldn't find any info about it anywhere !

 

Well, I'm unsure what error you ran into, but honestly, you can't order from the USA site anyways if you are resident of the UK. They only ship to North America (USA, Canada and Mexico.).

 

Also USA has more inflated prices to make up for the costs of importing and the weak JPY to USD conversion, so technically you saved going via international anyways.

 

Seems like my problem was solved. And I'm feeling even happier I ordered through the JP site now Thank you !


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Shadowcat

Thank you so much for this thread, SakuraSylph. Being new to the hobby, this was extremely helpful. I'm going to be coming back to it again and again, I just know it. I truly appreciate all the effort you put into this.

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Monty

I can't seem to find the answer to this question unless it's burried in another thread somewhere, but I'm hoping that Kagamine Rin will be my first DD (who knows when she'll even get shown, let alone come out). I'm 95% sure that both Rin and Len will be preorder DDs, however I can't seem to find any info about that clarifies exactly how payment for preorder dolls goes.

 

I'm asking because lately I've been worried that Volks are going to expect total payment upfront, which will be impossible for me, especially if she ends up being unveiled/going up for preorder really soon. Since I'm used to ordering figures and Azone dolls I was always under the impression that you don't have to pay for preorder items until they're ready to ship. However, sometimes I see comments that imply this isn't the case with DDs (looking through the Miku thread there seemed to be someone who cancelled their order out of frustration from the long wait time, saying they wanted their money back)

 

Do you really have to pay the total cost upfront, or is it a down payment? Or do you not have to pay anything at all till the shipping date? Given how long the preorder dolls take to come out, it would be the ideal opportunity to save up the money. A down payment should be fine, but it's just not possible for me to pay the full price immediately unless Volks are so damn slow with the Kagamines that they dont go on preorder for another year.

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SakuraSylph
I can't seem to find any info about that clarifies exactly how payment for preorder dolls goes.

When you have to pay depends on where you buy. Usually what happens is this:

  • VolksUSA: Your choice of full pre-payment OR a downpayment of ~35%
  • Japanese store: Your choice of full pre-payment OR a downpayment of $50
  • Volks International: Reservation only; will be billed close to shipment time.

 

The people in the Miku thread that you were talking about had chosen the "pre-pay in full at VolksUSA" option, if I recall, and were unsatisfied at being delivered their doll in the later ship-out batches.

 

Volks can and will change that from time to time as they see fit, so please read the rules carefully when a pre-order you want comes up.


SakuraSylph

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callasdoll

I have a question. What happens if you mistakenly place multiple lottery items on two separate orders and checked out? See below on the correct way:

 

1. Place the item in the cart after you have checked its description. If you wish to entry for multiple items, repeat the same procedure to place all items in the cart before going the Checkout page (One entry per person).

 

I'm sure people have made this mistake. Can you email Volks and have them correct it?

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galatia9

callasdoll, when there was a lottery for two different Sabers at Volks USA Christmas before last, entrants were supposed to place each entry in a separate order if they wanted to try for both. I placed one order for both lottery entries by mistake. I emailed Volks USA and they cancelled that order, and I placed them separately.

 

I think emailing them is a good idea. Good luck!

 

Linda S.

galatia9


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callasdoll

^^^ Thank you! I have emailed them so hopefully I will hear back very soon! Thanks again!

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