Reborns are a form of 3D art created to look like a baby. They are not toy dolls, and therefore can not be find in toy stores, or places like Amazon, AliExpress, etc. Ashton Drake and Paradise Galleries are the only two exceptions where you can get realistic looking dolls from a "store."
The "reborn dolls" you see for sale on Amazon, Walmart, AliExpress, Alibaba, or Wish, for example, are simply dolls: not reborn art dolls. They are factory produced and rooted (even when they say hand-rooted) using counterfeit sculpts that reborn sculptors have created, and they are often made using vinyl that contains phthalates or PVCs, which are toxic to us and banned in most countries, including Canada and the United States. That's why they are cheaper than other reborns for sale.
The photos below are from a REAL customer, who thought she was purchasing the reborn on the left, but received this counterfeit version of Levi by Bonnie Brown on the right. The baby came wearing a wig, with factory painted orange colored lips, shiny skin, not realistically weighted, and smelling very unpleasant. It was estimated to cost more to ship the reborn back for a return than what she paid for the reborn itself. I won't name the website where she got it from to prevent being sued...but it starts with an A, and is very popular and well known.
Reborn dolls are not cheap either. If you are being sold or offered a reborn doll for less than $300USD, ask why the price is so low. It could be that the reborn is pre-loved, or the artist is new, etc.
Posting that you are looking for a cheap reborn doll, or commenting on a post for a cheap reborn doll makes you vulnerable to scammers messaging you on Facebook. So do not do this! Ask the artist for the price directly, and avoid groups and posts of cheap reborns for sale.
If purchasing on Facebook, ask the seller for a safety photo, and an item of your choice. A safety photo is a written piece of paper that lists the seller's name, the reborn doll's sculpt name and artist, the reborn doll artists' name, and a recent date. So ask the artist for this, with ALL of that information, and give them an item to put in the photo to prove that they are in possession of the reborn and they are who they say they are. For example, you can ask them to take a photo of the reborn, with the safety photo and a spoon, or a pencil or a sock, to give you an idea.
Know the difference between silicone and vinyl. Silicone is sticky to the touch, made of soft material, and flexible like a marshmallow. Vinyl is soft to the touch and not sticky, has some flexibility but is mostly hard. There is no such thing as silicone-vinyl - they are two different materials. Having said that, silicone is significantly more expensive than vinyl, so be weary of cheap silicone dolls for sale as they could also be a scam.
Never pay with PayPal friends and family. If you do this, there is no way to get your money back in the event that you are not sent anything at all, or, are sent something completely different than what you thought you were purchasing. Pay with PayPal Goods and Services, which protects both you and the seller. If you're shopping on an artist's website, that is a safe place to pay with other payment methods, just look for the "lock" icon at the top of the page next to the website's URL address, which indicates that it is a safe website.
So, how do you find a reborn doll artist near you, and purchase a legitimate reborn art doll? Let me help you with that!
Obviously, I would be tickled pink if you would adopt a reborn from me, however; here are some other options for you to explore!
1. www.reborns.com - this website is a professional and legitimate website where you can purchase from reborn doll artists and you can also find previously loved (aka second hand) reborns for cheaper than buying new! New artists will also sell their reborn dolls for cheaper than artists with more experience or realism.
2. Ashton Drake (on the Bradford Exchange website) - Ashton Drake has affordable and realistic reborn dolls for sale! Some are even hand-rooted! They have both vinyl and silicone reborns, as well as breathing babies, touch activated babies, rooted babies, and babies with heartbeats. Better yet, some of the popular reborn sculptors also work with Ashton Drake! Artists like Linda Murray, Ping Lau, and Marita Winters, to name a few.
3. Paradise Galleries - Similar to Ashton Drake, Paradise Galleries offers original, affordable, realistic reborn dolls for sale as well.
4. Etsy / eBay / Facebook / Instagram / Kijiji etc. - if you are an experienced collector, and you know what questions to ask, what to look for, how not to get scammed, and who your artist is, you can purchase from an artist on Etsy, eBay, or from social media sites, but be careful!
There are a lot of scammers out there who pretend to sell a doll they have in their possession, that they never had in their possession at all. Or they will make a doll and sell the same doll to ten people.
Some sellers are selling reborns that were made from counterfeit reborn doll kits purchased from AliExpress, or were painted with regular acrylic paints, not professionally. Some people use photoshop or filters to make their babies appear more lifelike or pretty than they really are.
Facebook has a lot of awesome scam prevention groups you can join. Once you're approved in the group, you can search for the "artist" within the group to see if anyone else has outed them as a known scammer. I recommend these three groups: