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Sarah's Bruins Sarah's Bruins
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Posts: 106

I recently had a lady who had bought a rabbit from me last year or so ask for 'a better price' for another of my creations, as she had five birthdays next month. As she had bought from me before I offered a fair discount, only for another email to ask if I could make it any better. Needless to say, the answer was a polite 'no'.

Does anyone else have this happen and how do you deal with it?

Hugs, Sarah x  :hug:

Dreli-Bears Dreli-Bears
Posts: 720

Some time ago I had an italian Lady, who bought some bears from me, but from the very beginning first bear, she always wanted to have a better price ...... as I'm unfortunatly somebody who cannot say no, I sometimes made a better price or left the shipping-costs for mine ........ but I've learned, and I'm sure, I will never reduce my prices anymore ......... if my work isn't worth what I want to have for it, than the collector has to find himself another object. I'm on my way learning to say NO - but it is very hard!!!!!
bear_thumb  bear_thumb  bear_thumb  bear_whistle

Sarah's Bruins Sarah's Bruins
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Posts: 106

It is hard to say no isn't it?

But our bears are that price because we feel they are worth that price and if they go much lower than that, obviously we are then selling them for less than they are worth. I offer Layway to make things more affordable too, so the collector would have had that option. But as you say Andrea, they will have to find something else!

Hugs, Sarah x  :hug:

Angela Angela's Bear Garden
St. Catharines, Ontario
Posts: 495

There have been a few customers along the way that ask for a discount...I gave occasionally in the first few years. I have learned that most of the time you need to say no. I work hard making a great product for a fair price, would they work for discount rates at their job??? I think not!!! bear_rolleyes Sometimes I offer a good customer a small discount if they buy more than 1 piece at a time, but It's my choice. If they can't afford to pay, why are they buying so many? I work in an upscale flower shop, and some customers ask for discounts there too! We are not a flea market or garage sale :crackup: There will always be some people that will try to talk you down in price, just smile and tell them no!

Natascha LeftyBears by Natascha Sabo
Posts: 314

Sometimes I offer small discounts, for example if someone buys more than one piece or, if at a show, someone simply doesn't have enough money, but never more than 10% off the real price.
If people still keep asking for bigger discounts, I simply explain, how long it took me to make the bear. Then, ususally, they understand that I can't give them the discount they want. Some buy for the regular price, others don't buy, because they are not willing or not able to pay that price, but they understand.

Jaina Emo Bears
Dudley, West Mids
Posts: 862

I think it's sad that people would ask that of an artist. it almost devalues all the time you put into it  bear_ermm  If I cannot afford to buy a bear, I don't buy it! Simple as. I would never ask for discount.

I work in a Jeweller's and people are always trying to haggle. Our policy is we don't. Sometimes we may make an exception if they are spending more than they wanted too, or I like them bear_innocent  But basically, the price on it is for a reason. You normally find it's the people who are spending tiny amounts of money that want discount  bear_rolleyes

Melbear Melbear's Quality Collectibles
Spruce Grove, Alberta
Posts: 527

I've had it happen too.. Usually I don't give anything off. If it's a good customer I will sometimes pay the postage or ship it a faster way and pay the difference. I've had people at shows do the same.. but I guess if they don't ask they won't get it... heehee.

eteddys eTeddys
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 880

I do something that allows collectors on my mailing list to have one 10% discount per year.  I enclose a 10% of coupon in with my holiday cards.  The coupons expires in December of the following year and they can use is on any website or eBay purchase.  Collectors really enjoy this and many will save the coupon for one of my more expensive creations.  You could collect birthday information when collectors sign up for your mailing list and send a  coupon as a birthday gift.  There are many ways in which to treat your best customers to a discount to show that you appreciate their business. 



Linda Benson Bears
Posts: 562

If I'm asked to give a discount, it usually gets my back up and I won't give it, however, if I'm paid in cash at a show, I will give discounts to people who don't ask, especially if they are good collectors of mine! If someone asks, I then ask them what their hourly rate is at work, then tell them what mine is for the work I do......THAT shuts 'em up!

Mikki Mikki, Cripple Creek Creative
Bethel, Ohio
Posts: 1,051

Because of the rough economy ,offer my regular customers a 10% discount and  in individual instances.I'm flexible on price... it gives a feltie a good home and makes someone happy.

Natascha LeftyBears by Natascha Sabo
Posts: 314

@ Linda
:clap:  :clap:  :clap:
I do the same and it really works!

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
Posts: 5,551

The lady has a cheek!!! but then of course if you don't ask you don't get.
For me to discount you have to have bought more than one.
I had one collector buy 4 so I gave her one free. I posted it off as a surprise.  bear_grin the funny thing......never heard from her again.  bear_whistle

Linda Benson Bears
Posts: 562

Wendy. did you tell her there was a discount, she might be thinking you made a boo boo and hasn't got back to you in case she you want it  :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
Posts: 5,551

she might be thinking you made a boo boo

bear_grin  bear_grin  No, there was no mixup. I included a letter thanking her for her support forth.... bear_grin

Us Bears Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,479

Two things:

1)  There's no harm in a buyer asking for a discount.  The seller doesn't have to give discounts if she doesn't want to.
2)  Don't forget that people from other countries often bargain by nature.  It's part of their culture.

Dreli-Bears' story of the woman from Italy reminds me of the summer I spent in Tuscany.  You just don't go to the market and expect NOT to bargain.  It's the way they do business.
I don't think the woman was trying to cheat you or put you down.  It's just her "way."

If you have a customer who has bought a lot of Bears or who is about to buy several, there is no harm in letting them bargain a little.
Certainly DO NOT sell at a loss!  You absolutely deserve to get a fair price.  But there's no harm in "wheeling and dealing" a little bit, either.

I like Allison's idea of issuing percent-off coupons to special customers.   bear_cool

Nobody says you should give discounts if you don't want to but, like I said, there's no harm in asking.  bear_original

bearhug07 Strange Bears
Posts: 444

Us Bears is correct tha some people do have a culture of bargaining......many years ago I worked in a jewelers and a man of middle eastern apperance came in and bargained for a clock. His questions started "Hw much for one" How much for 2....and so om unitl he reached 10. When my boss then said a price he wanted the one clock for the price of ten and so they kept bargaining........I remember being totally horrified and thought the man was horrible.

However having travelled through Europe etc I saw bargaining done as an artform in some areas and now accept that some see it as a way of life. However I do feel slightly insulted at the way some people ask for a discount and as a rule point out the hours and cost of materials. If they can't afford the bear ....well.....sorry.

I also had a charity person that I said no to a donation of a bear to get quite stroppy with me......I suggested that when she donated a weeks wages I would donate a bear....that stunned her!!

kezjoy KezjoyKritterz
Gippsland Victoria
Posts: 185

I was always taught to ask for a discount for cash since i was very young..I recall years ago i went to the Sydney bear show and asked a maker if there was a discount for cash ( this would have been the second bear I bought from her)..i can accept a no..but this lady almost went beserk..she really made me feel so small and rude for even thinking of asking..I did buy the bear as i loved it..and i still love him, but he is a tainted bear..its been over 10 years and i still recall how bad she made me feel..she could have been nice and just said no sorry, but i got ranted and lectured to..sadly i never bought another one of her bears even though i love them...I believe people have a right to ask..and a right to be declined in a civil manner. I know of people who will add $5 to $10 to the price they want so they can then discount happily...maybe thats the way to go! (and wasn't Linda..though i did see some of her wonderful bears at that show!!)

FrizzyBear New York
Posts: 198

Very interesting thread.  I wouldn't have thought about it being a cultural custom to dicker on the price of something.  You can see how untraveled I am.  bear_grin   I was going to suggest a non-refundable layaway.  Many times I also include a prop or a costume piece as an extra.  But of course, I'm talking about internet sales not face to face shows, etc.

I actually had a very good customer one time and as a gift with the last purchase I included a lovely doll's china tea set and a note telling her how much I appreciate her.  I never heard from her again.   bear_wacko

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

I gave a lady a discount when she asked the other week. If you don't ask and all that. I was happy with the price, nice lady actually. I think it all depends, no hard and fast rules. I'm quite loathe to ask to be honest but hubby was brought up to barter. His dad worked in the scrap metal trade, very much a bartering business. Hubs always has the gift of the gab and gets discounts, but never takes or makes offence if declined.

danceswithteddybears Dances With Teddy Bears
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 697

Discounting  depends on so many variables, it's impossible to have a definitive answer.
Here in the US, especially right now, everyone is looking for a discount and/or a bargain.  And everywhere, from antique stores to Sears!  Yep, people are negotiating better prices, even at chain stores.  And getting them!
We live in a changing world.

Bubble-Up Bears Bubble Up Bears!
Murrieta, California
Posts: 1,804

As a collector I am embarrassed! :redface:
Other cultures aside I would never ask for a discount on a one of a kind artist bear!! This isn't a garage sale for goodness sake! Respectfully!! bear_original  I have even felt bad at the winning price of an eBay bear and have offered to pay the shipping myself as I knew the price was way too low! I'm no saint  bear_innocent  but I could not live with myself asking for less especially since we as collectors were paying hundreds if not thousands for bears just a couple of years ago. Artist friends such as Cathy Forcino all to often offer me free shipping, discounts, take a hundred off, make payments when you can and so on. Because they are good people and a friend and want to help me out in these times of troubles. I never ask. You say what can it hurt to ask? My face turns red with embarrsment !  :redface: Knowing what they put into their creations I can't ask. I'll save the "asking for a discount" for the garage sales and lately even then I'm having trouble. I have 2 friends that are having garage sales every weekend selling off their most priced possessions, daily necessities to make the mortgage. Because of this when I hit the garage sales on the weekend I look into the owners face and all too often see despair.  bear_sad  I won't ask.

Gemma82 Wakefield
Posts: 177

As a collector I also wouldn't ask for a discount, I use layaway if there is one available but if I can't afford it then I can't afford it!

Sarah's Bruins Sarah's Bruins
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Posts: 106

Oh my goodness this has fuelled some thought!

Cyndee - I'm rather like you and wouldn't dare ask!  :redface:

I think it was because the collector had previously bought a rabbit from me and had had a discount then, although it was her first purchase from me. But then to ask for a discount on another, then ask could I lower it any further when my offer wasn't low enough for her, I thought was a bit cheeky! She also made the point that she'd seen him on my site 'for a while'!

I've noticed that some people haven't heard from collectors again, after they've bought a few bears. I must admit this makes me a bit neurotic! I also had a lovely collector from France, who was buying everything that I made. She then started sending me gifts of artist bears from her collection! I have a feeling that there might be a teddy bear artist out there who may now have a few gifts of my bears! At least if this is the case they will have gone to beary people!

Hugs, Sarah x  :hug:

Bubble-Up Bears Bubble Up Bears!
Murrieta, California
Posts: 1,804

Oh Sarah I could never do that. I in no way am trying to put anyone down. Different strokes for different folks but to point out that it's been up for awhile is just sad. Everyone knows the hard times we all have fallen on and I can name at least 7 bear artist who's sole income are their bears. When times were good and they were making lots of money and I would purchase they would out of the goodness of their heart give me a discount or free shipping. Lets face it a bear is not a necessity so if I can afford to buy one why try to take advantage.
I won't harp on it and I'm certainly not trying to be the righteous one here but bear ladies are some of the nicest people you would want to meet. Lets be nice and not point out that a bear or rabbit hasn't sold. bear_sad

Kristina Kristina Bears
Posts: 110

I had someone flat out ask me to give them a bear!!! I was so shocked,I wasn't sure how to handle the situation.
It was very weird and I felt very uncomfortable. I'm sure they didn't mean it that way(or maybe they did..heehee) Well I let it slide but I think they understood and unfortunately haven't spoke since. bear_rolleyes


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