I'm interested in how you all present your bears when you SEND them in the mail...........
I know in the US you get free 'boxes' to send but in the UK we don't, and I want to make an impression when I send a bear without costing too much.
I sell mostly on eBay and don't want to charge a fortune for postage as this puts buyers off, but would like them to receive a parcel that doesn't look like the bomb squad have had a go at it!!!
What do you do??
Wish I could, I must have England's most miserable postie, could only happen to me!!! That would sort him out!!! You know, he called one day when my mother in law was being brave and looking after my kids (no mean feat) (sp?) and he moaned at her "huh! There's always post to deliver at this house!!"
Isn't that what you are paid for?????:/
Or am I in a parallell universe???:rolleyes:
Well, in the US we can choose Priority Mail to ship, which has a very reasonable timeframe for delivery; 2-3 days, although it's not "guaranteed" and can sometimes take four.
If you use Priority Mail through the US Postal Service, you can obtain boxes entirely for free. That's a huge cost savings! Better yet, you can have them delivered right to your door by your carrier.
Are you CERTAIN the UK doesn't offer anything similar?
If not, I see nothing wrong with passing the cost of your packaging materials on to your customer. I wouldn't state it that way, though; I'd just include it in my reserve. You know; if the bear would be at a $100 reserve and the packaging cost you $5, make the reserve $105. Or the fixed price. Whatever; I'm sure you get what I mean.
This is a psychological manipulation, to be sure. But you're right; people ARE put off by paying shipping fees. I just had a lovely customer ask me to send her auction won bear to her in a flat shirt box, because it cost $5 less than the larger, roomier option. She even admitted, laughing at herself, that she realized she had just paid over $400 for a bear at auction, but was really determined not to fork over the extra $5 for the bigger box -- which she admitted was entirely silly (she's a doll!) But it illustrates perfectly, I think, the enormous reluctance buyers/collectors have to forking over additional money for shipping and handling costs, since those extra costs don't add any actual value to their acquisition.
(FYI, by the way... ultimately I felt I had to send my bear off in the larger box, for aesthetic/presentation reasons, so I ate the cost of the $5 difference and sent her a refund so we could both be happy!)
A few more ideas for cost savings...
I bought a bulk supply of tall, skinny, clear plastic bags at a local "Cash & Carry," which is kinda like a restaurant supply store. You can get enormous quantities of retail/restaurant kinds of stuff there, like gallon jars of ketchup (that's what? Like 2-3 liters?! Gee, my lack of metric knowledge is showing here.)
Anyway... the tall, skinny, clear plastic bags were relatively cheap (it was about $20 but there are THOUSANDS!; they will literally last me a lifetime.) I use them to wrap up my bears as the first layer. In those bags, in addition to the bear, I always stuff a business card (personalized on the back with a thank you note) and sometimes a little goody like a promotional magnet or mug for extra special, repeat customers (I just started doing this.)
A REALLY cheap way to package your bears is to head to your local newspaper very early in the morning. They will undoubtedly have "end rolls" left over from the morning's print run. These are ginormous rolls of newsprint, but minus the ink, that aren't quite long enough to complete a new "run" and so must be discarded. They are very long... many, many feet long, twenty or thirty or forty feet long... and quite wide (like 4 - 5 feet wide,) and are perfect for lightly crumpling and using to stabilize your bears within their boxes. Best of all, an entire end roll -- which can package ten or more bears, firmly and easily -- will cost you about... get ready for this... a dollar. Yes, just a single dollar. Sometimes 85 cents, for the smaller rolls. But you've gotta add tax, of course. ;)
They are quite large and awkward to carry; don't try this toting an infant or taking a bus. But you can, for ten bucks, bring home enough newsprint to stuff hundreds of boxes. The only question then becomes, where to store? That's a tough one; will let you know when I figure it out. For now, I have them standing on end, in a tall laundry hamper, in my entry closet. Not a perfect solution, that!
Anyway, hope some of this rambling helps!
PS Do we have to drink tea? I like tea just fine -- a nice, solid Earl Gray happens to be a particular favorite -- but this group seems more the type for the "multi-colored-umbrella-resting-against-the-salted-rim-of-the-glass" style of beverage.
Great tips Shelli... I was just going to suggest including the shipping to the total cost of the bear.. Neat thing to hit the newspaper office up for such cheap packing materials.
I was surprised to find that most printers of business cards , etc .will practically give away the " falldown " card stock from trimming cards ..they have so much of it they usually just throw it away..so why not ask for it? I have a bunch I have used for everything from garage sales to phone notes to neat hand made cards my grandkids make to bear tags...I bought 3 different pairs of craft scissors at Michael's to cut fancy edges on my tags..pretty.
I want to mention too a neat package idea I saw at a bear show. A bear maker made some custome made bear bags for her customers to take their bear home in. Her bears were the country / antique type. She bought plain brown paper bags with the handle...then she cut some shapes like bears , etc. out of a potato and used the folk type paint ( acrylic) and potatoe stamped colored bears onto the bags...she used red and blue .Then tied several strands of shreaded raffia onto the handle to make a bow along with her business card (punched hole to tie on) ... is that clever or what ? Reason I mentioned it is because your bears are an antique type....Winney
If there's going to be a partaaayyy...I'm IN!:cool::cool::cool:......but no alcoholic beverages for MOI...one sip and I'm under the table! Wine, beer, cider....dunna matter, just one sip is all it takes.:P As for Earl Grey tea Shelli, I am sipping one as we speak...ma favourite!ahhhhh;)
LET'S GET READY TO PAAAAAARRRRRRTTTTTYYYY :D:D
OK count me in girls - let me know the time and the place and i'll dig out my Jimmy Choos and Dolce & Gabbana shades!
SUE ANN A KERFUFFLE IS a 'to-do'- a 'hoo-ha' - a spot of trouble etc etc
I lurve parties and NO i won't be drinking Earl Grey
I would love to know why i would only be invited to an adult party Shelli - am i a bit too racy for the kids? But i like the sound of it being a grand party
Penny - the good time girl (apparently)
Shelli , what a great idea with the newsprint. What a resource you are!!!
I'm IN on the tea party....and I drink tea...I'm orginally British and I grew up on the stuff...I think my mom even put it in my baby bottles!:P Seriouly, I drink about 8 cups of tea a day...keeps me from nibbling and I have t watch my blood sugars if I plan on sticking around for the next 20 to 50 years! Hey, tea is anantioxidant too.;)
Yeah, Shelli, I think the bears should come too. We could all bring one bear and they can have their own tea party...ours could be just hangin' with the chicks.
One day we should really try this.
great ideas, especially for those of us new-
I wrap my littleones in papertowels, then put them in a glad ziplock and blow it up with a straw.so there is some air cushioning-I don't know how well it works but would like to....then I put them in a way too big boz with lots of padding.
My honey say it's overkill
Thank you all
Salted rim type drinks? Hmmmmm sounds refreshing.....:D
Oh me too me too!!!!! How about some Wild Berry Zinger tea? Or Constant Comment - decaf :/? Can't take the hard stuff anymore... but I do like to have fun!! Hey Sue Ann... what's this "Good Earth" tea? You said it was spicy... and have me intrigued (seriously! Not spicy like "adult party" spicy LOL!)
Oh... as for the packing the "kids" up to go home... I also like to enclose a nice thank you card. I made a simple one up in Word with a photo of one of my bears on it... and also print my name, address, website... (so I don't have to write that over and over). I hand write my note to personalize it. I get the blank notecards at Walmart or Hobby Lobby (a craft store). Maybe there's something like that "over the pond"?
Hey guess what I am doing now? I am printing my avatar, courtesy of our fabulous Shelli, onto business cards. I bought IBM Inkjet Business Cards from Office Max. They come in sheets and I can print the avatars onto these beautifully! And I am a comuter moron too! Anyway, I write the bears info in the back side and laminate it. I use a small hole punch to loop the gold elastic cord though, then hang it around my bears neck.
I have been doing these kinds of tage for a long time, but just not with Shellis wonderful avatar she made for me. They look so nice and professional. THANKS AGAIN SHELLI!!!!
Now I am thinking of airbrushing the back of one of my jean jackets with this avatar. Then I can be my own walking advertisment 'cause it has my website on it too.
I think go and have some tea...Bigelow English Breakfast Tea...in the mauve box! yum!
Hi guys. I had some nice boxes made for me to fit the bears and to keep shipping costs down. I wrap the wee ones up in pretty tissue and send a cute letter for instructions and care of each bear. Like favorite TV shows etc. I also try to include a little surprise in my package such as a wee bear blanket or baby bracelet or stuffed toy just because. I send Airmail insured but find overseas to be very expensive. By the way if there is going to be a party I will bring the wine and the chocolate. It does wonders!!!:lol::lol:
Laura, Good Earth Teas is the brand name. It's located in Santa Cruz, CA, so the West Coast people will probably know of it. We have it here in Texas, so I would guess that IL has it, too. It is YUMMY and comes with or without caffeine. It contains cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel among other stuff; the sweetness is derived from the herbs and spices. If you go looking for it, the name will be Good Earth Original. Happy hunting!!