I'm curious to know how other bear makers package their bears to send on their way to new owners.
I'm terribly funtional ... strong cardboard box, bear goes into a nice clean polythene bag, gets put into the box with a compliment slip and ... well that's about it! Sometimes, I'll add a bit of bubble wrap if he's a little small for the box, so that he doesn't get bumped too much.
My bear has his sewn in satin label just above his bottom (tush!) and a stitched on laminated hangtag. No adoption certificates, no frills!
Practical, that's me. Probably not too exciting eh?
Does anyone add any nice little touches they would care to share? I'd love to know!
I go the practical route as well. The bear gets placed in a paper bag and then the paper bag goes into a plastic bag. My bears are typically real fur, so I don't want the fur coming in contact with the paper bag.
Along with this, I send along a little card announcing "I'm home!" Introduces the bear, date of birth and basically how to take care of a real fur bear. I also add my email address if the purchaser needs to contact me in regards to a question.
However, when Tammy's bear arrived from Canada, she had all sorts of neat things to go with her bear. I'll let her tell you about it, but it did make me rethink some of my packaging. It was every bit as practical, but much prettier
o.k I'm a bit frilly I guess.
I wrapped mine like a a gift that probably takes forever to open. I wrap the bear in white tissue, then a cellophane bag, then colored tissue ( pink for girl/blue for boy), an organza bag with raffia or ribbon bow and thank you tag. Then bubble wrap. Then the whole thing is wrapped in tissue with teddy bears sealed with a bear sticker. I put it in a fancy , sturdy gift box that I get at the dollar store. All this is wrapped in brown paper for mailing. . My bears are only small so It doesn't cost too much to do it this way.
Seems kind of silly now that I type it all out !!
Oh yah, I also include a laminated hang tag, and birth certificate with teddy bear shaped confetti in the envelope. Sometimes postcards or other fun things like chocolate etc.
Voila, a bomb proof package that my collectors seem to enjoy opening
Some time ago I made the leap to purchase new white cardboard boxes. It really is nice to get a parcel - especially one as expensive as a bear - in a new box that doesn't have writing all over it advertising someone's "biscuits/cookies" or " tinned peaches" etc. It isn't too expensive when you consider the price of most of the bears. I then wrap the bear in tissue and surround the bear with more tissue to fill the box. The bear has her/his laminated hang tag and her sewn in tag. I enclose a card with the "paperwork" and greeting. The last few bears I have been adding a little lavender type sachet. I purchased some fabric things on ebay and they came with this lovely little scrap cloth sachet, and so I have adapted the idea and include something similar with my bears. It is nice to open a parcel to a lovely lavender scent. Sometimes instead of a sachet I will, if my printer is behaving itself, enclose a set of 4 note cards and envelopes with pictures of my bears on the front.
The parcel is then closed with clear packing tape sealing all the corners and edges - I sometimes think my customers must curse me trying to get into the parcels!
I have purchased a number of things on ebay, and the packaging ranges from beautifully wrapped in acid free tissue tied with ribbon and sachets enclosed to all jumbled up and thrown in a paper bag and sealed with tape. Guess which seller I go back to time and again? I truly believe that packaging is a very important part of the whole selling process.
Hope everyone has a good week. My husband and I are on holidays for two weeks - not going anywhere as it is hard with three dogs and a horse, but will probably take a few day trips here and there. Eat a lot of ice cream cones and gain a few pounds - ha ha!!
I think that this is a really interesting topic Paula. I can give an opinion as a collector, not a seller, as I have never tried to sell a bear. I have purchased many bears from overseas, and it is a little nervewracking, as I realise that they have so far to come to their new home here in Australia.
Many artists (like you Paula, as I have one of your babies), take great care in preparing their bear for travel. I consider artist bears "works of art" and I believe that they should be treated as such. I love it when a bear arrives, at least wrapped in tissue paper first, and then a plastic cover, and then in a good, sturdy, well sealed, well addressed box. I then know my new bear has travelled well, and whatever each countries postal service has decided to do to him, he has come through unscathed.
I have purchased some very expensive bears from overseas and have been very disappointed in how they have arrived. In an old box (I'm not against recycling, I just want a strong box), and the bear has just been put in, no protection or covering whatsoever. The box has then not been very well sealed, and at times I have wondered how they haven't sprung open in their very long trips.
My reason for pointing this out is that I am quite nervous from ordering from these particular artists again, as I think I was quite lucky for the bear to arrive as undamaged as they did, and I might not be so lucky next time. If I know that an artist takes care in packaging their bear for a long trip, I have every confidence in ordering again. If artists decide to add a few personalised ideas in packaging, then that is a bonus for the collector. Another good idea for artists sending bears, especially to Australia, is to put a list of stuffings used inside the bear, e.g. glass pellets, steel shot, polyfill. I have had some very uncomfortable moments with Customs officers wanting to inspect the innards of my newly arrived bear. Before they would release my bear I had to get a declaration from the artist of what she used for his filling. Customs Officers have no appreciation of artists bears!!! But they need to learn, never stand between a collector and her new bear!!!!
I've only ever sold mini's so I've been more frilly with my packaging as well. I get all my tissue papers at dollar stores, so nothing's too costly really.
I start with white tissue around the bear. Then I take 2 colors of tissue, place the bear in the center, and then gather the tissue up and synch at the top. I use green party ribbon at the synched area and make those curly things. I do all this hoping it looks somewhat like a flower bouquet. I have a handmade hang tag that I tie to the ribbon and that parts done. That all goes in a recycled plastic shopping bag, just in case of rain or something wet hitting the box and then it all goes into a box that's been lined with either bubble wrap or unused "newspaper" depending on what I have on hand. (my dad gets me the "newspaper" paper prior to it being printed on..theres no ink, it's blank). I use fresh new boxes most times. If I can recycle a strong nice one I will. So, that's it.
PS...Christine: that's a good point about including the list of materials used. I just did a commissioned bear and knew the bear would be traveling quite a bit, so I made it the buyers choice to use the shot as weighting material. I didn't want her getting surprised or stuck at the airport with a bear belly full of shot each time she traveled!!
I personalize the box with a photo of the critter with their name in fancy graphic work. I choose plain coloured box's. I wish to find a certain colour I'm happy with and use only that. But at the moment I still have little things to iron out. I have a laminated contents card which sits in the box under the critter. The box is lined with tissue paper. More tissue is added if the box is too big. I sketch the critter and incorporate that in the hangtag which is laminated and attached to the danglies I add to my critters. I have since come up with a different idea for my Roos. I place folded tissue over the top, place my business card on that and then the lid goes on. I use wrapping paper outside- in to wrap the parcel. I just like the way when the box is unwrapped you get the splash of colour from the paper.
I'm now experimenting with tushtags. I want it to be just an emblem. Something that will become recognisable as
being 'Matilda Huggington-beare' whithout the mouth full.
My bears are small so they are easy to package and I have lots of fun looking for pretty boxes. I use white and colorful tissue papers to careful wrap my bear before putting him in his pretty gift box (with his hang-tag). On top of the gift box I paste on a label that I designed with a hand-drawn teddy and a thank you note, I also fill in the name of the bear and hand-sign the label. I also include a small gift bag that holds the packing slip, my business card, the bear's certificate, and another thank you note with a one-of-a- kind hand-made polymer clay heart pendant that I make as a special gift. If my bear includes special props then I will gift bag or box those also. All of those then go into a Hawaiian print tote bag (I happened to find these at a great price so I bought a few). Finally, I carefully secure the tote bag in a new shipping box. I always ship Priority or Express with tracking and insurance.
The way I look at it, I need to show respect and love for my little bear ... if I don't then why should my collector.
I was delighted when one of my collectors wrote to thank me for my packageing...she said that she had so much fun opening my package that it felt like Christmas! ...and she let me know that she was looking forward to adopting more. I think that makes the extra effort worthwhile.
I love Jane's idea of adding note cards...nice gift. But I need to add that some collector's may not appreciate having an extra scent in the box. I recently had a discussion with a collector who had a problem because a bear that she bought came with an odor that she had a problem with but she did not want to complain to the artist. So you may want to check with your collector before adding an extra scent in the box.
I don't always remember to list the stuffing contents but that's a good idea.
What great packaging ideas! Thank you all for the feedback. Packaging big bears doesn't usually leave much room in the box, so practicality is the order of the day ... keeping him dry in a crisis, making sure his box is sturdy and clearly marked ... that kind of thing.
I've never included things like adoption certificates, mainly because I'm always rushing around and it's just another thing for me to probably forget to add to the box! (For example, I am ashamed to tell you that my most recent 'Little Herb Pot' bear 'Rosemary', went whizzing off to the States minus her pot and seeds. Fortunately for me, her new owner is a very kind hearted lady and when I told her, immediately purchased another bear to join 'Rosemary' a week later and carry with him the pot and seeds! )
Christine, thanks for sharing some collector input ... that's really helpful! I just saw a post from you on another thread and your name rang a bell with a me and I thought, "I wonder if that is the same Christine?" And now I know it is! How lovely to hear from you again!
I've heard from other Aussie customers that the customs officers over there can be pretty tough. For this reason (not just Oz, but everywhere) and also because here in the UK we are legally obliged to list the materials in 'collectors' items', my hangtags itemise all the relevant details and are stitched onto the bear's chest or back.
Even my hangtags are pretty functional, rather than fancy! They are simply made from a sheet printed out of a Word document which is then laminated. However! I have been in discussion with my younger sister and she is currently producing some more professional looking ones for me, so I'm looking forward to using those at my next show in September!
Jane, I agree with you, packaging really makes a difference - I love to receive thoughtfully packaged goods!
Tammy, sounds like getting a bear from you is a real treat!!!! :dance:
For mine, depends on the bear size... for a bigger bear, I wrap it like a package with tissue paper and tie with curling ribbon and stick a business card and the information tag (with pic on the front) just under the ribbon of the package. I will use bubble wrap or air cushions if there is room in the box. For smaller ones, I put them in these cool plastic chinese takeout boxes and wrap the bear before I put them in there.. around their necks, I put the shrinky dink tags and a heart charm
Great point on customs Christine. I include a signed , laminated contents card with my critters. I try to make everything openly availabe to the customs officer. Parcels leaving aust have to be signed for by the person posting the package. Also drivers licence number is taken. I always hope that will keep my wee darlings safe during their travels.
I suffer such anxiety when packaging them, that I need a ritual in the packaging process. Plus I want it to be a treat to the new owner. I consider it a mark of respect when the bear is packaged with care.
when i have sent out my bears, i usually get one of those photo boxes from micheals, (they are usually archival) and fill with tissue and then put the bear in a clear plastic bag along with a card that states the bear's name, where it was born, and when. then i close the box, and tie with a pretty ribbon. then i pack it up in another regular cardboard box. it seems pretty fancy i guess...
Great idea ladies.
I've never sent a bear out, untill just the other week. I sent one to Wendy.
Now I wished I had packaged it better. I'm just not the pretty frilly type, and have a hard timet thinking that way.
But I'm scared, I DIDN'T list the stuffing contents and there is lots of steel shot. I hope it isn't a year before she gets her bear. OH MY!!
And then I get Wendy's box. She does the most amazing job about packaging. Even having a picture of the critter on the outside of the box. And it is nice to unwrap the paper and see all that color. It was like the best birthday gift ever and it wasn't even my bday.
Oh Wendy, I'm sorry. I hope he makes it there soon...