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Jodi Falk Bears by Jodi
Gahanna , Ohio USA
Posts: 3,463


UMMMMMMMMM I don't really like the $ 10.00 an inch pricing. That would make one of mine $30.00 To $50.00 . And if you pay for advertising and travel you can't re coop those expenses. E Bay also has fees and Paypal. It is a hard one. And then shipping expenses.Some artists eat that also. You have to make a profit or you won't stay in business. You should be at least able to bouble what you have into it. Add work time . Then allow the buyer to pay shipping. It takes 6 to 8 hours to do one of my smaller ones, depending to what all I do with it, so that time is worth something . But I struggle with pricing also. But I think I have it nailed down now. We will see bear_grin You need to study what other items sell for. And like I said before there are those chosen few that make tons of money and sell every thing they make, and good for them but until someone is at that level we need to be more realistic about our prices.What would we pay for it ? Thats a good rule of thumb.And we have to remember, people today in this economy don't have allot of extra money to spend so that has slowed sales down also. Just do it because you love it and it will have its own rewards bear_grin

Jodi Falk Bears by Jodi
Gahanna , Ohio USA
Posts: 3,463

Toby... not every one at a bear show is well known . I would say maybe 1/3 or less. So don't be afraid of that. Your bear looks very nice. Start sending pictures into the magazines and think about a show. They are great fun. I always liked seeing things better than mine because that meant I had something exciting to buy bear_grin For my self ! E Bay is frustrating I will agree. I am on Bear Pile  and I have my own sight now , just bran new, so I am waiting bear_grin  BRING IT ON !!! bear_grin

bearlysane Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,188
Toby wrote:

BUT then I start looking at bears at the show .. then came home and looked at those made by Kelly Dean and others, some mentioned on this thread and I suddenly felt that my bear really wasn't that great after all .... why had he suddenly gone from being wonderful to being mediocre? Because it didn't look like Kelly Dean's bears? Because I didn't have seven bears in a vignette in vintage clothing? I had to come to grips with the fact that I was not Kelly Dean .. my bears were not going to LOOK like Kelly Dean's or any other Kelly Deans and I was probably not going to do a seven bear vignette anytime soon  ... we are all individuals with our own talents and our own method of designing and little things that make the bear "ours" .... people recognize a particular designer's work and some people like a certain look of bear and will pay for that ... I adore Melissa Zemeski's faces, I love Shelli's eye designs .... there are several types of bears I don't care for and just would not add to my collection, no matter what they cost ....

We need to stop comparing our work with other bears/gollies/dolls whatever artists  .... get ideas from other artists, learn whatever we can to improve our techniques, ask questions .. if we don't like the look of our bear's noses, ask someone whose noses you admire, how they do it ... try something different if what you are doing isn't working and/or selling  .... it's true, if we don't value our work then how can we expect other people to? People who love your bears will love them and they will pay what you ask, even if they have to put them on layaway but if someone goes for years without selling, it's time to try something else .... sometimes it's hard to know WHAT to price your bears at but there is a rule of thumb that was posted on another forum I saw that gave a very good guideline ...

Hugs from The Bearmaking P.I.,

Quote from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter:
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.


I have often looked at, and on occasion purchased, a well known artists bear only to notice on a closer look at the way it's been made, that it's not as well made as my own.

I have wondered how some people do so well with poorly made bears... and I have come to this conclusion...they have great marketing skills!

I consider myself an artist, so I don't price my bears by what the market thinks they're worth, I price them according to what I know they're worth (materials, time and a profit margin). I don't consider myself a great business woman, as I would much rather keep them myself, than let them go to someone that doesn't appreciate them. I just make bears to please myself, if they sell it's a bonus, if they don't I'm not disappointed, because I love what I'm doing and I take pride in doing it well. So, one could say my marketing skills are zero!!! bear_grin

I have long given up on ever attaining fame and fortune in my lifetime, but I do know my bears will be around long after I've gone to my maker!


Koala Adorable Bears
Posts: 149

I Have been designing and making bears for about 12 years now and the hardest part is pricing them. I think that most Artists, including myself, ask far  too little for their work. If they don't value it why should anyone else.
Before I discovered bears i made evening wear, some of which I sold through an exclusive boutique. At sale time the owner would look at a garment which, having been reduced, didn't sell. They would then increase the price and in almost every case the dress sold.   If something is too cheap people ask why...what is the matter with it is it very old stock and why didn't anyone buy it immediately.
I was also give some very good advise by a bear shop owner, when I first started. It was don't do consignment...if they are not prepared to purchase your bear, when they happily pay for other bears and stock...They are using you ! He also said when they are trying to make a sale they will push to sell a bear that they have to pay for ....why not ,yours is there for free , when  and if it sells it is a bonus. In the meantime you are giving their shop a fresh influx of stock for no cost.
I have one shop I supply when i have a few extra bears to move. She marks them up 120%. It doesn't worry me. It is by then her stock to do as she likes and if she can make money out of them then she is , and does , come back for more. I might add I don't inundate her with stock...and yes i am fortunate to sell from my website.
I don't know that this will help anyone but it is just my thoughts...and yet I still sometimes struggle with pricing.
I haven't placed a bear on ebay for about 2 years. I stopped when there was a problem with images being taken and sold by persons not associated with the artist. I'm not sure if their credability has improved or not.

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Posts: 5,162

I was also give some very good advise by a bear shop owner, when I first started. It was don't do consignment...if they are not prepared to purchase your bear, when they happily pay for other bears and stock...They are using you ! He also said when they are trying to make a sale they will push to sell a bear that they have to pay for ....why not ,yours is there for free , when  and if it sells it is a bonus. In the meantime you are giving their shop a fresh influx of stock for no cost.

Amen to that Susan.  I couldn't agree more.  I've never agreed to sale or return and never will.  What is the point?  You are better off trying to sell the work direct yourself at full retail!  bear_thumb

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Hello Teddy Bear Friends: I don't sell my bears so I can't speak to all the rich dialog about that. But I do buy artist bears as a buyer, I can tell you what I look for when I buy a bear...this is pretty simple, I look for a bear that touches my heart. If I keep going back to look at it, I know it should be mine... It is not about a picticular artist though I admire many artist here on TT. It is more about the bear and sometimes it is made by an unknown....In Clarion June 2005, I bought three bears from artists I have never heard of before. I just loved what I saw and bought them. So for those that are just beginning, I think people will buy your critters if they have that look that reaches the buyer's heart...Just my two cents...


millie PottersHouse Bears
Posts: 2,173

Well, I am going to jump in here now.  I know that I am one who has sold my bears way too cheap on ebay.  If I may just offer a bit of an explanation.

I don't necessarily like selling so cheap, but I have had circumstances in the past year that have forced me to sell and get what I can.  Fortunately, when I have sold an 8" bear for $30.00 I have not really been losing money on materials.  I was at a show almost 2 years ago (Doll and Bear show) and I bought a huge tub of mohair, some of it was full yards that had never been touched.  I only paid $40.00 for all of it and I have been making bears from it and still have some left.  I realize that I have not lost on materials, but I have done nothing else but clear even.  Things are now looking up around here, and I am hoping I can begin to do more in the way of ads etc. and begin to get a better price for my work.  I have had some special orders in the past 2 months, and my website is back up.  I hope this may shed a bit of light on the other side.

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

I am the same Milie...I am just starting out on ebay and am finding that the only way to build up some collectors is to sell cheap at first then hopefully start to get better prices...earlier in the year I had a try and priced my bears too high (no one knew me) and couldn't get any interest (do this a few times and it's quite soul destroying)....this time I've gone back and I'm trying to sell for enough to cover my costs and hopefully build up some interest.

People buying on ebay only have a photo to go by, so I'm hoping once I've sold a few that they'll know the quality is there and come back for more. (that's my theory anyway!!!  bear_grin ) Now lets see if it works. bear_ermm

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