I mentioned making eBay and Shows work together in the thread that Sandra started. But I'm not real sure HOW we can do that.
eBay isn't going anywhere and bear shows, though dying back, aren't coming to an end entirely and WILL make a comeback some day.
So, the question is.... how can we make eBay work for us to improve shows. And how can we make shows work for our eBay sales?
From Sandra's thread I said:
.... artists need to realize that by participating at shows they'll build a collector base up who will then shop eBay or their website between shows. And developing a following on ebay then notifying those collectors of the shows your doing might make some of them realize that there actually ARE teddy bear shows to go to and they'll begin looking for them.
I really like Scott's idea that he has presented to a few of the promoters to get ebay live at a bear show. There are a couple of ways it could work. For the shows that have auctions with them, they could do the charity auction live on ebay. Just set the day and time and ebay will advertise it on their site. The other way to do it would be to have each artist attending the show choose one piece that will go live. I really think he hit on something that could really be a shot in the arm for bear shows. It would take a lot of leg work and planning etc to make it work.
Is there a way perhaps to incorporate the 'internet' into teddy shows and competitions.
Earlier this year I entered a comp here in Aus that had two different sections one photograph based and one workmanship based ...if you entered the part A (workmanship ie the bear was judged in person) then you had a free entry into the photo comp which was run on the internet, you did not have to enter both sections so that is you weren't in the locale of the show/comp then you could still enter the photo part of the comp. I think this concept is a good one and perhaps it could be developed and used in some way with artists and collectors coming together and using both the internet and the actual show for sales?
Maybe show promoters could look at having a table available for international artists or artists from interstate (with a limit on the number of bears of course so people couldn't take advantage)
Maybe with the cost of tables there could be some relaxation of the 'no sharing tables' rule...again with limits and guidelines(e.g. two artists per table only). I know this could make tables more affordable for people like me and it could also help with time constraints and difficulty producing enough bears...if there was some co-operation between artists.
I'm only throwing out ideas here...some may be ok and some may be unworkable, because of my inexperience I couldn't tell you which is which..
Is there a way to run a show that could be available both on the internet and in the 'flesh'...with added incentives for people that turn up in the flesh so to speak??
There must be lots of ideas out there......
I only use Ebay as an occasional back-up when I have exhausted my other opportunities for sale. I'd hate to have to pay Ebay fees for selling at a show, on top of the show costs! I really think the two outlets work as separate entities, but can't see how they could work in conjunction with one another.
I think the Internet and shows can be made to work together very well. I think eBay and shows cannot. For one thing, if you used an eBay auction to mention that you would be selling bears at a show... it would be considered off-site sales solicitation and your listing could be removed. Bit of a problem, that!
I don't know how they work together but I plan to persue both avenues. And I think they can live in harmony. There are collectors who only buy at shows, you know. I don't think you really have to combine them or do one or the other. But we artists DO have to keep participating in shows if we want them to thrive. It is difficult to make stock for shows and still be consistant enough on ebay to have that collector following (I'm just finding this out) but I really want to make the effort because I think both are wonderful ways to reach collectors. I noticed on one bear I sold on ebay this year I had bidders from seven different countries. How could I have reached them without ebay since I've never been to a show even as far from me as California?