Skip to main content

Banner Sponsors

Shelli Makes - Teddy bears & other cheerful things by Shelli Quinn
No Monkey Biz - Domain name registration, hosting

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I was distressed to come back to TT today after the long holiday weekend and read about the collapse of the current bear swap, because I know a lot of people were excited about it.  Gina, I don't blame you one bit for wanting to avoid the disaster that appeared to be looming very close on the horizon; there's clearly something simmering within the swap concept somewhere that needs either to be addressed directly, or ruled out for future swaps, and you're wise not to want to get personally entangled in it.  I'm not privy to any of the details here; I can just see, even from a distance, that a better understanding of swaps is needed if they are going to be a viable option going forward.

There are obviously a lot of complexities to organizing and monitoring a swap and it's impossible (and unfair!) for any one person to police everyone involved; frankly, that's why the Advisors and Teddy Talk don't get involved in swaps in any official capacity.  Too much potential for calamity of one sort or another.

So... consider this a post by Shelli the person (not the Advisor), a bearmaker who doesn't even participate in swaps, but who thinks that collectively, we might be able to generate some ground rules that independent, individual bearmakers who wish to coordinate swaps in the future, can use.

Honesty is always appreciated here at TT, but honesty can be fully truthful without being "brutal."  And I'm not just speaking in reference to this particular subject, but rather, about forum content in general.  There's no need to sugar coat truths with drippy saccharine sweetness and gloopy sensitivity (ewww), but it IS prudent and self-protective, I think, to avoid outright accusation (especially if based on hearsay) and potentially libelous comments about others who are singled out and named.  Remember... other artists, suppliers, retailers, and your collectors, read this forum, even if you don't see them doing so.  Do protect yourself from liability, and from being labelled as judgemental, negative, and sniping, by the very people you most want to impress!  Because that can and does happen, and you'd be surprised how lasting a bad taste in the mouth can be.  Your words and mine, as typed here, are available for view internationally.

Here's how I'd like to proceed, for those willing to share their input.  Please answer the following questions, and then after a period of time that seems reasonable (to be determined, based on number and quality of responses), we (me, someone, anyone who wants to!) can summarize and writeup some guidelines for future swaps, based on our results. 

Thanks in advance for helping formulate swap guidelines that will make swaps more enjoyable, and SAFER, for all involved.  My wish is that we can get past whatever is blocking progress on this issue so that those of you who so enjoy the swaps sponsored by members here can get back to trading bears!

If anyone has additional questions you think would be useful in this survey, please PM me and I'll add them to my list, below, so our readers can respond.

As you answer these questions, keep in mind that there is no, one, "official" sponsor for these swaps.  They are handled by INDIVIDUALS.  The person who coordinates today's swap will likely not coordinate tomorrow's swap.  So suggestions which involve keeping lists or monitoring activities over time, from one swap to the next, aren't going to work in reality, because each swap is a discreet and separate thing and likely has no connection to the next or the previous swap. 

Merci!

========================================================


1.  YES or NO:  Have you ever participated in a random teddy bear swap?  By random teddy bear swap, I mean a swap where your name is placed among a pool of names of participating artists, and then you are paired up with another bear artist randomly by the swap coordinator.

2.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  All participants in random swaps must agree that they will accept, without public or private complaint, any bear that comes their way, as a condition of participation.

3.  YES or NO:  Do you think swaps should be sub-organized into categories?

4.  If swaps are sub-organized into categories, do you think, for example, that mini makers should swap with mini makers?

or....

Do you think each participant should be able to CHOOSE which category he/she wishes to trade with?  For example, should a mini maker be able to specify that he/she wants to trade for a "biggun" bear?

4.  If you answered YES to question (3.), which categories would you like to see used?  Mark all that apply:

(a)  Size (small, medium, large... or mini, medium, biggun.)
(b)  Style (contemporary, traditional, distressed, anime)
(c)  Skill level of bearmaker (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
(d)  Medium (needlefelted, mohair, synthetic)

5.  If you marked "skill level of bearmaker" as a possible category, in question (4.), do you have any suggestions about the criteria a swap coordinator might use to determine the skill level of each participating artist?  Years making bears?  Price per bear?  Awards and honors?  Is this even a realistic option?

6.  How long should swap participants be given to complete and ship their swap bear?

7.  What, if any, should the consequences be for those who commit to a swap, but never send a bear to their partner, even after receiving one themselves?

8.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  The swap coordinate should not have to police swap participants.  Any problems which arise are the responsibility of each swap pairing to resolve.

Stellajella Wien
Posts: 1,399

Shelli,  :clap:  well put in words, as usual!
I´m trying to think of the word that´s used for wise women in ancient history who solve every problem with a snap of their left hand and predicted rocket science long before the first person could jump higher than 3 feet.
Shelli, no wonder you´re an advisor on TT! bear_thumb
Thanx for your circumspecion ( I had to look this word up in the dictionary, so I hope it does not have a second, not nice meaning )

Gaby bear_flower

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

You may address me as ORACLE SHELLI from here on out.

bear_tongue  bear_grin  bear_laugh  :crackup:

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,651
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

LOL!!!

I do think swaps can be very simple... or VERY complicated!

If it is a simple swap... then it is totally random (which I have done 2) and yes, if it is random I believe you must accept whatever bear you receive without complaining about it.

As for a swap based on skill level... that would be tricky.... because who is to say at what skill level everyone is at?

In my opinion... right now anyways  :crackup:   I think the simple swaps are best... and just everyone be sure they know that one basic rule...  "I believe you must accept whatever bear you receive without complaining about it."     

I just see too much trouble both before and after for a skill level one.  Size type swap might be another story.

That said... I won't be participating in this one... but only because I need to pay some bills bear_original

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Okay, I'll go first, even though I have yet to find enough time to make an "extra" bear for a swap!  Someday!!!

1.  YES or NO:  Have you ever participated in a random teddy bear swap?  By random teddy bear swap, I mean a swap where your name is placed among a pool of names of participating artists, and then you are paired up with another bear artist randomly by the swap coordinator.

--  NO

2.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  All participants in random swaps must agree that they will accept, without public or private complaint, any bear that comes their way, as a condition of participation.

--  AGREE

3.  YES or NO:  Do you think swaps should be sub-organized into categories?

--  MAYBE.  Depends on the purpose/theme/etc. of the swap.

4.  If swaps are sub-organized into categories, do you think, for example, that mini makers should swap with mini makers?

--  Not necessarily, although that's one way to do it.

or....

Do you think each participant should be able to CHOOSE which category he/she wishes to trade with?  For example, should a mini maker be able to specify that he/she wants to trade for a "biggun" bear?

--  Sure, if the swap is set up to handle such requests.  However, it seems like this kind of swap would be a nightmare to organize.  What if everyone wanted a mini, anime bear, but there were only three participants who made them?

4.  If you answered YES to question (3.), which categories would you like to see used?  Mark all that apply:

(a)  Size (small, medium, large... or mini, medium, biggun.)
(b)  Style (contemporary, traditional, distressed, anime)
(c)  Skill level of bearmaker (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
(d)  Medium (needlefelted, mohair, synthetic)

--  Most of these are viable categories but it would depend on the type of swap which ones I might select as appropriate.  I do NOT think that skill level is something that is easy to quantify and measure, and additionally, I think that any attempt to do so, especially by an outside party, will lead to hurt feelings and bruised egos.  If artists are willing to describe their own skill levels honestly, this might be a category that would work.

5.  If you marked "skill level of bearmaker" as a possible category, in question (4.), do you have any suggestions about the criteria a swap coordinator might use to determine the skill level of each participating artist?  Years making bears?  Price per bear?  Awards and honors?  Is this even a realistic option?

--  I have no solid suggestions and think that trying to place artists into a category like this is probably a riot waiting to happen.  Only if very objective and quantifiable parameters are used -- eBay sales averaging $375 per bear over a 12 month period, for example -- of if the artist him or her self defines his or her skill level, do I think this category should be included.

6.  How long should swap participants be given to complete and ship their swap bear?

--  Hmmm... I think the swap coordinator should decide but that a minimum time period could be 30 days?  I defer to those more experienced!

7.  What, if any, should the consequences be for those who commit to a swap, but never send a bear to their partner, even after receiving one themselves?

--  Here's one thought:  The swap coordinator could maintain a public list of swap partipants and could mark off each person's name as that person complies with and completes the swap.  That means that participants must be willing to be in touch with the coordinator about how their own swap is proceeding.  The point here would not  be the creation of a "Hall of Shame" for slackers, but rather, to SHOWCASE those who HAVE complied with the parameters of the swap.  Those who have not would have their names listed, but not highlighted, or asterisked*, or whatever.  There's no governing body for bear swaps, so there's no one to keep a list of "swap bad guys.  Therefore, I don't think it's feasible to suggest that a person be "banned" from future swaps.  However, if the swap coordinator has compelling reason to believe that a person will not fulfil his or her commitment to a swap, I think the swap coordinator has the right to privately decline to include that person in the swap. 

8.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  The swap coordinator should not have to police swap participants.  Any problems which arise are the responsibility of each swap pairing to resolve.

--  AGREE completely.  The swap coordinator is simply the person who took on the task of managing the swap database.  Participants are adults and should resolve conflicts between and among themselves without the assistance of the coordinator, should problems arise.  If resolution isn't possible, a "report" to the coordinator is appropriate.  Expecting the coordinator to "do something" or "fix the problem," however, is not.

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Oh, Laura snuck in there while I was being a windbag.  Thanks, Laura!

bumblebearies Bumblebearies
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 436
Website

Gaby.... Grandma Moses did a lot of that.... :)
yeh...this is a toughy Shelli....  maybe the answer/question thingy will sort out some of the unhappiness pervading the site the past few days...actually a couple of weeks now... a shame really.  Here is what I have...

1.  No I have not participated in any bear swaps after seeing what has happened in the doll world.....lots of complaing and whining over skill levels; personal positions on "art" ...etc... a shame but... .. and now this... ............  I was soooooo excited to watch the Christmas Ornament Swap and soooo wanted to participate in one as soon as possible..but now this!   ARRRGGHHHHHH

2.  AGREE wholeheartedly.  One must agree to accept the outcome...the name says it all..... random swap... and it is supposed to be for fun..not so you might "get" a certain artists bear. 

3.  NO if everyone agrees to play by the rules...but I guess if they are going to complain about what they get...it will have to be subdivided into groups to accommodate some people.

4. If you go to subdiving...I guess you will have to begin to use all 4 of those categories (and also other categories that will be tossed in just to make it more difficult than ever....sigh)

5.  Yes..how and who will decide on skill levels?... so..at this point...may I suggest...  go back to the original idea of a random swap.  If people do not wish to participate in case they get something they deem to be beneath them...so be it.  Just don't participate in the swap.   

6.  Perhaps there could be a set time at the beginning of a swap and if somebody can't make it...again.....don't participate.  Of course, there will be some unforseen circumstances...but mostly people should be able to organize their lives around a simple swap.

7.   Well, on this one I am adamant.  There seem to be no consequences any more in anything anywhere in this old world.....  certainly there should be something.   If a person doesn't hold up their end of a bargain... why should they be allowed to continue with antics like that?  I don't know how it would be possible to make sure a person has not held up their end of a bargain........but if it comes to light..they should definitely not be allowed to participate in a second swap until they fulfil the first obligation.  It is as bad as a dead beat Dad getting remarried and forgetting about his first kids isn't it?

8.  AGREE..... Indeed........ why make the poor swap co-ordinator babysit the swappers and the swapees??   C'mon people..... we are all adults here....lets behave like we truly are.  If somebody goes to all the trouble of organizing a swap...let's participate in the spirit of the thing as it was initially intended.    FOR SOME FUN

Well, there are my two cents worth.... mind your toes if I stepped on any!

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

1. YES- done 2 swaps so far and thouroughly enjoyed both. 
2. 100% agree  (no manufactured bears of course)
3. Swaps should have fun themes and could be anything from "a mini swap" where those who wished to partake could..or a"bunny swap" or a "red bear" swap or a "valentines swap"..but outside of the theme a swap shouldn't be broken done into mini-particles of "I want this or I'd prefer that".  Do private swaps at that point.
4.  N/A
5. I didn't mark that skill level applied, but this again is really tough water to tactfully wade through. There are 100 older posts in this forum where persons can't honestly say that they're newbies or seasoned based on years, etc.  Just because someone has made bears for 14 years doesn't mean that the girl next to them making for 7 months can't knock socks off with her skill level.  This is dangerous ground IMO. It's almost like we'd need to be jurored to swap  :doh: bear_grin  (sorry...that's just kinda funny to me as I'm hearing Wayne's World "I'm not worthy..I'm not worthy..in my head bear_grin ) If persons REALLY want to control the "skill level" or "category" of a swap they should start private swaps.  Purely Private Swaps. Email all of those you think fit the bill and host a private swap. BUT don't post a "look what I got from the highly skilled bear makers swap" so the rest of us can assume we're not "highly skilled" bear_rolleyes :doh:  bear_grin
6. Time frames should be clearly set from the get go.  All swaps shipped to be received by ____.  If that date can't be met it's the responsibility (this whole thing comes down to personl responsibility) to notify their partner with an honest time frame of when the item will be shipped.  Let's face it..stuff happens and it's not a crime to be late, but it is totally wrong to take and then not fufill your end of the swap deal.
7.Well, if you bounce a check in some shops they post your check up on the wall for all to see and read. That seems a bit harsh in this case, public stoning and all. If the swaps partner who has been jilted has done all she/he can to contact, understand, and work flexibly with his/her partner and still has seen no swap item shipped then it is fair that the person in question not be allowed to partake in future swaps.  BUT and this is the BUT...it should not be aired in the public forum and it should not be used as a weapon of words against them or thier business.  This is where one person, a moderator perhaps, should be called in to assit.  The person jilted, after trying all private methods to remedy the swap, should privatly reach out to this one designated person to explain the situation.  The swap moderator's job is to only hold the name of the person who did not uphold thier end of the deal...they do not intervine, they do not assist, they simply hold the name so that future swaps will not be affected. I think the idea of being "humiliated" privately with swap organizers is enough to keep most on the up and up. 

-the spell check WON'T work for me again!!!  there are bound to be TONS of mistakes, please ignore  bear_grin

:hug:
~Chrissi

bumblebearies Bumblebearies
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 436
Website

you all snuck in while I too was being a WINDBAG!!  hahahahhah

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
NY
Posts: 749

I see I missed more drama again.   bear_ermm

Anyhoo, I think this is a very well thought-out list!  Will answer to the best of my abilities.  While I like the free approach of 'send what you can and accept what you receive', obviously if there is rumbling among the ranks over that approach, then there needs to be some adaptation.

Shelli wrote:

1.  YES or NO:  Have you ever participated in a random teddy bear swap?  By random teddy bear swap, I mean a swap where your name is placed among a pool of names of participating artists, and then you are paired up with another bear artist randomly by the swap coordinator.

YES.  I very much enjoyed the one swap I participated in, and would do more but right now have no time for 'extras' beyond my commitments.

2.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  All participants in random swaps must agree that they will accept, without public or private complaint, any bear that comes their way, as a condition of participation.

AGREE.  I believe that there should never be a public posting regarding the subject, and I deplore the gossiping behind people's backs approach.  But I do wish that there were a catch in place if someone were really taking advantage of the situation over the course of numerous swaps by never fulfilling their end of the agreement.

3.  YES or NO:  Do you think swaps should be sub-organized into categories?

YES.  I think that people could CHOOSE to say "I will accept anything", but let's face it, most people do have preferences, be it size / style / color / materials / whatever.  Maybe someone might make and trade minis because they have no room, and would have no use for a 20" bear.  Alternately, maybe the person that sent a 20" bear would be aghast to receive a 3" bear in return (let's face it, there's certainly a difference in the cost of materials, if nothing else).

4.  If swaps are sub-organized into categories, do you think, for example, that mini makers should swap with mini makers?

or....

Do you think each participant should be able to CHOOSE which category he/she wishes to trade with?  For example, should a mini maker be able to specify that he/she wants to trade for a "biggun" bear?

I think people should be given essentially a list of things that they would find acceptable to receive in a swap, and they can mark all that apply.  Perhaps one criteria can be "I want to swap for a bear roughly the same size (or style, medium, whatever) as the one I'm sending", and then they can work out with their swap partner what specifics that would involve.

4.  If you answered YES to question (3.), which categories would you like to see used?  Mark all that apply:

(a)  Size (small, medium, large... or mini, medium, biggun.)
(b)  Style (contemporary, traditional, distressed, anime)
(c)  Skill level of bearmaker (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
(d)  Medium (needlefelted, mohair, synthetic)

I least like the skill level category, as you mention in question 5 below, that leads to a subjective decision on someone's part about what constitutes "beginner" and so on.  Size, style, medium... those are all good categories.  Under medium, be sure to include "recycled fur" as I know some people absolutely do not want fur bears.  Perhaps leave a comment box under each for additional information.

5.  If you marked "skill level of bearmaker" as a possible category, in question (4.), do you have any suggestions about the criterion a swap coordinator might use to determine the skill level of each participating artist?  Years making bears?  Price per bear?  Awards and honors?  Is this even a realistic option?

I really don't like that even being a category.

6.  How long should swap participants be given to complete and ship their swap bear?

The swap organizer should give a ballpark figure, say 60 days or "by this date".  However, specifics should be left to the individual swap partners.

7.  What, if any, should the consequences be for those who commit to a swap, but never send a bear to their partner, even after receiving one themselves?

This ties in to my response to #2 above.  I do think there would ideally be a catch in place to take care of anyone trying to "take advantage".  But anyone can have problems or delays.  I would hope that the line of communication would remain open between the swap partners if there were any delays expected on either end.  Perhaps swaps need an absolute "expiration date".  You know, like "let's try to get these swaps completed before April 1st.  Any swaps not completed by May 1st will be considered incomplete."  At that time, the swap co-ordinator would touch base with all swapping parties and see if anyone had been left hanging

8.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  The swap coordinate should not have to police swap participants.  Any problems which arise are the responsibility of each swap pairing to resolve.

Uh, both... well, at some point the swap co-ordinator does need to be responsible for keeping track of things, I think.  For one thing, how would anyone know that there was a "serial problem swapper" if there was nobody to report back to?  It requires careful consideration.  I don't want people to be taken advantage of, but I suppose that the alternative is to create a "bad swappers list" of serial offenders, and I really detest what amounts to a "black list".  It's a hard call.  Would a ratings system be a better idea, perhaps?  Something very generic, that would say that this person participated in one swap and adequately fulfilled their end of the swap.  ?????

[/color]

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

Too busy earning my keep for swaps (sorry guys!) Like the concept, but it just doesn't work for me.  Popped in to say how sorry I am to hear there's been trouble in Paradise ... such a shame.  Wishing you all heaps of luck with ironing things out, so that future swaps can be fun and friendship all the way. bear_thumb

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

I've also participated in two public swaps and had no problems....oh, except for the first one - my partner disappeared from the board so I was left hanging but I hadn't sent her anything so it worked out. I pretty well agree with everything Shelli said. A public swap is that - public. You get paired up with a partner and go by the rules. If you can't play that way - stay out of the game. If you feel you didn't come out evenly - be quiet about it.

Marion

TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454

1.  YES or NO:  Have you ever participated in a random teddy bear swap?  By random teddy bear swap, I mean a swap where your name is placed among a pool of names of participating artists, and then you are paired up with another bear artist randomly by the swap coordinator.
Yes 1 time



2.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  All participants in random swaps must agree that they will accept, without public or private complaint, any bear that comes their way, as a condition of participation.
Yes I agree to that




3.  YES or NO:  Do you think swaps should be sub-organized into categories?
No



4.  If swaps are sub-organized into categories, do you think, for example, that mini makers should swap with mini makers?

or....

Do you think each participant should be able to CHOOSE which category he/she wishes to trade with?  For example, should a mini maker be able to specify that he/she wants to trade for a "biggun" bear?
That is half the fun of the swap to receive a creation from an artist that they specialize in.

4.  If you answered YES to question (3.), which categories would you like to see used?  Mark all that apply:

(a)  Size (small, medium, large... or mini, medium, biggun.)
(b)  Style (contemporary, traditional, distressed, anime)
(c)  Skill level of bearmaker (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
(d)  Medium (needlefelted, mohair, synthetic)

5.  If you marked "skill level of bearmaker" as a possible category, in question (4.), do you have any suggestions about the criteria a swap coordinator might use to determine the skill level of each participating artist?  Years making bears?  Price per bear?  Awards and honors?  Is this even a realistic option?
I think maybe the price.


6.  How long should swap participants be given to complete and ship their swap bear?
Maybe something like 4 to 6 weeks, if it took any longer than that, maybe you really didnt have time for a swap.


7.  What, if any, should the consequences be for those who commit to a swap, but never send a bear to their partner, even after receiving one themselves?
I don't know about that, but something should be done, because that would be so hurtful to someone.


8.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  The swap coordinate should not have to police swap participants.  Any problems which arise are the responsibility of each swap pairing to resolve.
I Agree

fribblesltd fribbles, ltd.
Kalispell, Montana
Posts: 679

..haven't read all of this thread, but wanted to post my opinions on the questionaire Shel put up.


1.  YES or NO:  Have you ever participated in a random teddy bear swap?  By random teddy bear swap, I mean a swap where your name is placed among a pool of names of participating artists, and then you are paired up with another bear artist randomly by the swap coordinator.

Yes.

2.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  All participants in random swaps must agree that they will accept, without public or private complaint, any bear that comes their way, as a condition of participation.

Agreed.  If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!

3.  YES or NO:  Do you think swaps should be sub-organized into categories?

Eh.  Up to the people who're swapping.  I personally like swapping for either other minis or bigger bears---since bigger bears are soemthing I don't often see, I treasure my biggy swap bear from Gina, and my needlefelted bear from Kim-Bee, and I wouldn't be adverse to swapping with another bigger bear artist.  I always feel guilty when I make a mini and get a biggy in return, seems like the big uns are lots more work to my mind, probably because I've not made one yet.

4.  If swaps are sub-organized into categories, do you think, for example, that mini makers should swap with mini makers?

or....Either/or, see above.

Do you think each participant should be able to CHOOSE which category he/she wishes to trade with?  For example, should a mini maker be able to specify that he/she wants to trade for a "biggun" bear?

To that, it depends on who is organizing the swap, and how much trouble they want to go through..perhaps it should be left up to the swap group and the manager?

4.  If you answered YES to question (3.), which categories would you like to see used?  Mark all that apply:

(a)  Size (small, medium, large... or mini, medium, biggun.)   Yes.
(b)  Style (contemporary, traditional, distressed, anime)        Yes--this one would be fun!
(c)  Skill level of bearmaker (beginner, intermediate, advanced)   No..for starters, how would that be judged?  By dollar selling price?  Awards?  Years experience?
(d)  Medium (needlefelted, mohair, synthetic)  Yes---would be interesting, but I don't really work in anything 'sides synthetic yet.

What about a possible themed swap?  Common theme, winter/hearts/etc.?

5.  If you marked "skill level of bearmaker" as a possible category, in question (4.), do you have any suggestions about the criteria a swap coordinator might use to determine the skill level of each participating artist?  Years making bears?  Price per bear?  Awards and honors?  Is this even a realistic option?

*LOL*  Shel, you're way ahead of me.  I need to read more before I post!  And I dunno if it's a realistic option---that would be very hard to have that be "fair", IMO.

6.  How long should swap participants be given to complete and ship their swap bear?

2-3 months..barring emergencies.

7.  What, if any, should the consequences be for those who commit to a swap, but never send a bear to their partner, even after receiving one themselves?

...hrm.  Well, if they're participating in a public swap, maybe the completed swaps should be announced and then the list of remaining swapees be listed below?  End result, people cannot be forced into sending a bear after receiving one of their own---even embarassment could be left behind if someone simply left the forum.  And no one would want to collect money as a security deposit until your swap bear was received by your partner..sticky situation all the way around.

8.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  The swap coordinate should not have to police swap participants.  Any problems which arise are the responsibility of each swap pairing to resolve.

Agree.  We're all adults---well, at least we're posta try to be..



Amelia

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

Hi Shelli, I just wanted to say thank you for doing this.....



1.  YES or NO:  Have you ever participated in a random teddy bear swap?  By random teddy bear swap, I mean a swap where your name is placed among a pool of names of participating artists, and then you are paired up with another bear artist randomly by the swap coordinator. Yes

2.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  All participants in random swaps must agree that they will accept, without public or private complaint, any bear that comes their way, as a condition of participation. [color=]Absolutely agree

3.  YES or NO:  Do you think swaps should be sub-organized into categories? Perhaps they could be but it shouldn't be necessary

4.  If swaps are sub-organized into categories, do you think, for example, that mini makers should swap with mini makers?

or....

Do you think each participant should be able to CHOOSE which category he/she wishes to trade with?  For example, should a mini maker be able to specify that he/she wants to trade for a "biggun" bear?  I think it could be done either way depending on the swap

4.  If you answered YES to question (3.), which categories would you like to see used?  Mark all that apply:

(a)  Size (small, medium, large... or mini, medium, biggun.)***
(b)  Style (contemporary, traditional, distressed, anime)***
(c)  Skill level of bearmaker (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
(d)  Medium (needlefelted, mohair, synthetic)***

5.  If you marked "skill level of bearmaker" as a possible category, in question (4.), do you have any suggestions about the criteria a swap coordinator might use to determine the skill level of each participating artist?  Years making bears?  Price per bear?  Awards and honors?  Is this even a realistic option? I don't think marking skill level is a realistic option unless the bearmakers could do it honestly themselves, but even that gets hard once you get above the beginner skill level...I wouldn't know where to class myself for example and also what does the co-ordinator do if someone classes themselves at a level that they obviously are not?

6.  How long should swap participants be given to complete and ship their swap bear? I think this could be given as a guideline but on the whole should be able to be worked out amongst the swap partners

7.  What, if any, should the consequences be for those who commit to a swap, but never send a bear to their partner, even after receiving one themselves? I'm not sure about this one as there can sometimes be events in peoples lives that lead to an inability to complete a swap....I signed up for the summer swap but due to my mother passing away and having to shoulder extra responsibility for my Dad I was unable to complete it at the time, fortunately my swap partner has been very understanding and we are due to complete it shortly....I'm not sure what could be done if someone recieves a bear but doesn't send one back though, perhaps a private list could be kept and passed on to the organisers of swaps so that they know the names of people who have done this?

8.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  The swap coordinate should not have to police swap participants.  Any problems which arise are the responsibility of each swap pairing to resolve. Agree

I too think that the simple swaps are better, and easier to organise, but people do have to be clear on the fact that they need to be happy with whatever bear that they receive (provided that it is made by the participating bearmakers of course) Whatever bear you receive has generally been made with a lot of time and effort on behalf of the participants and should be treasured for that reason alone.  If you are not going to be happy then private swaps would be a better avenue then you can control who you swap with  bear_flower

JeannieB JeannieB Bears
Greensboro NC
Posts: 1,183

Hi,
      Shelli (the person) bear_grin ...great ideas. I don't know how to answer them or if I have enough experience to help make a decision. I've admired all the swaps and hope I will be able to participate in one this year.   Maybe someone will ask me or I can join a swap......
          One thing I do know is that all the teddy makers put a lot of love into their creations.....as do I.  I personally would love and accept anothers bear offering....and hope they would love mine, too!

     The "theme" thing is a good idea, too!
       
                       Thanks,
                              JeannieB :)


   PS When this gets ironed out....I would love to make a swap bear!!!!

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,651
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

I totally forgot something that MAY help with a swap!

My hubby is currently doing a swap of customized diecast truck.  It is a private swap that the two of them arranged....   When I mentioned the problem I had (long ago!) with my first swap... they decided that each of them would hang onto the piece they created until they emailed eachother to say they were ready... and will mail them at the same time!

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

OOpppsss.... I can't figure out how to "quote" Shelli's questions without making it appear as if Shelli posted these answers... I'm Sorry!  I wouldn't want anyone thinking that my confused & full of typos ramblings  :doh:  are actually the product of Shelli's fablous mind!   bear_wub  bear_wub   So.... the questions are Shelli's.... the answers are mine!  bear_smile  bear_wub   



Shelli wrote:

========================================================


1.  YES or NO:  Have you ever participated in a random teddy bear swap?  By random teddy bear swap, I mean a swap where your name is placed among a pool of names of participating artists, and then you are paired up with another bear artist randomly by the swap coordinator.

YES.... but on a different board

2.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  All participants in random swaps must agree that they will accept, without public or private complaint, any bear that comes their way, as a condition of participation.

Absolutely!

3.  YES or NO:  Do you think swaps should be sub-organized into categories?

Not in "name out a hat" type swaps.  I just think it's way too much to ask of a swap coordinator to do this.  And honestly, to ask a single person to try to match people up by size, style, fabric, or value... well, I think that no matter how totally fair and objective that person truly is... someone is going to feel like they pulled the short straw when their dream bear doesn't arrive at their doorstep.  Too often the person who takes the brunt of those feelings of disappointment is the swap coordinator who has spent countless hours on the floor with a pile of index cards just trying to do their very best!  I think that's just not fair.   

4.  If swaps are sub-organized into categories, do you think, for example, that mini makers should swap with mini makers?

or....

Do you think each participant should be able to CHOOSE which category he/she wishes to trade with?  For example, should a mini maker be able to specify that he/she wants to trade for a "biggun" bear?

I think that if someone really did want to coordinate a categorized swap, I think it would be better left to the participants themselves to decide what kind of bear they'd like to receive vs. what they make.  I'm sure there are folks who make big bears but would be delighted to receive a mini and vice versa.

Plus, I honestly think there are quite a lot of us who would just put down something like..... I'd like to make a big bear of mohair, but I'd be happy to receive any bear!

4.  If you answered YES to question (3.), which categories would you like to see used?  Mark all that apply:

(a)  Size (small, medium, large... or mini, medium, biggun.)
(b)  Style (contemporary, traditional, distressed, anime)
(c)  Skill level of bearmaker (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
(d)  Medium (needlefelted, mohair, synthetic)

Size, I think is very "doable."
Style ... I think that can be kind of subjective... and often bears can fall into a couple of categories!  Example.... Shell.... your sweet little bear "Soot,"  I mean to me she was fairly contemporary, but with I thought she had some definite distressed, and even anime elements in there too... didn't she? 
Skill level.... that's one I'd really prefer to NOT see used.  I've seen some bears from TOTAL  beginners that would kick MY beginning bears right in the seat of their pants!     
Medium.... again, I think that one might be more doable, but what about bears that fall into a coupl eof categories..... mohair bears with felted faces, etc...

5.  If you marked "skill level of bearmaker" as a possible category, in question (4.), do you have any suggestions about the criteria a swap coordinator might use to determine the skill level of each participating artist?  Years making bears?  Price per bear?  Awards and honors?  Is this even a realistic option?

I said "NO" above... i just don't think it's a realistic option.  I've seen first bears that are just outright gorgeous!  There are some great artists who choose not to even enter competions.... there are fantastic artists who sell their bears for what I would consider "a song".... I think we've all seen at least a bear or two go for an insanely high price and we've said, "What!?"   

6.  How long should swap participants be given to complete and ship their swap bear?

I think that once definite pairs are made.... something like 60 days... especially if people might be paired with an overseas partner.

7.  What, if any, should the consequences be for those who commit to a swap, but never send a bear to their partner, even after receiving one themselves?

I kind of like your idea Shelli of having a Showcase area... it would certainly encourage people to get those bears done and out to their intended recipient!  It would be for me, since I am somewhat of a procrastinator!    bear_rolleyes   However.... sometimes in swaps, a bear goes lost in the mail, or gets misaddressed, held by customs, etc.... and I would just HATE to see someone who hadn't done a thing intentionally "wrong" to sit there worring that all the teddy world things they are some sort of awful person or something!   bear_cry  Mistakes do happen, and overseas shipping can sometimes be a nightmare!   

8.  AGREE or DISAGREE:  The swap coordinate should not have to police swap participants.  Any problems which arise are the responsibility of each swap pairing to resolve.

I would absolutely have to agree with this one! 
_________________________________________________

I DO think that people should have the right to choose whether they wish to ship overseas or not.... I think that postage from the US is really quite reasonable (I ship a mini to Europe for about $12.00 and that's Priority... takes only about a week to arrive!)  but I know that shipping costs are what I would consider outrageous in some other countries.   I'd hate to see some people have to pay an arm and a leg to ship if they weren't prepared to do so.

Kim Basta

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

What ever you guys come up with is fine for me. I do believe it should be fun !! And when made to hard... well there goes the fun. Any teddy is a good teddy. Small or big, and some of us may not be as good as others ... and thats just the way it is but all teddy bears are loved. There is never a way to make it fair for every one. You can't make every one happy. But I guess if your willing to trade sight unseen then you need to love what you get and go from there. The only thing really upsetting is if your partner never sends any thing, that is really bad... so if you don't plan to follow through please don't inter the swap.Very simple.  If you don't want a mini artist maybe say so, if you think less fabric makes it worth less. If you don't want acrylic say so, if you don't want a beginner , say so.Then may be the person matching them up can figure that out. Maybe when we inter we can tell what we plan to make, out of what and go from there.  I wish I could make it easy ... but I can't ... but like I said I will follow any rules you all decide on. I enjoyed the Christmas swap , and I am game to go again.So I hope this can be all smoothed over. I love you guys and just hang in there , this to shall pass !!!

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

I agree on the over seas thing.....So far it hasn't been to expensive but maybe we should be able to choose out of our country or not.Or plan not to do insurance , and just send it as a gift. That does cut the cost. There has to be an easy way to do this.

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115
Jodi Falk wrote:

Or plan not to do insurance , and just send it as a gift.

Oh defininitely, definitely....... in a swap situation, where you are sending to Canada or Europe or where ever... mark it a "Gift" on the customs form and place a low value on it.  There is NO money exchanging hands, and if you list the full value of your bear... your partner might have to shell out quite a bit of cash just for the privelidge of getting your bear into the country....  bear_cry

I don't think that's even fudging the customs rules... or if it is, it doesn't run afoul by much.....    bear_ermm  bear_whistle  I mean.... it IS a gift, and since you made it yourself you can decide it's "only worth" $12.00, right?  Og gosh... please tell me there is no one here from customs lurking!   bear_smile

Kim Basta

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

Kim, A gift is a gift , thats what we are doing we are sending a gift and getting a gift. That is the truth !!! Plain and simple. Its not like it is gold or something , just fabric and time !!! Only us collectors and artists see a value it in . In all reality , any way. And your correct , no money is involved so , IT IS A GIFT !!!! I think we are ok with doing that.

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,651
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

WildThyme wrote:

Og gosh... please tell me there is no one here from customs lurking!

Well, I'm back to working in the real world... doing teddies on the weekends.  I love my job though.... in customs!

:crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:

Just kidding!!!!!!!!

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

Laura Lynn !!!!! Your Bad Girl !!!!!

:crackup:  :crackup:

bumblebearies Bumblebearies
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 436
Website

Hahahhaha bet u had them for a bit Laura....hahhaha too funny.......

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB

Banner Sponsors


Intercal Trading Group - Your mohair supplier
Tedsby - Handmade teddy bears and other cute stuffed animals. Hundreds of teddy artists from all over the world and thousands of OOAK creations.