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I Love Teddies South Florida
Posts: 1,684

I've seen other groups where they do bear swaps.  It would be nice to swap things other than bears that people make because not all of us make bears.  I'd like it if collectors could join in too.  I know some have mentioned magazines as examples.  I would swap an American magazine for some international magazines because I can't get them here and would like to occasionally see an issue.  I really liked how Shelli organized the Christmas card swap; that swap was a lot of fun (I know it's a different swap than the swap in this thread). 

I'm just reading this thread and can't think of any ideas of rules or how to make it fair right now.  I'll keep thinking.   a015.gif    a020.gif

clare14 Country Bears
Posts: 3,066

It's a brilliant idea (thanks Paula!!) but I can see what your're saying.......

Would it be easier to limit it to bear supplies type stuff and leave actual 'bear' swaps between individuals???   This seems to be the complicating factor from what I'm reading??  I may be wrong......  bear_original

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
Posts: 749

Well, here's my $0.02.  Several years ago (pre- bear days) I was really into gardening and did quite a lot of seed and plant exchanges.  The host of these swap boards, GardenWeb, had set rules about the exchanges.  I've included a link to the rules for the seed exchange:

USUALLY things went quite well, and 99% of the time I was active there I had an absolutely splendid time swapping goods with people from around the world (before the board became US-only).  But there were always a few problems around, and I think I should mention a few just so people that haven't dealt with trade boards know what can happen.  For example... the word spread to other web sites that people were giving away things for 'free', so people would run in and post extensive 'I want this and this and this and this for FREE! gimmie gimmie gimmie'.  Uh, no.  Sometimes people would arrange trades, receive their traders' goods and NEVER send their goods in exchange.  All it took was one person to burn a group of people.  Occasionally there would be verbal attacks that so-and-so had taken expensive items from people and sent them garbage items.  There was sometimes talk of 'black lists'... people would say 'why can't I circulate a list of people whose trades I didn't like?', which the board strictly (and from a legal standpoint, wisely) did not allow.

So I guess my opinion is that if carefully done, a bear supplies swap board might be really nice to have.  I certainly could find some things I wouldn't mind swapping along, like duplicate issues of bear magazines.  I would be much more wary of bear swaps.  I'm just remembering Jenn's post in the last few days, about the nasty stuff she experienced in a swap on another board.  I think bears are a more 'personal' thing to swap, and items that are personal to people are more likely to cause intense feelings.  It's also not like trading a magazine for a magazine (nearly equal value), or a 1/2 a yard of mohair for two fat quarters or something.  It's harder to judge the fairness of a trade when you're dealing with bears, which can also leave room for people to get angry.

Anyway, hope this helps!

Jennskains Posts: 2,203

Count me in!

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,644

I think a lot of people are making very good points.  I used to trade bears when I did shows, but haven't done that in years.  I definitely understand Diane and Shelli's point of view - it's economically impossible for some people to participate in swaps.  I'm not a primary earner, but my bear money definitely goes to pay bills, and I certainly don't buy many bears.  I think that rather than having some people feel left out, that swaps may be better left to private offers between members of TT.    I love the idea of a swap board though.  I also like Paula's ideas of stating what you are looking for in return?  That makes a lot of sense to me.



Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Posts: 3,518

I have an idea, we have the swap forum, for mainly swapping bear related items, not bears.

However,  we put a list on the board, or there could be a list keeper where the list could be requested. We'd have people put their names down as being interested in swapping.  We could also have next to their names, what they are wanting to receive... this might give a clue to potential swappers if that person would be interested in swapping with them.

IF you are interested in swapping, but your name down.  Then people can contact people off the board to work out a swap.  I feel that this way could work. 

We all know, that not all bears appeal to every person.  That way, if you admire someone's work, you can contact them off board.  I know there could be hurt feelings.  I might be a member of the list, and so might Clare. I might write to Clare, and say, hey .. want to swap bears???  For all I know, Clare might hate my bears, and say no.. I might be hurt..but hey, deep down I know not EVERYONE wants one of my bears... so, I'll have to get on with it.

If we want a list like I'm proposing, we'll all have to be a bit grownup about it... and try to not be too offended.... Or, if you're a little shy, you could join the list and wait patiently until someone contacts you......

I like this idea more than organised swaps.. I only have very little room in my house for my collection, so there are only certain bears that appeal..that is why I won't join a swap where I have no idea of what I'm getting.  I'd also like to know that the person I'm swapping with, does indeed like my bears, and would be happy to recieve one, and I know that my bears are a little different and don't appeal to the masses.

Just an idea of mine!

starlite Starlite Bears
Posts: 1,676

I have quickly scanned through this post - I am sure I agree with everyone
I think a swap board for bear related items would work wonderfully well
Wehn my kids were young they used to love to watch a program on tv called the Mulit coloured swap shop where people swapped all sorts of things - There was a big board and people  said what they had and sometimes what they were looking for as a swap sometimes they said anything in a particular vein eg - Dukes of Hazzard Car will swap for any starwars figure - you know things like that - anyway I think it is a terrific idea. :dance:  :dance:
Maybe I am giving away my age knowing that programme  bear_grin  bear_grin does anyone else remember it??
I look forward to further TT additions each development is tremdously exciting - even my work colleagues think this is a great international community - this is cos I talk about what a wonderful place TT is and what terrific people are on it bear_thumb  bear_thumb
:hug:  :hug:

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

Kim - your story was very very touching!  seriously!  :hug:  that is what would make a bear swap awesome and what has made my bear swaps so far awesome... I have gotten to know Dilu, Julia and Marie sooo well!!!  :hug:  Even though i havent gotten my bears yet LOL... I think I have gotten some really great friendships, and some great bears (and one special little golly) out of it....

I like the "gift basket" idea of having a theme and various little trinkets and things that fit into that theme... Very neat...

Also, might I add, I am very shy (I know I dont seem like it because of my talkative nature on TT but I am very shy!!!!)  and I am not the kind of person that could PM someone and say "wanna swap??"  so I will just sit back and wait to be contacted he he he  bear_happy

jazzyrags Jazzy Rags
Posts: 1,494

Kim i am shy  to thats why i dont say much afraid to make a fool of myself.

Just Us Bears Just Us Bears
Posts: 940

It seems that we all feel quite comfortable about the swapping of the smaller items, but a little more reserved about bears. Howzabout starting off slowly and carefully with the swap forum like Paula originally suggested, and see how it goes. The bear idea can still be talked about over time...but I personally see that as being very complex and the ideal way to generate bad feelings, which would be devastating for this wonderful group. What makes this group so wonderful is the caring, loving nature of it's members...and I don't know about anyone else, but I dread the thought that ANYTHING could happen that could bring the whole thing crashing down. bear_cry
Kim, your experience is heartwarming, and if all swaps worked that way, the bear world would be a better place. But there are many people that would tell us that is not their experience with swaps...sad, but true.
I personally think swaps should be a privately arranged thing too...although I do think Danni has a good idea in that there could be a list of people who may be willing to swap bears with another. At least it saves someone from putting someone else in the position of having to say no if contacted privately as you would know they are a willing candidate. Having said that...there are only so many swaps a person can do...and some may be overwhelmed with having to turn people down after the first few offers.
I guess there are no easy answers but to proceed with caution.
Start slowly with mags and mohair pieces..that's my vote, and just see how it all pans out. bear_original

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Posts: 5,162

Goodness me - this has generated a lot of feedback!  It's made very interesting reading.  My original thought was nothing to do with organised swap lists, it was a practical way to offer simple swaps that might help people out ... really fabric, supplies, magazines - that kind of thing.  As I see it, TT has the means to offer board space for members to post their preferred swaps.  To keep things simple, I think if the organisers agree, a disclaimer should be carefully worded so that it is obvious to anyone using the facility that liability for all swaps lies solely with the swappers.

I'm not sure how I feel about the bear swap idea - It's not something I have ever been involved with and as Shelli says, I probably wouldn't be able to participate, as all the bears I make have to earn their keep by putting food on my table these days, sadly!

Anne, I'm old enough to remember 'Multi-coloured Swap Shop' with Mike Reid too - I used to love watching the programme years ago!

Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

Ooooo, great idea. How about a simple 'classified ads' page for supplies only. "I have this, will trade for that", etc. with the link to email them. That keeps the actual deal off the board. Anyone wanting to swap will have to agree to not hold anyone else liable. It is purely between the 2 'swappers'.

A newspaper lists all that stuff, but no one holds them responsible if the deal goes sour.
All we really need is a posting board with someone to review it occasionally and make sure nothing wierd is going on. I can't imagine making someone responsible for mediating a bad deal, you don't get that when you go through the newspaper. If someone starts swapping garbage, then they won't be swapping long, word will surely get out about it. Maybe an easy grading system can be assigned to each 'listing' (on a scale of 1-5 how satisfied were you with this swap?)

Values are kinda hard to work with. If you had something I really wanted and I was willing to trade something much more valuable for it, that's my decision. It's not that valuable to me if I don't want it.

patsylakebears Patsy Lake Bears
Posts: 3,442

Excellent way Stephenie, I think that would work if it is kept between the two involved.. and first in first served bases

lapousmor Sophie Z'Ours
Sarthe, France
Posts: 2,770

I love the idea about a list of people who would fancy swapping bears.

I would like to give my idea about it:
Why not asking everyone in that list to submit pics of prototypes of the bears they feel ready to make as swap bears. This would give people an idea about what kind of bear they would get!!!
For example, concerning myself, I could say: i would love to make a "baby bear" (a bear like the one on my avatar) as a swap bear (I have decided to make more baby bears for they are so successful).
Like that, you could said, see bears X, Y, Z as references.
Well, of course, that's just me thinking loudly.
I know that some artist make every bear very diferent from the previous ones...
Just a matter of choice!

I wanted to add that one day, I said someone on this board that i was totally crazy of her bears and that I would be delighted if I could swap bears with her. She answered me she would love to! And oh  dear, when i got her answer, I have not been far from crying. I was soooo happy she accepted. She is sooo talentuous, much more experimented than I am! We have not done the swapping yet but I look forward to do it...

If I can get such warm answers from other people from the board, for sure, i will become the happiest collector and artist!

Oh, by the way: if I happen to ask someone to swap bear with her/him and if this artist answer me that my bears are not her/his favourite, this won't make me feel sad or disappointed. I can understand it perfectly. And even I prefer to get such an answer better than learning later on that this artist was disappointed or disliked my bear!!! Bears are made to please their familly...

Beary hugs,

Acipenser Bine-Teddies
Posts: 862

I think, a lot of wisdom has been exchanged here. A swap board for supplies would be great, but I doubt I will have anything to swap as I cling to my stuff just in case. Might come in handy one day, you know. Well, maybe if I dig deep enough I'll find things I don't want.   bear_grin 

I like the idea of a bear swap list with people who are interested in swapping. I love the work of many people here, but am too shy to approach anyone directly. Like Shelli says, she can't afford to swap and since many of you sell your bears for good money, which I don't, I feel a bear from me may not be enough "payment" for a bear of a successfully selling artist. I would probably be one of those who put their name on the list and wait patiently until someone else contacts me, but just knowing who is at least open to proposals would help a lot.  I am still so grateful that Matilda is actually swapping bears with me (they are still travelling). I feel I have gotten to know her a little bit and that is wonderful. I still can't believe, one of my bears will be living in Australia and I will have one from Oz. That's so special and a lot more exciting than just buying a bear. :dance:   
I think, it is important to see someones previous work to decide if to swap with that person unless we decide to draw partners like in the last one.  On the other hand, I would swap with a new friend just for friendships sake. bear_wub
Well, whatever our wise advisors decide will be fine. :hug:

Estelle Estelles canal bears and Tod Teddies
Todmorden West Yorkshire
Posts: 370

maybe we would need two swap pages one for bears and one for bits.
I know there are things available in the USA that I cant get in the UK and I am sure it works the other way as well so swapping bits and bobs would be useful and fun.
I wouldnt swap bears I know mine arent yet up to the standard of other makers on here
maybe one day  :hug:

Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735

Wow sorry I just jump in here now but
what exiting idea !!!!  bear_thumb

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

OH! I just thought of something! What if instead of doing another forum for bear swaps we just have another little box in our profile that we check "will accept swaps" or "cannot except swaps" kinda thing... bear_original  instead of approaching an artist blindly we will be ablet to see from their profile if they will accept a swap or not... just an idea bear_original

I personally would love to swap with the gals that I talk to regularly... but what if we get people "coming out of the woodwork"  (like kelly said) I feel very comfortable swapping with the gals I know but if someone just emails me and they are just registered that day, I will be hesitant.... I just dont want to send my bear off and get nothing in return....

I think the box to check on our profile of whether or not we will be willing to swap is a great idea... and a forum for general swapping schtuff would be good bear_original

NancyAndFriends Posts: 1,153

I would love to be involved in the simple supplies etc., swap.  I think the bear swap is an opening for some possible problems and hurt feelings.  On that subject, however...since there are a some who would like to participate, we could just have a name list and let each individual person contact the person who has a bear to swap.
Sort of like:

Suzie.... I have a panda to swap
Janie .... I have a clown bear to swap
Martha....I have toasty bear to swap
Dilu........I have a closet full of Gollies to swap ( bear_thumb wouldn't we all love to have a Golly to add to our    collection)

well, you get the picture...then if Kim wanted a clown bear (hahaha) she could contact Janie personally.
Altho, I still see room for hurt feelings here.

On the other hand, I really think the supplies swap could be a great asset.
There was a time when I created a bear that was not the usual size I make and I didn't have any eyes that looked right...but I only needed eyes for this one time bear.  I didn't want to order a pack of 5 or 10 and I certainly didn't want to pay 5.95 shipping for 1 pair of eyes.  How nice it would be to look in the swap list and find a pair of eyes that I needed and know that I would only pay the $1.00 or actual shipping charges, rather than the inflated costs that companies ususally charge.

Along that line also...we could have a 'wanted list' list things that you are looking for, because someone may have just what you are looking for but not have it listed in the 'swap list'....i.e. "looking for a Bernina walking foot"   bear_grin (which I am by the way...anyone have one they want to swap?)

My thoughts on the subject.......

Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Whew ! This is a great topic, seems like enough people are least in the swap supplies to start with.
I like the idea to put up an ad just like you would in a local paper...then suggest needed items you are looking to swap for...Value could be mentioned, each person pays their owm postage.

Love that idea  of  Shellis bear theme idea....and someone here experienced this..with her  Blackberry bear. I love all the items the " swap partner " enclosed..a small bear , tiny blackberries, ribbon, floss, black piece of mohair., etc. ..You could have a "Theme Swap ", people could sign up this swap is for  anything green ? or Spring bear or critter..or just fabrics and supplies for certain swaps...this is what is fun ! The surpprise is fun !....
keep it going...Winney

Dilu Posts: 8,574

If this is to work- says your most paranoid help advisor- we have to have an honor system in place, that is closely monitored.
We can't complain that the item wasn't perfect etc.

I don't want to see the pain that was inflicted on Jenn by another board, happen here to any one of us.  I don't want to see what happened to Mandie happen to anyone here.  This place is based on  creating*collecting*connecting......that sounds like generosity and love to me.

And I still miss Mandie.  Her feelings were hurt by a private message sent by one of us.  And she isn't coming back.  The person  or persons who was/were tactless is still here.

I also want to make sure that legally Intercal is totaly protected from any one of us going bonkers and sueing because the item wasn't what it was supposed to be and since it is Intercal's board they should have... blah blah blah!!!! 

Anyone can sue for any reason and there is always a lawyer who will take the case.  Lawyers are a crucial necessity in our societies,  and sometimes a cruel necessity, but.....

I don't think Intercal should have to defend a silly nuisense lawsuit because we were dumb in our choices.  CAVEAT EMPTOR

Now on the happier side,

1.  I will never be able to part with my supplies, (cuz what if I needed them someday?) but I could part with a mini golly for supplies.  Or even an all grown up one too.

If we can make it work, it will require a great deal of honesty, tact,and diplomacy on all our parts.

a  cautiously optimistical


Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735

I agree with everything Dilu said !

>it will require a great deal of honesty, tact,and diplomacy on all our parts.  :clap:

melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789

Whew...I have finally read EVERY message....

I would love to see a classified swap board...I simply CANNOT buy bear supplies here - virtually everything I buy must be imported, from joints, to eyes, to fabric.  About the only thing I can buy is stuffing and embroidery floss!!!  However, there are some unique products here that I have previously sent to people overseas that have been well received, and of course I have supplies I bought and no longer have use for.  The advantage to a supplies swap board and the teddy talk style is that it is very simple for people to post pictures of what they hav.  I think Kim's suggestion of saying what you would swap for is good too.

So, you could post your picture & description and what you would like in return.  Eg, I have this piece of vintage rayon.  I would love some onyx beads or mini t pins or something like that.  People can clearly see what is in the photo and consider it and reply if they are willing.  I also have to agree with Kim that I would feel happier swapping with people whom I have built a relationship with as I guess there is more trust there than with someone I don't know from Adam.

Now, the bears are a whole other kettle of fish.  I agree with what Kim B said about bear swaps being much more about the process...and the friendship and the warm fuzzies you get when you send out a hug-filled package to someone.  I have done some fantastic swaps in the past...and I have had a couple of terrible experiences, including one where I cried when I got my package. 

Now...this is going to open another can of worms, but it could be possible to work up Kim B's idea of the themed package without the bear...that way beginners, collectors whomever can take part and feelings are less likely to be hurt.  You could say, do a Valentine's themed swap...or a "this is my country/town/state" swap.  By putting a limit on the price of the contents of the package (e.g. $10US ) should keep it fair and affordable...and as you are emailing the person, you can guage it to their style of bear or other hobbies and they can tell you if they absolutely hate the colour yellow etc.  let's face it, pretty much all of us have an addiction to ribbons, charms and other pretty things and how fun would it be to make a package specially for someone and to receive one in return.  It's kind of like a not so secret Santa!

This is just throwing the idea out there, but it may be a way to do a suprise fuzzy feeling swap without having to involve a bear...kind of like the card swap which I absolutely adored.    I personally don't really do bear swaps, partly because I find it hard enough to make bears to sell, and also I live in a teeny house and at the moment have nowhere to display the bears I already  have in my collection.

Sorry for the long rant..


rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Great idea.

I like the small item swap idea, I love bear mags especially some of the UK and US ones, and small bits and pieces we cannot get here, great idea if kept to a small scale with as less complication as possible, especially for the co-ordinator, depending on how it is run. 

Maybe if we list what we want to swap and first in best dressed to take up the offer is the way to go.  The senders would both outlay appropriate postage from their locations in return. eg. Airmail, Surface mail, priority mail and so forth.

I also love bear swaps, but again, think this should be done off line, with those that wish to do it.

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