I know we've been over the show issue, but I find the internet versus shows an interesting turn of discussion? (Ok, the reason I'm up and thinking at 5:00am is because it's so hot. I fall asleep early to escape the heat and end up in the wee hours finding something to do before daylight ) I have tried to balance how I sell. It used to be almost equal between my sales through shows, through the internet, and with collector orders/shops. I have firmly believed that we have to support teddy bear shows, teddy bear magazines and shops. But talking amongst ourselves in this forum and through my own crazy life I do believe things are changing. And the changes are happening fast! Despite my careful plans I find I am now doing almost 60 percent of my sales through the internet! When I mention this to some teddy people I get a dirty look And I have to admit it makes me feel a little guilty like I'm betraying the cause. But then (in the crazy morning hours, again!) I though about it and; we can't hold back change, this WILL happen. How can we integrate our old way of doing business with the changes? Maybe somehow combine shows with the internet in a more productive way instead of pitting them against eachother? Intercal has done an amazing job with this forum. I wonder if it has helped their show sales? I find I have started to get customers who have only ordered through the internet, come to a show to meet me and see the new cats. But I wonder if that's enough.......
KJ Lyons Design
Teddies are tactile, so I tend to buy a lot by touch. Unless I know the quality of an artist's work, I won't buy sight unseen, so I'm not an Ebay collector.
When I do buy over the net, I will generally go to the Artist's website to purchase. Wouldn't be adverse to purchasing through TT.
This is from another post and my opinion from a Collectors View!
You'll get sick of my giving you this link, Karen.... but in ABC's thread one of the question dealt with asking what % of sales was over the internet vs. shows, etc. Many commented beyond just giving the percents. You might get some insight there as well.
I don't understand how a person can spend so much money on something they are only seeing a photo of.... the weight, texture, quality, true appearance can only be experienced in person or in the fur.
How many of you have purchased a bear on the internet from an artist whose work you've never seen in person and find that the photos were better than the real thing. That in the fur the bear was not as nice as you expected? Perhaps the quality not so good, limbs too loose, etc.
It's happened to me, I was very disillusioned, but felt badly saying anything as I didn't want to discourage the artist so the bear sits on my shelf as a reminder that nothing beats a good teddy bear show when buying bears!!!
For me there is too much emotion and money involved when buying a bear to do it over the internet unless I already know the artist's work!
wow, This is a subject that is like a double edge sword. I for one would love to be able to be a part of shows. Because as you mentioned, holding a bear in your hands and falling in love with it to where you just have to take it home with you. Is so different than seeing pictures of it and trying to absorb it's personality through a monitor screen....
But at my perspective right now I have to depend on trying to take the best picture possible so that the collector falls for it and has to wait to receive it in the mail. I have been cursed to have to live in an area of this state that does not ever have any type of shows to speak of, oh other than the typical craft shows at the fairgrounds etc.....Which really is not the sellers market for a mohair bear. I am basically a day away from any show. Which then requires overnight expenses and all that goes along with a trip. So this is my only way, for now, to get my bears out to the public.....
On my last auction I received a letter from a gal that really "burst my bubble". This is what she wrote:
I have noticed that this is the 2nd time you have offered this item. Is there a reason the reserve is so high???This is not an artist that has been showcased in any teddy bear magazine and is not known nationally or internationally.
For some reason, it just hit me wrong and hurt my heart. The bear is a 20 inch open mouth bear and had only been bid up to $100.00! Even the beginners should ask at least $10.00 an inch, right? First I have been in a magazine and have sold bears internationally! I responded telling her this and that I have not been able to list of late because of my mother passing and some issues of the loss of my mama to deal with. And that if she would look at my 100% positive feedback you can see that my buyers are very pleased with my quality of work. She responded with:
This bear is quite beautiful. I have not seen any of your other bears. Perhaps I will see one as a resale.
Resale...."The act of selling again". Which happens all the time. So which brings up another way to purchase our work. Is this a good thing? Or bad? Mainly resales happen on the internet, right? Unless you sell bears to shops that then sell them.
Ouch!! My brain is hurting :doh: To much thought for this pea-brain! And it all came out before lunch
So, some day soon I plan to try to attend some shows. But in the mean time, we have to jump on offers like Mindy with TBAF is offering us. And keep on "bearin it"!
Whoa! I didn't expect such heartfelt replies :hug:
Roxanne! Your bears are wonderful! Here's where we have a problem. Let's face it eBay is a business. Many of the people that contact you will not be "true" collectors or even bear lovers. Some are sizing us up and deciding their purchase on recognition and past sales. They are thinking about future sales or even just deciding how to create a monetarily advantageous collection. It's cold hard business to them. We've got to live with this and adjust our goals to the collectors that really will appreciate our work. Dapne, I followed ABC's poll but we didn't get any feedback? I was wondering if anyone has put together the poll and if there are any thoughts on how to use the information and comments?
KJ Lyons Design
Some in the industry believe that Internet Bear Shows will probably take the place of "real" shows . . . sad to say.
That is what I'm doing in my Russia bear life.
Most of bear makers don't have chances to travel. But I give them the opportunity to @visit@ a show.
Rihgt now we have virtual show going on. The theme is SUMMER! category is miniature bears from 1 to 15 inch.
Hugs, Julia :hug: