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NancyAndFriends Posts: 1,153

I know that almost everyone has been talking for sometime about an ebay alternative.  I think we can all agree that ebay with it's constant increase in fees is just getting a bit much.  The addition of the featured item fee at 19.95 plus all the other fees is is making our endeavors too costly.  I myself pay around 60.00 to sell a bear and I know many others pay more than that.

I have been talking with a large number of artists about supporting an alternative site....Bid4Bears.

I know that you all are familiar with the hard work and monies that Nancy Tillberg has put into this site.

Would it be possible, if each of us (if you are willing) could create an additional bear to list on this much deserving auction site, and get this thing rolling?

I know that many don't want to give up ebay because of the large audience we have, and I totally understand that...I am the same way.
BUT (there is always a but  bear_grin )...I do think if we would put our collective support together...The Bid 4 Bears site WILL work, but only if the artists support it.

If we artists list, and then collectively email our buyers lists, (with a clickable link in that campaign mailing, directing their collectors to Bid 4 Bears site)  that will draw a lot of traffic.

It only needs to be done a few times, and the  collectors will make it a regular stop in their web browsing.  But, it has to be consistant, and there have to be items of interest listed for the collectors to look at.  Without artist support, the site will fail and conversely, WITH our support it will work. 

I believe with all my heart this can work...but we have to stick together and MAKE it work!  "Artist Power" !!!!

I am just putting this out to everyone of you for your editorial comments.

Again, all it would take is creating an extra bear (not to take away from your ebay listings) and then listing that item all at the same time, so that when the collectors or interested folk log on...they get the WOW factor and want to come back.
I think a reserve price is also in order.

I know that a few of you have listed on there before (I remember Judi did)...but she was pretty much alone.  We need to create a large group.  No one wants to go to a store that has empty shelves.

WE CAN DO THIS !!! I am willing, is anyone else?

hugs,
Nancy

Jane Perala Jane Perala Designs Ltd.
Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Posts: 819

I think you are right Nancy, and I will certainly give it a go.  I am a very slow bear maker, so don't expect one overnight bear_grin

Thanks for reminding us all of this alternative that Nancy Tillberg has worked so hard to set up.

Jane P.

ArtHeart Kran-Beary's
Thunder Bay ON Canada
Posts: 318

Hi,

I've been discussing the future of Bid 4 Bears with a number of artists who currently sell successfully on eBay and have a very good following there.  A number of these artists have contacted me requesting that we make a concerted effort with a large number of artists participating over a set period of time to make the Bid 4 Bears site run. 

As artists, we have power collectively.  When a large number of artists list at the same time,  and advise their collectors of the listings, the site sees the visitors come in droves.   Our two lemonade auctions were very good examples of this.  33 artists listed their bears.  We had big names and beginners. There was something for every collectors budget.  The result?  $6000.00 was raised each time for a total of 12,000.00 in 6 days!!!!!!

It has been suggested to me by a prominent artist that we should use the same principle for the Artist's Benefit,   not just the charities.

Now, not to sound redundant, but I've been saying this since the beginning. The power of the site to move the collectors and the sales lies in the JOINT effort of the artists.   AND we need ALL skill levels to list.

The listings need to be placed there CONSISTENTLY over time, and the listings must reflect each artist's best effort... not the stuff that wouldn't sell elsewhere.  (Listing the latter is a recipe for failure.)

So....Here's the plan so far ... as discussed via email by a number of ebay sellers:

1.  APRIL and May commitments to list one bear per week from their best work. A total of 8 bears if   these are 1 week listings, or 6 if they are 10 day listings.
2.  With each listing an emailing is sent out to the artist's collector base.
3.  No FEES during this time EXCEPT the final value Fee. (NO RISK FOR THE ARTISTS!)

With the consistent listing of exceptional work, by a collective group of artists, the collectors will soon make B4B a regular stop on their browsing schedule.
The result will be more money in the artist's pocket and lower fees.

B4B also features and anti sniping feature which extends the life of each auction by 1 minute for each bid placed in the last 10 seconds of the auction.   Because it is a small community, with regular members and a targeted audience, fraud is easier to spot and deal with.  We don't have to wade through millions of users and auctions.   The fees are lower, and consequently that means more money in your pocket at the end of the day.

If you are interested in participating in this 2 month trial to get the site up and running once and for all, and for YOUR benefit,  please PM with your name and email address.  We'll add you to the email list for updates on the progress and discussions.

Once again the keys to making this happen are:
-consistent listings .. once per week over a period of time.
-Listings from all levels of artists...from the big names to the new guy on the block.
-Emailing your collectors that you have a bear for sale. 

Artist Power!  I love it!

hugs,
nancy tillberg

Mo Beary Mo Bear Designs
Redcliff, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,536
Website

I think this is a fantastic idea.  I have listed a few bears and had success with B4B.  I support this completely! 

Thank you Nancy for being so generous.  If you don't take advantage of this offer you are really missing out.

Artist Power rocks!!!  So lets make this happen!

Jane

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

Fantastic idea Nancy!!!  :clap:

K Pawz Guest

I would be interested, although I don't know if I can commit to one bear a week, I don't produce that now as it is....but I will do what I can without actually signing up for the commitment base program....I have tried before selling on Bid 4 Bears ( I have sold 1 bear on Bid 4 Bears, not counting my Lemonade bear), sending out the emails and such, but found that I was alone quite often and there wasn't a draw their for collectors...hopefully with a broader base and the incentive you speak of Nancy we all as Artists can get Bid 4 Bears hoping!!!

Hugs,
Krista

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

I have sold a couple of bears there and am not interested (scared actually) in listing on eBay. I'm really only starting to actively sell my bears and found Nancy's site user-friendly and comfortable. I'm fairly sure I won't have enough bears made to take advantage of her kind offer for April and May (and I'm away for the month of April) but I hope it takes off. The more  bears listed there (especially from the named artists) means more people looking at them, which is of benefit for me if I have a bear listed.   :clap:
Thanks Nancy,

Marion

chris009av Real Deal Bears
Posts: 2,234

I think this is a great idea  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:
I have always wondered about bid4bears, and would love to give it a go.
I also know that a couple of collectors on my mailout list have had no luck bidding on ebay because of swipers.
I do like the aspect of no swiping, just seems alot fairer.

Tracy ThimbleBeary Originals
Iowa
Posts: 2,049
Website

I would be interested in giving it a go if there is a large effort......this would benefit everyone.  I have tried listing in the past on Bid4Bears, but just didn't get the bids (or many views either)......the collector base just wasn't there for me.  Of course, I've since added to my own personal collector base, so I have more to help guide to Bid4Bears now than I did earlier.  If there are many of us doing this all at once, I think we could make a go of it.  If the bears aren't there on ebay, the collectors should follow I would think! bear_thumb

I do have one problem with the criteria for signing on.  Like Krista, I can't have a bear ready each week.....or even every 10 days always.  It does take me a bit longer than that in general. bear_sad

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

My warm and fuzzies went out the window with eBay so I'm interested in this venture. I'd never get the bears made if I waited until March 26th to start so I guess for the criteria aspect we just have to start now and mentally imagine this as a "show" we're prepping for. It is a show in a way; showing the collectors there's life after eBay!!!  And if I'm remembering correctly we can promote our websites (and TT) on B4B... can't do that directly on eBay.

If we get our bears started now...that gives us what, 11 weeks to get them all done by April 1st...or 11 weeks to get half done now while still selling presently.  I think either way it's workable with 2+ months notice. I'm game for trying...can always try  bear_thumb

The effort to contact all collectors and contacts will make or break the effort. Unlike SO many things we have zero control over...this we have control over and in such a positive way!!   bear_original   

GO TEAM!!
(and no I was never a cheerleader...quite the opposite..I was a band
geek bear_tongue :crackup:  )

:hug:
~Chrissi

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

well after my experience today with ebay which has me feeling like this  bear_cry  and  bear_angry  I am all for bid4bears.  I'll admit I haven't given it a decent go in the past.  But if we do make a decent commitment it will be a great place for collectors to go.  I am going to try my darndest to commit to the required amount of bears.  I might start squirrelling 1 away every two weeks from now which will make it easier.

Oh and the antisniping system is marvellous - I know from experience as a buyer and seller.  Here in NZ we are ebay-free.  We have a local auction-site called trademe.  I sold some vintage strawberry shortcake dolls there - and there had been only a couple of bids and they were sitting on around $35 - everybody bid at the last minute and the final price ended up being $65.   And as a buyer - if someone bids at the very last second you get the chance to outbid them, which I have done before - if you know your spending limit it works out great.

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

This sounds like an absolutely great idea to me!  I'll have to figure out if I can do one a week though.... I agree with the theory 100%.... absolutely.  If there was a great selection of bears from a wide range of artists, available on a consistent basis... it would attract the same buyers that frequent eBay... because at that point it WOULD be just like eBay.... only with out all the poop that we all have to deal with on eBay!  Now.... I have to admit, eBay has been rather good to me... certainly not customer service wise  bear_angry  but sales wise for sure.  bear_thumb  I depend on that income to pay my son's school. 

Might there be a way for those of us who might not be able to commit to selling 6-8 bears to at least show our support for Bid4Bears by listing every other week or something to that effect?  I'd be willing to pay the listing fees since I wouldn't be 100% involved with meeting the criteria as laid out.  Maybe something like that? 

I was very happy with the ease of use that I experienced when listing on Bid4Bears during both of the Lemonade Bears Benefits.   bear_wub  bear_smile   I DO need to figure out the time zone difference!  My auctions ended at really weird times.... totally my own fault!   bear_tongue

I'd certainly be interested in being "in the loop" on this endeavor!  I do have a BIG mailing list, and I know that many of my buyers are becoming "a bit disillusioned" with eBay!

Kim Basta

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739
Website

Count me in to support this as best I can.  I too am not sure if I can offer 1 a week, but as Kim suggested , I'd be willing to pay the fees involved.   Ebay has been really good to me for sales also, and that is where I developed my little  "following" if you can call it that ! But, Ebay is really getting out of control in many ways and driving me insane.  I've had some success on Bid4Bears in the past too.

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
NY
Posts: 749

I love the thought, but have 3 shows scheduled in that same time period, so I really don't feel that I could commit that many bears.  I would also like to support Bid4Bears though, as others have expressed. 

Nancy, here's a thought.  I participated in your online holiday show and had a lot of fun; one comment that I heard repeatedly from my collectors was that "I was expecting more Christmas and winter-themed bears!".  What about the thought of having seasonal showcases on Bid4Bears?  Choose a week for a spring show, summer show, fall show, winter show and encourage everyone to submit themed bears appropriate for the season.  Make it a real experience!  You could kick off your two month artist challenge listed above with a one-week spring special the first week of April, and encourage even people that cannot commit to bears all of April and May, to submit one or two spring-themed bears the first week of April.   Thoughts, anyone????

Just editing to add a thought... I think more people would be willing / able to commit to a couple of bears 4x a year (roughly 8 bears), then that many bears over 8 consecutive weeks.

My $0.02
Kelly

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

In theory this is a great idea and likely the best way to give B4B one good chance in finally working. I know I've popped in there now and then and there is nothing for sale so I finally stopped looking.

As many others have voiced..... one bear a week is a HUGE commitment. No matter how commited we all may be to seeing another auction site take off for our bears, we also have other commitments.... bear shows, special orders, ebay (which I'm sure many need to still list on until another alternative proves worth leaving eBay for altogther), new bears for our websites and, oh yeah, many work full-time or just plain have LIFE to live. New bear makers aren't apt to be real quick at making bears yet so if you want all levels to participate they may need extra time to do their 'exceptional work' for B4B.

In order for some to support B4B AND themselves which is most important, an alternative type of commitment might be nice.

And it might also be an incentive to get those "on the fence" to commit if a list of participating artists is posted and updated regularly on B4B. Someone has already said they'd do it if this is going to be a big effort by many. How will we know that it is? It's not worth it to commit and put that pressure on ourselves only to find out that only 5 other artists have participated.

Not trying to be negative. I think this major effort is a necessity and great idea... but it does need to be reasonable in order to get participation and be successful.

One question.... how will collectors know this is happening? What do you plan to do for advertising?

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,170

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I would love to support and be involved in this venture, too, but like Kelly, I have a couple of shows during that same time.  It would be next to impossible for me to commit that many bears and have enough inventory for the shows.  I wish B4B much success, however, and hope to participate another time.  The Lemonade Auction was superb.

ArtHeart Kran-Beary's
Thunder Bay ON Canada
Posts: 318

Hi,

If you can't commit, that's fine.  There's nothing stopping you from listing during that time period or ever.  I understand how difficult it can be to make 1 bear per week, having been there myself.  I also completely understand how life can invade our bear making time.   That's also why this promotion was proposed as occuring 3  1/2 months from now.   

The artists that contacted me are looking for a group that CAN commit as I understand it, for a core discussion group.  Again,  this is still under discussion as per my previous post.   It is the commitment that will make this thing work.   We need consistency on the part of numbered group.   Those who can't provide 1 per week (or 1 every 10 days) are welcome to list what they can, but our core discussion group will be those people who are committed to seeing this thing fly.

If you are interested in participating in this 2 month trial to get the site up and running once and for all, and for YOUR benefit,  please PM with your name and email address.  We'll add you to the email list for updates on the progress and discussions.

To participate , please see my previous post as per the above quote. 

As for advertising, I think that is also addressed in my previous post.  Emailing our collective collector bases will be the best advertising at this point.   People already know about B4B...there just isn't anything there consistently enough for them to purchase.  This ball is now in the artist's court.   It's up to the collective group to make it work.

Thank you to everyone that has already sent me a PM.  We'll be getting back to all of you this weekend to further  the brainstorming.

hugs,
nancy tillberg

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

I don't know how easy or hard it is or even if it is possible....I do know that it has been mentioned before but it would be great if we could have a little bid4bears thingy under our avatars like we do for ebay and our websites.....  :pray:

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

I would like to partake at Bid 4 Bears, however my turnover of bears is very slow, I wouldn't be able to keep up with weekly auctions.

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

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

OK... at the risk of being contrary here... and it's NOT that I want to be... but I like to look at JUST THE NUMBERS themselves... sometimes things look a lot clearer just doing that.

I don't do a lot of shows.  I don't like to travel (unless it's to the amazon jungle LOL!)  Fortunately I have a great show here in Chicago...the Schaumburg ABC shows.  I've also done smaller shows in this area too... but those smaller shows (with smaller table fees) just don't bring in the same number of collectors.

Now.. if I were to compare eBay to the last ABC show I did.... by the NUMBERS....

ABC Show:  $400 table fee... bring as many bears as you like 
                  ***  Keep in mind that I did not have any extra costs like travel and hotel fees either!)
eBay        :  $ 35 Listing fees ... (for the number of bears I brought to that same show) 

ABC Show:  No extra fees based on number of bears sold
eBay        :  $26 Final Value fee based on number of bears I did sell at the ABC show

So... the cost of ME doing this show ($400) vs if I had listed and sold those same bears on eBay ($61)

IF I didn't sell any bears... my cost at the show would have still been $400 (plus travel & hotel for many of you) but my eBay cost would have been $35. (with NO travel or hotel costs at all!)

I know many of you pay the extra $19.95 Featured Item Fee.  Have you tried NOT using this?  Would you maybe get the same bid prices?  If yes, then I would stop using that option.  If you DON"T get the same high bids... then $20 is a small price to pay to get that extra $100 bid (or more....)

I know many of you are concerned about fraud on eBay.  I KNOW some people have had the same problem at shows too!  (stolen bears, bounced checks,....)

This does NOT mean I will stop doing bear shows!!!  I think bear shows are the best way to bring new people into the hobby.  I also prefer to buy my bears from a show vs the internet.... but I gotta say... although I prefer it... I do buy more bears on the internet than at shows... because it is convenient.

K Pawz Guest

My creating comes in spurts...due to health issues I am unable to make this type of commitment, part of the reason I don't do shows either.... Being part of "THE" group really doesn't matter to me or not, but like stated above I have no problem paying the listing fees to help where I can on B4B and will make every effort to place auctions up, and of course email my slowly growing following.

Hugs,
Krista

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

Wonderful Nancy!  I'd really like to see Bid4Bears do well......!!!!!!  bear_thumb  bear_smile  bear_thumb  bear_wub   I'll see.... maybe I can squirl away a few in the next few months!  bear_whistle

Kim Basta

Quy nomonkeybiz.com
Costa Mesa, CA
Posts: 2,732
Website

Quy Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

sarahjane wrote:

I don't know how easy or hard it is or even if it is possible....I do know that it has been mentioned before but it would be great if we could have a little bid4bears thingy under our avatars like we do for ebay and our websites.....  :pray:

Due to consideration of other banner advertisers, this suggestion is not feasible. Thank you for your understanding.

Quy

NancyAndFriends Posts: 1,153

I am just getting back on and am so happy to see all the in-put.  Here is how it seems to me...correct me if I am wrong and I am using a hypothetical here:

We would have a group that says they CAN make the committment and a group that says they CAN'T, but could put one maybe once a month.

This is how I see it...
If we can get enough artists that can only put one on once in a while, it will still work !

Janie, Julie, Glenny, Suzie Q, Mary and so on...all put one on (say once a month)
Then maybe Jimmy, Jerry, Bobby, Sally and so on...put one on later in the month

Along with the regulars, there will always be someone listing that week as well, fill-in's so to speak...and I know that once it gets going, more and more artists will join in.

We just sold our home 2 days ago  (must vacate on the 22nd of January)and I am in the trows of packing, moving AND  we just purchased some acreage that we will be building a new home on...so I am going to have to find sometime to make bears.  YIKES  But I know I can do this.

Laura, you mentioned the 19.95 featured fee...I totally agree with you... 100%.  Just to let you know, I have been contacted by some artists with the thought of getting everyone together and NOT using it for a little while, to see if our sales change.  Everyone that I have talked to is tired of that high fee.  I would have to check my emails again and see when...but I thought it was mentioned to try this in March or April.
Forgive me...my mind is in a million places right now.

I enjoyed all the posts...thanks to everyone who has joined in with their thoughts.

hugs,
Nancy

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

sarahjane wrote:

    I don't know how easy or hard it is or even if it is possible....I do know that it has been mentioned before but it would be great if we could have a little bid4bears thingy under our avatars like we do for ebay and our websites.....  pray

Quy answered

Due to consideration of other banner advertisers, this suggestion is not feasible. Thank you for your understanding.

Thanks for answering Quy I understand completely sorry if I put you on the spot...  bear_original

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