Skip to main content

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.

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
Posts: 749

So here I sit at 1am on a Saturday, working on finishing as many bears as I can get away with for the Schaumburg show.  (The only thing that consoles me is that I suspect just about every other participating artist is doing the exact same thing.)  I just realized I have a question hanging over me though, so here goes.

At our last show, we did well but actually would have been able to sell two more bears, except for one slight hitch.  In both cases, potential buyers requested that their favorite bear from our table be held for them until they could return to purchase it.  We agreed, and put a little HOLD sign in front of the bear on the table.  By the end of the show, neither person had returned and the bears remained unsold.  Other potential buyers expressed interest in those bears until they saw the HOLD sign, then moved on.  So here's my question.  Do you ever agree to hold a bear for someone at a show?  What are your limits as to length of time or any other restrictions?  Obviously, we were way too lenient at the last show.  I feel certain that the bears in question would have sold easily to somebody else, if not for the fact that they were on hold at the time.  Our loss, unfortunately.

Any input would be appreciated!

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Hey Kelly ~

We must be nuts to be up this late on a cold rainy New York night!  I just got back from chaperoning a band trip to Norwich.  YUCK!

I've never done a bear show, but as a customer I would not be offended to be asked to put a deposit down to hold a bear ... nor would I be offended if a seller told me she/he could only hold a bear for say an hour (without a deposit).  Then if someone else did stop by right after, at least you could tell them to stop back in 45 minutes (or whatever), and the bear would no longer be on hold.  Put little tag on him that says I'm on hold until ____.  ?

Hey, what do ya want for 1:30 am.

Get some rest!

Densteds Densteds
Posts: 2,056

Hi Kelly,
I agree with Deb...I've always left a deposit, I wouldn't expect a seller to hold one for me, if I don't come back well that's my bad luck.. I lose the money...I've never felt offended when a seller asks for a holding deposit..but I usually offer first anyway, it's only fair!!


Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Posts: 3,518

bear_shocked Gee, some people completly amaze me!!!!!   :doh: I can't imagine expecting someone to hold a bear, and then not having the decency to return to at least let you know that I've changed my mind! Some people!

I would give the interested party, a certain ammount of time, to be able to get the money out of the ATM, and then return. I think an hour is more than fair enough -  plus take a deposit!!!!  I would imagine making someone leave a deposit would make them think twice before putting the bear on hold and about not returning!

Good luck for the show - we expect photos, and show reports!


jazzyrags Jazzy Rags
Posts: 1,494

I had a lady holding a bear dress in her hands and  another lady wanted to buy it ,but the first lady said no i am going to buy it ,so the second lady left not buying anything ,after the second lady left the first lady said  i don't want it now and i still have that  :twisted:dress at home bear_grin bear_grin :lol:what can you do. i think one hour is plenty of time to hold something.

Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735

Oh Kelly, thanks for sharing your story and this is good topic.  If I was your customer,  I will not be offend by
deposit fee or " cancelling charge( for hold.) "   :rose:

Good luck with the Schaumburg show !  :lol:

Pipa UK
Posts: 971

as a buyer i would expect to pay a deposit on the bear and if i didnt  complete the sale the deposit is non returnable, better still i wouldnt hold anything to be honest. if a buyer really wants it why do they need to come back in an hours time or whatever?? buy it there and then !that's what i would do  bear_grin

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

I do give people a bit of time when it comes to holding a bear...I usually give them 30 minutes...not enough time to go off the boil. If someone comes in the meantime  it's not long to wait. It's a bit of good-will and 9 times out of 10 they do come back.

What I don't like doing is leaving sold bears on the stand..because usually they are the very ones that everyone then wants to buy. I also won't allow pre-show reservations...because that can backfire too. ..and it's not fair on people who travelled to the fair to turn up and find the  bear they wanted has been nabbed by someone before the show started.

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,653

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

bearlyart wrote:

So here I sit at 1am on a Saturday, working on finishing as many bears as I can get away with for the Schaumburg show.  (The only thing that consoles me is that I suspect just about every other participating artist is doing the exact same thing.)

LOL!  Yup!  Can't wait to see you guys at the end of the week  :lol:

As for the "holds".... I'm glad you brought this up. (this being my first show and all)  I'm not sure.... I mean...when you already offer credit cards... why do they need you to hold?   

As a collector at a show, I've never asked anyone to hold a bear for me.  If I'm not sure, then if when I come back and the bear is still there... then good for me!  If he's gone, then I figure I should have gotten him when I saw him the first time.  But I've never been on the other side of the table before.  Good thing to think about...

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

OH Fran!  She would have been wearing that dress for a nice scarf me thinks. <wink>

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
Posts: 749

Thanks to everybody for their input!  I actually hadn't even thought about a deposit, so I've been mulling over the options.  In my (limited) show experience, I think people usually request holds when they make their first trip around the show room.  I think they're choosing their favorites to buy with their set $XXX that they have available, then they make their decisions after a few trips around the room and decide on their purchases.  Unfortunately, they don't always get back to the artists who have bears on hold to say 'no thanks'.  So here's what I'm thinking of as a policy, I think it would be appropriate and fair for most people (and not unfair to us, either), though I wonder if it is too complicated.

First hour of the show each day... NO holds. 

After that, I'm thinking I could hold a bear for a short time (15 or 30 minutes?) with no deposit.  I figure this gives people the chance to walk all the way to the other end of the showroom and check on other bears they'd been interested in.  Or that would be enough time for them to go check with the husband to see if the funds are available, as I have also seen happen  bear_grin 

If you want the bear held for more than 15-30 minutes (whatever I decide on above), I need a deposit.  The deposit is not refundable if you do not return within the time we agree on.

What do you folks think?  I like it in theory, but in practice am worried it may be a logistical nightmare.  One way or another, I will not be putting a HOLD tag in front of the bear on the table as I did before, I think it turned people off.  I'll keep my notes on bears being held behind the table and out of sight.

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

I guess I have been lucky I have taken bears off the table and held them fir people and they have allways turned up and paid for them, on two occasions they even chose a second bear to go with the one they had put aside. I am too trusting I hadnt even considered being left with the bears  bear_wacko

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Posts: 5,162

I must be mean!  bear_angry I never allow anyone to dither.  If they want the bear they have to make up their minds then and there, or go without if he's gone when they come back to the stand!  Fortunately, I've very rarely been asked to hold a bear for anyone at a show.  bear_whistle

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

I agree with everyone here. Either don't hold it, or only for a short time.
It would be nice think that everyone is honest and would come back for the bear. But you just never know.

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

Wow, I never thought of a situation like this!  I would give a limited time and also a deposit is good..... Kind of like stores, they only give you 24 hrs... but for a bear show, i would think an hour would be plenty of time bear_original

LL good luck with your show! let us know how it goes!!!  :hug:

Kingfisher Farm Teddies Kingfisher Farm Teddies and Folk Art
Posts: 135

Hi Kelly, I never hold bears unless it is say, the guy from the museum in Japan, and he said very boldly, PLEASE RESERVE. And of course he came back. Had it not been someone like that, no way, for exactly the reason you describe! If the person has no incentive to buy now, often they dont, you have proven this to yourself twice over now. Never again! Some people need the fear of possibly losing it to make the decision. I had a prominent buyer wait. When he returned I was sold out. Then, he placed an order. So, what to you have to lose?? Nothing, just 2 sales! And by that I mean, #1, the first sale, and #2, the order from the person that dithered! Pam bear_grin

pma2003 Seamore Collectibles
Posts: 451


At the few fairs and craft fairs that I have attended, I have always asked for a deposit and taken the bear off the table.  Usually it's my repeat customers So I know that I'm sure to make a sale.  I guess I've been lucky.

chris009av Real Deal Bears
Posts: 2,234

Not beiong very experienced at shows, the last one I did I was asked to hold a bear, so I hid it behind others for her.
Time passed and she hadn't returned and other lady came up and said "what is this bear doing hidding behind there",  bear_ermm
and she wanted to buy it.
I didn't know what to do, but seeing as the other lady hadn't turned up I agreed to sell it.
The first lady came back and said I sold the bear to her friend.  :redface:
She was really nice about it, so I sold her the one that was on the competition table that had won in it's section for the same price. 
Everyone was happy in the end, but I wish I had thought about holding for a definate time or asking for a deposit.

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

I have had people ask me to hold bears they paid for behind my table so they could do more shopping and that is fine, but I'm with Paula on this one.  I think that if a collector really wants your bear, she can buy it right away. My feeling is that it is unfair to the other collectors who may wish to purchase the bear, and of course unfair to the artist if you put the bear back and no one comes for it.

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB

Banner Sponsors

Johnna's Mohair Store - Specializing in hand dyed mohair and alpaca
Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb