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bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
NY
Posts: 749

I'm sorry if this has been discussed before, I did a search but didn't come up with much of anything.  I'm wondering, is there a standard for pricing true minis (say 4-5" or less)?  I know with the bigger bears, $10/inch and up is the norm, but this seems way too low for minis (3" for $30, I don't think so). 

For those of you who do both minis and medium / large sized bears, how do you resolve your pricing to keep the minis from being too cheap on a 'big bear'-biased scale, or alternately keeping the big guys from being too expensive on a 'mini-bear'-biased scale?  All input would be appreciated.  I've recently done some 'simplified' versions of some favorite patterns, so that they can be done in a more difficult medium, such as a true mini or real fur.  Looking forward to experimenting!

Many thanks,
Kelly

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

Hi Kelly!  I've never heard of any real formula or anything that can be used to price minis.... The funny thing with minis is often, the smaller you go, the more expensive they are... so the inch formula truly wouldn't make much sense in the mini world at all!  There are so many minis out there, and the price range is really all over the place.  I do always cheer when a mini fetches a nice price on eBay, but there are so many really GOOD ones that just don't sell, or bring in much less than they should. 
Funny thing... at this point, my minis are sometimes in the same price range as the larger bears I make from time to time!  The last mini I sold went for a HIGHER price than my last big bear on eBay!  Now, try to figure that one out! :doh:

In my opinion, tiny guys made out of real fur, or mohair  should go for a higher amount than ones made of upholstery velvet or a synthetic....

I'd love to hear other folks input on this question!

Beary truly yours,
KIm Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

patsylakebears Patsy Lake Bears
Sydney
Posts: 3,442

I agree Kim, but unless you have the name people don't seem to want to pay the price, there is more work in a mini, alot fiddlier,( if that is a word.) than in a larger bear.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Well of course, the bigger your name the better a price....but we can't focus on that. if we are just starting ...we have to focus on getting our product and our name out there.

We have to join organizations, even if they cost money, to have accsess to arenas to get our name out there....

We have to be here and post consistantly and show our stuff...says she who hasn't posted anything for sale in quite a long while... :redface:

One of our mini Artists here,  has a tendency to dress her adorables up with crocheted collars, and they are simply wonderful.  bear_wub bear_wub

So here is how I look at it.....I come up with my gimmik, whatever is going to be my signature style

and then I start at $10......if 10 go at 10 then maybe I can up to $12.  if 12 go at 12 then $15......as the sales increase the price goes up

These are just arbitrary numbers, perhaps 20 perhaps 30 , I don't know....but my caveat is if it doesn't sell it isn't over priced.....

I know there is no way I can expect to get 50 or 60.....like some ladies do....


I'm not to that stage. 

So here's what I think is the tuff part:

taking a good hard look at exactly where I stand with my competition.

  How good am I?,

How unique am I?,

what do I really bring to the table that makes a collector sit up and say  "yes."


This is kind of hard for many of us to do.  Sometime we think our work product is as good as the biggies in the industry.

And maybe comparing a picture on ebay to our little one sitting next to us it does seem that way.

But

As I started collecting artist bears and gollies I started seeing the very very subtle differances...

so, for me, the price I get now is not as important as ironing out some subtle differances, improving my quality, and doing whatever I can to get my name and product out there.....

Also helps to remember that we are in an inflationary period with our markets which may help or hurt us.....


As far as my bears go, they are OK.....but I haven't done with them that I did with my gollies....yet.  My think with the gollies is to send them out with their own bear....and that's why I am making mini bears.

Now that my gollies are getting attention, and are selling, and I am getting e-mails from big names in the bear world, its time to take a look at my bears.....


Dilu

Good luck to all..... bear_wub  :hug:


Just remember to have fun out there!

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
NY
Posts: 749

Thanks for your input, ladies!  Kim, I have always admired your precious minis so it was very much appreciated to get your opinion.  Patsy and Dilu, I agree about the 'name' part of pricing, it's one of those things that affects us all, we're all either on one side of the 'known name' spectrum, the other, or trekking along in between.  And Dilu, those were excellent thoughts on pricing, thank you for them!

I have a sliding scale for my regular bear pricing that has been working very well, the bears are either more or less expensive within the scale depending on features such as size, difficulty, special features and cost of materials.  Looking ahead to doing minis though, I realized that taking size into consideration as a I normally do, would completely throw off my pricing.  Hmmmm.  I will probably need to start fresh and come up with a completely new and fair scale for pricing minis that has nada to do with the big bear pricing.  Well, I'm always up for a challenge
:)

I wish I could let eBay determine mini pricing for me, but I will only approach eBay with a fair market retail price firmly in mind on any bear.  I usually have the minimum acceptable bid a little below my retail price, and a BIN a little above retail price.  I sell well at shows and off my site at my prices, so even though eBay is 'iffy' at best about sales, I will not drop the bottom out of my prices or leave them open-ended just because it's a more unstable market.  I don't mind trying to sell bears on eBay from time to time, my feeling is that either someone is willing to pay my price or not and that's OK.  I think if I *just* had one location to sell in, that would be a different situation.  But by selling in different places, the pricing has to be consistent across the board, or it's not fair to anybody, including me.  I would love to take some minis with me to shows next year, and sure, I'd love to try them on eBay, so I just need to get the pricing issue resolved in my mind ahead of time.  Thinking cap on!

Sorry, I think I'm rambling  :lol:

Cheers,
Kelly

Helena Bears-a-Bruin!
Macclesfield, UK
Posts: 1,291

I have priced my mini's with no particular formula in mind. I'd been selling them on eBay for a while (where they priced themselves!) and then looked around to see what other artist's were charging.... so I now charge £65 per commission, which is stated on my site. This is slightly higher than they would usually sell for eBay but I figure I'm taking time out of my schedule and also possibly having to design a bear to a particular specification. And the collector's have so far seemed happy with the price. (These are 3" bears by the way!).

Ebay is a different ballgame. I set a minimum price and let it go from there. But I'm starting to wonder if my minimum is too low...$40. It usually climbs though, to a price more in line with my expectations. But of course there's no guarantee.

I think I'm rambling too...it's early here and i still haven't had my caffeine!  bear_wacko

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

I have been thinking along the same line as Helena. Its very hard. I might try a higher price with my next Koala. I start at $49.99 dollars. So far I have got more for my bigger bears but I think I need to keep at it.

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Australia
Posts: 4,066
Website

Hey Kelly,
I work with a system of adding the costs of my materials to the lowest amount I would like profit for a simple bear...then I add say $10 per extra hour of work, or detail etc...it works for me bear_original  I'm not a big name or anything and think this is fair and not too costly that I don't sell either...Maybe if I ever become good enough I will have bidding wars and prices will go up, but not yet, so I just go by what is fair and not too unrealistic...I often think of it as 'would i rather keep this bear than sell it for such and such'.. asking myself that question usually gives me a pretty accurate answer  bear_original
Hugs Sarah

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

I dont think my bears sell for enough but they are getting there!  bear_original  I am happy that my little MacIntosh went to Dilu who really appreciates him and loves him as much as I did.... I thought he was good but my photos are crummy and my name isnt well known ..... I really think that some of my bears are better than ones that are fetching pretty high prices.... it goes back to the clique thing.... I am so fussy with my bears that I make sure that they pass the Daisy and Max Sniff Test LOL.... I always make sure that they have their seams picked out for sure!  When I get a bear and its seams arent picked out, i do it myself... call it anal retentive LOL.... I also have been selling my felted bears for higher prices than my mohair ones... dunno why that is....

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

I think your felted work is very, very good. You really have the knack that not everyone has. Its something a bit different. I can't wait to see more.

buttonbears BUTTONBEARS
Holland
Posts: 17

HI minimakers,

I have been making large bears and small bears, but focused on smaller bears for the last ten years.

A. For each bear I try to decide how much I have actually payed for the materials I used.
Once in a while I make a list: joints, eyes etc......each bear had a different fur, soemtimes more expensive or rare and sometimes less expensive.
I think it is alos fair that if you went outdoor for some shopping for a certain item especially (decorations, ribbons etc) you take this into account. (time, travelexpenses etc. Browsing the Internet os less timeconsuming of course and no travelexpenses  :thumbsup:)

B. Than I figured out a certain amount I think I should "earn" each hour that I am working on a bear.
Some bears are fully dresses with small items added that I also make (like hats or critters) and this involves more time than making a bear only decorated with a bow.
When I hand-dye the fabrics, or paintbrush a face, this will take more time as well.


I add up A plus B and think I have the reasonable price.
If you go to shows, or advertise, have somebody built or maintain your website: you have overheadcosts and may want to take this into account as well.

Of course prices also depend on if you are a ""wanted"" artist or not, how experienced you are, how the bears look like.
When I started making bears I was often happy to receive the actual costs plus a little extra for the efforts ....but I consider that my learningschool.  :)

Hope this helps!

Marijke
Button Bears Holland

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Hi there Marijke,

I love your name, Button Bears its cute!  I somehow never get to the new member forum, I don't really know why, so if you have already introduced yourself, well just know, that Dilu is usually late to the table.

So... WELCOME TO TEDDY TALK!!!

We are really glad you found us and hope you come to play often!

Did any one tell you the rules.....(You know girls we really should right all these rules down.....)

Ok , then , I'll tell you


the main rule is


PICTURES!PICTURES!

PICTURESPICTURESPICTURESPICTURES!!

Yep, that about sums it up.....we live for pictures

and chocolate


no particular order

Welcome and look forward to seeing your bears

:hug:

Dilu

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

And we can tell by your post that you have already eaten plenty of chocolate this a.m., Dilu

LOL 

J/K - you know I love ya!  :hug:

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Kimmy,

you are so right, I do absolutely adore Mac.  I found a little cupboard with two shelves and glass doors in the garage....I put Mac and the little Mini from Laure...( she's been gone a while doing the shows) in there along with some mini gollies.....

Have to keep them protected because Kwatzu the KillerKat likes to take mini bears and pretend they are mice, treating them with no dignity at all.

It's ok with one I am working on cuz I can just cut out a new piece, and I figure it is my pennance for forgetting to put them out of Kats way, but an artist bear that I have been given or adopted!!! Yikes  bear_angry  Can not have that happeneing.

I am going to hang it on the wall so that every time I walk by I get to see some really nifty tiny creations!

I plan on adding to the collection ( is 2 a collection?)


I don't remember who mentioned the gal in Norway with the mini bear threads for knitting and crocheting?  TheaDS or something like that?  Ring any bells?

Well, who ever you are I want to thank you.  She is a really sweet lady and I gave her our link, she said she come by for a visit.  I am looking forward to receiving her pattern book. 

In it she has a mini gollygirl....with the same O expression that I use on mine.  I told her to visit my website so that she would see I wasn't copying her.... bear_grin bear_grin she did and we have had a great time talking gollies.
She laughed too-you can tell a real golly lover by that.....

So thank your bearysister for pointing me in her direction.


:hug:

bear_tongue

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

Hey Dilu!!!! Are you speaking of Berta from ThreadTeds?  From the Netherlands?  If we are thinking of the same person, she is the absolute sweetest, most gracious, most sharing, most everything bear baker in the world!  Is it Berta!?

Beary truly yours,
Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Yes Yes Yes!!!!  You've got it....And she is really wonderful

I asked her about sending her bears off with my gollies....(I don't let the kids travel alone anymore, its just not safe out there) and she said she has no problem with people making and selling her bears, as long as they get a permission sheet first and do all the right stuff.  I really appreciate that....because I may be able to make golly patterns and bear patterns on my own but not the knitted or the crocheted.

I'm lucky I can even follow the instructions. 

And my elementary school teachers wouldn't believe it if they saw it happen with their own eyes....Dilu following directions  bear_grin bear_grin bear_grin

So it was you that posted about Berta?

I have been looking for several years for really small crocheted and knitted animal patterns.  The smallest I have found are about 6"

I got some of her threads too- so I am looking forward to learning something new...

I have to tell you guys- I love not 'working' anymore!!!!


Thank you Kim

Dilu

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

I know that I've mentioned Beta before on the board, and gave a link to her site, but it was quite a while ago... I bet someone else mentioned her as well.  She truly is a quality person through and through... so nice to exchange e-Mails with.  Yes, her pattern are fantastic as well, and if I'm not mistaken she also has some kits for thread bears and tiny sweaters, things that like that.  She is also one of the few artists, as you mentioned Dilu, that allows others to freely use her very own crochet patterns to produce bears for sale.  She loves the fact that thread bears have become a sort of mini cottage industry, and wants to see it GROW!  She didn't even used to have the permission sheet... but she was getting offers from manufacturers, or others who wanted to mass produce.... she just wants to see people enjoy making them, and be able to sell them if they wish.  Truly a gracious lady!

I think that's a great idea Dilu, making some fuzzy little thread bears to include with your Gollies! 

Berta is at :

http://www.threadteds.com

Beary truly yours,
Kim Basta
Wild Thyme Originals

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 19,460

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Marijke . . . big welcome to Teddy Talk!  So glad you came on board and hope you will post some more so we'll get to know you.

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

bear_flower Welcome, Marijke!


There's a Yahoo group that I think Berta participates in.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/threadanimals/

I don't check in very often, but these people do some wonderful work!

Eileen

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

Hi Marijke!

Nice to see you popping up over here!!  Hmmm....now you'll know that I am surfing the net when I am meant to be finishing off your Christmas bear  :redface:

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Australia
Posts: 4,066
Website

Hello Marijke  bear_flower  Nice to see you here  :)
Hugs Sarah

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