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Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Australia
Posts: 3,518

Hi Everyone,

I had an interesting email today from a bear shop owner (no, not the dodgy one i've been having trouble with)

They are telling me how artist bears just aren't selling in shops anymore.  They used to do good business with artists bears, but now with the invention of eBay people are selling themselves short.

They says that the artists themselves are killing their own market by selling too cheaply.

Personally, I'm in two minds. I  start off by selling fairly cheaply on eBay (not as cheaply as I have seen many artists doing, some with a $17 US Buy It Now for large bears)  To me - that's just rediculous - you might as well give bears away.  It's happening a lot on Ebay Australia, making me feel like just listing on eBay.com

I did start selling cheaply, but my name is getting out there now, and I'm starting to, on occassion, get better prices for my bears...  I think that's the only way to go...

So, what does everyone feel about this topic???  Do we sell ourselves short, or do you think it's neccessary in todays market with there being sooo many bear artists out there??

I don't know about you, but if I only offered bears on my webpage, and at my webpage price, I would soon have shelves and shelves of bears because I only really sell the occassional bear from my webpage.

What's the answer?  The shop owner suggested that all artists should get together and stop selling so cheaply - but we know that's NEVER going to happen LOL

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts on this matter!
Danni

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Very interesting subject Danni, thank you.

I am of two minds.  I am selling my gollies for more now than when I started, and I am eternally grateful to my friends who purchased my early gollies.....but also chagrined because I know now how to do them better.  (I almost feel like there should be a recall yikes!)

I used to believe that if it didn't sell it was priced too high.  Now I believe that if doesn't sell I need to pull it and re-offer it at a later time or in a different manner or re-name. redress, reaccessorize whatever.....


I think this is going to be a good thoughtful topic that we can all benefit from.  Especially after the discussiong of Mary Halstead, Lamb's and other top selling artist's works

dilu

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,639

Hi Danni,
     I read your post with interest - I've been selling on Ebay since my son was injured in a motorbike accident in South Korea four years ago and after surgery, we flew him home to recoup for 8 months.  He needed to have someone home to help him, so I stopped doing shows and turned to Ebay.  I consider my self very fortunate to be able to sell everything I can make, but I don't think I undersell my things.  I did sell my first toy on Ebay for $40.00 because I was too naive to put a reserve, but now I always have a reserve which I feel is what I would sell the piece at a show.   The unexpected upside to Ebay is that I don't have carpel tunnel problems anymore, since I make one at at time, and pace myself more.  I also love the fact that I can make "anything" I want, without having to take orders, which are the kiss of death for me.  For me, Ebay is total control, which is exactly what I need. 
     Dilu, I agree with you about re-listing a bear that didn't sell.   If I have a piece that doesn't sell, I almost always "re-do" the piece before I offer it for sale again.  I made an exception recently when I listed my raccoon during the U.S. thanksgiving.  The viewing numbers were so low, I decided to wait till the Xmas season and re-list it and it sold the second time.  I don't know why some artists seem to be able to sell "anything" they list for large amounts, and other artists with beautiful bears, don't seem to sell well at all.  I guess it all boils down to individual taste.  I have a faithful, core group of customers (which I am eternally grateful for) but no matter what I do, I don't seem to be able to branch out to gain other customers.  There is one artist on Ebaythat makes beautiful small, traditional bears and they consistantly sell in the $40.00 range and it breaks my heart. 
     I don't know what the answer is.  I've toyed with the idea of a web-site, but so far haven't done anything about it.  I don't like to sell through shops, as I don't like to sell wholesale.  I guess for me, Ebay has been a good thing.  I don't spend money on show fees, or travelling expenses anymore, so it more than makes up my Ebay fees.  I'm anxious to hear more opinions for others.  Take care.

                                                               Hugs,

                                                               Brenda

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

I think some of my bears sell too cheaply.... I didnt mind before getting $25.00 for mohair bear that was 4-6" but now that my bears are better and I finally have my "style" I want to sell them for more... I think some of how much you sell your bears for depends on if people know you and your name.... I know I should remember that I have been making bears for under a year but I dont understand why my felted bears sell for sooo much and my mohair bears get one bid, if I am lucky... I have  a website and have NEVER sold one from my website.  I have sold on bear directly from bearpile and two through bearpile to ebay.... I think there are lots and lots of artist bears all of the sudden, even more than when I started making them... I think I just have to stick it out and keep doing and learning and I will be ok... I still have lots to learn bear_original

My answer is, I wish I could sell for more but I think if I tried to start my bidding at $40.00 for all of my bears, I would be broke and I would be running out of space for my bears.... My felted bears usually sell around $20- $40 or so and I see other peoples bears selling even cheaper.... I usually make my materials cost up plus a couple bucks but I would like more of a profit.  I think starting my felted bears at $7.00 encourages more bids, it isnt what I am willing to sell them for but if I start them at $40, I dont know that they would sell..... It is hard to know what to do.....

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

When I first started making my fur bears, I mentally noted how many bears I could make from a certain coat, and how much stuffing, eyes etc would cost.  Usually I can get at least three large bears from a coat, and the first one sold would cover my "expenses".  I sold my fur bears for $150.00 each for a long time, but the lynx needed to be sold at $250.00 to cover the costs of the fur.

As my bear making has continued, and especially as coat prices have soared (thanks to several movies touting them!)  I've had to adjust my prices ...and that was after much goading by friends and family.  I don't want to undersell myself, but I don't want to get so pricey that I can't sell my bears either ~ every bearmaker's dilema. 

As for ebay, sooo many new artists are out there selling WAY too cheaply.  They'll eventually run themselves out of business because you can't buy mohair, or real fur, or any other quality supplies, and continue to sell the bears for ridiculously low prices.  If you want to 'give' away your bears, you should really do it to a charity of choice, not just flung out on ebay. 

I think ebay is still a good venue, but I also think a reserve is wise.  I've noticed many people won't bother to look if the starting price is too high, but if you start low with the reserve in place, you can get quite a few lookers.  With a link to your website, it is possible to generate more traffic to your page as well.  Perhaps they liked the little bear you're selling on ebay, but your webpage shows a larger bear that they fall in love with and have to have! 

bear_grin Dilu, I'm the same way over some of my earliest bears!  I feel the urge to grab and redo, but their owners absolutely cherish them, just as they are  bear_wub

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

So what do you gals suggest I do then??? I am kinda between a rock and a hard place.... others start bids low which isnt an insite to quality but a way to get more interest...

patsylakebears Patsy Lake Bears
Sydney
Posts: 3,442

Danni, I used to sell my bears to a shop that told me the same thing ..... I was selling my bears too cheaply .... they agreed to buy my bears and was going to keep me busy with their sales. The first thing was I had to put my prices up so that he could pay me a decent price. Then they put 100% mark up on the bears. Then I was told they wanted exclusivity on my bears so I took my bears out of my other out lets. Then told I couldn't sell my bears at my old prices as I would be under cutting them... They sold 3 of my bears in two yrs and my sales dropped at the shows... I have stopped supplying the shop and put my prices back to what I had them and now selling again... Then to top it off he went into another shop where my bears were on consignment, and told them he had exclusivity of them and that they shouldn't sell them... I was asked to take my bears out.... there is alot more I could say but ....... everyone be careful of what you let yourselfs in for.....

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

I'm thinking there is no easy answer to this.

We all have various reasons for setting the prices we set on our bears. And they are prices that are comfortable for each of us.

We may be underselling ourselves or we may be selling at prices so high that we're going to put ourselves right out of business when no one is willing to pay the price. (We're not ALL Mary Halstead, Nancy Tillberg, Michelle Lamb, etc.) Finding the happy medium is a constant battle for many, I'm sure.

All artists joining together to set a basic pricing standard.... can't imagine that will ever come to be... we argue over what mohair is best, do you think we'd agree on pricing? (Giggle, giggle!  bear_grin   bear_rolleyes  )

I think many who fetch good prices on eBay have indeed developed a following either through shows first or by starting out with low prices on eBay until they've made a name for themselves. Yes, I always thought ebay was the place to go if you wanted to get a really good, cheap deal on stuff. Many still think that.

We do what each of us has to do to sell bears. I'm amazed that so many artist bears sell on eBay. I always thought touching and holding the bears and talking to the artist were essential when investing so much in an heirloom quality bear. It's something very important to me as a collector so I go to as many bear shows as possible, participate in a few each year and am now producing bear shows.

But, that's just what works for me.

The shops are going to cry about lack of artist bears in their shops and lower prices because it's hurting their business and I can understand their point of view. But we, as individual artists know what we have to do to sell our bears to keep ourselves in business.

There, did I talk myself in circles and get no closer to an answer, or what? What was the question, Danni??  bear_wacko

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

I have always looked at Ebay as a form of advertising.  I go there realizing that I may end up with a lower price than what I would put on an item at a show.  I usually will not go less than 25% less than my show price.  Having worked in bear retail I understand how ebay is hurting sales in the stores.  Several times I have suggested to retailers to make their purchases of bears from ebay.  It just kills me to see some of the prices being asked for some of the older artists pieces.  I really don't think there are any easy answers for ebay.  Everyone just has to do what is right for them and hope that they are not hurting their fellow artists.
Donna

newbearland Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 207

The thing that puts me off selling to shops is that they want the bears for next to nothing.....and then they put a huge mark up on them.  I realise that they have to make a living to but I do feel sorry for the collector paying such a high price. 

Mel

Jo-Ann G Budd Bears Boutique
BC, Canada
Posts: 241

Very interesting post.

Even though we have to make a name and reputation for ourselves on eBay, I also agee that some sellers undersell themselves.  I do not know how they sell their bears so cheaply and still are able to make a profit over the material costs alone.  eBay is a great way for a small business to reach an international market but is very competitive.  I have a few friends that have varying businesses on eBay and we all seem to have the same concerns no matter what our product may be.

The shops that I sell my bears at are on a consignment basis, so I can set the price.  They also give me a break on the commission as they do for artist's work.

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

I used to sell in shops, but here in NZ there are very few shops that stock artist bears and Mel is right - they want them cheap as chips.  I'm too shy to approach any overseas shops, though I know it needs to be done.  I also feel I need to improve my work a lot before I go down that route.  Ummm not that I think my work is bad  bear_tongue I guess I still wonder if my work is commercial enough - I'm not sure that I have a marketable look for a shop.

However, I think it would be sad if shops disappeared as that is many people's first point of contact with artist bears and I for one would still rather buy from a shop or show than the internet as I need to touch the bear!

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

This is kinda a hot topic with me.
Don't get me wrong, it's the artists choice how much they will take for their work, and that's great. But I do agree that is a way we are shooting ourselves in the foot by pricing sooo cheap.
If a collector really has no idea what it costs and the labor involved to make a bear, of course they are going to buy the $20 ones as opposed to the $200 ones. I would.
But, just as you teach people how to treat you,  you also show people what your work is worth.
Now that does mean you have to be honest with yourself. Maybe it took you just as long to make your cat, and does Mary Holstad, but really, is your cat as good as hers? A tough question we have to ask ourselves.
But if I see work on ebay listed for real cheap, I wonder what's wrong. Maybe they are new and the stiching is really bad, or maybe it's cheap mohair etc. If I don't feel the artist has confidance in their work, why should I?

Also, my theory is, there may only be 1 or 2 people who are going to buy that particular bear. Maybe they've checked ebay that week, maybe not. But I believe if they have fallen in love with your work, they'll pay.

I always listed my felted bears for no less than $50. Losts of money to start, but they always sold. Yes, they got the bid last minute, and yes I did have to re-list one. But they sold, and for what I was comfortable with.

If I was going to give my work away, I would give it to family, a charity or whatever. Not some dude, who is just going to turn around and sell your $20 bear for $200 at his shop. I'm just too selfish and I can't stomach that. I'd rather have a housefull of teddies.

Okay, see?? Hot topic. I'll go cool off now. It's just that all of us here work soo hard to make our bears..... and mohair isn't cheap either.................

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

It's a difficult one because good shops are an excellent method of making your work more 'credible'...and they will sell at a top price too which enables us, in the end, to command a higher price. Ebay can bring good prices...I have achieved some excellent prices on there...and have had one or two disappointments...where I felt sure a bear would do well, then it didn't...and then it's all done so 'publicly' which can damage you emotionally and also ,in a sense, the esteem in which you are held can also take a knock on ebay. Not such a good thing if you are trying to build up a reputation.

I think what's needed is a happy and healthy mix of ebay sales occasionally, a careful choice of shop sales, a nice, ever-evolving website and occasional bear-fairs...that way you cover all possibilities....

It's called not putting all your eggs in one basket....I do think people sell themselves short...I have seen it at fairs and on ebay....it's a short-sighted strategy really.

clare14 Country Bears
England
Posts: 3,066
Website

With the New Year coming and 'Resolutions' abundant - this subject is virtually top of my list this year, something that seriously needs looking at.

Ebay is really my only selling outlet, but my bears sell for virtually nothing, like someone said before - I might as well give them away!!  bear_cry    £16 GBP for a 16" mohair bear - nah, it's never worth it.  Once an artist at a show told me to never list you bears at any less than you would be happy to take for them, I have tried that, but unfortunately they don't sell, and that sets my esteem even lower!!!   Gosh I'm such an emotional person!!   bear_ermm    So I usually start them low, and then at least they sell, and my buyers are always pleased with their purchase, I have some wonderful feedback, and that makes it all better for a day or two, until I have the bills rolling in  bear_whistle

I was thinking of perhaps stopping my website as it's just 'there' and costing me more money - I don't get any interest in it.   Unfortunately my biggest problem is lack of time to take a look at these problems, I work, have 2 small children etc etc, you know the scenario......I don't know how you all do it, tips please!!!   I just want to sew!!!   bear_original

I'm really interested in this subject (if only I had a magic wand to make it good for us all !!) but seriously, I need to sort this out before I am forced to hang up my needle and thread.   

Just read that back, sorry I didn't mean to sound so depressed!!   bear_laugh

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

Difficult subject that always seems to go around and around! I guess it boils down to 'what price for art?'. I just cannot judge the art-worthiness of my own bears, so the price is hard to pitch. Likewise I see bears I find totally adorable going for low prices on eBay, so is it my taste that's different??? Or is the maker just less well known to collectors?

I started my bears off at a very low price on eBay, basically to find out how well received they would be. And although they sold for low prices I had encouraging feedback about the standard of workmanship etc. So the price went up, slowly....but it has taken about 18 months to 2 years to build up a following that I can rely on and now pretty much all of my bears sell. Am I still underpricing myself? Probably! But I get commissions on the back of the eBay advertising and I charge at full price for those. Also, the eBay starting price is normally pushed up to a level I'm happy with. For the ones that sell for the lower end...well, I usually reason they don't have the same 'appeal', however much care and attention I gave them...  bear_sad

On the question of shops --- I've only sold to a shop once. I totally undercut myself, the mark-up was presumably high, and all three bears sold to a regular buyer who saw their photo on my website!!! So I won't be doing that again! I prefer to sell directly, but that's just my personal preference. I like to interact with my buyers. Maybe this is another reason shops are finding it more difficult these days, and it's not just the pricing?  bear_ermm

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

Great post. Yes I do sell myself short sometimes, BUT I believe, like Helena I need to get myself out there. I don't do fairs or shops anymore so ebay is my only choice. Funny thing though, I recently sold a few bears and the ones I was pleased with did well and the ones I was a bit 'off with' did'nt do as well. Just shows you really.

It has also shown me the way to go. I do small bears, cute small ones and big bears. The cute small ones seemed to do the best. It may not stay that way, we shall see. I have got to get back on there after the Christmas break so it will be interesting to see what happens. By the way I always start at $0.99, which is a big risk, but one I was (maybe not now, we will see in the new year) prepared to take. Its a gamble!

Marie_ Kiprie Bears
Yokohama, Japan
Posts: 2,735

Hmmmm...this is very difficult subject for me.  bear_ermm     
I started eBay sell from last month and I'm having good experience.(I think so.. bear_rolleyes )
I'm N-E-W for bear creating/design and I hope I'm building up my reputation in right way......   bear_original 

Jenny wrote:

I think what's needed is a happy and healthy mix of ebay sales occasionally, a careful choice of shop sales, a nice, ever-evolving website and occasional bear-fairs...that way you cover all possibilities....
It's called not putting all your eggs in one basket....

Ditto to Jenny, My 'Resolutions 2006' is try to go out much as possible and find more possibilities !  bear_laugh


I just want to give you all big hug !!!!! {{Hugs Hugs Hugs Hugs Hugs Hugs}}
I hope everyone will find a good answer in this subject..... what fits for you is best for you!  bear_laugh :hug:  :rose:

It's almost 10:00 pm 31DEC05 in here !
Happy New Year to all !  :dance:   :bday:   :dance:   :bday:   bear_wub   :dance: 

Hugs/Marie

pandamac 'EmBears
Northern New York State
Posts: 917
Website

very interesting topic as has already been said. I have placed things on ebay, but found that the costs were much higher than my sales, so I stopped. I think people on ebay are looking for a bargain, and I am not a bargain.  bear_tongue

Most of you make bears from mohair, I don't, I use man-made fur, or the occasional fur coat bear for someone, so my 'regular' bears are less expensive than the mohair ones, just because of material cost. I may get blacklisted for this  bear_shocked , I hope not,  :pray: but I re-use patterns and make the bears out of the same patterns, with different colors, faces, etc. I prefer bears naked, but do have outfits for some. And I am willing to make a bear or outfit for whatever the customer wants.  bear_wacko

I have critters at 4 local stores, and if I get a check 3 times a year, I feel blessed. The critters just don't sell, no matter what price! I thought I needed to get out of the North Country, a very economically depressed area, but even in New York City, I didn't sell what I thought I should!  bear_angry

Local people are very interested in having their child come to a workshop for 1 1/2 hours and make their own bear and I have been very satisfied with that.  bear_original  My web site has brought in some business, no where near what I hoped for, but it has helped for getting a large order this past year, and people looking for bears from coats.  bear_flower

Bottom line is, each person needs to decide what their basic cost is, what their time is worth, put that price on the bear, and if you are not happy with the price, adjust it until you are and then pray, pray, pray that it sells. :pray:  bear_smile  :hug:

:hug:  :hug: Ellen

Meri Bears (UK) West Sussex, England
Posts: 598

This is a great topic Danni and I can totally understand where you are coming from.

I've been making bears for a year now and I am starting to feel that my trial period has ended and I'm looking to move on a bit. I have only ever sold on ebay or commissions through ebay contact. Like Claire, I have 2 young children and a family business which I run with my husband. I would never get the time to attend shows (still never been to one, even as a visitor!) and I don't have the confidence or desire to approach shops.

Therefore Ebay has been really easy for me I used to start my bears at £29 GBP and have recently moved the start price to £38 GBP. Occasionally I will add a BIN for around £60 which has seemed to work a few times. I would be devistated if a bear only met the start price and I am generally happy with the prices they usually achieve and I consider myself very lucky to have a  small group of repeat customers. To be perfectly honest I really don't have a clue what my bears would sell for in a shop- I suppose I should really try and make time to do some proper research.

Regarding a website, I don't really have the time or knowledge to get one set up and from what I read a lot here, I'm not convinced that it would generate any more sales or push the prices up. I'm quite happy with the free web gallery that I have which people can look at to see the quality of my work.

All I can hope for is that in another 6 months I will have improved my bears enough, get my name out there a bit more and be more confident in trying to achieve a slightly higher set price.


I think I'm even more confused about pricing now :redface:  bear_cry  bear_wacko

Sandi.S. Posts: 1,277

Right now Ebay is my only venue for selling. I've had a pretty good experience so far. I've been selling on Ebay for a little over a year and only had 2 non-selling bears. If a bear doesn't sell, I don't like to relist cheaper. I like to wait a few weeks or so hoping their will be a different audience. I set my prices to what I would be okay with taking. A lot of the times, I don't get bids until last minute. Is that because I don't start as low as some others? Who knows...maybe I shall try a lower starting bid but set a reserve and see what happens. I think lower starting bids encourage more bids. Personally, if I want to bid on something that has a reserve, I wouldn't wait until the last minute. There's not enough time to make sure you meet that reserve if you really want it. And once I bid on it, if it didn't meet the reserve, I'd bid again. I think that hidden number in the reserve price feeds on your curiousity a lot too.

I think Jenny is right about covering all possibilities. I have to say I am a little clueless about the bear-world. Well, until I joined this group anyway! In all honesty, I've never seen a shop that sells artist bears. Maybe it's because there aren't any near me. I've tried to do some searching for shops within my range, but not a lot of luck. And I didn't know anything about shows before I came here.  :redface:  Well, now I know! And ABC has a show in St. Louis which is only about a 50 minute drive for me. So, I'm going to visit the show this year to get a little more informed amd set my sites on exhibiting the next time. And I am currently working on my website. Trying my best to get all those bases covered.

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,639

Hi,
     This really is a good topic, but one without any easy answers.  I realize now that some of you are very new to this world.  I feel old!  I'm on my 10th year, but when I started the shows were still very good and there weren't as many artists making bears.  I was also extremely fortunate to do some designing for Deb Canham, which made my name known pretty quickly.  However, that was a long time ago, and since I've only been selling on Ebay for the past 4 years, I feel like I'm starting over. 
     One thing that puzzles me is that some of the really well known artists seem to have websites that are frequently updated AND they seem to sell at shows, as well as in lots of shops.  How the heck do they do it?  I hand sew everything and even though my pieces are small, my maximum is about 40 bears a year.  I try to put a bear/ week on ebay, but I find it really hard and that's the main reason I don't have a website - I don't  think I could make enough bears.   Do some artists employ other people to help them?   I'd be really disappointed if I paid a lot for an artist's bear, only to find out it was made, even partially, by someone else.   Maybe I'm not organized enough, or am just too old and slow! 
     I do find that presentation on Ebay makes a big difference.   If I had any advice for new artists, it would be to spend lots and lots of time taking those "perfect" pictures.    I really think that helps to sell the bears.   I also think that lots of pictures are important.  I see some sellers putting one or two awful pics of a teddy and I would never bid, unless it's someone selling an artist bear that I recognize, and know it's worth taking a chance.   You can't touch or feel an Ebay bear, so you have to make up for that with the best possible pics you can take.   Shelli wrote an awsome article on taking photos of your bears for the Bears and Buds website and I think you should still be able to access it.  There's a lot of great info - it's worth trying to find it.  I think I actually saved it, if anyone is interested in it.
     Well,  it's almost a new year girls, so chin up!   Hopefully we can all find a way to increase our sales Lol!  Take care and HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!!

                                                         Hugs,

                                                          Brenda

fredbear Fred-i-Bear
Johannesburg
Posts: 2,243
Website

Ello all,
This is my tuppence worth on bear prices,
With making a bear, the first time round, one makes mistakes and then with the next bear corrects these mistakes, the same is going to happen with pricing your bears.
People who under cut, sell for a silly price will at first sell a lot, but will soon go out of business, (unless they have a secret money tree  in the garden),as eventually their costs will exceed their profits.Time will also take its toil, we all know what bear making does to your hands, back, eyes, and of course repetitive strain injury - which results in carpal tunnel syndrome,and zap goes your wrists, so one must consider these factors when giving away your hard work for a pittance.
Today, at shows, because of various reasons, more and more artists are selling pieces of mohair ( from their own supply) their own patterns, and then ask- why are my bears not selling- well when a person sees a bear marked for XXX amount and they see a pattern marked for X amount, why should they buy the finished artist bear, when they THINK they can go home with the pattern and make the same bear ( which we all know they will not be able to make) so moral to the story, most artists are killing the bear market themselves. OOps wandered off the bear price topic.
Anyway be realistic with bear prices, ARTIST BEARS are special bears, created by SPECIAL PEOPLE and its hard work, remember for some artists this is a LIVING not a hobby DO NOT KILL THE MARKET with un realistic prices
"PHEW" now I feel better bear_original  bear_original
p.s. last word Shops however should not complain, they make 100-200% from us artists !!!!!!

Lynette.
AND  may 2006 be a BEARY GOOD BEARY YEAR for all of you. :hug:

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Hhhhmm  Lots and lots of different opinions here.  I don't believe there is any one right answer here.

I will say that I don't think there can ever be a base-line pricing system for art.  A buyer is not buying the mohair, fur, eyes, or joints....they are buying YOUR talent.  If Leonardo Divinci or Joe Smith each did a painting using the same canvas and oils paints they would be worth a world of different prices for the end result.  Our work is as individual as our fingerprints and that is what  collector is buying.

I agree that the market is saturated with bears and the cheap prices on ebay has contributed to this.  It sure does feel good to make a sale but it is sad to see so many artists selling themselves short.  I have seen slumps in the past but have faith.  I believe it will get better for those who can hang in there.

Brenda, I don't know how many people may employ help with bears but generally I make about one to three bears a week and I sew alomost everything by hand.  I too, like my bears to be entirely made only by me. 

At the end of the day everyone has to do what is right for them.  Do one thing everyday that makes you happy.

Acipenser Bine-Teddies
Stockholm
Posts: 862

I've been thinking about this pricing issue, which seems to come up now and then. I don't sell (yet), but to me there seems to be a difference between the price a hobbyist needs to take and the price someone  who lives off bear making needs. In Sweden, income taxes are very high and there is no lower limit below which I could sell tax free. This means, I would have to add 30-40% to the price I want for myself to cover taxes. For professional dealers another 25% in sales tax would need to be paid by the buyer. In Germany I wouldn't have to pay income tax below a certain amount and sales tax if applicable is only 16%. These differences would cause large differences in bear prices and since the bear market is international, especially with ebay, there is nothing that could be done about it if artists ever would agree on pricing strategies. BTW, sounds a bit like a cartell, doesn't it?

Has anyone else thought about taxes?

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ThReAdTeDs - Traditional, crochet, fiber, patterns, supplies by Berta Hesen-Minten
Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb