Online shopping has easily become second nature to most of us. In fact, it has successfully embedded itself into our routines and lifestyles. But like anything else, especially with regard to shopping, buyers need to be smart if not cunning. We need to remember a couple of things if we were to purchase items through cyberspace. That said here is a list of things to remember should you buy teddy bears online soon.
Read the fine print. We’re all guilty of clicking “agree” even if we haven’t (a) read the terms in full and (b) bothered to understand them. We find them quite the laborious task and we can’t blame you because companies aren’t really wording these terms in a friendly manner. Still, it’s an important task to do because it contains not only our rights as customers but also the responsibilities of the site and shop in terms of privacy protection, product returns, shipping terms and the like.
Look for the “s”. Or in some cases the lock icon on the address bar. This means that the website exists on a secure server and that any information exchanged is better protected. It’s no guarantee but it’s the better option.
Dothe math. The price of the toy isn’t all there is to it. When we buy teddy bears online, we have to account for additional costs such as shipping fees which can greatly vary depending on the number and weight of items bought, the destination of the package and its origin as well as custom fees, duties and taxes if any.
Think of dates. No not the fruit you silly! Because online shopping means having the item delivered to your doorstep, you need to take into account the length of time it takes for it to arrive. Depending on the specifics of the shipment (e.g. origin and destination), things like the courier company and post office processing should be considered. You need to schedule those purchases so they arrive on time.
Research and double check. Run a Google search on the website or online shop you wish to buy from. It’s important to get to know both the products and the sellers. You wouldn’t want to buy from a shady site, do you? That’s not worth your safety, time and money.
Read feedbacks. When you buy teddy bears online, always make it a point to look up reviews and feedback from customers on trustworthy blogs, websites and forums. You can even check social media.
With so many items to choose from, why do many people choose to go for collectible teddy bears? What’s in them that make them so popular and fun to have? We went out to ask around and below are only a few of the answers we got. Check them out and see if you bear the same reasons too!
“They’re just too cute and adorable!”
Brenda – There is something about the toys that make them so charming. It’s like magic to be honest. Sometimes you feel under the weather and you look at them and get this sudden rush of happiness. They’re on the spot pick me uppers! I like to keep some in my bedroom while the others are spread across my home.
“They’re history tucked in a cuddly toy.”
Jonathan – I like antiques. I guess I have always been drawn to it. Looking at how much I gravitate towards old city charms, I wasn’t too surprised when I realized that I have a thing for vintage collectible teddy bears and toys. It was an instant attraction and connection. There’s so much history in them, some you get introduced to while others you have to discover for yourself. My collection isn’t that huge but it’s enough to get people talking when they come over to visit. They’re an instant conversational starter and quite an interesting one too!
“They’re quite a lucrative investment too.”
Alex – I’m a stock broker and investments are my thing. Teddy bears on the other hand were quite unexpected. I was scrolling through Craigslist and saw one for sale. I was surprised at the reaction and interest of a lot of people about the toy and so I thought: why not invest in them too? I currently trade collectibles but I keep a good number for myself. There are just some pieces that are hard to let go.
“They evoke a sense of exclusivity.”
Patricia – Not everyone has these bears and that somehow makes me feel special. It’s weird but there’s a sense of gratification in that. Rare and vintage ones can get really expensive so I try my best to save up whenever I can.
“They’re a forever friend.”
Selena – I own a lot of stuffed toys, not just collectible teddy bears. Some of them I’ve had since I was a kid while the rest were purchases over the last few years. What I like about them is that they remind me of the kid in me, the innocence and the simple joys. Plus, they’re always there to give you a hug!
Would you believe us if we told you that stuffed animals can cost a fortune? Well a good amount of them do and we’re here to list them down. We say that it’s time to raid that attic and check old boxes. Who knows, you might just have one of these lying in the corner.
Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear – $ 2,100,100
A collaboration between the German toy powerhouse and the infamous fashion emporium, this teddy bear was fully decked in designer clothing. The well-known LV monogram can be visibly seen all throughout from the bear’s clothes to its matching luggage case. This piece smashed records back in 2000 at a Monaco auction and has not been beaten ever since. It is currently preserved in a museum in Jeju Island, Korea.
Louis Vuitton Monogram Bear – $ 182,000
As if the above wasn’t enough, LV also had one manufactured on their own to celebrate its 150 years in the fashion scene. Only 500 of these were made. One named DouDou which stood a foot and a half tall was sold at a Monaco auction for the aforementioned price. The toy was decked in came with the fashion house’s monogram all over it. What a way to celebrate!
Teddy Girl – $ 150,000
This cinnamon haired toy manufactured by Steiff in 1905 is one of a kind. Although other models may still be found, the Teddy Girl proved to be exceptional as it once belonged to Colonel Bob Henderson. Serving the British Army as a small arms adviser to Field Marshal Montgomery, he took the bear to war with him during World War II. In 1962 he became the President of the Teddy Bear Club and founded Good Bears of the World, a charity that provides teddy bears to sick children. Years after his passing, the toy went up for sale at a Christie’s auction and was sold to businessman Yoshihiro Sekiguchi.
Black Mourning Bear – $136,000
The tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 left the world in terrible grief. Because of this, Steiff produced 600 black mourning bears in 5 different sizes to commemorate the incident. One of these was found stored in a closet for years and was sold at a 2000 London auction to the Puppenhaus Museum in Switzerland.
Which among these priciest stuffed animals do you want to add to your collection?
We all love a good collection story and although cars and jewelry may sound pretty neat, we prefer collectible teddy bears as the topic for the day. And we don’t see why not? Just because they’re toys doesn’t make them any less of an interesting pick. Plus, a lot of them even rake up as much value as real estate property.
To tickle your curiosity and interest even more, we give you the following facts you need to know about collectible teddy bears!
The world’s most sought after collectible bears, most of it at the least, were manufactured by a German company called Steiff. The same brand is the pioneer for teddy bear design and production and was established as early as 1880.
Not all of them are antique or vintage. Manufacturers have been releasing current collectible pieces in small numbers, often relating to or paying a nod to certain people, themes, events, literature and movies.
The most expensive teddy in the whole world cost a whopping $2.1 million. It was purchased at a Monaco auction back in the year 2000 by a certain Jessie Kim from Korea. It is the Louis Vuitton Bear manufactured by Steiff and was decked out in clothes and accessories with the ever popular ‘LV’ monogram. At present, it is being displayed at the Teddy bear Museum in Jeju Island in Korea.
A diamond and sapphire eyed teddy bear exists. For its 125th anniversary, German brand Steiff manufactured 125 pieces of this toy. It had diamonds and sapphires for eyes, golden thread for fur and a mouth pure of gold.
The first few models of the toy originally came with five joints. These are considered to be one of the rarest collectibles to find and coming across one in excellent condition is even more uncommon making them quite the hot item in auctions.
Black mourning bears were manufactured in 1912 to grieve the tragic Titanic incident. The toys came in black through and through from head to paw.
Colonel Bob Henderson fought alongside a toy he nicknamed ‘Teddy Girl’ during the Second World War. It was an 18 inch tall Steiff cinnamon centre seam teddy bear with thick curly mohair, black boot button eyes, pronounced clipped snout, black stitched nose, mouth and claws, swivel head, elongated jointed shaped limbs, shaped paws, large ‘spoon’ shaped feet and hump and believed to have been manufactured in 1904. Today, it is one of the most famous collectible teddy bears around the world.
Shopping for Steiff teddy bears is fun. That’s no doubt but then again it comes with its challenges too particularly if one is aiming to get hold of vintage pieces and limited edition releases. To up your game, we’ve listed down some dos and don’ts when you buy teddy bears online, to serve as a guide.
Do familiarize yourself with models. Throughout the years, the Steiff brand has released a number of various designs and each one is unique not only in terms of features but also in structure and materials used. Knowledge is power so make sure to gather your weapons.
Don’t buy without validating. Many replicas and fakes are available in the market because these items are not only valuable but they too come with a high demand. Arming yourself with knowledge as stated earlier will make it easier to spot and authenticate these toys.
Do scrutinize the seller. Don’t buy from just about anyone. Apart from validating the toy, also check up on the shop or person you are purchasing from. Look out for reviews and testimonials from the internet to have an idea regarding a particular store.
Don’t make do with bad conditions. Toys that are in bad shape or are infested with bugs are best left alone. Don’t risk it and think that you can operate on them and find a fix. It could be costlier in the long run and worse the item may not be salvageable after all. Always seek quality and optimal condition.
Do remember the button in ear. The design and material can vary depending on the year that the toy was released and whether or not it is a limited edition variant. Its presence can add a significant increase in the teddy bear’s value and is one of the signs of authenticity. There are pieces that no longer have the button in ear and instead leave a whole where it should have been. Their values are deemed lower without the said trademark intact.
Don’t forget about maintenance issues. Make sure to only purchase and shop for Steiff teddy bears that you are capable of taking care of. Not all of these toys can be treated alike because as we have said, they are made of various materials and come in different conditions. Apart from adequate and proper storage, cleaning will also be an issue to take a look at.