Many people think that the only way to score vintage collectible bears is to battle it out in auctions or head for the nearest specialty shops. You’ll be surprised to know that you can actually score some pieces in the unlikeliest of places such as antique stores and flea markets. Before you sway your head from left to right and vice versa, hear us out first.
You see, many people aren’t aware of the items hiding in their basements so when it’s time to give them away or sell them at a yard sale they don’t put much thought and attention to it. This is how a huge number of collectible items end up in antique shops and flea markets and this is also the reason why you should never discount these places while searching. If you really are a collector by passion then you’ll check them out.
But how exactly do you buy collectible teddy bears in these places? We have a few tips.
Keep an open mind. – These venues keep the most random of treasures so you’re never really sure of what you’ll find. Similar to thrift shopping, make sure that you always have with you an open mind and a good eye (or two) when scouring for pieces to add to your arsenal.
Be vigilant. – Although there are shops or sellers that greatly curate their items, it’s still a good practice for you to stay watchful and actually inspect the toys prior to your purchase. You’ll have to acknowledge their condition as well as validate their authenticity using your skills and knowledge which brings us to the next item on this list.
Come prepared. – You’ll need at least the basics when it comes to the knowledge about collectible teddy bears and how to differentiate fakes or replicas from the real deal. It would be wise to bring with you a smart phone or anything else that can help you make a quick research should you need it.
Set a limit. – As is with any other shopping escapade, budget is of huge importance. You won’t want to go over what you can afford. That’s not smart at all so set a spending limit and stick to it. Collectible teddy bears are priced differently and depending on the combination of various factors like rarity, age and condition.
Stuffed animals are no doubt cute and cuddly. But over time and as they get played with, these toys are bound to get dirty too. Dust, oils, food stains and the like will not only make them look old and dirty but they too can hasten their wear and tear. Of course, we don’t want that. So to help everyone with this dilemma, we give you a little run down on how to clean and wash these babies. Take a look!
1. Examine – Assess the level that you’d have to work with. Is this process just about washing off dirt? Will there be a need for repairs? How about bugs? You need to know what you’re dealing with. 2. Read – Most toys come with a tag. It’s usually a fabric one attached and sewn into the hemline that bears the manufacturer’s logo alongside care instructions and materials used in production. Be sure to take a look at this. It will give you an idea as to the thigns that must be and cannot be done to the toy. 3. Freeze – For stuffed animals that have a bug infestation, they must be sealed inside a plastic bag and placed in the freezer for a day or two. This shall help kill the bugs and eggs. 4. De-stuff – After two days, carefully undo a small portion of the hem and remove the old stuffing alongside the insects and bugs. Make sure to put those in another sealed bag and throw them away. 5. Wash – Prepare lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Say no to bleach and any form of heat as these can erode certain parts of the toy and dull its color. This can be done by hand using a soft bristled brush or by machine. With the latter, place the toy inside a mesh bag or pillow case first for extra protection. 6. Rinse – Again, make sure to use lukewarm water. Rinse repeatedly until soap is completely removed. 7. Dry – Let the stuffed animals sit on a slightly inclined surface for a while to let excess water drip. A machine dryer would make this job easier. But you can also air dry these toys or use a handheld dryer. Just make sure that it is not exposed to the sun or uses the warm setting of your dryer.
8. Stuff – Once dry, you can now put a new set of stuffing into your stuffed animals and sew the opened hem back up. Voila, good as new!
Yes, you’ve read that right. You can buy teddy bears online. After all, what can we not shop via the internet these days? Technology has raised things a notch higher and has elevated the bar for convenience in terms of shopping. But then again, even with its benefits and perks, one must still remember to apply their smart shopping practices to make the most out of it. Care to discover tips? If you do then read on.
Research about the toy. What type of teddy bear are you after? How about its manufacturer? Make sure that you know perfectly well what you are after because the internet can be pretty overwhelming. Its ten times more than your usual department store because options are virtually endless. Stop and think and define what you seek first.
Perform a background check on the shop. It would be silly not to. You have to make sure that they are not only legit but the quality of their products and services make every penny spent worth it.
Take a look at feedbacks. The best way to assess whether an online shop is great is by checking customer feedback, reviews and testimonials. Some of these may already be found on the site but it would also be best to check forums and blogs.
Scrutinize the smallest of details. Where do they hold office? What brands do they carry? How long have they been in business? These things may seem trivial at first but they will surely help you assess if the seller you will be transacting with is the one.
Understand terms and conditions. Before hitting the check out button, make sure that you fully understand the rules and policies that the site upholds because you wouldn’t want to end up realizing that your expectations won’t be served.
Assess shipping arrangements. How long will it take to have your toy delivered? How far will they come from? These are important not only for scheduling purposes but also in order to assess any customs and duties that might come with the purchase, if any.
Weigh the fairness of return policies. If the item sent is damaged or the wrong one, you’ll want to return it so be sure that you’ve carefully read the return policy attributed to it so you can decide not to transact if you deem them unfair in the first place.
Steiff stuffed animals come in all shapes and sizes. Some even come from decades of old with a few bearing more years than our grandparents. These toys have become quite an international favorite then and now. With their impeccable designs, undeniable allure and timeless charm, they are certainly not leaving everyone’s shelves, desks, beds and playpens.
Young and old alike, we all have these cuddly wonders either for play or for display. They’re toys for the kids and collectible pieces for the kid at heart. Regardless, it is a Steiff owner’s responsibility to ensure that the said bears are well taken cared for. Even with their impeccable durability, their longevity will still depend on how well they are maintained and love so today we’ve decided to dish out some pro pointers on how to take care of Steiff stuffed animals.
Provide for proper and adequate storage. – This is not only for sanitary purposes but also to keep the toys away from certain risks such as having pets chew on them. At the same time, this will ensure that they won’t act as a safety hazard considering that when stepped on, they are likely to cause one to slip. Cabinets, floating shelves, dresser tops, toy chests and cabinet drawers would do well.
Perform regular inspections. – Get those eyeballs rolling and go check up on those teddy bears on the regular. It won’t hurt to examine them at least on a monthly basis to see if they would need any cleaning or repair. The earlier you detect them the earlier you provide for the needed fix.
Know their needs. – Now we don’t mean this like we would if we’re talking about a pet but even teddy bears have their needs, food excluded. Because Steiff toys are manufactured using different materials, it is important to be wary of what these materials are to provide the right care for the items. Check their tags or look it up on the internet.
Wash and repair as needed. – When washing your Steiff studded animals, see to it that you use very mild soap and zero bleach. Water should be lukewarm. Use soft-bristled brush, sponge or cloth. When drying, use the cool setting on your machine or handheld blower and never dry them out in the sun. Heat is likely to fade out colors. When a damage is detected, repair it immediately or bring it to a repair shop if you need assistance.