Miller, David L
WHAT ABOUT THE SECONDARY MARKET? Can we expect to see more coverage in the future, especially artist-made bears? These have been some of the most-asked questions this past year at the various teddy bear shows and events I have attended.
To clarify, the secondary market is where collectibles are bought and sold once the original editions have been sold out. The secondary market is driven by supply and demand. The higher the demand, usually, the higher the secondary market price. The biggest challenge in the secondary market is locating a specific piece. Collectibles can show up in many ways on the secondary market, including weekend flea markets, collector events, classified advertising, and the Internet.
For a magazine or book to publish secondary market listings, there must be an information source. Most credible books and listings supply a source explanation which states how the information was gathered. Usually, price listings will show a high and low price range or an average found among many dealers from different parts of the country. I would be skeptical of any secondary market price guide that did not explain how the information was gathered. Nonetheless, information is usually gathered through a network of dealers who specialize in buying and selling secondary market items.
A secondary market will certainly develop for artist-made bears in the future. Will it be an area of much activity? Probably not for a long time. Is this important? Definitely not. Artist-made bears are not produced in large numbers, which makes them rare, cherished items from the beginning. For a secondary market to grow, collectors must be willing to sell their teddy bears, and I don’t know of many who are. I would imagine that most collectible teddy bears will be passed down as family heirlooms for many years.
On the other hand, let’s assume that in fifty years, we start to see a lot of collectible teddy bears appearing on the secondary market. No one can predict what will happen. Will certain bears be worth more in the future? Most likely, but there are no guarantees. The secondary market is not a predictable science.
However, as the awareness of teddy bear collecting grows, the value of teddy bears will increase. When I say value, I don’t specifically mean in monetary terms. Teddy bears are becoming more important in today’s world. More people are discovering the unique attraction of the teddy bear as more information is shared through television, magazines, books, and the Internet.
As a collector, I wouldn’t be concerned about whether your collection will grow in dollar value. Most likely it will. I would continue to collect the pieces that you find yourself drawn to. When you read this issue, you’ll probably find yourself drawn to many of the new introductions this year. I know I did.
Copyright Cowles Enthusiast Media Mar/Apr 1999
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.