Margarate Steiff lived in the late 1800’s in Germany. She was a seamstress who started making pincushions for her friends in the shape of an elephant. Kids started playing with them, so she decided to design different shapes and they turned into popular toys for children. She designed and made most of the prototypes herself, and created her own company in 1880.
Her nephew, Richard, came to work for the company close to the turn of the century. He used to visit the local zoo and draw the animals there, particularly the bears. He designed the first Steiff bear, which was snatched up by an American buyer who brought them to the States. The popularity of the bears and the company skyrocketed.
This company was the first to create and sell (for commercial purposes, on a large scale) stuffed animals. No wonder these things are so popular today. They’re great collector’s items, which means they’re great items for us to sell! Check out a few of them below:
They’re a little stiff, and some of the designs are a little more crude than others, but on the whole these are really adorable toys. You’re particularly lucky to find them with the tags still attached, but even ones that are missing things can still be worth some money.
Just like our Madame Alexander dolls we had to buy these individually, instead of in bulk. Some of the prices got a little high, but we were able to bring home about 16 of them. A few of them were larger than the others, but we were mostly able to snatch up the smaller versions.
Now, this is a good example of hoping for a homerun, but only making it to second base. We may have gotten a little carried away with these and spent just a tad bit more than we meant to. It happens to the best of us. We dropped $345 on these cute things and have so far made $234.95 of that back. So, we’re still in the red on these, but that’s okay! We’ve been able to make a profit off of each one that we’ve sold so far (7), and we still have 9 left. There’s plenty of room to still get over and above what we spent on these.
There’s a lesson to be learned here: persistence. Buy in bulk, buy the good stuff, get it up fast, and then WAIT. eBay is a numbers game and a waiting game. We’ve got something good here – nice condition, collectible item, multiple-niche interests – so I know that we’re going to be able to sell them. We’ve done well so far, and just because we haven’t earned all of our money back and plus some, doesn’t mean that we won’t.