Frequently Asked Questions
You have a burning question?
Are you wondering which Star Trek Discovery character is my favorite? Easy: it's Tilly.
No, wait-- it's Michael Burnham. No, Tilly! Michael!
I love both of them. And the tardigrade... I love him, too.
For all the other boring (bear) stuff, check out my list of frequently asked questions below.
If you can't find the answer you need here, just email me.
Instant transfer through PayPal is the only payment method I can accept. No e-checks, and no third-party payments.
A verified PayPal account with a confirmed shipping address is required for purchase. I will ship to the exact name and address Paypal provides with the payment in order to preserve buyer and seller protection. ✦ However, I will make an exception if your PayPal account is registered to a dead name.✦ Tell me the correct name to address so that you can be as excited to receive your package as I am to send it your way.
After you place your order, a PayPal invoice should arrive within 2 hours. PayPal's notifications are sometimes delayed, so if you haven't received an email from them within that timeframe please check your PayPal account log to find the invoice. You have 24 hours from the time I create the invoice to pay, after which time the hold will be released from the bear and the order will be canceled.
I, the seller, will pay the transaction fees, and must insist on "Payment for Goods" which allows me to print postage with a commercial discount through PayPal.
Which payment methods do you accept?
(tl;dr: PayPal. I only accept Paypal.)
Do you accept layaway payments?
For purchases over $400, layaway arrangements are welcome. A non-refundable deposit equal to ⅓ of the adoption fee will be due up front. The remaining ⅔ balance (plus the shipping fee) will be due within 60 days of the deposit. The only caveat: I cannot accept a Layaway term that spans past December 31. All payment arrangements must be concluded prior to the end of the current tax year.
**Please remember: PayPal's buyer protection is typically nullified if a buyer makes multiple payments toward a single purchase, which is the case any time you're utilizing a layaway arrangement. Please be careful and only agree to layaway arrangements with sellers you know and trust. Consider using PayPal's credit or installment plan, instead, to preserve your protection and simplify your transaction with the seller.
All bears are shipped by USPS Priority Mail or Priority Express Mail (the availability of insurance for each shipping service varies based on the destination country).
International customers: I use Priority Express Mail (formerly known as "EMS") for international shipments. I can no longer use standard Priority for international sales because the upgrade to EMS is required in order to purchase insurance to certain destinations (United Kingdom, for example).
The buyer is responsible for the payment of all import taxes and duties levied by the destination country.
If a package is returned to me due to the customer's failure or refusal to pay customs fees, I will not ship to that customer a second time.
All of my packages are marked as "MERCHANDISE" on the customs declaration (never designated "Gift"). Full value is declared and insured on every package.
Please do not ask me to under-declare value or to mark the package as a "Gift".
I could lose my postal privileges, incur fines up to $10,000 per offense, and possibly face jail time.
I can't go back! Just kiddin'. I haven't been to jail yet.
What happens if my bear never arrives?!
**I DO NOT HOLD BEARS WITHOUT PAYMENT UP FRONT.**
Please feel free to ask questions or request more photos-- BUT, if another customer places their order before I hear back from you, I will move ahead with the sale to the customer who is ready to pay. It's nothing personal, so try not to let it hurt your feelings.
No e-checks. No third party payments. I ship only to the confirmed name and address provided by Paypal with your payment. **Obviously, an exception will be made to avoid deadnaming. I'm not some deadnaming a**hole.
Please DO NOT send payments through the "Personal/Friends/Family" option. While I appreciate the gesture, I sincerely don't mind paying the fees for the service Paypal provides. It's worth it to me for the ease of accepting online payments and for the seller protection they provide for each transaction. PayPal also gives me a discounted commercial rate for shipping when I receive payment through the Goods & Services option-- that alone saves me a chunk of change on the transaction. At the end of the year, PayPal provides a report of all income which makes filing taxes a breeze-- all income except those pesky personal payments, that is.
(1) I have a Paypal Business account. Personal payments sent to my account will muck up Paypal's tax reporting (which I need to be accurate for tax-filing time). Personal payments are a real pain in my ass to deal with at tax time because they're not rolled in with my Annual PayPal report totals and have to be added manually at the end of the year. I still have to report every cent to the IRS, and ideally, the amount I'm reporting matches my PayPal report.
(2) Accepting Personal Payments could put my Business Account standing in jeopardy because doing so constitutes fee avoidance. I really don't mind paying the PayPal fees, and besides: the fees are already built into the price of the bear. I will NEVER ask my customers to cover PayPal fees. Please don't ever feel that it's implied that I want you to pitch in on the fees or send it as a Friends/Family transfer. I will provide an invoice to make paying easier. Easy for you. Easy for me. You can also double-check all the numbers on the invoice to make sure you're getting the deal we've agreed upon, including the shipping charge and any discounts I've offered.
Saying it louder for those in the back: PayPal transaction fees are already built into the price of the bear.
(3) I prefer to print postage directly from PayPal, especially when the buyer has an international address. Countries outside of the USA have different address formatting, and sometimes the USPS system kicks line entries back as "unrecognized". It can be very frustrating, trying to print international postage directly through USPS.com. PayPal streamlines the process and formats the address for me. If a buyer uses the Personal Payment option, I'll have to wrangle the address through USPS.com, or go to the counter in person-- I would rather die.
IF YOUR BEAR ARRIVES DAMAGED OR GOES MISSING IN THE MAIL, rest assured: I always insure my packages for the full value. For damage claims, please save the original packaging and provide photos of the bear and the packaging. I will require that the bear be returned to me before I provide a full refund.
For missing package claims, please be patient with me because I will have to file the insurance claim according to the USPS guidelines, timelines, and procedures. Sometimes the USPS will require a full 30 days to give them a chance to locate the package in their system before they will process the claim for a total loss.
I have never (not once!) had a bear go permanently M.I.A. They've always arrived within the 30 days required before a claim can be filed...but I've had to sweat it out with my customers a time or two.
Purchase Terms and Conditions
What is your return policy?
My bears, when purchased directly from The Peach Peddler™ (that's me → Christie Kotz 😇 ) include a satisfaction guarantee. If you aren't absolutely in love with your bear when you meet him face-to-furface, you can return him (postmarked within 7 days of his arrival to you, determined by USPS tracking / delivery confirmation date), and a full refund will be issued through PayPal as soon as he's safe and sound** back home with me. ♥
**received in the same condition he was in when I sent him to you** Don't try stealin' his doodads, or teaching him curse words he didn't already know!
No questions asked-- no guilt warranted or expected!-- if your new bear isn't tugging your heartstrings. Artist bears are far too expensive for you to settle for one who doesn't make you genuinely happy. Trust me, someone out there will want the bear who wasn't right for you... he'll be their perfect bear. The right one will come along for you, too. Don't settle in the meantime or feel like you're stuck with a bear you don't love. For your money, you deserve the whole package.
Having said that, if you're particularly prone to buyer's remorse and it's happening to you over and over (when you see the bear in person you can't stop thinking about the money you spent buying him online), maybe you should try buying bears in person for a while so that you can hold them in your hands before you slap your money on the table. That seems to help me when I find myself feeling blah about bears I've found online.
You're also welcome to post your new arrival on the secondary market for re-sale or trade with no hard feelings from me.
My dog, cat, or little human enjoys your bears very much... maybe too much...
If you stumble across a bear I've made who's lost his paperwork somewhere along the way, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me to request replacement tags. I'll do my research to ensure that he's one of my bears and to find the date he was created before issuing new tags. You'll pay for the postage, but the replacement tags are free. You may need to wait until I finish my next bear so that I can print the tags when I'm already in the process of creating tags for that current bear. I also don't mind making replacement tags if you're trying to sell the bear and you've misplaced his tags. I love to get credit for the bears I've made, so it's totally fine with me if you need replacements made for selling bears, too.
If someone has cut the sewn-in label from my bear: first, take away their scissors, and stare at them all judgey-like for an appropriately awkward amount of time. But then email me for a new label... I'll send you one.
Here's something you may not realize yet: dogs and cats love mohair. Have you ever taken a whiff of a mohair bear? It smells a bit goaty. Not bad...just goaty. There's just something about that scent-- pets love it. And they really, REALLY love the beeswax-coated bear noses. The beeswax component is non-toxic and shouldn't cause any harm if ingested. I've eaten raw honeycomb before, and it's... not great, but I didn't die from it.
What worries me is the oil paint (Winsor & Newton Artist Oils) used to shade the bear faces and noses. Some of the paint ingredients are very likely to be toxic. Please try to keep the bears up high and inaccessible to your pets & children.
Now that we've got the disclaimers out of the way, let's say that your pup has outsmarted you. He stole your bear, chewed up the embroidered nose, and potentially ruined your investment. OR, that furry little turd chewed off the tush tag because -- I don't even know why dogs do that. They just do.
Get in touch with me! I can take a look at the photos to determine if the bear can be salvaged. If repairs can be made, you'll just need to cover roundtrip expenses for the bear to come by for a short stay with me. I have tons of labels and lots of nose thread... I won't charge you for the repairs or my time. You just cover the airfare both ways, and your bear is welcome to visit me to train back into fighting shape.
Contact me ahead of time, though. Don't mail a bear to me out of the blue without a heads up, because my family moves around a lot! You could be sending him to the wrong address-- he'd start a new life with a new family and we'd never see him again.
My bears are not intended for ANYONE under the age of 14... that includes children of the human variety as well as your furry kids. It's a safety issue more than anything else (glass eyes, small metal parts inside, steel weighting, other choking hazards).
Accidents will happen. If you tell me that your little one (any age) fell in love with a bear and claimed it as their own-- that she (or he) carried that bear everywhere until his eyes popped off and his fur wore away, leaving bare spots-- I won't be mad. I'll keep patching up that bear for his kid as long as there are enough parts to thatch together. If the day comes when that little bear just can't go on-- when things fall apart and the center cannot hold-- I'll do my best to find similar fur to attempt a reproduction of the same bear. Nothing gets me choked up like a kid being permanently parted from their beloved teddybear. ♥
I love the way children love their bears. I won't judge you for failing to keep a bear in "Mint" or "collectible" condition. It means more to me that someone made him special and he was "real" for them. I still have great memories of all of my stuffed animals from my childhood... I loved my bears until their fur fell off and they had been patched and washed a hundred times.
Can I get replacement tags?
Does it bother you when your bears are re-sold?
Or-- what if *gasp* the asking price is higher than your original retail?!
Short answer: NOPE.
Bears will travel, it's kinda' their thing.
On the secondary market, the bear's value is determined by the current owner and the buyer-- not the artist or the original company who produced the collectible.
Long answer: *deep breath*
My pattern style (and my own taste in teddybears) is constantly changing.
I re-evaluate my personal collection of bears all the time. Whenever I want to attend a bear show-- or let's say an interesting bear pops up on eBay-- I have to cut a couple of bears from the home team to scrape up the funds for the new guy. In my husband's words: "We've reached critical mass.". (Rude.) If I want a new bear, one of my older bears has to go to free up the space in my cabinet and room in the budget. No one understands the revolving door of bear collecting more than I do. Most of the teddies in my personal collection start to sweat when their contract comes up for renewal.
Coming at this from the perspective of both a bearmaker and a collector: I expect to see The Peach Peddler bears travel to new owners over the years. I get it-- sometimes it's just nice to change things up and get some fresh faces rotated into the bear crew.
Coming at this from another angle: I don't want (or need) to know every time one of my bears surfaces for sale on the secondary market. Please don't report it to me when someone else lists one of my bears.
Earnestly speaking: I don't want to debate the price a seller sets on the secondary market. The seller invested in one of my bears, and they should be allowed to determine their asking price without being harassed. If you don't like the price, don't buy it.
I appreciate that someone might feel like they're looking out for my brand or my feelings-- but before you get all fired up on my behalf, please remember that I'm 100% A-OK with people doing what they want with The Peach Peddler bears that they own-- that includes selling my bears for a profit.
So that's it. Bear people are my people. Do what makes you happy. I'm not sweating the silly stuff over here.
Do you have a question I haven't covered (that won't require math)?