Last year Build-A-Bear caused chaos and heartache as Hudson Valley parents stood in line for hours hoping to score a cheap bear. Believe it or not, they're trying it again.

But now that we're all a year older, hopefully we're also a little wiser. But just in case, we've got some tips for you to avoid the line and still take advantage of this pretty steep discount.

If you don't remember last year's insane promotion, parents lined up early in the morning on July 12 for Build-A-Bear's "Pay Your Age" promotion at to two Hudson Valley locations. The make-your-own teddy bear stores in Middletown and Poughkeepsie allowed  customers to pay their age for bears that usually cost upwards of $35.

A crush of parents caused stores to cancel the deal and send customers home with their disappointed children after standing in line for up to six hours. To avoid the same heartache this year, we've got a couple of tips for you.

Diana Canning via Facebook

First of all, you should visit the Build-A-Bear website right now and make sure you're registered for the store's Bonus Club. Only members will be allowed to get the bears this year, and instead of first-come-first-served, there is going to be an online lottery. But that doesn't mean that there's still not going to be a line.

Between now and Sunday, June 16 everyone who registered will be qualified to "win" the chance of buying a bear for their age or receiving a free in-store birthday party. Those who win the Pay-Your-Age ticket will still need to be at a Bulid-A-Bear on select dates and times that will be announced sometime between June 24 and 28. Over 200,000 customers are expected to receive the tickets, so you can expect there to be lines on the only days that they are eligible to be used.

Of course, you could just skip all of this madness and just wait for your child's birthday. Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members get to take advantage of this same deal for a "Birthday Treat Bear" on any day during their child's birth month. So, unless your kid really wants a particular bear it's probably a much smarter idea to just wait for their birthday.

You can visit the Build-A-Bear website for more information, and to register for this year's Pay Your Age Ticket.

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