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Budget Furs


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Hi everyone, I'm looking for your tips for finding furs that will not break the bank. I understand that fur is considered a luxury item... but I believe there are ways to get around that. Budget in my case means, say, $300 max.


My usual strategies for online searches include terms like: vintage, used, wholesale, lots (often cheaper than buying individual furs)


What is/was your go-to strategy? Do you have recommendations for ebay sellers with modest prices? For in-store purchases, is there a best time of year to be looking for discounts, or that private owners would be more likely to sell?


Do furriers sell off scraps or excess, which could be used for your own crafts?

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Topic moved as it does not involve any items for sale.



My experience is limited, but I believe most furriers will NOT sell any scraps large enough for you to make anything significant. They will generally sell whole pelts at a retail price which would probably exceed your budget.

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As far as scraps go... I don't think any of my scraps would be useful to you. There are companies in Kastoria, Greece, which specialise in taking these scraps and sewing them into fur plates. These fur plates can be quite cheap. I think as far as obtaining something wearable goes, though you're better off sourcing vintage fur, because I would always advocate the use of the correct machinery and techniques for making fur coats - it's not something you work as any other fabric.


This (spring/summer) is a pretty good time of year for discounts, and often small furriers do end up with vintage coats they might be selling.

As I've stated in another post on here, just be careful with vintage and your 'value for money' because a lot of vintage sellers (unless they're furriers) will probably overprice or not know what they're selling. I would say a small amount of the time it works out in your favour (they're selling sable and they think it's mink) but most of the time, they call everything mink when it's actually rabbit, beaver, skunk or whatever... and they price it as mink...!


If you're buying new furs, you really do get what you pay for. Cheap prices are not going to be well made items. There are good ways to make fur and there are bad ways to make fur. I'm not just talking about the quality of the fur itself, although of course that's important. I recently took apart a fur coat made by a particular prominent company that I imagine many of you probably know of on here, so I'm not mentioning it. It had been sewn on a flat machine (normal sewing machine), not a fur machine. All the seams were taped with sticky bandage stuff, which corrodes the leather and it was completely destroyed in those places - the bandage stuff was about 2 inches wide, so that was a lot of bad leather. It was also made from plate, but that's not the worst thing in the world. If you don't mind a 'pieced' look, there are some very nice plate garments, and it's good for the environment because it is using up waste fur.

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I've had pretty good luck with ebay for budget furs. I've picked up some decently made used and vintage items that way for only a few hundred (although $300 is still on the low end, you're more likely to see $400-$800). Having just bought a custom black fox from a manufacturer in Europe for significantly more, I now understand the difference. But I don't think you'll be unhappy with some of the items on ebay, as long you're smart about it, willing to take your time doing research, and willing to take a potential risk. I've had particular luck with this store:



Some advice:

- Look for quality pictures that appear to be real (i.e. not taken from somewhere else on the internet; Chinese sellers are notorious for this)

- Learn how to tell the difference between something kinda ratty and something of decent quality from an image. This is hard (if not impossible) to teach. I'm usually pretty good at recognizing the general quality of a fur (and whether it's real or faux) on sight, but I'm often surprised to find that most people can't. But this is an essential skill when buying online. And you can still guess wrong sometimes.

- Never buy anything with rips, tears, or dry pelts. It's too far gone.

- Look for decent sizing information (I've found shoulder width and sleeve length to be most important, but I'm fairly skinny). Few things suck more than getting a new coat and finding that it really doesn't fit right.

- Look for good reviews of the seller that seem real (although if it's some rando selling their coat, that may not be available, and that shouldn't necessarily stop you)

- Go way way beyond the first couple pages. I've found hidden gems hiding on page 24 of my search results.


I've also found some decent stuff on Etsy as well. Including a gorgeous silver fox stole from a seller in Lithuania that was only a little more than $200. Same advice applies, of course.

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I am not particularly fixed on scraps - just an idea of how to maximize experience per dollar spent. I do feel that I have a good idea for determining what is real, and what is fake. I've had good and bad finds on ebay... I'm convinced it's all about knowing where to look. That said, everyone's feedback so far has been very helpful. Thank you


furlover02 - I will PM you when I have the post count.

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Avoid the chinese furs. I have bought a few and they don't even look remotely like what was in the pictures. They are also very flimsy.

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Just received three ebay coats... two wins (including one labelled as a cutter) and one dud.


It's a large full length mink, where the pelts seem to be in good condition (as seen in the pictures with a model), but the liner is severely separated. Seems like a good opportunity to learn how to make a throw blanket.


Thanks again everyone for feedback so far. Always have open ears.

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