So this week I want to cover something I’m pretty sensitive about as a fursuit maker: Fursuit prices.
This can be a touchy subject for both buyer and artist. The reason I want to cover this so badly is that I think some people need to see the big picture.
To start off I was inspired by Ino89777’s tweet and the discussion is sparked, so I will be referencing this quite a bit in this article.
Why are fursuit prices skyrocketing?
With the increase of the actual value of fur, plus the cost of living going up, an average full fursuit starts at $2k compared to something you might have seen in the $1k range in the early 2000s. When I started creating suits 6 years ago I could buy fur for $20 USD a yard. The average for most quality fur is roughly $30-$40 a yard depending on the make of the fur. Of course, I’m talking about faux fur by the way. Not to mention the price of importing fur and shipping it has also skyrocketed. For example, 1 yard of fur to ship to my home in Canada would cost $69 USD. That’s not including import fees or taxes on top of that.
The increase in demand for fur has also very much increased. Furries being everywhere on the internet and the media have introduced more people into the fandom, thus more fursuit makers have been popping up out of nowhere so the demand for faux fur has increased. Some websites like fursuitsupplies.com even offer custom color runs. Fur colors and options are so much better today vs 10 years ago.
10 years ago you had only a small choice of makers to choose, now consumers have HUNDREDS. The demand for fur is not only a furry thing but fashion companies have also picked up on the trend. Edited explains the increase of cost and need for fur in detail.
What about those new to the community?
It’s not an odd sight to see a mother asking on social media for a fursuit for their child and having a budget of $200. Many makers will typically politely tell people that price won’t even cover materials. I personally don’t recommend kids getting suits AT ALL because they will very quickly outgrow them and that’s a heavy expense for such a short time period.
Other times there’s people new to the community and even those who are not furries are flabbergasted over the cost of a suit when you tell them how much you either charge or paid. I think as a community we should constantly educate people and push the idea that fursuits are no longer “affordable” and are a luxury item, something not required to have as a furry.
Fursuit makers deal with a lot. I’m speaking as both a client and an artist. Fursuit makers often suffer from health issues such as arthritis, neck and back pain, headaches and even mental sickness that could often lead to an artists block. Making fursuits is a very hard job. People are expecting more and more from makers.
What can we expect as a “basic” suit?
That is entirely up to the maker. Back then “basic” suits included static foam heads, 2D eyes, and pretty standard bodies. Now people expect eyes that follow, moving jaws, fans, puffy paws, and more features that increase the overall labor costs of a suit. Speaking of. Most makers are VERY underpaid. When paying for a fursuit the materials are only a small percentage of the cost. What you’re mostly paying for is the maker’s experience, time, and talent. Keep mind these costumes are handmade. Somer fursuit makers only charge minimum wage or less.
So bear this in mind the next time you turn up your nose over the cost of something and sit and think of why exactly something costs that much.
Next week I will cover a bit more in-depth to what its like being a fursuit maker and a more in depth explanation with how customers interact with us.
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