Violent J's furry daughter calls out snaky fursuit sellers OISK
A video released last weekend caught viral attention both inside and outside the furry fandom. In this presentation, a member of a rap group known as the Insane Clown Posse talked with his daughter about being swindled by an online marketplace selling inferior fursuit knockoffs.
Violent J of the ICP and his daughter, introduced as Ruby, discussed their personal experience with an online retailer of OISK, a seller on the website DHGate. The family-friendly breakdown goes over how the final product differed greatly from what was advertised on the site.
The well-produced skit is a good conversation starter, particularly when it comes to the topic of these organizations that would take advantage of the dreams of future fursuiters by siphoning money in return for low-quality costumes.
Shining a new light on an old fandom problem
While these snakes may be newly introduced to the outside world though this video, the shifty practice of selling lower-quality rip-offs of popular fursuits using images of real fursuiters has been around for a few years. Odin Wolf created a video in the summer of 2017 where he bought a fake Majira Strawberry suit from the very same website as a gag. While done for entertainment purposes, the video highlights the differences between the advertised costume and the final product the buyer receives.
For those within the fandom, the trick of selling said knock-offs doesn’t work so well. Furs tend to know how much effort is required and that ordering a fursuit isn't a turn key purchase. Moreover, most legitimate fursuit-builders will refuse to copy another fan's fursuit outright. However, as Violent J's video shows, some consumers unaware of the organic and smaller marketplaces that exist within fandom can be tricked into losing hard-earned cash.
It's important to tell those who are new to the fandom, or have family members interested in acquiring fursuits, that there is currently no furry online mass-marketplace where you can buy quality fursuits. There are many reasons that there is no mainstream market for these costumes:
Firstly, fursonas are typically personal characters created by the wearer. Since they are original creations, the fursuit designer has to acquire the custom specifications from the purchaser. It also makes it unlucrative to create carbon copies of any particular style of suit, because people in the fandom typically create very unique characters and generic costumes will not fulfil the demand to bring their character to life.
It’s not like manufacturing a pair of jeans, which can be of use to people who just want a casual pair of pants. Selling them en-masse on a web page in the manner of clothes will earn minimal returns; and they certainly can’t be pre-manufactured in large quantities, as that is just a waste of money. If a seller did this, they would have a lot of unbought product collecting dust with demand being tempered for the particular style of costume.
There are also issues with full fursuits in particular, such as the wearer's build. While clothing sizes can be broken down into one or two numbers that are easy to understand, costumes have to take more into account. The size of hands, feet, body vertical length and girth are only a few things that need to be taken into consideration.
This is also why someone Ruby’s age would have a more difficult time acquiring a commission of a full body fursuit, as she tried to buy from OISK. With fursuit commissions in demand, those who create costumes are hesitant to take a client whose body size is still changing as they grow into adulthood. By the time a year passes of costume development, the client may no longer fit in the costume due to them growing up.
This would more than likely explain why the head of the shoddy product Ruby received from the online seller was so large on her. It was developed for an adult-sized face, with no further input from the buyer about their particular dimensions.
So the simplest way to highlight if a fursuit purchase could be a scam is if it is bought in such a way the require no human interaction with the seller at all prior to payment. If the person creating a custom costume cared about the quality of the product, they have to know the build of the person they are creating it for. Typically, it is only after this information is gathered that the designer can give a fair quote on to the actual cost of their work.
In other words, treat your fursuit purchase like renovating a kitchen, and not like buying a new blender for it.
A demand to be fulfilled
However, as people clearly fall for these snaky tactics, it is evident that clearly despite the above issues there is a consumer demand for a simpler way to purchase fursuits for consumers. Efforts are underway at Furry Network to try to develop a more cohesive marketplace for furry art. This idea continues in its beta form, and curiosity has continued to swirl about the concept of a more intuitive furry marketplace.
Should this foundation prove fruitful in a continually-growing fandom, fursuits would certainly be a part of the new economy. The faster the fandom can create such a homegrown mass-market, the quicker we can help drive the infestation of snakes from the web, directing people to a proper place to buy a product they will be happier with. In the meanwhile you can just use communications services on furry social sites to contact makers directly, or use non-fur services such as commiss.io or Etsy to find fursuit creators there.
There is still no replacement for doing research online for individual fursuit makers and inquiring for quotes and whether they can take on additional clients. After being snaked, Ruby and Violent J did this by finding an Etsy creator by the name of Red Strawberry Studios who made the suit used in the Snake Busters video. Take your time with this purchase, and you too will find the effort well worth it.
Because nothing crashes a future fursuiter’s dream than being snaked!