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FurBuy adds annual fee for serious users

Edited as of 19:58
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FurBuy has implemented a $18 annual fee for those making significant income via the site. The fee also affects those who wish to post four concurrent auctions, or seven in a month.

Initially, the fee was implemented after $400 of sales – chosen as the amount above which self-employment tax must be paid in the USA. Advance notice of the proposed changes were posted on FurBuy's LiveJournal community and FA journal.

Clearly not all users were watching, as a user backlash ensued. After a week, site owner Jurann raised the limit to $900, but noted that it is likely to include current and opening bids in the future, to prevent listing a number of high-value auctions at once.

FurBuy originally asked users for donations to cover its expenses, but monthly income from them has consistently fallen short of the $400 target. Jurann said that FA's Dragoneer had suggested subscriptions to cover FurBuy's $450/month server fees, and was also considering them for FA.

The fee was followed by an initial fall in listings. While users now appeared mollified, the site faces competition from FurBid and The Dealers Den, neither of which have announced plans for mandatory listing fees. Sinabu, owner of The Dealers Den, explained how he could afford it:

I own my hosting company.. That pretty much takes care of all my needs..

Jurann says 360 subscriptions are required to pay for the site, and that 85 have already paid. He also claims that the site has facilitated over $250,000 in sales this year, with more than 60 sellers earning over $1000, and that he has put over $60,000 of his own money into the site.

FurBuy celebrates its 10th anniversary next week. The site opened to the public on 1 December 2000 after a three month beta.


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Nothing comes for free and no donation model is sustainable indefinitely for services like FA and FurBuy. At least with a freemium service they can look at trying to make sustainable growth.

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At the end of the day, someone has to pay. Right now most sites are within the reach of furs with passion and a good job, but that may not be true forever. Besides, it's unfair, and a bad business model – what if the owner loses interest?

We've seen several stories recently about site funding, and I expect them to continue.

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Right now most sites are within the reach of furs with passion and a good job

Mmm... benevolent subsidising... You're spot on when you mention the risk of owners losing interest, or the will to carry on spending.

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I'll note that there's a couple of instances of "FurBid" in the article where it should say "FurBuy"; the only place in the article, far as I can tell, that should say FurBid is the bit about competitors.

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Thanks - I thought I'd fixed that, but apparently not in the final draft that I posted. The names are confusingly similar!

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$450 a month for a website like Furbuy is a complete joke. I am very sure that this website could easily run on a small dedicated server for $49.90 a month which would then still have massive power reserves.

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There's been more discussion at fursuitlounge. Free account restrictions are now noted when signing up and creating auctions.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.