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Furs: $13,500 for a fursuit is too expensive! Gamers: Hold my beer!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

This week, the furry world was rattled by news from the fandom’s bidding site of Dealer’s Den when a record setting bid closed out a battle to acquire a fursuit from the highly in demand Made Fur You. The final bid came in at $13,500 dollars by Desafinado, a fursuit collector who already has two to their name made by Mischief Makers, dropped the wad of cash to secure their third. They plan on making a horned cat character named Sage with it. They have done an interview over the transaction with Dog Patch Press that can be found here.

The transaction has brought up many critical statements. In those they note that the amount of money is the amount of a car, or a sizable down payment on a mortgage. Of course, such comparisons to practical commodities overlook the fact that the purchaser in question may already have shelter and a mode of transportation that they are secure and happy with. Finances are a very personal thing, and it takes some perspective to realize that there is always someone out there who will make a less practical financial decisions in the world when they are secure in the needs department. In fact many furry artists bank on this.

The eclipse of the gamer

It didn’t take long for a more egregious example of exuberance to rear its head this week as a JimQuisition video highlights a transaction in the gaming world that similarly has those in that culture scratching their heads. This one around a virtual skin for a sniper rifle in the team shooter CS:GO. The skin has several factors of rarity going for it: it is a particularly rare skin, found only in the rarest form of loot box, in the rarest quality. Oh, and it’s also “signed” by an American eSport star Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, more known for being the MVP at a recent world-tournament in Boston where their team, Cloud9, won. My estimates is that is probably what influenced the seller to sell it at this time since demand for their virtual signature would be in higher demand.

So how much did this cosmetic for a virtual sniper rifle cost its purchaser? Just over $61,000. To put this in perspective, from what I can find some of the best real world sniper rifles don’t get much higher than $15,000 dollars. So if you were to have one of those with this skin on it and signed by a celebrity (modified and certified that you can’t actually kill people with it, of course); than the price seems to be more reasonable in my mind. But this isn’t a really real item, it is a virtual one. But I guess I’m old in that way: we live in a virtual world where virtual people vie for virtual power. Even so, this one skin is worth just over six bitcoins at the time of writing, which I would hope would make the young whippersnappers understand how much we’re talking about here. For only a few minutes at least as the value changes to make the conversion inaccurate.

In a more ironic perspective, the buyer of the skin paid just about as much for the weapon skin as his eSport idol probably took home from said Boston tournament after factoring for splitting the money among team members and other such deductions.

But that is what makes markets tricky, it’s really hard to judge the value of things, and when you throw people into the mix such measurements become trickier. A baseball card is a baseball card, but what if it has Babe Ruth on it? A fursuit is a fursuit, but what if it is made by a popular fursuit maker? A copy of Starcraft retails at $60, get one signed by HuskyStarcraft, Irda, or any other celebrity in that community and what happens to the price? How much are people willing to pay? People underestimate the power of celebrity and the effect it can have on pricing. I think it’s one of the reasons people roll their eyes at this kind of thing. But it shows that we do value people, and at least the ones in this story are all talented in some way. There are plenty celebrities that are untalented who have an inflated worth greater than a hot air balloon that makes Bitcoin’s inflation look like party balloon in comparison.

I’m sure if you’re American you have one example in mind. I’m not saying you’re wrong.

Their stuff is crap, and our crap is stuff

But if we are going to go the route of the frivolous expenditure shaming this week, we shouldn't really be wagging our fingers internally at a furry fan expending a good amount of money for a real and physical item. Instead we should take perspective that the other nerdy groups out there will expend so much more than us on their less than practical passions.

A fool and their money are soon parted, as one says. So who’s the bigger fool? One who spends $13,500 on a commodity that can be utilized in the real world and maintained for life if proper care is taken and would have just as much value then as now? Or one that spends nearly five times that much on a virtual item that will depreciate heavily in value as CS:GO goes the way of the dodo as all online multiplayer video games eventually do? I’m guessing, for example, that there are individuals who dropped a lot of money on Team Fortress 2 hats or earbuds that may look back on some of those decisions with regret.

In the end we should take perspective that the other nerdy groups out there will expend so much more than us on their less than practical passions. In this roo’s opinion, now may be the time we should start to reevaluate where gamers and furries fall in relation to one another on the infamous nerd hierarchy. Because compared to gamers, furries are clearly far more fiscally sane. At least for this week.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

That skin thing is just crazy. Spending a lot of money on a fursuit... well, if you have the money go for it. But the skin isn't a physical object. It doesn't even have any purpose outside of the game. It's not tangible. Even if CS:GO were to exist for eternity, digital objects can be easily copied. It might require hacking the game but the value is not tied to anything. You can't copy a fursuit the same way and even if you did it would no longer be made by the same maker. A copy of a rare file is identical to the original in every respect. You can try to enforce rarity in digital items but its completely artificial as the medium is not limited and, in the end, that's not helpful to anyone except those who are already at the top of the social/economic hierarchy.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I am very happy MFY decided to offer their services through these means, and I'm hoping more fursuit makers will use auctions as another way to sell.

The price of commodities is exactly as high as people are willing to pay for them. It is all regulated by supply and demand. A "world record" of $13,500 paid for a hobby acquisition isn't just not boisterous compared to other expensive hobbies a middle-aged man might have (such as motorbikes), but also these expensive purchases regulate the market.

I'll explain my personal case because I can relate.

I got a cheap partial suit not long ago from a local maker. After using it for several months, I realised, I wanted the real deal, a quality fullsuit costume from a reputable maker. Up to this point I had been saving up money for a couple of years into the thousands with no particular goal in mind but to be solvent. I could afford the purchase. I had the design, time to look for makers.

They have an infinite list of commissions, spanning one or two years. Their selection process is exhausting. Last time MFY opened for commissions they had over a hundred applicants or something ridiculous like that. And remember, the cutting price is $3000 bare minimum, so this is over a hundred clients willing to spend at least $3000, on the spot, for a quality costume. Based on looks, my design just can't compete to grab the attention of the maker. It's just the most generic-looking dog. No fursuit maker is going to select my design if they can choose a more interesting one for the same price. But I have more money, and I'm willing to spend it. And I don't want to wait over a year for my suit.

Checking out several professional makers, I find one to my liking that sells almost exclusively through auctions, every two months, for whoever's willing to spend more on it. Excellent. I put $7000 on the table, deal's closed, it'll be done in four months.

So why is this good. First, because some customers just don't want to go through the whole selection process. To use an analogy, the kind of customer exists who'll book a first-class seat on a plane just to make the experience less painful. If you're going to pay one of the best makers in the world to make you a suit, you might as well have the option to get it done for sure, and faster, when you pay them more. It makes sense from a customer point of view, it makes sense for the business.

Second, it is good because I feel there's a drought of actually good fursuit makers. Five great makers, ten great makers, these are just not enough to meet the current demand. If people see that you can actually make money out of fursuits, make a living off of it, then more people will take it seriously as a business venture, improve their current sewing skills or start from the ground up. I don't know what other customers look for when requesting a fursuit, but I know what I looked for, besides great looks: Experienced Craftsmanship. Anyone who's dealt with a fursuit will know it's a rough affair. Visibility is impaired, it can get extremely warm inside, and you will be carrying it with you to different countries / states inside mistreated luggage. You need the thing to be durable, and light, and comfortable. Double sewing is a must. I don't see fursuit makers giving enough importance to these things, on the internet. Some have extremely cute suits, but no great customer feedback, or don't speak about what the suit's like on the inside. If MFY costumes are very popular, it's because MFY doesn't just care about looking cute but also their product is a quality product.

So fursuit makers, if you like what you do, and you like getting more money, improve your work, and diversify your means to satisfy customers and deliver a product.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

What really boggles my mind about this is how someone can spend this amount on multiple suits, yet apparently never try to learn the craft themself. Sure, buying from one of these makers definitely gets you very good quality (even including MM's same-face issue, that can be part of the charm after all) but it's kinda alien to me to have such a passion for something like that without also cherishing the ability to bring it to fruition yourself.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I don't know if they had tried to make their own fursuits or not.

It's also possible to be a fan of things without having the skills to do things with them. Like a techie that likes computers, but would never really design his own because he is worried he would screw it up, so he just buys them pre-made.

Plus people with a lot of money typically don't have much free-time (that's the sacrifice for having a well paying job is that they will keep you freaking busy). So they may not have the time to learn to make something and instead will pay someone else to do it for them.

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I plan on getting a suit eventually, but I will definitely not be spending anywhere close to $10,000 or more. Suits are already a fairly uncommon luxury item at the $3,000 price point. That is a lot of money for the vast majority of furries. I don't think there are a ton of furries out there who can afford to spend much more than that, and even at that price I get the feeling that most are doing some kind of "financing."

I agree that this is a question of supply and demand, but demand will taper off significantly as the price climbs past the "few thousand dollars" point. It is notable in the article that the person who spent $13,500 on this suit already has 2 others and plans to get even another one! They indicated that they didn't think MFY would make a bunny suit up to their standards... FOR $13,500!!!! I have to assume that the person is very wealthy or at least moderately wealthy and ok with throwing around a lot of money on such luxuries. But the main reason why it is notable that the winner already has a few other suits is that this is more of an indication of a passionate base of relatively few cash-heavy customers (compared to the overall furry population) who are essentially "collectors," kind of analogous to collectors of fine art. These types of auctions are kind of a way for those cash-heavy customers to assign value to the art.

It may be that there is some similar intrinsic value to fursuits where they could be sold/traded on the free market like fine art. I know of at least a few friends who have bought other's fursuits because they felt there was some value to it. However, "fine art" is not a business in the same way that selling products and services is a business. Normal businesses flourish because they have simple, predictable pricing structures and a massive base of customers who generally believe they are getting a good deal. Indeed, most of the most successful furry artists I know (not accounting for Patreon, which I think is its own beast) are artists who have a relatively modest pricing structure and enormous bases of customers. There are of course a few exceptions, i.e. artists who charge very high prices and still get regular business. However, again, I think the more we move in that direction, we are getting more toward that "fine art" category, where the customer base is shrinking down to the "collector" level. At that level, the number of successful artists will also taper off because there are only so many collectors to go around.

At the end of the day, I say kudos to MFY for making such an amazing sale. However, I do not think that level of pricing or anything too much above the $3,000 level is sustainable for the general furry population. I think suitmaking will become more profitable as makers invent new ways of making the suits faster, not by prices going up via auctions.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

As an capitalist I as good on ya but I hope the person used cash not debt.

Still as a furry its show how fusuiting, in my opinion, is getting out of control by become a fashion status and statement.

To answer Equivamp, the fandom is driving crafting and self expression out of the fandom. While many of these suits are good there are too good. I heard of home made suiters verbally beaten down because their home made suit doesn't look like any of the professions makers. Second the concentration suiting to a few elite makers case homogenization of fursuits, to a refection of the suit maker and artist style, rather than the suit wearer.

Your rating: None

I don't agree with your assessment.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

oh wow

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Understandably, some are annoyed at the display of wealth. But they paid for what will presumably be a high-quality suit, shown off to a lot of people. The "whales" in these high-value transactions end up subsidizing everyone else's enjoyment.

Similarly, free-to-play games get a lot of bad press for their business models - and they're not all great. But let's not forget: many players can now enjoy a AAA game, legally, for free. This only happens because some people are willing to pay a lot.

I'm waiting for the secondary fursona market to take off. Will your character appreciate, or face de-listing? Invest wisely, and acquire a YCH goldmine. But a downturn in the used fox market, and you could lose it all! Fursona Manager Pro: out Fall 2018 on PC and Xbox.

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I highly doubt Made Fur You is going to start providing free fursuits because they got a 13,000 dollar purchase. But yeah, the group would be using profit moneys towards attending convention, and such things so the money does remain in the ecosystem.

They could also use the money to expand ideas... I mean, there was clothes on that reference sheet. Maybe as a token they could design one of the wardrobes on the ref sheet for the full suit. It'd be a good way to experiment accessorizing for large suits. One of the flaws of a full suit over a partial is the inability to adapt in the clothing department. So being able to make wearable clothing for a fur-suit (more than just shorts... that gets a bad rep) may be interesting.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I doubt that's what he meant at all. People like going to conventions and they like seeing fursuits. Fursuit parades are thronged by non-suiters, both furry and non-furry, who are not being forced there so presumably are gaining enjoyment from seeing someone in a suit. Wearing a high-quality suit that will be seen by a lot of people is going to bring enjoyment to all those people and they won't even have to pay for it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

I think the jealousy comes not from the fact that this guy has so much money to spend on a suit, but the fear that will become the going rate for fursuits from top makers, and those who have spent years saving up $1000's will have a target than turns from difficult to nigh on impossible. The difference between $4000 and $13,000 is enormous, it's not the small price rises we are used to.

To use a car analogy, currently most furries, if the save their pennies and put in some effort to save, can afford a Ferrari. If prices like this become the norm, we see something more akin to the real car market, where "luxury" brands are only accessible to the wealthy and the rest of us have to settle for a Ford Focus (or perhaps a Mercedes). You may argue, that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that scenario. But to the person who currently wants the Ferrari and knows if they only scrimp an extra $1000 they can afford it, a hike like that is shattering their dreams and expectations.

Now there are good reasons to say that $13,000 is not a sustainable going rate. But it can be hard to reassure people of that.

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Except bids are likely inflated in price because people get caught up in the moment. Not to mention this auction isn't even the highest price for a fursuit. There was a $17 500 fursuit that is still the most expensive fursuit as far as I know. That one was from a couple years back.

Not only is this not the highest price for a fursuit but focussing on any specific suit instead of an average price per year is just to miss the point. There will always be exceptionally expensive products but you don't care about the average person's ability to buy or commission the most expensive thing, you care about the average person's ability to afford the average price of a fursuit. An article like the one above contributes nothing to that discussion.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

You are probably right about the auction, but a fursuit commission that would typically go for $3-4000 going for $13,000 is going to worry some people. And people don't know how many other furries there are out there willing to part with that sort of cash. There's no reason for MFY to sell at any price below what people are willing to pay. You can dismiss that it's unsustainable, but it's easy to have a niggling doubt that it might be wrong.

Of course, it isn't the highest price for a fursuit *ever*, there are more expensive examples. Those are like the rare small-batch supercars in my car analogy. But MFY is a well known top-end brand. We can't pretend brand doesn't matter in Fursuits, people do pay for the label.

Average price doesn't tell you that much because there is such a wide distribution, and not everybody wants to pay for a top-end suit even if they can afford it. Fursuits in general are likely to always be affordable to anyone who isn't living paycheque to paycheque, because there will probably always be entry-level makers willing to make suits for little profit (or even at cost or a loss). How much of the market is affordable to a certain percentage of the fandom is going to tell you something important too.

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About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a Kangaroo from Syracroose, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, philosophy and writing