How To Buy A Fursuit
But you’re probably wondering “How do I get a fursuit to review?!”
Here, we will go through the basics of how to buy a fursuit. There are many guides online that go into each step in depth, as well as steps this guide doesn’t cover at all (such as deciding which type of fursuit is best for you) but this guide’s goal is only a simple overview.
Just what is a fursuit? Are you sure you want to own one?
A fursuit is a large animal costume that can partially or wholly cover the body. However, the head piece (mask) completely covers the face.
Vision is limited– you will only be able to see directly in front of you in most cases.
Ventilation is not great – you will be hot and sweating within seconds of putting most fursuit pieces on.
They can be incredibly claustrophobic, and many heads do not allow room for glasses.
Fursuits should be avoided if you are prone to overheating or you have issues with any of the above listed problems.
Fursuits are expensive.
Generally, a “good” fursuit starts around 800 USD. The really great fursuits that win costume competitions and have viral photos passed around the internet usually start at $3000 but can commonly go above $5000. Use FursuitReview’s price sorting options to get a feel for what you can expect in the price range you are willing to pay. But take note- many of our reviews are old, and the maker has likely raised their prices since it was posted (which is why we make the “Year Made” and “Review Date” so prominent in our reviews).
Additionally, the most well-known and expensive makers tend to not have many (if any) reviews submitted here. Many owners of these “luxury” fursuits feel the reputation of the maker speaks for itself and there is no need to submit a review. (Of course, FursuitReview would eagerly accept reviews for these makers! If you own one, please submit a review.)
Fursuits involve a large time investment from you.
If you buy a pre-made, you can have your fursuit in less than three months. Otherwise, you need to contact a maker directly for your fursuit project, and it is common to wait a year or more (waiting in the queue + actual time to complete your project) to get a fullsuit.
This is assuming you actually get a spot to begin with- many makers only accept commissions a few times a year, and those slots are limited. A substantial amount of time can be spent simply waiting for the maker you want to open commissions, and then hoping you are selected. Makers rarely work on a “first come, first served” basis.
You must be eighteen (18) or older.
Many fursuits are one-of-a-kind and made to your size. Generally, your measurements will change as you grow, until you are about 18 years old. There is no sense in buying such an expensive item that likely won’t fit anymore in a year or two. The vast majority of makers will not allow minors (people under 18) to commission them due to this and legalities involving contracts with minors.
There is no resale value for used fursuits.
If you have a fursuit and decide to sell it later, you will not get anywhere near what you paid in the vast majority of cases. This is true even if you didn’t actually use the fursuit. Once it has left the maker, most people do not want to buy it and/or are unwilling to pay what it is worth.
While it is possible to get what you paid for it, it is very, very difficult and time-consuming. As an example, it took Bornes (the admin of FursuitReview) an entire year to sell a barely used fursuit head from Mordrude’s Monsters (now known as Kitsune Illusions) for $500. Other fursuit heads and partials bought for $800 were sold at $300 and below. Re-selling fursuits is generally difficult and depressing.
Often, if you see a story of someone selling their fursuit at or above its original cost, it is because the owner of that fursuit is extremely popular and/or they are offering more than just the fursuit (e.g. selling the character and including lots of character art).
Buying a custom fursuit carries a substantial risk.
While it is sad, it must be noted that most fursuit makers are simply people doing this as a hobby. Finding a maker that is actually registered as a business is rare (and those that are have higher prices to reflect this status).
Because most makers are hobbyists, there is an unfortunately high risk that your project won’t be completed in time, won’t be completed to your satisfaction, or simply won’t be finished at all. The stories of makers who ran with the money are sadly too common, as are the stories of people who had to wait over two years, or received their fursuit in unwearable condition.
Fursuit makers often live and die by their reputation alone, and this is partly why several “big name” makers have been recommended over and over again, but even these makers can still fail to deliver. People who are victims of these makers are often too afraid to come forward due to the backlash. FursuitReview submitters have requested their reviews be removed due to the maker abusing them in private over the posting more than once.
FursuitReview tries to persuade everyone to keep their reviews up so the community can be aware, but the possibility of a negative review backfiring is there, and it causes many people to fear coming forward with their bad experience. This makes finding negative information incredibly difficult, thus decreasing your defense against the possibility of a maker taking advantage of you.
Because FursuitReview does not allow reviews for fursuits that were never received, you should familiarize yourself with the Artists Beware community and check to see if the maker you are interested in has been listed there. But be aware that abusive makers can often change their names and start a “new” business. FursuitReview and Artists Beware try to stay on top of this, but it is not fail-proof.
Of course, there are plenty of trustworthy makers out there, too! Buying a fursuit is not all doom and gloom, but it’s important that you protect yourself and be warned of the risk before you start.
Commissioning vs. pre-made fursuits
Pre-made fursuits are just what the name implies: pre-made. It’s important to note that “pre-made” on FursuitReview refers to fursuits bought directly from the maker, and not for previously sold fursuits. It is common for makers to make what they want in a general size and then sell this. Used fursuits, not bought directly from the maker, are not allowed to be reviewed on FursuitReview, but you can still buy them in the same places you can buy pre-mades.
Commissioning is the process of ordering a custom-made fursuit directly from the maker.
Generally, the process involves:
1. Contacting the maker directly with your idea/character design and getting a quote for it
2. Submitting a duct tape dummy (DTD) to the maker
4. Receiving your finished product
You should buy a pre-made if you don’t have a particular idea for a fursuit in mind, you have a lower budget, and/or you want the fursuit in less than three months.
Commissioning is ideal for people who have a very specific idea in mind for their fursuit and/or they are okay with waiting a long time to receive their costume.
Where to buy pre-mades
Pre-made fursuits can be found in various places. Depending on the maker, you can buy from an auction site or get them directly from a maker’s social media page or store (which will be discussed later). You can also find them at furry conventions, if you happen to attend one.
The two most common places to find pre-mades are the auction sites FurBuy and The Dealers Den. Both of these sites can be summarized as “furry version of eBay” and each has their own fursuit section. If you’re looking for a pre-made fursuit, you should look here first.
While not as common, some fursuit makers sell pre-mades on store services such as Etsy and Storenvy. You can search here if the other sites don’t have what you want and you don’t know where else to look.
Where to find makers
In most cases, you must contact makers directly to buy from them. On FursuitReview, we try to list the main social media platforms of makers on the maker pages in order to make it easier for you to do this. Here, we will briefly describe the most common platforms makers post their work on and how you can use these avenues to contact a maker or buy from them.
FurAffinity, or FA, is the most common platform makers use. It can be described as a “furry version of DeviantArt,” but it is used more like a social platform. If you plan on commissioning work, you should probably create an account on FA.
FurAffinity is a website that accepts all kinds of art. It is not specialized, so you will have to do some searching to find your first fursuit makers there. Once you find the first few, the rest get easier to find.
You can search for “fursuit” and favorite submissions of costumes you like, watch the makers that made the fursuits, and stay up to date with a maker’s journals, which are often used for announcements about commission openings and sales.
Makers list their main methods of contact in their user profiles, such as how to commission them, their emails, what their prices are, etc. FA is useful for keeping track of all this, even if the particular maker doesn’t take commissions through FA’s note system.
Makers will announce pre-mades for sale through their art submissions and/or journals. You can also search “for sale” on FA and get a fair few results this way.
As a starter tip, if you check out FursuitReview’s FA page, a lot of makers are in the “watched by” list!
Twitter is a micro-blogging site for general content. Makers commonly conduct business either through Twitter or in conjunction with FA or another social page. If you search “fursuit” on Twitter you’ll likely find a fair few of them immediately. As a starter tip, if you look at FusuitReview’s twitter followers, you will find many fursuit makers on the list.
Facebook is not as common as the top two to conduct business over, but many makers have pages there with their contact information. Search “Fursuit Makers” on Facebook and look through the Pages and Groups.
How to find a maker you saw on FursuitReview first
On FursuitReview, all makers with reviews have their own page. If you know the name of the maker, go to the Makers List and click on the maker’s name. On that maker page, it will have a box labeled “contact information.” From here, click on whichever site you prefer to use. Although, generally, if a FurAffinity page is listed, this is the most helpful.
If you do not know the name of the maker, you can find it by clicking on a review and looking at the boxes underneath the photo. The box on the right is labeled “About the Maker” and the first line in this box should be “Maker” with a name underneath it. Click the name listed here and it will take you to that maker’s page, where you can view their contact information and other reviews for items made by them.
How to commission a maker
Every maker is different, but the general process of buying from a maker is similar.
First, you need to identify if they are: OPEN FOR COMMISSIONS.
This is generally at the top of the user information on whatever page you are looking at. It will read “Open” or “Closed” for commissions or projects.
If they are closed, you will NOT be able to commission the maker OR get on their waiting list. Fursuits take a long time to complete, and many makers only open commissions a few times a year.
When a maker is open for commissions, you can contact the maker for a quote and possible project. If you are accepted, that does not mean your commission will begin immediately. It is not uncommon to be in the queue for many months before your project is actually started.
You should attempt to identify what the “turn around time” for that maker is – that is, the time it takes from payment to having the item(s) in your hands for your project (including the queue) so you know what to expect.
Do not sign up for a commission if you are not prepared to wait! You can get an idea of how long a maker’s turnaround time is based on the completion time listings on FursuitReview.
It is common to wait up to a year for a fullsuit commission to be completed.
Before commissioning a maker, you need to locate and read the following things, which are usually linked right around the Open/Closed status:
– “TOS” or “Terms of Service” (The maker’s rules of doing business- this will usually also tell you exactly how to contact them for a quote)
– “Trello” or “Queue” (view this to get a sense of how long you will have to wait for your project to be started)
– If the above things aren’t specified, the information is usually under a link called something like “Commission Information” or “How to Commission”
Once you’ve read everything, you should know how that specific maker wishes to be contacted (email, twitter, FA notes, etc.). The next step, if they are open for commissions, is to request a quote.
Some makers have a form you need to fill out and send, but for those who don’t, your general request should look something like this:
“Hi, I’m interested in a fursuit quote!
This is my character: [either link to a character concept art or BRIEFLY describe your idea for a fursuit]
I’d like a: [partial, fullsuit, single item?] with [particular colors of fur? type of padding?] in a [toony? realistic? Semi-realistic?] style.
I was wondering how much this would cost, and when it might be completed?
Also: [do you take payment plans? / I can pay in full up front.]
[what measurements should I send you?] ”
If you’re confident you can wait and can afford the fursuit even before you get confirmation on the cost (you should already know approximately how much it will cost based on the maker’s price list), also include your paypal email in your initial form so they can email you an invoice.
At this point, it’s up to the maker to respond to your request.
A request for a quote DOES NOT guarantee that they will take your commission. If your project is accepted, the maker will contact you confirming with you that you have a slot and clear up any questions. They will then usually ask for you to provide your measurements if you haven’t done so already.
If you have never measured yourself, please search for a guide on how to do so- sometimes the maker can provide one. The maker may also ask for a Duct Tape Dummy (DTD) at this time.
After that, you wait. How long you wait depends on their queue and turn-around time, but it is not uncommon to wait more than a month before your project even begins. (Single piece items other than heads often start immediately and/or have much faster completion times.)
Eventually, the maker will request a Duct Tape Dummy (DTD) from you, if they haven’t already.
A DTD is essentially a home-made mannequin of yourself. You cover yourself in duct tape, cut yourself out of the duct tape, and ship the resulting pattern to the maker.
You will need at least one other person to help you make the DTD. Expect to pay around $30 for the rolls of duct tape and shipping, as this is not provided by the maker. There are many guides on how to make a DTD, but makers often have their own preferences, so if you’ve never made one before, ask if they have a guide they can recommend to you.
Depending on the maker and the type of item you’re commissioning, the maker may ask you to buy other things and ship them, such as a pair of shoes, gloves, or hand traces. These are usually added costs not covered by the price quoted to you, so keep this in mind.
Once the maker has everything they need from you, and it is your turn in the queue, your project will begin. Some makers provide work in progress (WIP) photos, others do not. You should get an idea of how your maker works based on their TOS, Trello posts (if they have one), and/or past social media usage/updates, if they post WIPs publicly.
Usually, the wait before your project starts is longer than what it takes to actually make your fursuit, but there are always exceptions.
You should keep in mind that waiting a year for a fursuit (queue wait + actual work) is not uncommon.
It is okay to contact the maker for updates on progress, but doing so more than once a month is burdensome to the maker. However, if it is your turn in the queue, and your project has not had any progress after 3 months, you should be concerned.
If you think you are being scammed or you would like advice on how this whole commissioning progress thing is supposed to work, you can post in Artists Beware asking for help (don’t mention the maker’s name if you’re asking for advice). And if you really did feel you got scammed, post a beware on the maker there.
But we hope everything goes okay and you receive your fursuit in short order! And after you’ve owned your new fursuit for 3 months, or worn it for 30 hours (whichever comes first), submit a review for it! We’d love to hear how your project went!
We hope this guide was helpful!