(This is part 4 of a 5 part series originally published on Artists Beware)
This guide is part of a series. Please consider reading the following guides before this one:
- What is a Fursuit: Types, Styles, & Padding
- Buying a Fursuit: Is a Fursuit Right For You?
- Choosing the Right Maker for Your Fursuit
Two Ways to Buy:
Pre-Mades vs. Commissions
Pre-made fursuits are just what the name implies: pre-made. It’s important to note that when you are reading reviews on FursuitReview.com, that “pre-made” refers to fursuits bought directly from the maker, and not for previously used fursuits. It is common for makers to make what they want in a general size and then sell this.
This guide uses the same definition of pre-made as FursuitReview, but used fursuits are perfectly okay to buy and you can find them in many of the same places you can find pre-mades!
Commissioning is the process of ordering a custom-made fursuit directly from the maker.
Generally, the process involves:
- Contacting the maker directly with your idea/character design and getting a quote for it
- Submitting a duct tape dummy (DTD) to the maker
- 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 (such as their Twitter, Tumblr, FaceBook, Instagram, etc.) or independent store. You can also find them at furry conventions in the dealer’s dens, if you happen to attend one.
The most common place to find pre-mades is the auction site The Dealers Den, which can be summarized as “furry version of eBay” and has its own fursuit section. If you’re looking for a pre-made or used fursuit, and you do not have a particular maker in mind, you should look here first.
If you like, you can also follow the site’s account on Twitter, which commonly retweets fursuit sales: Dealer’s Den.
While not as common, some fursuit makers sell pre-mades on platforms such as Etsy, Storenvy, and ebay. You can search there 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. FursuitReview and getfursu.it list the main social media platforms of makers on the maker pages in order to make it easier for you to do this.
Now, 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 or is not as active as compared to other social platforms.
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 the next most common platform to find and contact makers. 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. Some other common terms you might like to search are:
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.
You can also find makers through Tumblr, Instagram, DeviantArt, and Weasyl, but actually doing business through these platforms is not as common.