Posts Tagged ‘buying furs’

Fur Fashion 2011/2012

May 11, 2011

I just returned from the International Fur Fair in Montreal.
The runway shows gave an overview of the Fur Fashion trends for Fall/Winter 2011/2012,. I would say there were 6 major trends from the international runways. These trends are as follows:
Color – vivid brights and saturated jewel tones.
Vintage – highlighting the 20’s and 30’s, and also the 60’s and 70’s.
Key Furs – crazy textures and full furs (like Mongolian Lamb).
Collaged Furs – combining different types of furs together within one garment.
Contrast Sleeves – using different fur types for the body and sleeves.
Fox Trims – full fox collars and borders.
But let’s be honest, what models wear on the runway doesn’t exactly translate well to what we wear every day.
My next blog will be about what I purchased for our store and what the manufacturers were truly selling.


Customer Service on the Web- Can It Be Achieved?

October 26, 2010

I thought that if we did business over the web we would lose the personal touch that we are so known for… boy was I wrong! The following is a series of emails I exchanged with Heidi, a bride purchasing a used mink stole to wear over her wedding dress. (When I check my email each morning I am notified of any on-line purchases and then I send an email to the customer. The following are the conversations with Heidi initiated by her $80.00 purchase of a mink stole.)

Thank you for you order. Tuesday we will be cleaning and covering the monogram on your new stole. It should be shipped out by Thursday. We will email you tracking information when it is shipped. Please let us know when you have received it.

Thanks for your purchase


“Hi Susie,
Thanks for the email! I wondered if you could tell me a little more about it because the picture didn’t really show the collar so I was wondering if it is no collar/shawl/hooded ? It looks adorable and I’m really excited to have it for my winter wedding.


“Heidi, it doesn’t have a collar it is beautiful it has a sort of set back look around the neck. If you are not in love when you get it let us know right a way and send it back!

Congratulations on the wedding!

Holy crap – this stole is awesome! I love the set back shawl collar. It is so unique and I really wanted something a little different. The color is perfect too because my wedding dress is a warm pink. Also, living in NC means I don’t really need a jacket or coat and so this is something I can wear often, even with my dressy black and white snake cowboy boots. 🙂 I’m just thrilled!
I had a Q about item 2287 – is the width adjustable? It looks a little overlapped in the picture. I’m asking because my best friend is a plus size (maybe 22W or 24W) and I wonder what the length is and if it is adjustable.
Thanks so much!

“Glad you love it Heidi! #2287 won’t fit but the other stoles on the site are all large enough- I just tried each and everyone on.

If it is okay with you I may use your note in my blog! No last names or addresses


“Hi Susie,
Thanks for letting me know about the stoles and their sizes. I will keep an eye out.
SURE you can use my comments on your blog (sans last names and addresses). Please do! I saw some of your posts – love your new hair 🙂
I really appreciate what you do with This Old Fur. I don’t want to buy new out of respect for the animals and it’s such a great service and easy to buy “new vintage” from Hinsdale.


After rereading these notes, I feel like I am accomplishing the same level of customer service and personal relationship as I do with my “face to face “clients. Buying a fur is a big investment, be it a used fur or a new one. I feel that the customer should be educated and treated with honesty no matter if they are in my showroom or on a computer. It is very unfortunate that not all web businesses share the same integrity.

Time is Flying By

August 22, 2010

Consignment Mink from the 70's

This week, we began taking furs on consignment for the season. I was telling a newer employee all the things I think about when pricing the coats  brought in for consignment. Price if  new, style, condition, quality and age being the major points. I showed her how to check for worn areas and explained the most common worn areas are the edges: cuffs, fronts, bottom and pockets then elbows and seat area.
I explained you can usually guess age from the condition of the pelt and the style but confirm this with the customer. I suggested to ask if it was purchased for a special occasion and learn the age from that. Some times timing is everything!!!! Just as I was explaining my reason for this I had a customer bring her mink coat to sell and the style told me 1990’s. I asked how old and she said under 10 years. I then asked if it was a gift for a special occasion and she said yes when my son was born. I asked what grade he was in. We all laughed when she said he was just heading back to college. I had to explain to the customer that  time flying by is a very common problem and I had just finished explaining that to my co-worker.
I do it also, just ask and I will tell you I am 35! LOL

WINTER FUR CARE TIP- armhole rips and tears

February 10, 2010

We have been so busy fixing rips in the armhole of coats this winter that I haven’t had time to write in the last 2 weeks. Don’t get me wrong I love the work but there is a simple way to avoid most of the armhole rips. When you sit in your fur do not smooth it beneath you instead lift the back up. This gives you more room and moveability.  If you do rip the armhole take it to a reputable furrier to have it properly repaired.

This easy tip along with annual cleaning and storage should keep your fur in good repairs for many years of enjoyment.

So you got a new fur coat for Christmas

December 29, 2009

The word “new” in the title is meant to mean “new to you” – with today’s economy many Santas picked a beautiful gently used fur coat for their loved ones.  The important thing when you get a fur (or any clothing) as a gift is to be sure it is well suited for you. Santa wants you to enjoy your gift and may not know exactly what style or size is best for you.

Before deciding whether or not you are going to keep the fur Santa brought down the chimney, you should ask yourself a few questions:

1) Do I want to wear this garment all the time or is it strictly dressy or casual? (A full length coat is great for dressy occasions, but not practical for running around and getting in and out of your car.)

2) Are the sleeves long enough?  (The sleeve should come down to the knuckle of your thumb when your arm is straight down.  The bottom of the sleeve should cover your wrist when you bend your arm.)

3) Is the fur the right color for me? I suggest you read my previous blog-Your Fur Coat Must Compliment Your Hair, Not Match It, So You Look Great!

Most important thing to remember is Santa wants you to wear and enjoy your gift.  He doesn’t want it sitting in the closet! If you decide to keep the coat, take it to your local furrier to make sure the closures are in the correct place and to have it monogrammed.

A Customer Writes About The Gently Used Fur Coat He Purchased Over The Web

October 27, 2009

What a way to start the day! The 1st email I opened this morning follows:


I just received the jacket. It is beyond my highest expectations! It is absolutely gorgeous, and my friends will be so thrilled.

I would never have believed to receive such a high quality fur at such at great Price. Now that I know the kind of service and quality you provide, I will be ordering much more from you.

Global warming be damned! ALL my friends will be receiving furs this year!

Thank you, again, so very much.

To think I joined the web generation kicking and fighting my daughter, who is a web designer. I only agreed thinking it would be used like a newspaper ad to bring customers to our brick and mortar store front. Over the past 10 years our sales on the web have continued to grow, especially those in the This Old Fur section. We update the used furs in real time.

As soon as something is available for sale a written description goes up (photos take longer).  As soon as something sells it is taken off the web. The real time aspect was only added this month, before that we had many disappointed people when items were sold but still showing on the web. I am sorry that the real time aspect only applies to the gently used furs on our site. The best thing about our web site is it is even open while I sleep.

Your Fur Coat Must Compliment Your Hair, Not Match It, So You Look Great!

October 24, 2009

If I hear one more time , “I want the fur coat to match my hair”.  I may scream! You want your fur to compliment yes, match no!!!

When you are wearing your fur garment the compliment you want is “You look great!” not “Nice fur coat!”

Picture this — a dark mink fur coat and dark black hair all blending together and this pale white face sticking out. When this happens you see every bit of bag and circle under the eyes.

Here is a little trick to see which color is better for you. Put half of each of two coats on and then look at your face. Which side of your face looks younger and healthier? That side is the garment that has the better coloring for you. This trick also works with clothing.

So go out and make yourself look great!

Fur Coat ‘Throwaways’ Attract New Customers

October 12, 2009

Cara S. Trager wrote an interesting article for the New York Times, I came across it yesterday, though it was published in March of  “88” it is still relevant today. In it she discusses people buying used furs coats.

She says in the article: “..the used-fur industry has been a steady if small enterprise for a handful of businessmen in the New York area. Many say the 508-point, 22.6 percent crash on Wall Street has been a boon to sales this winter season, bringing new customers who never thought of buying second-hand before.”

She later added a comment: ”The public is inundated with so many fur ads that they are not buying used, they are buying cheap imports,” said Barry Shevit, president of the Shevit Brothers Fur Company, who has been selling second-hand coats to thrift shops and boutiques for 10 years. He thinks those customers have made the wrong choice: ”They are better off paying a low price for a used fur of better quality then the same price for what’s being advertised.”

Read the entire article.

Fur Shopping Time, Part II

October 10, 2009

I have a few questions I always ask a customer when she is looking for a new (or gently used) fur before she starts trying on the furs.

Do you own any other furs or will this be your first?

What do you want to use this garment for—Dress or every day wear? What is your budget?

Keep these things in mind as you try on the garments. At first glance you should just look at yourself, not the coat. This little trick will help you decide if the color is flattering for you. Next time I will write more about choosing the correct color.

I strongly suggest if buying a used fur from a private party have a reputable furrier check it over for you before making the purchase. Furs can look good on the outside and the inside of the pelt could be dry and begin ripping when worn. I also suggest that the fit be checked …………. I will go into the whys next time.

In the mean time don’t forget that the 18th of October is Super Sunday Sale at This Old Fur!

Fur shopping time

October 10, 2009

I know that winter is coming by the weather and by the increase of people coming to look at our furs. I am currently preparing for our 2nd Annual Super Sunday Sale on Sunday, October 18th. For this 1 day only we offer 10% off all the furs in the This Old Fur section of our showroom. If this year is anything like last year I am sure we will be very busy on the sales floor. So if you are joining us or looking elsewhere for a fur, I have a few suggestions:

1) Wear a sweater or blazer to try on the garments. It is always better a little loose than a little tight.

2) If you will be wearing the item over a skirt or dress, wear your longest one.

3) Wear a shoe with the normal heel height and bring along the highest heel you would use.

4) Let the furrier know what you like or dislike about each item you try on.

5) Ask about quality and durability of the different furs