Posts Tagged ‘Used Fur Coats’

It’s “bashart”

May 27, 2011

The word Bashart is the only way I can describe reading today’s Fur Insider Blog. Bashart is a Yiddish word meaning destined. I must give a little background information to this story. In our house, my husband takes our Bichon’s Charlie and Scally for their last walk before bed. However, if they need a midnight potty break it is mommy to the rescue. Last night, after their final walk, my husband says to me “I am leaving a 2×4 near the door in case you take the dogs out in the night.” I looked at him as if he was from outer space (he’s from England, but the Brits aren’t quite that crazy). He noticed my expression and explained there was a coyote in our yard when he took the dogs out. The coyote didn’t run; they actually had a stare down. I am happy to say both dogs slept through the night. Then this morning I noticed an entry on the Fur Insider Blog called “The-Coyote Question : “Now it’s no surprise that you’ll hear the usual commentary from the anti-fur folks when the issue of trapping coyote comes up. But, have you ever encountered a coyote? This is another case where the species has proliferated and now colonizes major cities across the US, preying on pets and livestock and even hurting small children in their search for food. Just last week a friend of mine in Encino, CA was heading out to meet a friend for dinner and when she opened her back door to let her dog in she found her dog being mauled by a coyote.”

On behalf of Charlie, Scally and myself we hope you will read the rest of the article.

Charlie and Scally taking a rest

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Fur Appraisals – What type do I need?

December 31, 2010

I was procrastinating once again about what to put into my blog and an email gave me the inspiration I needed. Our correspondence went like this:

Dear Furrier:

I found you on the web and was wondering if you could appraise my fur?

Thank you Lala

Lala We need to see a fur to appraise it. If you let me know the big towns you are near I can research furriers in your area who could possibly do this for you.

Susie
Hinsdale Furriers

Hi Susie,

I live in Frederick, Maryland. The closest large cities would be Baltimore, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. I am planning to make an appointment with Hanna/Demetrios Furriers but would like to get more than one appraisal. Thanks you for any help you can provide. Lala
Hi Lala
There are 2 different types of appraisals so be sure you are very clear what you ask for Insurance appraisal What would the garment cost if I had to replace it with a new one?
Estate appraisal If I were to sell this garment what would I expect you to pay for it? Estate appraisal are also used for charitable contributions and estate taxes.

In Baltimore: Fisher Furs 410-828-4141
Seleh’s Furs 410-547-6733
Tarliow Furs 410-539-1931

In DC

Andriana Furs 202-381-2500

Nieman Marcus also has a fur Department

I spoke to Fisher Furs to be sure at least 1 of the people I am giving you are still in business- I pulled them out of 2007 fur trade directory.

Susie Duboe Bryant
Hinsdale Furriers

Thanks for all the information. The coat is mine free and clear so am only looking for an appraisal with the possibility of selling it. I can’t imagine ever wearing it as it would make me nervous the entire evening wondering whether someone was going to throw paint on it or steal it. It is such a lovely coat but I was wrong when I said it was full length. Only 3/4’s length. Again, thank you, Lala Lala- You shouldn’t worry about wearing a beautiful fur coat. People do not have the right to damage your property and I truthfully have not heard of that happening in many years and then only near the television cameras. Coats do get stolen, that is the reason they should be listed on your homeowners policy.

If you decide you are definitely going to sell your coat. Consider putting it on consignment. We begin taking furs on consignment in September and stop at the end of December. We pay the consignor 50% of the selling price when the garment sells. The selling price is determined before the garment is accepted for consignment. All of our gently used furs are shown on our website. It is updated real time- if it is sold it disappears from the web site. You may look at the web site to find a similar coat to get ideas of our pricing. We have been taking consignment for about 9 years. I am happy to say we have a great success and both the customers and consignors seem delighted. Our business is by the most part referral friends telling friends.
Lala – if you have any further questions , do not hesitate to call or email

Have a wonderful New Year

Susie

A conversation on the web……it just amazes me! To all who read this blog. I am sending my best wishes for a wonderful 2011!

Susie

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.)
——————————————————————————————

Heidi
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

Susie
————————————————————————————–

“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.
Thanks,
Heidi”

——————————————————————————–

“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!

Susie”
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“Susie,
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!
H”

—————————————————————————————-
“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

Thanks

Susie”
———————————————————————————————-
“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.
Heidi”

——————————————————————————–

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.

Fur at a Garage Sale?

September 14, 2010

Annual Merchant Garage Sale

This past Saturday was Hinsdale’s Annual Merchants Garage Sale. We have participated every year since it began over 40 years ago. Once a year the village cleans out the municipal garage, where they store all the big trucks and allow the merchants to set up shop for the day. This year, we set up for both our Formal Wear and fur salon and were joined by the bicycle shop, women’s clothing shop, a hardware store, housewares, a jeweler, books and a few more merchants that I can not recall. All the 1st time shoppers are shocked to see a furrier set up in a garage but when they check out the prices they are glad that we are there. Since the beginning we have participated more as a promotional tool and made a few sales of furs from the prior year at our cost. Since we opened our consignment section , This Old Fur, we use the sale as the kick off the season.

A very happy customer

 

I hope you can see from the photos that a furrier in a garage sale is different but fun. I am writing this blog to remind other Entrepreneurs that some times a little change and a lot a fun = sales and happy customers. As soon as we returned to the store we set the date for 2 Fur Fantasy Events! These are dress up parties to benefit charities.  Please let me know about any creative marketing ideas you have tried during this tough economy.

If the sales on Saturday were any indication – fur is the choice for this winter season!

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

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.

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.