Posts Tagged ‘used furs’

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”
—————————————————————————————-
“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

A Customer Writes

July 3, 2010

I am on vacation until August 1st. I couldn’t stay away from my emails and this is what I found today………Hello,

My name is Regina and you sold my mother’s fur coat for me several months ago. I wrote about my experience for the San Francisco Chronicle and the article is STILL getting lots of attention and feedback.

I wasn’t able to mention you directly since my editors wanted to keep the story local, but I’ve sent dozens of people your website when they contact me or the paper for help. Here’s the article:
Thanks for your help!

Regina

Just a quick comment- used furs like new furs sell best when people start planning for fall and winter. For that reason fur consignment time begins the end of August each year with sales peaking when the weather gets cold.

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.

Recycle Your Old Fur Coat Into a New Fur Throw

December 13, 2009

Someone in Napa California is my new best friend and doesn’t even know it. I had three different people from that area call me about our used furs and making them into throws or pillows. They said there was something on the news about recycling old furs. First we sold a lynx jacket that we turned into five beautiful throw pillows. The next day I spoke to a few people who wanted throws made from older coats.

A mink throw made from a used mink coat

I sold one a lunaraine mink coat $650 and made it into the pictured throw for an additional $600. Just this morning, I sold a beautiful ranch mink coat which we are making into a throw. It is costing the customer a total of $1600.00. This is the cost for the coat and the labor to remake it into a gorgeous full pelt throw. If he were to buy a new full pelt mink throw it would cost about $6500.00.

There are so many things that can be done to refurbish used furs that you already own or you can find gently used furs for sale!

Some words of caution are in order. When buying a used fur be sure that the pelts are soft and subtle. It is important that the leather side is in good condition. If at all possible buy it from a furrier and ask if it is in good enough condition to be remodeled.

If you are buying the garment from a private party or a consignment shop make sure it can be returned after you have it checked out by your local furrier. I have had many people come in with a coat they bought on E-bay that began ripping as soon as they wore it. I hate having to tell them it isn’t repairable. I hate to sound like my father – but his old saying “a penny saved a pound foolish” can happen if you are not careful when buying used furs.

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:

Susie,

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.
Ford

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.