So, I know a lot of people wonder why we take commissions the way we do. It's a very different system then how most makers do it.
And I'm here to explain.
First though, I want to clarify for those who may be unfamiliar with the normal way of doing things. Typically, a fursuit maker will request people send them emails with what they're looking for and any design imagery. Then from there, the maker will reply and reply and reply and hash things out until the person is ready to order. An invoice is sent, and payment made, then the order progresses as normal.
This is fine, but it involves a lot of extra work, and potentially not even getting a sale, as people tend to ask a lot of questions and make it seem like they will order, and change their minds last minute. It also adds on unnecessary pressure on the maker to respond quickly to keep the sale (even though there may not be one forthcoming.)
My approach to taking orders is not so radically different, but it's easier, more streamlined, and it allows people to kind of see what they are going to get before they even reach out to me to order.
It also is set up to mimic the bigger platforms people are now more used to, such as Amazon and Etsy, where you can go through and just order something without having to go through me each time. It's freed up a LOT of the pressure on potential clients, and myself. And more of us are wasting less time, which is lovely.
How our system works is you can go onto our webshop and view what are called calculator listings.
These are REAL listings in an eshop that can tabulate and add in any extra features you want added to your suit, so you get a price right there. Each extra is given it's own price, which is then added together to get a final number. This allows people to see approximately how much their order will cost if they order from us without me having to lift a finger, so I get to focus on orders that have already happened and are already in progress.
Then, when I'm ready to take on more orders, I open my form up and create special listings people can buy from. It's easy to put the page up, and then take it down when we're full.
I still do occasionally create custom listings people can purchase, but since it's still processed through Paypal or a credit card processor, and all the info is kept on my shop for me to see at any time, it works much the same way. And listings are SO easy to set up, I can even do it from my phone!
We only take about 4 large orders at a time, and promise at most a 12 week turnaround for those orders. Why? That's insane and unheard of in the fursuit making world!
Because we know the norm is to wait half a year to several years for a suit, and that there are a customer base of people who are leery of waiting so long. Paypal's refund window is 180 days. To be outside of that is to be taking a risk, in my opinion as a buyer online. I know this and understand people would be worried with trusting a stranger with that amount of money for an item that hasn't been made yet. So I developed a unique workflow that allows me to stay within that timeframe and still deliver high quality suits.
This fosters trust in my clients that I will complete the order and they can still be protected up to delivery. I also have a very generous refund policy that allows for refunds to occur even AFTER the suit has been finished, which very few makers do.
My entire mentality for doing things this way is to make ordering a fursuit easy (for both me and the customer) and streamlined as possible, while maintaining trust and quality. It hasn't been easy, and some people may not like the way I have things set up. But so far it has worked wonderfully for the clients I've had who've used it with us since the beginning of 2020, and I'm looking forward to tweaking it and making it even easier to use with the tools at my disposal.
Ordering a bespoke, custom item through a typical e-commerce platform may seem anathema to everything the industry I'm in stands for, but it's really not that far fetched, and honestly I feel it's the future of the platform.
Websites like The Dealer's Den now offer storefronts to users who can put up custom slots, what makes that any different from this?
So I say I'm embracing the future of furry e-commerce, and trying to make a usually tedious process more streamlined and easy for both parties involved.
Work smarter, not harder!
Check out our pricing calculators here.