More and more customers are sharing that they were scammed before discovering us. In 2023, we, too, faced challenges in proving evidence that we are legitimate fursuit makers. In this article, we would like to share our knowledge of fursuit scam situations with examples that we ourselves have gone through.
Types of fraud known to us (from the experience of our customers):
- Money is taken for a premade fursuit, but the product itself is not provided.
- A premade fursuit is provided, but the quality does not correspond to the description (or a different product is provided – fursuit paws instead of a fursuit head).
- A down payment for a commission is taken, and the maker disappears (an average fursuit industry practice – 30% non-refundable commission).
HOW TO VERIFY A SELLER:
Step 1: Research Information About the Seller
Products - pictures, descriptions, and prices. Do all the designs of a seller have the same style? The same level of craftsmanship? Or do they appear as if they were taken from different sources? Does the quality of a product in the pictures correspond to the price, or do the prices seem too low? Does the quality of a product in the pictures correspond to the product description, or is the description missing, too short, or oversimplified?
Reviews and Testimonials: Search for reviews on the seller's website, independent websites, forums, or social media groups related to fursuit communities. It is essential to read the content of reviews, not just focus on the total number of reviews. Look for reviews with both text and pictures. Are the reviewed products the same as the sold products?
Payment Method: Exercise caution with sellers who ask for payment via methods that lack buyer protection. Legitimate sellers typically accept secure payment methods like credit cards or PayPal.
Step 2: Communicate personally
Make a phone call, arrange a video call, or write (website email or chat, social networks, SMS). Ask for product details, additional product pictures, past work examples, the possibility of adaptations, and logistics. Pose all questions that are unclear to you.
Step 3: Create Your Own Opinion based on collected info
REAL LIFE ILLUSTRATIONS
Assesment of fursuit maker website
In August 2023, approximately 50% of our website content, including product pictures, descriptions, and reviews, was copied by fursuitsforsaleonline.com. Visit their website to assess its appearance. If you are unfamiliar with key fursuit makers, this site may appear acceptable. It provides an address, phone number, and live chat. However, they "borrowed" pictures from different fursuit studios, including us and Lemonbrat Fursuits, creating an incongruity between two very different styles.
Product - pictures, description, price
Some of our products are “sold” at Ali Express. Below are product pages – original (left) and fake (right). Ali Express considers description unnecessary, and gives 50% off.
Wolf fursuit (left) is the most popular fursuit picture ever! Prices on Amazon and Ali Express range from $316 to $399. For comparison, a similar quality fursuit from a legitimate studio would typically cost between $4500 and $6000. One of the sellers at Ali Express shows final product in more detailed product descripton, which is sort of honest approach (if you read with enough attention).
Here is the same wolf full suit at Amazon.com - it does not show real product you will get. Listing has 3 reviews, one says – “love the paws”. Most probably paws were initially sold and after that listing picture and price were changed.
One of our customers opened a PayPal case because we did not ship on time. We could not ship because we needed additional information from him. Unfortunately, he did not respond to emails and SMS messages. He still has not responded, and we cannot ship the product. Naturally, he still thinks that we are scammers.
Oneandonlycostumes is a team of Ukrainian artists and fursuit makers since 2015. Part of the team relocated to the Czech Republic due to the war, while another part remained in Ukraine. We operate in the USA from two partner's warehouses, resulting in addresses in three countries. According to the fursuit review website getfursuit.it, where we are listed, 3 addresses look suspicious. But it is modern reality.