Here at Fourrure-Privée we often receive requests from customers wishing to know or estimate the price of fur they have inherited. Although we neither buy nor sell second hand fur on our website, these types of question have been posed to us so many times that it has led us to believe that some tips would be welcome to provide some answers to those questions.
Have you inherited or been given one of your parent’s fur jackets? What to do? Will you keep it and wear it, sell it or turn it into something else? A fur garment is something that can be handed down from generation to generation, however it is very important to know that each fur garment does have a lifespan. This span will be determined by several factors and is different for each type of pelt. Therefore, the initial necessity is being to identify the type of fur you possess, is it mink, fox, zibeline, beaver, astrakhan or otherwise?
Indeed, the age of your jacket or coat is one of the elements which allows you to establish if the pelt that you own is of good quality; this will then enable you to decide whether to keep it or change it. Pay attention to other factors which may shorten the expected lifespan of your fur, such as storage conditions and maintenance. A fur garment stored in the right conditions and which is well looked after will see its lifespan significantly prolonged, however the potential for the opposite to happen is also true. Another determining factor will be the quality of the pelt, because the provenance and the brand of the fur will offer guarantees of quality and durability.
For your information, mink and zibeline can be kept for between 20 and 30 years, for fox, astrakhan or beaver this can be from 15 to 20 years. Regardless of the age of the coat, it is also important to check the leather (inverse side of the fur) which you cannot see because it is protected by the lining. It should be clear (unless the fur was dyed) and flexible, if it is hard and dry (and is brittle) then there is no other option than to recycle it.
Once you have determined the type of fur, its quality, age and therefore identified its condition, you have the option of either keeping it or selling it. If you like the model and the cut, we recommend that at a minimum you get the lining changed. This will allow you to rejuvenate your fur in an economical way- your fur will look better and this will allow you to suit it to you.
On the other hand, if you like the pelt but you find that the cut is a bit outdated, it is quite possible to reshape and redesign it. This is the moment that reveals the true talent of furriers, and there are sure to be some near your home.
Your “gift” can become a very “fashionable” jacket, or a chic gilet having already experienced one life! It is even possible to resize and dye the pelts. In short, everything is possible, a furrier will give you multiple possibilities depending on the size, length and quality of the pelt and will go through these with you.
If you do not wish to wear your fur but you also do not want to sell it because of its sentimental value, you could always turn it into a decorative item- a cushion or pouf for example.
Made to order from a seamstress, unless you have the skills to do it yourself, the only thing to stop you is your imagination! Here are some of the most unlikely ideas!
Alternatively, if you do not want to keep your fur, there are many opportunities available to you. You can sell it on directly to professionals (antique shops etc) or through the classified ads in a specialist journal.
You also have the option of selling your fur on internet sales websites, such as eBay, Vestiaire Collective, Instant Luxury and others). In order to determine the value, have a look at other similar items which are already on sale, this will guide you in deciding on how much to sell it for. If you desire, a professional could always give you a valuation. And of course, the more beautiful the fur, and the newer it is, the more you can sell it for.
But, it is important to know that despite fur being a luxury product, second hand fur coat will devalue quickly. If you fur is very recent, if the pelt is rare (zibeline etc), if it carries a recognised brand, if the item is properly branded, then you have got a better chance at increasing the value you can get for it.
If you want to avoid constraints on the direct sale of your fur (response to questions from prospective buyers, negotiation, risks related to a possible transaction and others) you can also entrust a deposit sale from certain professional sector (furriers). This solution has the advantage of offering your fur a suitable storage; in addition, a furrier can very precisely estimate the value (even if it lies below what you could imagine), and above you will have access to a more targeted clientele.
In conclusion, it seems that in any case receiving fur is a true gift. Either because this gift will take a legitimate place in your wardrobe or decorate your home, or because if you decide to sell it you will have an unexpected change to your wallet!