Furries support independent art with $14,000 and $15,600 fursuit auctions at The Dealers Den

by Patch O'Furr

Sweet success for MixedCandy and Beauty of the Bass

Beauty of the Bass, a Britain-based fursuit maker and performer, felt the love from fans when a commission auction sold for £10,700 this month. That’s $14,025 USD at current exchange rate, and over three times the full fursuit price quoted on her website.

There’s no suit yet. The winner gets to have it created. Her auction lists some conditions — certain tech options aren’t possible and “I prefer to work on scary, creepy, odd, gory and crazy designs” — but there’s one benefit only an auction winner can get. No denial. Direct commissioners may not be accepted depending on the maker’s discretion for what she wants to make; but this winner enters the queue unconditionally after current customers.

An auction like this makes a premium option for artists and customers who really want their work. The price proves the demand. It’s near the highest records for any fursuit auction, which was $17,017 achieved by MixedCandy in July 2018 (beating a $13,500 auction by Made Fur You in January 2018.)

MixedCandy herself received a new $15,600 price just days after this $14,000 price for Beauty of the Bass. These outstanding prices can help to show the state of the Furry Economy and its artists.

Of course this isn’t a fursuit-selling competition. It’s support that lets makers keep directly serving fans, a rare and special opportunity to go “pro fan” as a career. That’s not get-rich-quick work, and there can be a lot of turnover. (Many makers serve commissioners with smaller wallets). Fursuits aren’t really investments either — they’re functional art that adds photogenic magic to events for all furries. You can have an open fandom and well-supported artists too.

Independence of the Furry Economy

Key support for these auctions comes from The Dealers Den. It’s a premiere option for furries after the demise of Furbuy (2000-2019), which itself outlasted Furbid (1999-2014). As a service to fans, it’s run as close to free as possible and keeps control in the fandom while providing direct reach to a niche, unlike Ebay. But sites don’t run for free, so it’s worth pointing out how The Dealers Den was slow or dormant for years from its 2009 founding, and took work to raise to equal activity next to Furbuy (when it was acquired by Vitai Slade in 2018). Now fans are lucky to have it as the lone standing service of its kind.

A look at furry personal ad sites can show how a subculture’s well-being can tie to support for its independent sites. Pounced was taken down by government interference that made it too hard to operate. For many fans it was irreplaceable, and fake furry dating sites leave them with a buyer beware situation (with bans for the sites advertising on FurAffinity.)

Furries have some of the deepest roots of any internet subculture. Small, weird, independent websites used to host more communities that died with consolidation by big corporations. Social media makes us all more beholden to the algorithms and their hidden corporate profit motives (which can include depressing users and tracking if they shop more!)

This 2019 article was inspired by Tumblr’s purging, and it helps to show the stakes for independent artists who depend on communities like furry to work with full time devotion:

For fursuit makers and lovers, in a turbulent year of Covid-19 shutdowns, there’s little opportunity for live fursuiting events and a notable slowdown of media about them. Online activity connects everyone more than ever. Time will tell for how the effects may continue. That makes it interesting to see high prices and support for some makers. In the next story, maker Beauty of The Bass can tell you how The Dealers Den auction affected her.

  • Next — “Very surprised and very grateful”: Fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass talks about a $14,000 auction.
  • Then — “Our way of giving back”: Glitzy Fox talks about buying a gift fursuit from Beauty of the Bass.

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