A consignment client brought me the "fur" coat pictured above to sell on eBay. I know nothing of furs, so I had Auction Wally appraise it for me. He has a very affordable service where you can get a virtual appraisal on an item for $16.95 and have the results within 3 days. Here is what Wally told me about the coat:
"I have some good news and some bad news. Bad news first. I can't do enough of an appraisal on this from here to justify taking a fee from you for two reasons.
First, I cannot tell you if the fur is real or fake from here.
Second, I just don't know furs well enough to determine if it is mink or another animal, if in fact it is real.
The good news is, I think I can help you a quite a bit with getting it sold. Here's how to determine if it's real or not: Take a tiny tuft from an unseen area of the coat and snip or pull it free. Set a flame or cigarette to it, if it ashes away, it's real fur. If it clumps up or melts in any way at the ends it's artificial, in which case you'll get a rubbery, plastic smell, an organic fur should smell like burnt hair. Don't fret any damage, you really only need a small amount for this test.
Another way is to slit a few inches at the seam of the lining and peek inside, real furs should be stitched together in strips and have a grainy texture on this side. A synthetic will not have these features.
As for it being mink vs other animals, the mink is the softest fur that I know of, it should feel almost like down when you touch it. If what you have is much coarser than that, it's not likely mink.
Good Luck, I'll be sending your refund via PayPal after I send this to you."
I did the burn test, it was a fake. Now that I look at it, it kinda reminds me of a possum. Thanks, Wally, for the fast service and for being so fair with the appraisal fee. Check out Auction Wally's appraisal service here.
I guess this coat will be going on Craigslist as "faux fur!"
Selling on consignment can be another income stream if you are already selling on eBay - and I love it because the products come to me and I can pick and choose what I want to work with. The key to a successful consignment business is just that - doing it deliberately as a business, not just selling your friends' and family's junk.
Get consignment clients coming to by joining my eBay Seller's Consignment Directory.