WHERE: http://fursuitauctions.livejournal.com/2166964.html (original post is screen capped in case of deletion or editing)
WHAT: A large remnant of golden coyote faux fur - when received, it had a very heavy distinctly animal smell to it.
WHEN: Early October (currently ongoing)
I got no reply after this email, so I posted a comment in the original LJ post, since I'd seen she'd been active on LJ and FA, hoping she'd get that. I still got no response, so I sent another e-mail.
I bought a large remnant of faux fur from close to retail price from FuziBuni earlier in October, with the intent of using it to make tails for sale. October is usually incredibly busy for me sales-wise, and I'm always getting asked for wolf tails, so when I saw FuziBuni was selling some fabric I had been eyeballing over at I'm Stuffed, I decided to help her clear out her closet and make a little extra cash.
When I received the box, immediately upon opening there was a heavy animal odor. Upon inspection, the odor was coming from the fabric itself. I let the fabric sit outside on my patio table for a while to air out, and later asked both my husband and my roommate if they could detect the odor as well, since I sometimes have a sensitive nose and I wanted to be sure it wasn't something that just I could smell. They agreed there was definitely an animal scent, so I made attempts at cleaning the fur, including washing in a side-loading washing machine (twice), dousing with Nature's Miracle cat formula, air-drying in the dryer, and letting it hang outdoors to try and air out there. It still maintains the smell.
I e-mailed FuziBuni after all of my attempts to remove the odor, but didn't receive a reply. The next day I posted a comment in the original fursuit_auctions thread to notify her that I'd sent her an e-mail, and still got no reply. Finally, I sent her a second e-mail and told her that if I heard nothing back, I would be opening a PayPal dispute, and finally heard back from her. She claimed to have no idea how the scent could have gotten onto the fabric, and suggested it may have been sprayed by a cat while in transit. (I had her ship it to my public address, at a shipping store that receives packages for me so they don't sit outside, so unless a cat got into a postal warehouse or onto a truck, I don't see how this would have been possible.)
I replied to let her know that, because of the odor, I feel the fabric is not usable for me, since my intent had been to create new-for-sale items with it. I told her I was open to various options to work this out, including sending it back if she'd refund the $40 (the total less what she paid for shipping) so she could try re-selling it, or perhaps a partial refund in which I would keep the fabric but use it on something else that would not be sold, most likely a dog pillow. Truth be told, the fur itself is in nice condition despite the smell, so if someone were to use it on a personal project or for something not being sold as a brand new item, it might be okay. So while I would have preferred the $40 refund, I would have worked something else out, too.
In response, I was told that she didn't have the money to do any kind of a refund, and that she would have to sell other items in order to send me any money. She also wondered if the smell could have been from the plastic aging funny. I let her know that the odor was distinctly animal, and that I needed some kind of resolution by November 4 or I would have to open a PayPal dispute due to the time constraints.
I never heard from FuziBuni again after that, despite her continuing to be active online. Finally, on the evening of the 4th, I opened a PayPal dispute under the premise that the item received was not as described - there had been no disclosure of the heavy animal smell in the original listing. As of yet, she has not replied via PayPal's resolution center, nor has she sent any e-mails. It would appear my requests for resolution are just being ignored.
At this point, the only resolution I want is a full refund, including what I initially paid for shipping, and to return the fabric to FuziBuni for her to deal with as she sees fit. I not only wasted my time during my busiest month in an effort to salvage the fabric, I've also lost revenue I could have earned had I just bought the fabric brand new in the first place, as my biggest window for selling the wolf tails I'd planned to make has passed since Halloween has come and gone.
I understand that there was a minor risk involved when buying fur second-hand from someone that states they own animals. However, not only do I own animals, but I've also purchased from others that own animals before, and have never had this kind of a problem. "I own animals" doesn't necessarily mean that the fabric is going to contain an odor - had it been disclosed from the beginning that this fabric had an animal smell to it, I never would have purchased it, most certainly not for the like-new price. I feel I did my best to work things out with her at this point, but I really can't afford to donate money to someone in exchange for a large piece of fabric I can't even use.
Edit: As of 2:28, FuziBuni has initiated a refund via PayPal and it is set to clear on the 14th. Once it clears I will send the fur back to her, and edit this post as well as notify the mods of resolution.
Edit 11/17/11: The refund cleared via PayPal on Monday. I boxed the fur back up to return to FuziBuni, and it was sent out via postal service with delivery confirmation yesterday morning.
Edit 11/22/11: My delivery confirmation reflects that the box was delivered yesterday, so the return is complete and I'm considering this matter to be resolved.
I would urge others to use caution when dealing with Fuzibuni; I had absolutely zero direct communication from her from the time that I initiated the dispute, to the time the refund was sent and cleared, save for the comment she made immediately after this post went through. I'm glad that other folks have received furs from her in good condition - I really wish that she'd been open and communicated with me instead of ignoring attempts to work things out outside of a dispute.