North America’s Major Fur Auctionhouse Leaves US

North America’s second largest wild fur auction house is stepping away from the United States. Fur Harvesters, announced recently that they will be moving their auctions from the US, to Finland. In a press release posted on Fur Harvester’s website the company stated:

“Saga Furs in Helsinki, Finland will host the auction events of a lifetime in the 2014 selling season. Fur Harvesters Auction based in North Bay, Canada and American Legend Cooperative based in Seattle, WA, will bring their goods to Finland to be sold under one roof at the 11-21 March (inspection from 4 March) and 1-11 June (inspection from 26 May) auctions.”

While teaming up with American Legend (known for their prized Black Gama mink furs, associated with Janet Jackson), Fur Harvesters catapulted themselves into global success. Attempting to recreate that significant rise in sales, they are now teaming up with yet another ranch fur company- Saga Furs. But will the transition to Finland bring the rise in revenue that they’re saying it will?

Many US wild fur sellers are skeptical. With the market for marten, raccoon, coyote, red fox, and lynx on the rise- is the change really worth the risk? Trappers are on edge. In recent years Fur Harvester’s has experienced an almost inspiring upheaval of market. They’ve drawn in buyers from all over the world to their auctions in Seattle, Washington- including major markets in China, Russia, and Europe. Which may just be why they’re changing locations.

With business it’s all about location right? And that may be exactly what Fur Harvester’s is thinking. With a majority of wild fur sales going to Russia, most notably a significant number of high priced marten, Finland would seem like an ideal place to set up an auction. St. Petersburg is located less than 200 kilometers away, meaning it’s not only more accessible for Russian buyers, but also more affordable for them to travel to. The same thing could be said about Greece- a major market for lynx and red fox. China doesn’t seem phased by the move and continues to show excitement about the 2014 buying season.

So why are wild fur sellers worried? The change in locations means a change in market. The American taxidermist market (which tends to buy a majority of the wolves and wolverines) will most likely fade away from Fur Harvesters. And that one small change could create an anxiousness amongst the sellers, causing them to veer away from Fur Harvester’s and send their fur to other major auction houses like NAFA.

Only time will tell whether or not Fur Harvester’s revolutionary change will be positive or negative. Fur buyer Jeff Sutter, of Kwik’pak Fur (one of Fur Harvester’s major Alaskan wild fur sellers) commented to Yahoo about the change, “This could be an exciting time for the fur industry, selling in front of such a prestige group of international buyers. I hope this joint venture will produce higher prices for all fur sellers.”

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