NAFA is by far the largest seller of Wild Fur in North America!
With roots dating back to the original Hudson Bay fur trade circa 1670, NAFA today ranks among the largest international fur auction houses worldwide. NAFA brings to market an impressive collection of Wild Fur and Ranched Fox and Mink from two continents spanning numerous countries and regions in excess of 10 million pelts each and every year. Pelts are received on a consignment basis and offered to an international buying community in each of NAFA’s three international auctions in February, April and June.
Buyers from around the world travel to Toronto, Canada for each auction. Each event, attracts the largest number of wild fur buyers of any location worldwide. With large buying interests at every auction, trappers can be sure their annual efforts will receive the attention it deserves.
How does it work?
Wild Fur pelts are sold as a selected group bundled into a ‘Lot’. The number of pelts in each Lot is different for variety, depending on fur species, gender and size. A number of Lots of the same description will be grouped together as a ‘String.’ A String can be a single Lot, or several – there is no limit to the number of Lots that can be in a String.
In order for buyers to make an informed purchasing decision, each String must be inspected. NAFA’s graders randomly extract a small number of pelts from all Strings offered, and these are bundled to form the ‘Show Lot’. These Show Lots are on display and available for buyer inspection for several days preceding the auction. NAFA has porters on hand to help with the inspection process. Buyers mark their catalogues according to their assessment of these Show Lots and use this information to guide their decisions in the auction room.
During the auction, the first Lot of each String is announced and appears on the ‘Lot Board’, an overhead screen which displays all essential information. All bidding is done in U.S. dollars, starting at pre-determined values or limits and increasing by increments depending on the fur type and price level (once bidding of any species reaches certain levels however, the increments of the bid increases). Once sold, the buyer number is recorded by the auctioneer, as well as being entered immediately into the NAFA invoicing and accounts system from the auction stand. This innovation enables NAFA to speed up the invoicing and accounting procedures.
The starting price is determined by the auction house, which reserves the right to not sell below a set figure. Limits may also be set by consignors, who may indicate to NAFA not to sell particular Lots below a certain price. These Lots are called “Full Lots” and only contain pelts supplied by that consignor.
NAFA’s auctions can be followed over the web from anywhere in the world. The integration of the World Wide Web into the Auction is now a critical component for all buyers to connect instantly to customers and other stake holders in their chain of purchase. Membership to the North American Wild Fur Shippers Council puts the world in front of each trapper’s consignment, regardless of where you call home.