eBay is a pretty cool place. Shoppers can find just about anything there, including a vast array of clothing styles and accessories—like those made with ultra-chic faux fur—to match their personal flair. However, what you see isn’t always what you get—especially when shopping on the internet.

A warning for anyone who’s casually browsing eBay sellers’ online stores or entering into a bidding war over a faux-fur garment: Be careful! Some sellers advertise real fur garments as faux because they know that compassionate shoppers won’t buy them if they contain real fur. While it’s great that we’re now able to make synthetic materials that closely resemble real fur, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a real fur and a faux-fur garment. And if you’re new to the faux-fur online shopping game, looking at pictures just doesn’t cut it.

There’s no way to know for sure what a product is made from, since eBay doesn’t protect shoppers looking for cruelty-free goods. And there’s no policy against falsely labeling fur items.

How to Avoid Purchasing Real Fur

If you are looking for faux fur and want reduce the chances of accidentally buying real fur, then you should buy from companies that have banned fur—such as Gap Inc., H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Charlotte Russe, and Zara—or buy products without any furry trim or accents.

Animals killed for their fur endure extreme suffering. On fur farms, they’re condemned to a life of misery. They’re confined to cramped, lonely cages, and farmers use the cheapest, cruelest killing methods—including suffocation, anal electrocution, gas, and poison. Wild animals killed for their fur are often caught in steel-jaw or conibear traps—which crush their necks, applying 90 pounds of pressure per square inch—and they can suffer for days from blood loss, dehydration, or attacks by predators.

It’s Never OK to Wear Real Fur

We love that you’re trying to make compassionate choices and shop without hurting animals, and it would suck if mislabeling ruined your eBay bidding experience. Pledge to never buy a product unless you’re sure it’s fur-free, and avoid leather, wool, and other exotic skins, too.

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