JLSleather

What the.. whata??

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Sometimes I throw a few things on ebay,... partially cuz I like to see how many leather people "watch" it, and partially jus cuz I kin ;)

Somebody jus offered me $38 for a holster :rofl:

Gotta have a sense of humor sometimes ....

 

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This is true for EVERYTHING that we put out on the Internet; nobody understands the costs associated with the materials we use and are even more disconnected with what goes into making the products the we do.  If you want a good idea as to how clueless the buying public is just go check out the job boards at Custom Made (www.custommade.com) and look at some of the budgets that people list for the project that they describe in detail.  I had one just last week that wanted a custom made leather billfold with full coverage Western Floral and Scroll work carved and tooled into the back and then finish it off with a fully laced outer edge.  The prospect had noted a budget between $45 and $65 and wanted it by Christmas as a gift for the hubby.  I offered to do the project for a more realistic $145 and made it clear that there was no way it would be there for Christmas.  A day later I received a follow-up message from the prospect that she had received an offer from another Maker for $50.  If that is true then the other "Maker" is either pulling her leg or has nothing else to do in life but put together pre-fab kits while sitting alone at their super tiny dining room table and does this stuff just to cover materials and a beer.  I kindly told her to go to the cheaper price if that was what she wished to do.  There are several prospects asking for holsters and I have yet to see a single budget over the $55 mark with most closer to $35 for the holster, and they even want some stamping done on it for that price.

Until the buying public gets a clue as to what really goes into making the things they want this is always going to be an issue and there ain't nothin' we can do about it aside from sticking with selling to those who do understand and appreciate the work that we do.

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cdthayer   
3 hours ago, JLSleather said:

Somebody jus offered me $38 for a holster :rofl:

...and they will expect a "no questions asked return policy" for that kind of money too....

CD in Oklahoma

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Well, in all fairness, there are some $38 holsters listed at $100+ too.  That custommade site is FULL of low-grade, overpriced poo.  I got an email.. was it a year or two ago, about selling on there, but when I saw the fees I got out quick.  That would have been a good bit of money for them for doing basically nothing.

 

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I am only listed on there just in case there is a person who truly wants some quality stuff made for them and also understand and appreciate the Artisan behind the work; I don't troll the Job Boards very much aside from just taking a look at what people are looking to have made and how little they are willing to pay for it.  I have seen some pretty crappy stuff listed just about everywhere you can dream of and some of that garbage is listed at a hefty price.  I found a website the other day (I won't call them out, yet) that had a simple minimalist style card wallet (holds about 4 cards and maybe some folded cash) in a simple two pocket design that was listed for $75; looking at this thing (based on the images that they posted of course) there wasn't a straight stitching line to be found and the stitching spacing was also uneven.  Hell, I make one bigger than that and that has more space available for a little bit over half that and my lines are straight; even after a couple Scotch's.:crazy: Guess I better start charging more for my stuff because this person appears to be selling about 10 of these per week on top of the rest of the stuff they have listed which none of it has any straight stitching either; then there are those who sell "tooled" leather which has no depth or flow in the pattern, just a swivel knife cut line and maybe a little modeling spoon over it and it is "tooled".  

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18 minutes ago, NVLeatherWorx said:

I have seen some pretty crappy stuff listed just about everywhere you can dream of and some of that garbage is listed at a hefty price.  

Yeah, true.  Often comes with some long-winded story about how the "flaws" are what make it "hand made".  It certainly occurred to me to educate, but as Ron White points out.. 'ya can't fix stupid" ;)

 

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1 hour ago, JLSleather said:

Yeah, true.  Often comes with some long-winded story about how the "flaws" are what make it "hand made".  It certainly occurred to me to educate, but as Ron White points out.. 'ya can't fix stupid" ;)

 

Amen to that.

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16 hours ago, NVLeatherWorx said:
16 hours ago, NVLeatherWorx said:

Until the buying public gets a clue as to what really goes into making the things they want this is always going to be an issue and there ain't nothin' we can do about it aside from sticking with selling to those who do understand and appreciate the work that we do.

 

I agree 100%, and add to that, until there is nobody that is willing to work for cost of materials plus a beer, the folks buying will continue to think that we CAN make our products for cost of materials plus a beer.  A couple days ago, I told someone in an unrelated business (raising and selling puppies) that there are buyers who "get it", buyers who DON'T "get it" but CAN be educated, and buyers who don't get it, never will, and don't want to.  Don't waste your time on that last bunch. It's not even worth a beer.

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You nailed that one Big Sioux; I get that vibe from several who want to pick my brain on how things are made and every time I get to the part about how the overall costing model (for ANY product that is produced in this World) takes everything into consideration before identifying the direction of the final retail price is when the comments start about how it could be done for less or that the mark-up by the maker on the materials could be reduced.  I had a local stock broker make one of those comments so I decided to flip it on him by asking him if his commission could be reduced then because it is actually MY money doing the work and not him; he tried to explain to me where that was different than what I do so I asked to explain, in great detail, exactly how it was different.  All I am hearing from him is still the Crickets in the background.  I just love it when the rules that should be applied (in their minds) don't apply to them because they are different; sounds way too much like politics to me.

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I'm not saying there aren't cheap products made which aren't worth a dime even though they claim "hand made" (because some really is just junk, regardless of how many hours someone claims they have in it).

I can make a GOOD holster with the best materials available for an actual cost of about $15.  And I could make poo in the same amount of time.  the time invested does NOT make them equal...

Yesterday, I threw two holsters in the trash, which - in my opinion - were considerably better than much of what I see for sale these days.

 

 

Edited by JLSleather

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I am the same way with my stuff; if I am not satisfied with the way it came out I trash it and start over.  For me it is all about making the best possible finished product I can for each and every client and when I am not satisfied with the outcome and make the decision to start over that is a BUSINESS decision that is in line with my philosophy; and the cost of doing that is something that I eat, not my client.  I find that it makes you think everything through to ensure that there are no hiccups so that the cost of doing business is as low as it can be.

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Yeah, personal integrity is the way I choose to do things. 

BUT.. keep in mind that there are people who do nothing but buy something somewhere so they can sell it somewhere else at a profit.  They basically have no skills, and have often convinced themselves that this 'knack' for scavenging and re-selling somehow IS a skill :crazy:   I mean, some of them do know what it's worth.. but if they can catch you selling underselling it (no matter the reason) they can sometimes manage to convince themselves that they have some 'talent'.

This is often women, or anatomical males.  You know .. not a job for a man, really.

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TonyRV2   
52 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Yeah, personal integrity is the way I choose to do things. 

BUT.. keep in mind that there are people who do nothing but buy something somewhere so they can sell it somewhere else at a profit.  They basically have no skills, and have often convinced themselves that this 'knack' for scavenging and re-selling somehow IS a skill :crazy:   I mean, some of them do know what it's worth.. but if they can catch you selling underselling it (no matter the reason) they can sometimes manage to convince themselves that they have some 'talent'.

This is often women, or anatomical males.  You know .. not a job for a man, really.

I believe you've just nailed the premise for the whole free market-wall street thing.:lol:

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Yeah, basically.  I'm going to sell a couple of houses shortly... you should see them LINE UP to "help" me with that   Seriously, if I sell a house, and you buy a house,... then some "third party" gets thousands of dollars ... WHY exactly?!@#!@!! :rofl:

 

 

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People have strange ideas about costs.  People have wanted  leather pouches from me for .25 literally they thought that if they bought enough, they could get the price down to .25 per leather drawstring pouch...$1.25 out of assorted upholstery scrap, but a quarter, come on!  People have no idea what stuff costs.

I get a lot of people wanting prototypes on the thought that they'll be getting more in the future, and even though I charger enough to cover my expenses with a prototype, the second I hear that they are working with several makers, I drop it.  Every time I've tried, the customer disappears.  

    The last thing I want to do is charge $30 for a prototype of a $15 (final price item) only to have them say they found one cheaper.  Recently a guy wanted a phone case, vertical take out, solid/folded main compartment, separate "hanging" loop, double pockets on the front, and holes in bottom for charger and head phones (5 pieces of leather total, 2 sets of snaps).

 I explained that if I couldn't use my existing cutting dies (which I do when I can), he'd be talking about 4-5 dies at $80-$100 each.   I said the final item would be between $10 and $20.  I'd charger $25 for a hand cut prototype.  He balked at the possible startup costs of the die.  Instead he wanted a couple dozen prototypes....nope, nope, nope... 

He must have found a cheaper source, my guess a hobbyist who can crank out a few with some scrap leather in his spare time...surprise to the customer comes back and wants a couple hundred "all the same color" and on a timeline.

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, nstarleather said:

couple hundred "all the same color" and on a timeline

This - in my mind - is simple production stuff -- not the same realm I'm talking about.  If parts are clicked, glued, stitched,.. and that's the scope of it, then that takes a bit of experience, but no real talent.  ANYbody could do that equally well.  In that case, I'd "price shop" too -- if there is no difference, then why pay a difference?!@#!  

Two guys order the same great quality leather, assemble with the same glue, stitch with the same thread, in the same (or virtually the same) machines, then WHY pay more for one than the other?  I mean, once the die is made, does it MATTER who hits the button on the clicker?!

I don't mind paying more IF IT REALLY IS better.

OH,... and if anyone has ever been to cutesy -- you know you'll see items (spelled c- r- a- p- usually) are "crafted" or "made with love", or "home made by Jenny (or wally, or whatever)".... Here's a tip:  love is not an ingredient ;)

 

Edited by JLSleather

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2 hours ago, JLSleather said:

This - in my mind - is simple production stuff -- not the same realm I'm talking about.  If parts are clicked, glued, stitched,.. and that's the scope of it, then that takes a bit of experience, but no real talent.  ANYbody could do that equally well.  In that case, I'd "price shop" too -- if there is no difference, then why pay a difference?!@#!  

Two guys order the same great quality leather, assemble with the same glue, stitch with the same thread, in the same (or virtually the same) machines, then WHY pay more for one than the other?  I mean, once the die is made, does it MATTER who hits the button on the clicker?!

I don't mind paying more IF IT REALLY IS better.

OH,... and if anyone has ever been to cutesy -- you know you'll see items (spelled c- r- a- p- usually) are "crafted" or "made with love", or "home made by Jenny (or wally, or whatever)".... Here's a tip:  love is not an ingredient ;)

 

Of course, I'm production not interested in the small stuff but when I get asked, it's the same creativity and artistry as a custom job.  Lots of real talent needed to make "the first one"...

 Difference is that I'll make dozens after the first one.   Price shopping is fine, just don't expect to pay next to nothing for the design work and take the design elsewhere, but since they are mostly "startups" no one wants to pay $100 for the prototype.  Lots of these guys, tell me the have a "design" and it's a sketch, but the execution is impossible without major tweaks.    Guy with the phone case had double pockets on the front of a folded piece of leather and didn't realize that that those pockets needed a seam... Had a lady ask me once for a "seamless" pouch- only one part of the bull you can get that from ;-)

 People just don't want to pay for that, especially when they see the "standard prices"  The other day, dude on Reddit wanted a wallet copied, then posted to one of my wallets to explain to a guy who offered to make it, why it shouldn't cost that much.  I told the guy I'd have charged the same or more, for a one-off. 

We all deal withcrazy people with on realistic concept of price.

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8 minutes ago, nstarleather said:

ust don't expect to pay next to nothing for the design work and take the design elsewhere

Yeah, I get those.  Usually, I just "pass" on them.   If teh design doesn't work, then I just say that.  If they want to fix it, fine. If they want ME to fix it, there's a charge for that ;)

BUT, most people decide to 'pass' at that point.. some because they hoped to get that done free, and some because they don't like the idea that if I design it, then the design is mine.  I have a family of designs for holsters for the Boberg pistols (there's only 3 models).  I designed those for and at the request of Robert from mecopocketholsters -- and they are his to do as he sees fit -- I dont' sell, borrow, barter, or give them out.  But he was my buddy, and I dont' know that i would do that for anyone else ...

 

Edited by JLSleather

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