JLSleather

Wickett/Craig

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Well, I would not have thought it would ever happen - the day I say something "disparaging" about wickett / craig leather.

I'm not the only one who has noticed and commented on a declining quality on the leather coming out of there.  I kept "one more chance" ing them because they have in the past sent me some STUNNING leathers.

But at this point, I think I need to give them some space for a while.  Last batch of about $1,000 is every bit of 50% unusable.  The one before that wasn't much better.  One whole side of what is "called" the top shelf stuff has vertical wrinkles (like stretch marks) all along the hide -- meaning that it would not be possible to cut even a single belt from it without those marks.  NOW, I'm not "eating" the cost, since it all gets paid for in the end, but it doesn't do much for MY margins.  If I can't cut projects from between the "boogers" so my work doesn't have them, then it's landfill material.

At this stage, I remember that I am not their employee or their distributor. Not my responsibility to see that they sell leather (though I certainly have recommended them multiple times in the past).  I am not ignorant or uneducated about what good leather is supposed to look like.  But either they think I won't know the difference, or perhaps they simply don't HAVE the same quality they used to provide (?).  I'm more than a little bent about it this time, as calls to them to discuss it have not proved beneficial.  Sorry isn't worth much if you send the same thing again...

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Well I hope they do something about it. 

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Nah, nothing to "do about it".  I'm not returning it, doing all that mail tag.  I'll make enough on the clean sections to pay back what I spent on it, and call Hermann Oak.

 

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54 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Nah, nothing to "do about it".  I'm not returning it, doing all that mail tag.  I'll make enough on the clean sections to pay back what I spent on it, and call Hermann Oak.

 

That's too bad, I was kind of talking about that as well as fixing their quality issues.

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I just ordered quite a pile of leather from there yesterday.  I haven't ordered from them in a long while.  Now you have me concerned.  I guess we'll see when it arrives!

YinTx

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What'd ya buy?  I was talking about pre-dyed skirting leather. I got some less than stellar english  bridle too, but I don't order enough of that to make broad statements about it.

I SUPPOSE (guess) their policy is to take it back if you're not happy, but I've never returned any so wouldn't really know.  In fact, maybe that's the problem.. if I didn't return it when it started south, maybe somebody decided I didn't know any better and they could just send me ANYTHING laying around?

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I order English Bridle and Show harness from them all the time I haven't had any problems. I do order natural skirting that I use on the back side of my gun belts no problems. If you have an issue with there leather give them a call they should take care of the problem. 

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Well, yeah, "should". But after multiple conversations and thousands of dollars, I surrender. ;)

 

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7 hours ago, JLSleather said:

call Hermann Oak.

Also heard they've had issues with lower quality lately as well.  Let us know how that goes.

4 hours ago, JLSleather said:

What'd ya buy? 

Some Grade 1 tooling and some bridle, and then some of their tannery run overstock stuff that I don't expect to be perfect.  I have high expectations, which they have met in the past.  We'll see how it goes this time round.

YinTx

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31 minutes ago, YinTx said:

Also heard they've had issues with lower quality lately as well.  Let us know how that goes.

Some Grade 1 tooling and some bridle, and then some of their tannery run overstock stuff that I don't expect to be perfect.  I have high expectations, which they have met in the past.  We'll see how it goes this time round.

YinTx

I watched a video last week about leather "grades" that kind of opened my eyes a little and made me less comfortable about buying online sight unseen...I bought a scrap bundle of bridle a couple weeks ago and was really happy with the way my little pieces worked out, wanna buy sides, but again...sight unseen on $40 for a few pretty good size scraps, and $200+ for a side is a big difference when you're small time.

 

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It's just not true that grades don't concern quality.  I "get" what that video is talking about... same cow skins soaked in the same chems.  But there is leather that is clean and firm, and leather that is not.  That video is marketing spin, aimed at those who really do not know.

This stuff from W/C is always firm... nothing "smooshy" about it.  But the clean part has been falling off BADLY.  I know its cow leather and there's going to be a mark.  But ... there's a limit to what is acceptable. 

 

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2 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

It's just not true that grades don't concern quality.  I "get" what that video is talking about... same cow skins soaked in the same chems.  But there is leather that is clean and firm, and leather that is not.  That video is marketing spin, aimed at those who really do not know.

This stuff from W/C is always firm... nothing "smooshy" about it.  But the clean part has been falling off BADLY.  I know its cow leather and there's going to be a mark.  But ... there's a limit to what is acceptable. 

 

I figured as much, they tried to spin that "A" grade is the best of "what we have to offer at this time" and that just didn't sit right with me, but I haven't been around long enough to know better.  I am confident that when i hold and manipulate a piece of leather, i could care less what name is on it, under it or behind it, if it feels good...do it...lol, but I agree whole heartedly, if you want to sell me something, and I've purchased from you in the past, i'd expect equal or better in quality for the ~same price.  And it sucks for someone that is making products that already knows they're in for a 50% waste margin, who's supposed to eat that, the leather crafter, the distributor??? the tannery or the cattle farmer...I mean how far back does it go to get consistent quality grade leather?

On a side note, I've had some success with leather with fat wrinkles, brands and marks for the padfolios, and notebook covers...even was asked if i can do a couple more with the "markings" like i did for the other feller.  So if you end up with a pile of it you won't use, I wouldn't mind getting some if it's worth it to recoup some of the waste cost.  

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1 minute ago, koreric75 said:

On a side note, I've had some success with leather with fat wrinkles, brands and marks for the padfolios, and notebook covers...even was asked if i can do a couple more with the "markings" like i did for the other feller.  So if you end up with a pile of it you won't use, I wouldn't mind getting some if it's worth it to recoup some of the waste cost.  

I made the horse padfolio and my Rose knife sheath on some older Tandy shoulders/sides that have fat wrinkles etc on them, and it came out great.  I put the same good leather in the for sale section, but no takers, no offers.  I'll keep making things out of it until I run out.  It'll make me money in products, but I had quite a bit of it so tried to sell a couple of pieces.  I had a _really_ scarred up shoulder that I made myself a padfolio out of a couple of years ago, it is wearing like iron and everyone loves it, scars and all.  :dunno:

All that said, I have enjoyed working with Wickett & Craig and Hermann Oak as well.  The newer Tandy stuff... not so much.

YinTx

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8 hours ago, koreric75 said:

if you want to sell me something, and I've purchased from you in the past, i'd expect equal or better in quality for the ~same price.

I pretty much expect prices to change (just up, not really down ;) ).  But you know what I want.  It hasn't changed.  I want THE best there is.  And I'm willing to pay the top shelf price.  But I don't pay for pretty speeches and videos - you don't get top price for ... anything else.

There have been ads for years... scars and brands.... charm and character... Yeah, well - send me the less charming stuff and we'll both be happy (I'm letting you keep the most charming, right?).  In fact, anybody thinks their leather with no marks on it isn't "charming", you let me know and we'll talk price.  I love leather that is NOT "charming" :o

8 hours ago, koreric75 said:

"A" grade is the best of "what we have to offer at this time"

Wait.. I thought they said grade has nothing to do with quality?@!  So they're saying that if I order "A" grade, I may not get the same "grade" I got last time I ordered "A" grade, even though I'm paying the same price?

"GRADE" is a standard.  It's a ruler.  Either the leather measures up, or it doesn't.  Bunch of guys under 5' tall standing together, you can't LEGITIMATELY point to the tallest one and say he's tall.  He's not.  He's the tallest "of what we have to offer at this time".  But he's not tall.  Maybe just admit that you don't  have any "tall" in stock, and offer to sell me what you have.  I won't take it, because I'm shopping for the TALL stuff on the top shelf, but I wouldn't fault you for honestly offering what you have.

Seriously, I don't know why people get sucked into that BULL.  Long as I started all this, let's go on a bit. 

  • How many of you would order (and pay for) a 12" sandwich, and be okay with it when they brought you a 10" one?  Hey, it's the longest one we had.  Still charging you for the 12" though.
  • Well, yes - we know this isn't first class that you asked (and paid) for.  Still, it's the best seat we have in coach, so ....  today it's "A" grade.
  • True, this car has 200,000 miles on it, but that's less than some other cars on the lot, so this is "A" grade.
  • Hey, I ordered the Lexus!  Well, yes we know - but this taurus was the best we have right now, so we're sending that instead (then why am I paying for the Lexus?)

Should we continue? Is there anybody still NOT seeing how ridiculous that is?

Great. Other side of the coin then ... for those who claim they want that leather with marks, wrinkles, etc.  It's a "natural product" after all.

  • Hey, can you knock some bruises in that apple before I buy it?
  • No, don't really want that truck.  I don't like to have to put the dents and scratches in myself.  Maybe if it was rolled on its side first ...
  • No, sir, really not interested in dating your daughter.  She hasn't dated nearly enough other fellas. :o

Honestly, I must have more discerning customers.  I have never once been asked to send the stuff with some scratches on it.  Or some fat wrinkles.  Never had somebody request an item that 'almost' fits, or with edges not trimmed.  OR, maybe they're not discerning at all - could be they just appreciate the honesty, knowing they'll get what they asked (and paid) for -- not something else and a story about "a natural product, and .... the best on hand right now".

Okay .. I didn't intend to get this long about it, but that's just goin' in the blog. 

_______________________________

By the way.. I recently ordered a "dummy gun" for the new-ish Glock 43x.  About 5 seconds with a caliper will show that holsters molded with that WAY UNDERSIZE mold aren't going to even take the Glock 43x.  I complained, and they took it back, full refund.  Final outcome, I'm out $8.20, a week, and still need a Glock 43x mold.  Sound like good business? Or sound like I threw away $8.20 and loaned somebody $60?

Ah.. know what?  Let's end it on a funny note.  My friend Mary says her husband suggested they go on a diet "together".  Mary said he's dreaming - when she says she's gonna eat "low fat", she means she's gonna  be sitting down when she eats it :rofl:  That's funny, but still just 'marketing spin' ...

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You ordered some leather, but did not like what came, they offered you the choice of keeping it or returning it, you chose not to return it for your own reasons but then slagged the company off for being crap.

Its hard for any company to react different, if you don't return it for them to understand the problem

You state its happened over time yet you still order from them and don't send things back to be rectified if possible, the goods that don't meet the expected quality you want.

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Who is going to pay for the person to inspect the leather then box it up and send it back. Then you are dead in the water waiting for more leather so you can make your products to send out to your customers. With everyone having cell phones with cameras on them you can send pictures of what the problem is. But after you talk to them so many times I can understand being frustrated. And who has to pay for the shipping to send the stuff back your not happy with? 

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34 minutes ago, chrisash said:

You ordered some leather, but did not like what came, they offered you the choice of keeping it or returning it, you chose not to return it for your own reasons but then slagged the company off for being crap.

Its hard for any company to react different, if you don't return it for them to understand the problem

You state its happened over time yet you still order from them and don't send things back to be rectified if possible, the goods that don't meet the expected quality you want.

Where did you see the choice to keep or return?  Actually, I'm really thinking (though I couldn't prove it, and what would be the point?) that BECAUSE I didn't return some of that is the reason they thought it was acceptable to send me MORE SUBSTANDARD stuff (but bill me for top shelf).

I called half a dozen times.  One guy told me he would personally go "on the floor" and check the leather.  The receipt showed up marked "request minimal markings and gauge thickness", but nobody did - obviously.  At this point, I no longer wish to "discuss".  I do not want a "discount" on the low-rent stuff. If you can't send me great leather, just SAY that, and I'll leave you alone.  But I'm not getting strung along because the next one MIGHT be better.

EITHER they don't have leather better than this (so I don't want it) or they do have better leather but sent me this anyway (so I dont want it).  Either way, I don't want it.

Now, this is a forum thread about suppliers, so I posted my position on the subject.  And it's about a supplier that I have long recommended to others.  But I'm not trying to "persuade" anybody in or out of anything.  You want to order there, have at it.  You get a better "deal', congratulations.  As for me, what I've been getting is not what I've been paying, in spite of maybe 6 or 8 calls about exactly that.

I'd like to say it isn't about the money, but at least partly it is.  EVEN if I won the lottery tomorrow, I still. wouldn't be interested in tearing up $1000 just because I could.

29 minutes ago, wayner said:

Then you are dead in the water waiting for more leather so you can make your products to send out to your customers.

And THERE is the thing.  I don't like to apologize.  And I REALLY SUCK at apologizing for what isn't my fault.  If you cashed the check, then SEND WHAT I ORDERED.  That SHOULD be my customer's position, and it SHOULD be my position to my suppliers.

I talked with another guy yesterday, told him it would kick his order back on the calendar and he can have a refund if he prefers that.  Through no fault of mine.  MIGHT be different if I was sitting with no leather, ordered one skin and "hoped" it would be "okay".  But I'm talking about multiple hides, multiple times. You are a leather supplier.  You claim to know good leather from bad. So when I pay top dollar and ask for the good stuff, clean and firm - DO YOU REALLY need me to tell you that entire hides that won't let you cut ONE clean belt is not acceptable?  

Hey, I "get" it.. I'm not big enough (volume) to warrant ACTUALLY SENDING what you said you have, and what I specifically asked (and paid) for.  Fair enough.  No trouble.. just have to make an adjustment.

A WORD ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

Few years  back, I got a bad steak at a restaurant.  Turned into quite a spectacle.  So I won't eat there any more, and this was a place we used to eat quite a bit.  BUT COMPOUND that, months later my buddy passed me, said he was on the way to lunch there and come with him.  I said I'll come have coffee, but I'm not eating there.  Got seated, ordered, and I ordered coffee.  Buddy says just order what you want, I'm buying, it's on me.  I said I'll have coffee.

Shorten the story, when they brought his food I could smell it was something wrong.  He's laughing, poking fun, doesn't believe that they gave me bad food and I was telling stories. Okay, don't believe me - suit yourself. 

Minutes later, first mouth full of what was supposed to be pork sausage and he's running in the bathroom, and even across the restaurant with the door closed we can hear him in there puking.  And puking.  And puking.

Waitress comes by, goofy smile, is everything okay... uh, no - this pork is ROTTED.  She takes the plate and leaves - me 'n'' that cute girl with me appreciate that.  A few minutes later, Richard is back, doesn't look so good, and he KNOWS I'm about to say "what's a matter, buddy?  food wasn't good? Cmon, eat up.. you KNOW they wouldn't serve bad food... get the sausage..." AND I'm gonna lay it on THICK.  He KNOWS he gonna pay for his little jokes a while ago.

Waitress comes back, SAME PLATE, says she talked to the manager and since he wasn't happy his meal today would be FREE. Richard ran for the toilet again, and Molly and I just stared.. while I tried to explain to the "customer service" girl that I DON"T THINK HE WANTS IT.  Discounted poop? Still poop.

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One of the reasons I got into leatherworking in the first place was because it was another "natural origin" material...much like wood or stone...every tree, stone and animal is unique...therefore any products derived from them would be equally individual in nature. I do not fight it...I simply toss the wrinkly belly leather (if I even order it) and make sure the major scratches/bites are gone and flesh side isn't hairy. "Structural" quality "grade" decreasing over time is one thing...but appearance? How does one honestly expect a supplier/tannery to even maintain that when they have no control whatsoever over the conditions their source material is "manufactured" under? Life of the cow on the range, in the field, up against the fence, exposure to insects, disease, diet, predators, etc...all things that can affect the hide. Seems to me, the best one could expect is some sort of "here's what we've got on hand right now, as of --/--/--". Otherwise, it reminds me of that lady, years ago, that came into our cabinet showroom, asking for oak cabinets but wanted all the door grain to exactly match :wacko:

Edited by Double Daddy

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I got this leather from W/C.  BEAUTIFUL leather.  If they were still sending this, I'd still be buying it.

P938_P0.jpg

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On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 9:55 PM, JLSleather said:

Discounted poop? Still poop.

I agree. It does not matter so much about the cost of the item. It's the quality of that item that makes it worth buying if it's good, or not buying at any price if it's not up to standard.

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On 3/14/2019 at 8:55 AM, JLSleather said:

Discounted poop? Still poop

Then there is this, full price poo.  The world we live in.  Apologies to the seller if they are on this forum, lol.

kinda lookin like a piece of copper tubing from the plumbing section, if I must say so myself...

SolidBrassRing.png.b77c5ad0e21a8e948718f7fb7809b17a.png

 

YinTx

 

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Solid brass?  At the shop, we had BINS full of those.. used for short-run bushings... for about the price of the shipping on that one ;)
 

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6 hours ago, YinTx said:

Apologies to the seller if they are on this forum, lol. 

I am not saying this is a scam

but there are scams whereby some  sellers on some marketplaces have goods extortionately priced, to only sell to their own associates and possibly not even deliver goods but refund, either way dirty money can be cleaned, as its passed through a legitimate transaction.

Many of these have been cleared recently.

H

 

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another use for extremely high prices on items on ebay is as a place holder. It holds the space for the seller and also they don't have to fill in the selling list every time they need to relist after an item went out of stock and then came into stock again.

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5 hours ago, hwinbermuda said:

either way dirty money can be cleaned, as its passed through a legitimate transaction.

over here we call those mexican restaurants

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